Americans are not only among the most religious people in the occidental world, they’re also among the most paranoid and conspiracy-minded. Perhaps the two tendencies are psychologically linked … I tend to think so, especially since perhaps the most common paranoid-conspiracy theory currently in circulation — i.e. the claim that President Barack Obama is not a U.S. citizen — is mostly being propagated by Christian fundamentalists. That Obama is, indeed, a citizen — as explained by numerous sources, ranging from fact-verifying groups like FactCheck, to major media outlets like the Los Angeles Times, to Web sites such as Snopes — has had absolutely no measurable effect on this belief among fundamentalist Christians in the U.S. Facts do not matter to them, not when there’s a paranoid conspiracy they can cling to instead.

The 40th anniversary of the first Moon landing has also pushed into the open yet another conspiracy theory, which likewise appears never to die. CNN reports on this persistent controversy:

It captivated millions of people around the world for eight days in the summer of 1969. It brought glory to the embattled U.S. space program and inspired beliefs that anything was possible.

It’s arguably the greatest technological feat of the 20th century.

And to some, it was all a lie.

Forty years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon, a small cult of conspiracy theorists maintains the historic event — and the five subsequent Apollo moon landings — were staged. These people believe NASA fabricated the landings to trump their Soviet rivals and fulfill President Kennedy’s goal of ferrying humans safely to and from the moon by the end of the 1960s. …

Conspiracy theories about the Apollo missions began not long after the last astronaut returned from the moon in 1972. Bill Kaysing, a technical writer for Rocketdyne, which built rocket engines for NASA’s Apollo program, published a 1974 book, “We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle.” …

Decades later, Kaysing’s beliefs formed the foundation for “Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?” a sensational 2001 Fox TV documentary that spotted eerie “inconsistencies” in NASA’s Apollo images and TV footage.

Is there a connection between the same Fox News channel, which is currently fueling the “Obama-is-not-a-citizen” mantra, and the Fox Entertainment division that aired this documentary? I doubt it. They’re part of the same media empire, yes, but are separately run. Fox Entertainment has given us many things that the religionazis at Fox News would never have approved of, e.g. Married With Children.

But I digress.

That the moon landings were hoaxed is, of course, nonsense. At least one of the reasons is one that CNN cites:

Critics of moon-landing hoax theorists, and there are many, say it would be impossible for tens of thousands of NASA employees and Apollo contractors to keep such a whopping secret for almost four decades.

Not to mention an even more obvious objection: Had NASA “hoaxed” the Apollo 11 moon landing, why would they have gone to the expense of faking several more? If the point was to make people think astronauts had landed on the moon, that would have been accomplished by just the first “hoax.” What need would there be to orchestrate any more?

What’s more, there’ve also been several attempts to show that the moon hoaxer’s claims are untrue … most recently this was done by the TV show Mythbusters, just under a year ago, in one of their more famous episodes. Also, astronomer Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy has an extensive, point-by-point rebuttal of the Fox network so-called “documentary,” along with a list of other moon-hoax-related resources for your perusal. [Just added: The Skeptic’s Dictionary has a new entry on the moon-landing hoax, too.]

But as it turns out, none of this really helps alleviate the controversy. The people who subscribe to it are impervious to insignificant little things like “facts” and “verification.” Those don’t matter … the only thing that does matter, is one’s emotional attachment to the conspiracy theory. Of course, that’s what conspiracy theories and religious fundamentalism have in common — that underlying appeal to emotion and sentimentality. Ultimately that’s all they have going for them … but given how susceptible human beings are to emotion and sentiment, that’s more than enough. People usually choose wishful thinking over verifiable fact.

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  • InquisitiveMind

    I don't believe in BigFoot, the monster of the loch ness.

    I don't deny the holocaust far from it.

    I'm not a proponent of the inside job (in fact, I have not studied it, I have no opinion).

    About the climate change, I have no definitive opinion; I don't know what is the part of man in it.

    But about the moon hoax, this is something I have really very seriously studied, and I have formed an opinion about it:

    I think that the information which is provided is not convincing at all.

    I think that the photos with the astronauts have not been taken on the moon.

    The description of the AGC doesn't make sense either.

