Saturday, February 19, 2011

Glenn Beck's Hateful Anti-Christ Theology, Bill O'Reilly's Tide Argument, FOX "News" or the Church of Rupert Murdoch?: a "Scientific" Explanation

     Here's Rachel Maddow's report on Glenn Beck's "reporting" about the connection between President Obama, the "antichrist," and the "end times."  Even ten years ago, this religious nonsense would have been laughed off as crazy by reputable news organizations, but now it's broadcast as "news."  If you don't think they're effective, you might be shocked to discover in the embedded report that 35% of the people polled in New Jersey--not Mississippi, Idaho, Arizona or Texas, but politically diverse New Jersey--think that Obama is either the "antichrist" or don't know whether or not he is.

     What Glenn Beck and FOX are doing is not reporting.  As I listened to him, I recognized his method; I learned to structure such a presentation in seminary, in my homiletics classes.  Beck  is preaching--admittedly poorly--the religious xenophobia of fundamentalist Christians.  FOX is not a news organization, but a church.  (Let's just hope Holy Father Rupert doesn't realize this and apply for religious tax exemption.)

     In other FOX "News"/Gospel preaching, Bill O'Reilly has been arguing for the existence of his god based on what he claims is humanity's inability to explain the rise and fall of the tides and the origin of the moon and the sun.  The Huffington Post reports:
     In a video for Premium Members of his website, Bill O'Reilly doubled down on his statement that the existence of the tides is definitive evidence that God exists.  
     The Fox News host took a lot of heat for claiming that science cannot explain why the tides occur in such a regular fashion when in fact the tides are the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the moon and the sun and the rotation of the Earth.
     O'Reilly remains unimpressed:
     'Okay, how did the moon get there? How'd the moon get there? Look, you pinheads who attacked me for this, you guys are just desperate. How'd the moon get there? How'd the sun get there? How'd it get there? Can you explain that to me? How come we have that and Mars doesn't have it? Venus doesn't have it. How come? Why not? How'd it get here?'
     In fact, prevailing scientific theory is that the moon formed as the result of a massive impact with Earth; Mars has two moons; etc, etc. 
     And those who continuously say, "See it's just a scientific 'theory'!" need to learn the actual scientific meaning of the term before projecting their colloquial usage.  A scientific theory is a proven scientific hypothesis.  (We should have learned this in middle school science class or even sooner.)

     There's a great explanation of this middle-school wisdom on Wilstar.com.  Here's a clip:
     A theory is what one or more hypotheses become once they have been verified and accepted to be true. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term "theory" in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say "hypothesis." That makes its true meaning in science even more confusing to the general public. In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole.
     Here's the equation of the day.  Don't worry, it's easier to comprehend than E = mc2.

     Scientific Ignorance + Religious Fundamentalism = FOX "News" Hypotheses about the Tides, the Moon, and President "antichrist" Obama

1 comments:

Buffy said...

I swear, the ignorance is astounding. And always any question to which the answer is "I don't know" always has to be answered with "Goddunit". Is it any wonder the U.S., which used to be one of the most scientifically advanced nations in the world, is fast becoming a cesspool of idiots?