Bill O’Reilly: ‘I Don’t Believe a Meteor Crashed Into the Earth’

Richard Dawkins, promoting his new book The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True, appeared on The O’Reilly Factor a couple nights ago…

If you haven’t seen the clip, here’s the spoiler: It went down exactly how you would have imagined it.

As usual, Bill O’Reilly‘s ignorance of science was in full bloom:

Dawkins: How can it possibly help to postulate a divine intelligence to explain something complicated like [the origin of existence]?

O’Reilly: Here’s how it can help. If you believe in the teachings of Jesus, or Buddha, or someone like that who wants people to be peaceful and to love each other, that is a good thing.

Dawkins: Yeah, but what’s that got to do with the origin of the moon?

O’Reilly: Because I don’t believe a meteor crashed into the Earth and made everything happen. I think Intelligent Design made everything happen. I’ll give you the last word.

Dawkins made the ultimate mistake: he thought O’Reilly was raising legitimate questions out of his own curiosity instead of just talking out of his ass… and he tried to answer them. It’s a waste of time. O’Reilly doesn’t care about the answers. He just loves raising the talking point. Whether it’s correlating atheism with violence or stating how he doesn’t accept the scientific consensus on various issues, he loves to play devil’s advocate to anything an opponent says… no matter how sensible the opposition might be. It’s amazing Dawkins didn’t just give him the Dave Silverman look the whole time:



About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BWYTJU2N7NQRFXYX6AE5CR626M Benjamin

    It’s a shame that Dawkins and Silverman aren’t very sharp tongued.  In the Silverman interview, Silverman missed an opportunity to destroy O’Reilly but instead gave the “you-got-to-be-kidding-me” look.   Last time I checked, faces didn’t win arguments when one is given the opportunity to speak.  Hitchens would have never let that happen.

    • Anonymous

      O’Reilly doesn’t give you the chance on his show. Doesn’t matter how sharp tongued you may or may not be.  He spends all the time talking, gives you seconds to make a statement, talks over the top of you…. Oh, and the kicker, this interview (as are a lot of what appears on O’Reilly) was pre-taped. It wouldn’t have mattered what Dawkins had said or when.  Because it was all edited anyway before airing.

      O’Reilly is not that dumb.  As Hemant pointed out based on O’Reilly’s unrelated nonsense of Jesus->Buddha->meteor->moon->everything, he’s playing a character.  Plain and simple. He’s a Poe. But the dumbfucks that watch Fox News take every word he says as gospel.  This makes him a dangerous Poe.

  • Erik

    I thought he didn’t debate creationists?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, he really should have taken his own advice there and extended it to O’Reilly

      • Rich Wilson

        He may not have the choice when it comes to book promotion.  It wasn’t supposed to be a debate, it was supposed to be promoting his book.  (Which I just got yesterday, and have been reading with my 4 year old, and is fantastic).

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

          I’ve been flicking through the book with a three year old, and she has been enjoying it.

        • Erik

          I guess he knew that going on Orly’s show would be a good way to get attention from blogs/news sites…

        • Roxane

          All of the TV promotions seem to be just about getting the cover of the book in front of people’s eyes.  Though I must say I prefer Colbert’s “don’t-let-the-guest-get-a-word-in-edgewise” riffs to O’Reilly’s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mujica.alex Alejandro Mujica

    This actually feels like positive publicity for Dawkins. But O’Reilly, jeez: knowledge comes in, bulls*!t goes out. You can’t explain that.

    I dub that bottom pic the “Silverman Stare.”

    • Tasuret

      Dude. It’s been the Silverman stare forever. It’s been used in internet comics for months as a “are-you-fucking-serious” beat panel.

      • Drew M.

        Not everyone spends their time on Reddit.

  • Anonymous

    He’s right, but not for the reason he thinks.  The current thinking is it wasn’t just any meteor, but another planet roughly the size of Mars that crashed into Earth to form the Moon.

    The problem with O’Reilly is that it’s easy to zing out batshit, you really need to come up with a retort very quickly to stay on top of the batshit.

  • Trina

    The headline on this one made me laugh – and I really need it, today.  I don’t have cable (disabled, limited income).  Someone tell me – why did O’Reilly bother saying “Intelligent Design” instead of ‘god’ in that one comment?