    I must precise that I'm originally an aeronautical engineer, with a good formation in avionics, electronics, automatic, anc computers.

    I have worked on missile guiding, helicopter stabilization, and I'm currently a professional computer engineer working on high-tech real time applications.

    That means that I'm in agood position to have an opinion on the AGC, and my opinion is that it makes absolutely no sense.

    The photos are stuffed with incoherences, and what's more these incoherences are very obviously intentional; the fakers have played with perspective, geometry, triginometry to create these incoherences.

    My personal site explains all these incoherences and explains why I am an Apollo doubter:

    Yes, I am a moon hoaxer, and I feel no shame about it, because I very honestly and deeply believe there's something wrong about Apollo.

    You can insult me if you think I'm wrong,; but at least do it in full knowledge, without ignoring why I have doubts.

  • PsiCop

    I appreciate your comments, but if you are truly a skeptic as you say, then you know precisely why the "I'm an expert, therefore I'm right, so you just have to believe me" line is not one I'm going to fall for. If it's a matter of duelling "experts," I'll just have to side with people like Phil Plait, who — rather than just saying, "I'm an expert, so you must believe me" — offers an exhaustive list of references on the matter.

    I already linked to that in my blog post. I'm not sure why I'm repeating it here, but I can see it's necessary for me to do so.

    Something I also addressed in my blog post is the extreme unlikelihood that a hoax — in this case, a conspiracy — involving dozens, if not hundreds, of people, can actually stand up over time. Human nature is such that the "wall of silence" around it will inevitably be penetrated. Those involved can be overcome by remorse over having participated in what they knew to be a lie; they can be tricked into making an admission of some sort; they can be bribed; they can be coerced into confessing what they know; they can disclose what they know in exchange for money or favors; etc.

    Conspiracies only work when they involve a very small number of people who can subsequently be well-controlled by those who orchestrated it. Anything else leaves too much to chance. Your theory would require just such a control mechanism in order to work. Now, most conspiracy theorists use the "easy answer" of, "It's the federal government, they control everything, they can even bump off people who might spill the beans, before they do!" But while the government is powerful, it's more fragile than the PCTs might admit. Administrations change, and new appointees are put in charge of things every 4 to 8 years. It's difficult for a consistent policy to be applied — and rigorously enforced, by violence if needed — over a period of decades.

    You might consider this response an "insult," but it's not intended to be one. If you're the skeptic and aeronautical engineer you say you are, none of what I've just said ought to be a surprise to you … so hearing it again should not be an insult. I can't help if you do choose to take it as an insult, but I assume you're scientifically-minded enough not to.

  • InquisitiveMind

    I didn't call myself an expert, but I said that I have at least a basic knowledge which allows mysehf to have an opinion.

    The reproach that I am doing to the media who show the moon hoaxers as irrelevant idiots is that they limit their criticism to very few arguments when they have in fact many more arguments to present.

    And the very few arguments which are retained by the media are also misrepresented.

    For example, about the fluttering flag, it's not the fact that the flag flutters that the moon hoaxers criticize, unlike the media say, but how it does, which is very different; in the demonstration of the mythbusters, the flag flutters in a very regular way, and the reason of its fluttering is the removal of the air to create the void; when we see the flag flutter on some videos, it's absolutely obvious that it doesn't flutter the same way at all, it's much more irregular.

    And the demonstration of the mythbusters about the non-parallel shadows is obviously flawed; the shadows diverge because of the proximity of the projector which makes that the Lem model and the rocks receive its light from different angles; if the mythbusters had used the real sun instead of their projector, they would have obtained a much different result: The shadows would have been more parallel, less divergent.

    About the stars, the media only explain that it's normal that we don't see them on photo because of overexposition; but they say nothing about the astronauts themselves saying they didn't see them, which is much less normal.

    There are many more incoherences in photos than those which are reported by the media, but the media don't talk about them; they are probably too embarrassing.

    I have read many things about Apollo, but the more I have read, the more I have studied, and the more my doubts have been reinforced, at the point that they are now very strong.

    If you only read the arguments of those who defend Apollo, and never attentively read the arguments of the hoaxers, you'll never know why the hoaxers have doubts.

