“The tide goes out, the tide comes in.” God did it!

You can’t explain Bill O’Reilly
[Via Bad Astronomy]

Because Bill O’Reilly’s arrogance, willful ignorance, and egregious lack of rational thinking is such a juicy target for satire, I present to you a whole bunch of things Bill O’Reilly can’t explain. Here’s one:

That link has quite a few more, almost all of which made me laugh. Never a miscommunication.


O’Reilly’s original comments indicated a severe lack of understanding and that is why he does it. He is a smart man, a good entertainer. He knows what sort of schtick works for his audience and he provides it. Just like Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, O’Reilly has an image to uphold and willful ignorance is part of that.

He helps design Cargo Cult Worlds, where the narrative is more important than the facts.

A common aspect of Cargo Cult worlds is that they  halt further investigation. Tide goes out. Tide comes in. God did it. End of story.

When he was called on the fact that this story actually has many more pages detailing the effect of gravity from the moon, this was his reponse:

Wow! Even more instances of how the Cargo Cult Worlds are designed to stop further investigation. ‘How’d the moon get there? How’d the Sun get there?’ Why do we have a moon and Mars doesn’t? Of course, Mars has two moons but  O’Reilly’s point does not need any connection to facts or reality.

So eventually his metaphor has to be pushed back to a point where science may not have a complete understanding – say the first 5 seconds following the Big Bang. That gap now proves God. Because we can pretty much explain what has happened since. The God of the Gaps is not a very strong thing to base your Cargo Cult World on.

For explaining to him that his original view was incorrect, people get insulted. Because trying to add pages to the story created in a Cargo Cult World almost always results in irrational anger.

Thus I am happy to see that the response to this anger is derision.  I like this one because it displays the sort of know-nothingness that O’Reilly espouses: