The Grey Lady takes on the Moon hoax

By Phil Plait | July 14, 2009 11:04 am

Yesterday, the New York Times published a short piece on the Moon Hoax. It’s a decent write-up of the situation; I’ve read about a million others just like it at this point so nothing really leaps out at me… except they quoted me in it! That was cool. Now the Fox network has two reasons to hate me.

Actually, there were a couple of things that made me smile (besides also quoting My Close Personal Friend Adam Savage™). They talked to one conspiracy theorist from Argentina:

… he said that the political corruption during the years of dictatorship in his country shaped his thinking: "I started to realize how political corruption operates and how it is the interests of a few in power that really governs our world."

Yes, paranoid conspiracy thinking is a good thing to extrapolate from one venue to everything else in the world. [Insert rolleyes icon here if you will.] Look: that sort of thing is not a worldview; it’s an excuse. If you use it as a way to live your life, then everything is a conspiracy. The light turns red when you get to it? Zionists! It rains when you want to take a walk? Illuminati! Your cat pukes up hairballs after cleaning herself? Big Pharma!

The other bit that made me smile was this from none other than Bart Sibrel:

"I have suffered only persecution and financial loss," he said. "I’ve lost visitation with my son. I’ve been expelled from churches. All because I believe the Moon landings are fraudulent."

Oh, poor, poor Bart! After all, he’s such a noble man, hiding in the bushes to jump out at astronauts to make them swear on a Bible that they walked on the Moon, lying to get into their houses and accuse them of faking the landings, and harassing and intimidating Buzz Aldrin so much that the second man to walk on the Moon had to punch Sibrel to get him to back off.

Hey Bart: it’s not your beliefs that open you to ridicule. It’s you.

I’ll note that the NYT article doesn’t go into any real detail on why the conspiracists believe such nonsense — except to dismiss them — which is fine. There are copious places where they’re enumerated, and they do link to my debunking of the hoax nonsense. So all in all, it’s a good read, but let me remind you — the real news here is that it’s been 40 years since we sent humans to the Moon. Let’s concentrate on putting them back there once again.

Tip o’ the spacesuit visor to ilikeportello.


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