  • InquisitiveMind

    May be you don't intend to insult me, and I hope you don't.

    But some have, I have sometimes been insulted in a very lame way.

    I have also seen some direct attacks "at hominem" against some proponents of the moon hoax like Bill Kaysing and Ralph René that I have found extremely disgusting.

    It's certainly not the kind of argument which could make me revise my position!

  • InquisitiveMind

    About all the people who worked for the project, there is something which is to be understood.

    There were two parts in the project; a real part, with a real rocket going to space and to the moon.

    But over this part the government (or some secret part of the government?) grafted an artificial part which was unknown from the major part of participants who worked for the real part of the project; this part is the part which was not possible to do; of course for this part, people were needed; these people didn't like what they were forced to do, that's why they introduced plenty of incoherences, and these are these incoherences I have seen and that I describe in my web pages; it's because of these people who rebelled against what they were forced to do that I'm actually a moon hoaxer, because they gave me the keys to prove that there was something abnormal.

    This is not paranoia, the incoherences really exist, they are not imaginary, they are very real, and it's because of them that I have doubts.

    • PsiCop

      Unfortunately this explains nothing at all. It's almost incoherent. (And that is a correct usage of the word.)

      If you're saying that some of those involved in the project had enough of a conscience to purposely sabotage it from within by introducing anomalies, why would none of them have spoken out … or leaked anything … since then?

      You may believe you've explained why the "wall of silence" around the NASA conspiracy has withstood the passage of 4 decades, but unfortunately, you haven't. In fact, your scenario implies there were unwilling participants in the conspiracy from the very beginning. A conspiracy full of unwilling partners is even more likely to fracture and collapse than one made up originally of willing partners.

  • PsiCop

    Re: "If you only read the arguments of those who defend Apollo, and never attentively read the arguments of the hoaxers, you’ll never know why the hoaxers have doubts."

    There are three inherent flaws behind this question you've asked me.

    First, it's a form of argumentum ad hominem. It suggests there is something about me or what I've done … or more specifically what you perceive I haven't done … that invalidates what I've said. This is fallacious. The things I've said are either right or wrong based on their own merits. Whether or not I've "attentively read the arguments of the hoaxers," has zero bearing on the veracity of anything I said.

    Second, the phrase "attentively read the arguments of the hoaxers" is itself problematic. The adjective "attentively" is a subjective one. Just how "attentive" would you like me to have been? What gauge have you used to measure it? If your gauge is that I disagree with the "moon hoax" notion, that's not an objective measure … it's conclusion-based.

    Third, it assumes that "hoaxers" have something to say worth hearing. There's a saying that "there are two sides to every story," and a widespread belief that the truth will magically emerge whenever opposing views on something are heard. But this "duellistic" philosophy (as I call it) is fatally flawed, because in a lot of cases, there aren't two valid sides to every issue. Is the color of the sky debatable? Would you demand that I grant "equal time" to advocates of "the sky is red" notion? No. What about "flat earthers"? Need I go on? To waste time on nonsense is foolish.

    Actually, come to think of it, there are more than just these three logical flaws in your question. I will let your skeptical, scientific mind figure out the others.

    You didn't call yourself an expert, but you provided a list of credentials:

    I have worked on missile guiding, helicopter stabilization, and I’m currently a professional computer engineer working on high-tech real time applications.

    There's no reason for you to have done this, except to have your views taken as those of an "expert."

    As for the Mythbusers TV show, they debunked more than just two points on their show … and also, they are not the only debunkers out there. Establishing your veracity will take more than just complaining about what they did.

    And you have yet to explain how all the people involved could have been sufficiently controlled by the NASA conspiracy that none of them have broken their silence on this. This is the sort of point which PCTs consistently ignore. I will not, however, stop asking you to explain this.

    And I very much understand why lots of people "have doubts." Human beings are, by and large, irrational people who love a good, dramatic story more than they love dry facts. That NASA could have "hoaxed" the moon landings is a very compelling dramatic story. Of course it will be attractive to lots of people.

    As before, none of these observations should be surprising — or insulting — to someone with a scientific background and long engineering career.