    • Trina

      Or maybe I can answer that for myself?  Because O’Reilly’s postulating that his ‘god’ is intelligent, biblical signs to the contrary?  Still open to feedback, though, *please.*

  • http://www.thehighwayhermit.com James Bulls

    I don’t think I know why anybody goes on Bill-o’s show; it’s like a non-stop parade of ad hominem attacks, poisoning the well, use of red herring distractions, and every other logical fallacy in the book. Do guests who come on his show really not know that they’ll be used as figurative punching bags and have Bill-o shout over everything they try to say? I can’t even watch clips of Bill-o anymore, it just makes me insane.

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      I completely agree. It’s a mistake to be a guest on O’Really’s show. It’s called the “O’Reilly Factor” for a good reason; it’s all about him, not the issue, and certainly never the guest. The guest is just an object off of which Bill-0 can bounce his pompous pontifications.  Seeing Dawkins, Silverman and others allow themselves to be used again and again just so Un’Ruly can puff up his ratings and his chest is like watching Charlie Brown run up to kick the football while Lucy holds it just one more time.

      As far as any viewer changing their opinion for the better about any atheist guest, the likelihood seems extremely low.  Out of a few million people who watch that show, I’d be astonished if three actually THINK carefully enough to rethink their opinions about atheism, evolution, or science in general. If they could think like that, they wouldn’t be watching a show that feeds them yummy spoonfulls of self-perpetuating ignorance.

      Being one of his “guests” doesn’t just support O’Reilly, it supports O’Reillyism. 

      • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

        I used to watch it seriously. Now, well… if I’m watching O’Liar, I’m watching the same way I’d watch a train-wreck — that sick, twisted “this is too horrible NOT to watch” kind of way.

  • Anonymous

    I think these 2 clips from TYT are pretty good defending Dawkins:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSxiRw-BBqY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcPF57wymxg

    (the last couple minutes of the 2nd one lays out the dirty tricks Bill uses.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremy-Gould/1216314893 Jeremy Gould

    Ugh.  This is disappointing.  Poor Dawkins was obviously knocked off balance by Bill’s drivel.  Sigh… my sympathy is with Dawkins.  He lost that one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

      I think you must have watched a different clip, possibly an imaginary one.

  • Rich Wilson

    The funniest part of all was the online headline.

    “O’Reilly Crushes Atheist Richard Dawkins”

    http://nation.foxnews.com/atheism/2011/10/05/oreilly-crushes-atheist-richard-dawkins

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=750428174 Paddy Reddin

      Also note that “The Nation” rated this article as Obnoxious, and that comments are closed.   

      The only questions is why he pretends to call it an interview anymore, why notr come clean and call it “People getting talked at by Bill”.

  • Prosepetals

    Nah…Dawkins didn’t lose this one at all. He completely owned. All you have to see to know that is when O’Reilly went “A-HA!” complete with the pointed finger, and watched as Dawkins calmly replied without any reaction at all. He didn’t give Billdo what he wanted…which is precisely why he won.

  • Acitta

    I noticed that O’Reilly billed him as Richard Dawkins, atheist, not Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist or best selling author.

    • Prosepetals

      Of course. Billdo would not book such a respected man with outstanding credentials as a legitimate and highly educated person. That would be far too intimidating…and would undercut his status as a “journalist”…

  • Anonymous

    Open your eyes,  O’Reilly, if the evidence was any closer or plainer it would be breathing down you wind-pipe, you ass!

  • http://www.facebook.com/melaniedawn.molinawood Melanie Dawn Molina Wood

    How many times did Bill O’Reilly repeat “the constraining influence of religion”… except, you know, when it doesn’t. 

  • Dan

    PRAISE THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE METEOR!

  • Ani Sharmin

    I agree with previous commenters about Bill O’Reilly’s show being just an opportunity for him to present bad arguments, and that going on the show is basically a way to subject yourself to this, though I understand it was book publicity thing.

    Also, I love the David Silverman look. Even though it gave O’Reilly the opportunity to pretend he had won the argument with Silverman, the look is just hilarious.

  • Anonymous

    Well I agree that religion is a constraining influence.  It constrains scientific advancement.  It constrains moral discussion.  It constrains honest and open analysis of evidence.  Not all the time and not with all chapters of Club Christian but often enough to make a difference.

  • Nicole S

    Bill O’Reilly is such a clown. His stupid, “ah-ha!” made me laugh out loud. 

  • Karen

    CRIMINY, I could only listen to about thirty seconds of Bill O’Reilly and I had to stop listening…YUK YUK YUK.

  • Ludovico

    Bill’s right–”tide goes in, tide goes out–you can’t explain it!” *sarc* 


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