Did Neil Armstrong, space explorer, test pilot, fighter pilot, professor, engineer and self proclaimed “nerd” die at 3:03pm on August 25, 2012?
Not very long after the death of Armstrong was announced an urban legend sprouted. I first saw a tweet to this effect: “Neil Armstrong died at 3:03pm. Genesis 3:03 says, “God set the moon opposite the sun.” Makes one feel all warm and fuzzy.
Armstrong apparently died around 2:45pm. Reports CBC:
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon as commander of the Apollo 11 mission, has died at age 82.
Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. As he was about to step onto the dusty surface, he uttered the famous line: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
The Twitter feed of NBC Nightly News said he died at 2:45 p.m. ET Saturday and that he had suffered complications from heart surgery he underwent earlier this month.
This seems accurate as the announcement was made by NBC around 3:00pm with other new agencies following suit:
The next TV news outlet to report Armstrong’s death was Fox News at 3:17 PM, followed by ABC News, at 3:27 PM…CNN reported the news at 3:43 PM, with CBS News presenting a special report at 4:11 PM.
The other problem with the tweet is the “verse” from Genesis. Chapter 3, verse 3 says nothing about the moon at all. The word “moon” is not used until Genesis 37, telling the dream of Joseph. References in the creation passage refer to the moon as “the lesser light,”
God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars.
I hope we can stop this urban legend before it gets it running shoes on.