  • InquisitiveMind

    There's a way that the mythbusters could show they conducted their demonstration honestly, and that would be by doing their demonstration again, but this time with the real sun; what they have proven is that it was possible to obtain these shadows with a projector, not with the sun; if the photo has been faked, it's also with a projector; so what does the demonstration of the mythbuster prove?

    But I perfectly know that they will never do their demonstration with the real sun.

    The people who were not directly involved in the conspiracy didn't need to be controlled, for they were knowing nothing about it; their job was just to control the flight of the real rocket, they were knowing nothing about the details of the special part of the mission, and it's the very big majority of the participants to the project.

    The only part of the participants who needed to be controlled are those who participated to the special part of the mission which implied astronauts having landed on the moon with their lem.

    These ones effectively needed to be controlled.

    Would not one or several of them have spoken out?

    I think that they could not; who would have believed them?

    The government would have brought the "proof " they had not participated to the project,, they would have been discredited, they would have lost their jobs, they would have been shown as unpatriotic, vindicated, may be aggressed by people who were resentful against them.

    Look what happened to Bart Sibrel: He has lost his wife, his children, his friends…

    And furthermore, it would have been totally inefficient, nobody would have believed them (few people believe Bart Sibrel).

    It was far more efficient to stuff the project with incoherences, and that's what they did: They have put incoherences everywhere, and it's because of these incoherences that I am a moon hoaxer; why do you think they have taken so many pairs of photos? It's because between the two photos of a pair they can introduce an incoherence which makes that the two photos of the pair are incoherent between them!

    And what we see in the visor of the astronaut very often contradicts what we see on the photo.

    And let's also talk about the foreground and the background which so often rotate contradictorily.

    What about the photos in space which don't make sense either?

    What about the photo AS11-37-5445 on which we see the LEM taking a photo of the CSM; the LEM is above the CSM (since we can see the moon behind the CSM), and the CSM is vertical; it makes no sense, it's totally illogical; the LEM cannot afford to waste fuel to take this photo, because it needs it when it is near the surface of the moon when it looks for a spot to land on.

    And in Apollo 14, on the photos AS14-74-10205 to AS14-74-10210, we can see the LEM going the wrong direction (we can't see the moon behind it, only black), and uselessly making rolls; it is wasting fuel again,

    And on photos AS15-88-11956 to AS15-88-11973, we can see the CSM proggressively come closer to the LEM, but instead of trying to dock to the CSM, the LEM goes over it and starts taking photographs of it under various angles, thus wasting the fuel it might get short of when actually trying to dock to it.

    It makes absolutely no sense!

    How do you want me to believe these photos are real?

    I can't, I just can't, they are totally illogical to me!

  • PsiCop

    You're starting to lose me a little here.

    Re: "But I perfectly know that they will never do their demonstration with the real sun."

    You "KNOW" this? You've read their minds? You have telepathy? If' so you will first have to demonstrate that your telepathy works.

    Re: "Would not one or several of them have spoken out? I think that they could not; who would have believed them?"

    Lots of people would have believed them! You, for example, and thousands of other "moon hoax" believers. The idea that participants in a widely-believed conspiracy would never confirm the conspiracy, is laughable. Of course they might do so, once they see there are people out there willing to believe it.

    Which leads to the question, "Now that 'moon hoax' belief has been shown to be as common as it is, why would participants not have already started confessing their involvement?"

    Re: "How do you want me to believe these photos are real?"

    So your proof they aren't "real," is your own admitted unwillingness to accept that they're not "real"?

    The more you comment, the less scientific you appear to be.

  • InquisitiveMind

    "Lots of people would have believed them! "


    How many believe Bart Sibrel?

    No, I don't think many people would have believed them, because they would have been so much trashed, that they would have been made little credible, and their existences would have become hell.

    And if one of them had found the courage to directly speak out, he would have taken so much outrage that it would have discouraged the other ones from imitating him.

    I think that the government (or the secret orgranization working behind it?) had well organized things, and had made those directly involved in this part of the project understand that it was useless to try to speak out, that it would have extremelty bad consequences for them.

