O’REILLY PUTS ON HIS THEOLOGIAN’S HAT AGAIN…. About a month ago, Bill O’Reilly interviewed David Silverman, president of American Atheists, and the Fox News host thought he had a trump card to bolster beliefs in the supernatural.

“I’ll tell you why [religion’s] not a scam, in my opinion: tide goes in, tide goes out,” O’Reilly said, in all seriousness. “Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. You cannot explain why the tide goes in…. See, the water, the tide comes in and it goes out, Mr. Silverman. It always comes in, and always goes out. You can’t explain that.”

The notion that tides can be — and have been — explained by the effects of the moon and its gravitational influence on the spinning earth completely eluded the Fox News personality.

Apparently, O’Reilly heard about some of us mocking him over this, so he released a video for “premium members” of his website, including a challenge to those who’ve scoffed at his evidence of the supernatural.

“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?”

Nicholas Graham noted, “In fact, prevailing scientific theory is that the Moon formed as the result of a massive impact with Earth.”

Right, and the reason Mars and Venus don’t have Earth’s moon is because it’s Earth’s Moon. Other planets have their own moons. It’s really not that complicated.

Bad Astronomy goes into far more detail, documenting the scope of O’Reilly’s confusion.

I don’t imagine he’ll care, but my advice to O’Reilly is to stop trying to prove the supernatural with astronomy. It’s just not a good idea. The key to matters of faith is … faith (i.e., belief in the absence of proof). Looking for proof of the divine in tides and moons, as a rule, means you’re doing it wrong.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.