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One Down, 9,999 to Go…

Darryl Cunningham demolishes the myth of a Moon Landing “Hoax” point by point.

Now on to all the other crazy things people con themselves into believing. It’s one hell of a long list, but at least we have a lot of idle cartoonists to chip in.

When my graphic novel is finished (with luck, in 2012), I’ve signed on to do another non-fiction book, and I wouldn’t mind coming to science’s defense on another topic the way that Cunningham has for this one.

[ETA: Carl in the comments thread points out that Cunningham has also taken on vaccines and homeopathy so I guess that's three down, 9,997 to go.]

[via Spurge]


Discussion (14)¬

  1. ah, a graphic novel? I didn’t know you were working on one!

  2. Carl says:

    Cunningham’s comics are great! He’s done a couple more similarly-themed pieces about vaccines and homeopathy, which I’m sure readers of this Moon Hoax piece will enjoy.

  3. Matt says:

    A good place to start for inspiration might be ‘Bad Science’, a terrific book by Dr Ben Goldacre, “who specialises in unpicking dodgy scientific claims made by scaremongering journalists, dodgy government reports, evil pharmaceutical corporations, PR companies and quacks”. He was a prominent reference for Cunningham’s savaging of homeopathy.

    http://www.badscience.net/about-dr-ben-goldacre/

  4. Felicity says:

    This is the comment I left at the blog linked above:

    * * *

    I would prefer to believe that the moon landing was real. It’s more flattering to mankind, and the evidence seems to fit. Plus, of the two beliefs, it’s the one less likely to make people attack you for holding it.

    However, I have friends that are into conspiracy theories, UFOs, the paranormal, etc., and I’ve seen so many people attack them–not out of any love of scientific education, but because they love the fact that they have an acceptable target to bully–that I’m pushed in the other direction, towards liking conspiracy theories.

    If the moon-landing-believers really want to help their cause, they should be nice to the hoax-believers, at least until the hoax-believers provoke them. Tip: believing the moon landing was faked does not count as a provocation.

    I was saddened by how many people cheered Buzz Aldrin punching that guy in the face. Ironically, the guy deserved it, but not for believing that the moon landing was faked, which was why most people cheered his getting punched. He deserved it for calling Aldrin a thief and a liar and trying to provoke him into creating a scene. There’s a difference between someone who thinks they’re the next Mulder and some reporter from TMZ.

    * * *

    I should add that the reverse is also true. Conspiracy believers not only have to be polite, but because they’re going into a situation where they’re going to be accused of being crazy, they also have practice being superhumanly calm and rational and concise. Also, their opponents are people who see themselves as defending science, so it helps (for example) a moon-landing-hoax-believer to present his evidence in a science-friendly style. At the very least, do not attack the validity of science itself.

    If you are a moon-landing believer and you’ve come to the conclusion that no matter what you say, nothing will convince your opponent that the landing was real, I would say the most productive last gambit would not be ad hominem, but to ask, “So, what does that have to do with the price of eggs?”

    At this point you’ve shifted the argument away from whether the landing happened, on which issue neither side will budge, and towards something more promising–why does it matter who’s right, to 99% of us, for 99% of our lives?

    • Scott says:

      Although I agree with the general point about bullying and ridicule, I have to say that I strongly believe that the truth always matters in the long run.

    • wings says:

      i dunno how far i can agree with you on that…the vid of Bart Sibrel getting punched in the face clearly shows he had it coming IMO. The dude called him a coward, a liar, and didn’t get to finish his sentence after that cuz he got punched by a war vet/ultranerd (doctor of science from MIT)

      it’s true that truth should always win out in the end, but if both sides can’t keep it civil, then nothing is every going to get settled without the fists flying.

      as far as if i think the US landed on the moon, they did…they had to, because they left a retroreflector on the moon to shine a laser onto, for the purpose of measuring its distance from earth. here’s the experiment that Mythbusters performed to put the whole thing to rest:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orvMZn8L1f0

  5. Sarah says:

    Don’t know about the others, but I cheered the punching because Bart Sibrel harasses Aldrin and the rest of them constantly and publicly. I don’t have to condone it to feel damn good about it.

    A close friend of mine is a vocal and public proponent of the moon landing having not happened, but he would NEVER invade someone’s privacy over it or treat them with such lack of respect. OTOH, you ought to hear the ad hominem abuse HE receives for his viewpoint.

  6. Jesse Haller says:

    In high school I totally believed the moon landing was fake. I smoked a lot of pot back then too. Connection? Maybe :D

  7. Jeff C says:

    Unfortunately the facts don’t always change peoples’ minds. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/07/11/how_facts_backfire/

  8. Will Curwin says:

    I hope your next non-fiction book will be on evoultion because of that post last halloween.

  9. Thanks thanks for the plug. Bart Sibrel has had quite enough publicity, which is why I didn’t mention him in the strip. And yes, the truth is alway important.

  10. Vainamoinen says:

    I was actually considering doing a comic on 9/11 conspiracy theories. Unfortunately, that field is so vast and the “truther’s” theory puzzle pieces so very inconsistent that it can’t really be covered satisfactorily. If someone does, though, I’d be grateful for the link. ;)