    About the question to know if myself I had been a participant to the project, I would have found the courage to speak out, I don't know; it's very difficult to answer to this question; I'm not inside this project, I'm outside it, so it's easier for me to speak than for them.

    "So your proof they aren’t “real,” is your own admitted unwillingness to accept that they’re not “real”?"

    No, it isn't just that; my web pages are filled with demonstrations of the incoherences.

    And I also prove that the AGC doesn't make sense by showing all the incoherences it contains.

    And when I say that it's difficult for me to believe these photos make sense, I mean that astronauts acting professionally would never have wasted fuel to take photos when the eventual lack of fuel could have meant the failure of the mission and their deaths.

    When the lem arrives near the surface of the moon, the astronauts have no certainty they can immediately land, because they can arrive near an area which is dangerous, a crater, or a rocky spur; they then have to maneuver the LEM to find a concenient spot to land on; meanwhile they have to give a thrust with the main reactor to counter the lunar attraction because they no longer benefit of the horizontal speed which could create a centrifugal force allowing to counter the lunar attraction; and they can't know in advance how long they will have to look for the spot to land on; that means they can't know in advance how much fuel they will consume; that means that they have every interest in saving as much fuel as they can, and not starting to waste it at the beginning of the LEM's flight by flying over the CSM to take an original photo of it, or making rolls like on the photos in Apollo 14.

    And in Apollo 15, they would not reasonably waste fuel by flying above the CSM to take photos of it, when they might later get out of fuel when trying to dock to it; it they get out of fuel before they could dock to it, then they will never be able to dock to the CSM.

    In short, on the photos we see, the astronauts are taking useless risks which could cost their lives, and I say it makes no sense.

    In fact it is a proof, because astronauts in a real mission would never behave this way, not if they care for their lives and the success of the mission.

  • InquisitiveMind

    I have a question for you:

    If ever one day one of the direct participants of the project says:

    "I worked for the Apollo project, and I can confirm it was faked"

    Will you believe him, or will you think that he is just boasting, and he didn't participate to it?

    How can you be sure that someone participated to the project, since most of the participants are hidden, and their participation has not been made public?

    However, there are some people whose names are known (if these names are real).

    And God, I'd like to talk to them to ask them questions, if I could find them, oh yes I'd like, but privately.

  • PsiCop

    Re: "How many believe Bart Sibrel?"

    Apparently you missed what I said. You and thousands of other "moon hoaxers" would have believed them. Even if only — say — 25% of the population believes the moon landing was hoaxed, that still means there would be upwards of 75 million people ready and willing to believe what they say.

    Re: "No, it isn’t just that; my web pages are filled with demonstrations of the incoherences."

    I have no idea what these "incoherences" of yours are. I don't think you really mean to use the word "incoherence" in the plural. A thing either has "incoherence" or it has none. "Incoherence" is a quality, not something that can be multiplied.

    I must point out that a lot of what you say actually is "incoherent." For example:

    When the lem arrives near the surface of the moon, the astronauts have no certainty they can immediately land, because they can arrive near an area which is dangerous, a crater, or a rocky spur; they then have to maneuver the LEM to find a concenient spot to land on …

    After saying the astronauts can never land on the moon 'cause they can never know what they're touching down on, you then proceed to state that they would actually have landed on it. This is illogical and contradictory.

    Re: "In fact it is a proof, because astronauts in a real mission would never behave this way, not if they care for their lives and the success of the mission."

    After I already called you on your "mind-reading," you do something similar, which is to use your own private crystal ball to look back in time and decide — for yourself — what people "would have" or "would not have" done, based solely on your own opinions rather than on factual information. What you personally BELIEVE the astronauts would or would not have done, DOES NOT grant you any veracity.

    Sorry, but it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to take you seriously, since your observations are littered with suppositions, mind-reading, divination, and "I'll never believe thats." That's on top of your refusal to pay attention to what I say; instead you're selective about what you respond to and ignore salient points as though I never said them.

    Simply put, I don't find your claim of being "skeptical" credible. Not any longer.

  • PsiCop

    Re: "Will you believe him, or will you think that he is just boasting, and he didn’t participate to it?"

