I am a sceptic. A person who is a sceptic asks for a simple thing – to be show facts and evidence that support a particular theory. If this evidence is not forthcoming then the theory is correctly deemed to be "weak" and dismissed until it can be more strongly proven. Now this is not so say that the theory is dismissed forever as false out of hand, or that the sceptic is saying "this theory is not true". A good grass-roots sceptic will not deny most things that have a hard time being disproved, things such as paranormal effects that cannot be disproved or proved, the same thing is true for a belief in God, a good sceptic will say that God cannot exist but merely that he/she/it is unlikely to exist.
Now that I have laid the groundwork on scepticism let's move on to the subject of this thread, the moon landing conspiracy.
Now, the case for the moon landing conspiracy theory is the same as for practically every other conspiracy theory. The proponents of the theory will collect together a small amount of disparate and disconnected evidence that flies in the face of the massive and compelling body of evidence that proves the theory. They focus on this evidence with a passion and ignore or do not mention the evicence against their conspiracy theory.
Now, this points to a certain amount of intellectual dishonesty and a little bit of cowardice. If you say that the moon landing is fake then you are presented with a number of huge hurdles. The approach taken by the conspiracy theorists? To not even touch this, in a serious debate they will be defeated in seconds, but no-one is dignifying these people with a scientific debate (unlike other fields such as creationism). In a way, a scientific debate will lend a certain validity to their claims and thus should not be done.
There is no time here for a point-by-point refutation of the points they make, these websites are better suited for this:
As for the fact all I have to say is that we know the rocket took off, we know the capsule moved in the atmosphere, we know through telemetry performed by many amateurs who listened into the shuttles radio transmission that the movement of the radio source moved to the moon, we know that rocks were brought back that show unique characteristics that prove they came from the moon.
We also know that the points that the conspiracy theorist make are finicky at best, pointing out things such as ripples in flags and many of their points relate to the photos that were taken (note: A photo is not proof of anything, as an amateur photographer myself I can attest to this.). At best the assertions that the conspiracy theorists make are scientifically ignorant and at worst an ad-hominem tirade.
I can not successfully psycho-analyse these people but they seem to have an innate mistrust of authority and a desire to believe. The worst thing is when they say that they "sceptical of the moon landing" they are not sceptics – they are deniers.
Posted on: Saturday, May 10, 2008 11:56 PM