    I have a question, in return, for you: What would MY personal acceptance or rejection of what the person says, have to do with whether or not s/he discloses his/her involvement in the conspiracy? Are you suggesting these people are silent, merely because I will not immediately take them at their word and never question them?

    Are you seriously suggesting the decisions these people make, depends solely on my willingness to take them at their word, in advance?

    What rubbish. You can't seriously propose that I am the lone impediment to hundreds of people finally confessing their involvement in this hoax! You may think I'm conceited, but I categorically refuse to believe that I could be that important to those folks.

    Re: "How can you be sure that someone participated to the project, since most of the participants are hidden, and their participation has not been made public?"

    Because instead of offering the testimony of such people as evidence of the hoax, you hoaxers are, instead, offering "would haves" and "would not haves" and "the flag wouldn't have flown that way" and all of the rest of your suppositional crap. You would provide us with their testimony and the documentation they have that supports the claim that it was hoaxed.

    Since that hasn't been offered, it's safe to say it's never happened.

  • InquisitiveMind

    What I'm saying is that you may be doing a dangerous mission, but nevertheless you don't take any useless risk.

    If you take a useless risk which might reveal fatal later, then it's not courage, it's not professional, it's unconsciousness, and I maintain that astronauts acting professionally would never have done it, that it makes no sense at all.

    You have a different opinion, and our opinions are obviously irreconciliable.

    I won't convince you, but you stand no chance to convince me either.

    Each of us will remain on his steadfast position, and none of us will change from his position, no chance.

    Future will tell which one of us is right.

    I'll go on explaining why the moon missions have been faked, no matter what, and nobody will stop me from doing it!

  • PsiCop

    Re: "What I’m saying is that you may be doing a dangerous mission, but nevertheless you don’t take any useless risk."

    You're assuming a certain degree of "risk" without having any clue how that risk was assessed at the time. You assume, for instance, that we went to the moon "blind," but forget that lunar probes had already been sent (by both the US and the Soviets).

    In other words, you're assuming the Apollo astronauts were more ignorant about what they were getting into, than — perhaps — they actually were.

    Your "You have your opinion, and I have mine, and they will never change" is NOT something a true "skeptic" would say. True skeptics are ALWAYS willing to change their minds. I know I am. I just require more evidence than you are willing to give.

    Re: "I’ll go on explaining why the moon missions have been faked, no matter what, and nobody will stop me from doing it!"

    Uh, where did that come from? Not that I was going to try to stop you … but I guess that didn't prevent you from assuming I might.

    I note, lastly, that you STILL refuse to explain why no one involved in this supposed hoax has spoken up to reveal it for what it is … even though tens of millions of Americans, including yourself, would love to hear from them and would automatically believe whatever they have to say. As I said at the very start … the assumption of the impenetrability of conspiracies — no matter how large — is something that PCTs just never address. Unfortunately you've turned out not to be an exception to that rule.

  • InquisitiveMind

    I must admit that I don't know why no one involved in the hoax has ever spoken out.

    Probably that the government orgraniozation made them understand that directly speaking out might have serious consequences for them, and that they would be countered if ever they did, and that their lives would be made a misery if ever they did.

    But the fact that none of them found the courage to directly speak out is not enough to convince me there is no hoax, because they have spoken out in fact, but indirectly, with all the incoherences they put into the project; it is the project itself which is speaking out, and that's enough for me; it's much more efficient than if they had directly spoken out.

    • PsiCop

      Re: "Probably that the government orgraniozation made them understand that directly speaking out might have serious consequences for them, and that they would be countered if ever they did, and that their lives would be made a misery if ever they did."Sigh. Once again you demonstrate your refusal to accept any information I've offered. For the record, I've already gone over this objection. It doesn't hold water, and for reasons I've already explained. I'm not going to bother repeating them here.Honestly, I can't see why it's worth my effort to keep trying to communicate with you. You've already clearly staked out your position, which you have stated you will not change. You came here under the cloak of "skepticism," but have demonstrated the opposite. What point is there in continuing any discussion?

  • May I ask you something?

    Do you believe in man made climate change, or do you think it is bullshit, and man has absolutely nothing to do with climate change, that it is an entirely natural process which has other causes.

    If you think it is bullshit, and that Al Gore is an idiot, then I won't carry on further this discussion, not because I think that he is an diot, but because I have no ground for carrying on this discussion (I have no steadfast opinion on climate change; I honestly don't know what's the exact part of man in climate change).

    But if you answer that you believe that man has something to do with climate change, and that Al Gore is not an idiot, then I have some arguments to carry on this discussion.

    • PsiCop

      I'm not sure how or why it would even be productive for us to explore another, unrelated, topic. If you're trying to feel out how truly "skeptical" I am, what I will do is point out something about your question: It's possible — VERY possible — to accept that global warming is man-made, but still consider Al Gore an "idiot." A notion is not the same as any of the people who champion it; sometimes ideas are championed by people for the wrong reasons; and they can even be championed by people who are otherwise not very decent. What this means is one might believe in AGW, but simultaneously consider Al Gore an "idiot," for reasons that have nothing to do with AGW itself.

      This is all hypothetical, though, since as I said, moving on to another topic would be counter-productive at this point.

  • It's not as unrelated as you think.

    Wehn I was talking about considering AL Gore an itiot, it was exclusively for his position about global warming, and not for other reasons.

    If you answer me and give me the answer I expect, then I may bring forward some new arguments.

    So do you believe in man made global warming, or do you think it's entirely bullshit, and an invention of the liberals to kill American economy?

    • PsiCop

      Of course it's unrelated! So of course, I'm not going to be baited by you into going in a new direction. Especially not when you've already shown yourself to be less of a skeptic than you originally claimed to be.

  • That means that you don't want to answer to my question.

    Are you afraid of the new direction I could lead this discussion to?

    If you were answering me, you could see that it is more related than you think.

    But if you refuse to answer me, I'm afraid the discussion will stop there.

    • PsiCop

      No. It means exactly what I said. I don't want to be baited by you into going off into another unrelated topic when I've already determined that discussing anything with you is useless because you are not the "skeptic" you portrayed yourself to be.

      I'm not sure how or why I was insufficiently clear on that, but I hope this clears it up.

      That you would think I'm somehow "afraid" of you is — quite honestly — laughable. Lots of people use this tactic against their opponents, saying something along the lines of, "You won't debate me about X, which means you're afraid of me, which means I must be right! I win!" Unfortunately for these folks, that's not the "win" they think it is. It means they've deluded themselves into thinking they won — but they didn't.

      Besides, the part about me "fearing" you is yet another appeal to emotion that has nothing to do with anything significant. That you would use it to bait me into another irrelevant debate with you, only further confirms that you cannot be a "skeptic." I am not stupid enough to play this kind of game. Not with you, and not with anyone else.

  • I have a question for you:

    The NAZI have created extermination camps, you know it (unless you are a holocaust denier, but I know you are not).

    how did they manage to keep them secret?

    At least one honest german officer should have spoken out, because, if they were not all involved in the project, some were; and certainly the ones who were knowing were tempted to speak to their comrades about it.

    Albert Speer said at his trial he was knowing nothing about it, but there is evidence he could not ignore.

    How the secret could be so well kept?

    Of course, Germany was not a democracy at that time, and anybody who was criticizing the government could end on the scaffold.

    But there are people who would have informed the allies about the extermination camps; however the allies made like they were knowing nothing; they didn't divulge the information in the press, and the people in allied countries were also ignoring everything about the extermination camps; not a word in the media.

    Furthermore,the gas chambers were never bombed by the allies, and destroying them could have saved lives.

    If the fact that no NASA engineer ever spoke out if the hoax really exists may be difficult to believe, the fact that nobody ever publicly spoke out about the extermination camps before the end of the war is just as difficult to understand!

    • PsiCop

      I have a question for you: Why do you keep going on about other, unrelated, topics? I guess you didn't listen the first time when I said that I wasn't going to be baited by you. I'm still not.

  • The whole point is to know if what we believe is based on rationality or emotional irrationality.

    The creationists believe in their bearded god who created the world 6000 years ago in six days, and they will steadfastly believe it no matter what; you can stack arguments, demonstrations to prove them wrong, but they'll ignore them; on some demonstrations on which they think they can have an answer, they build up a flawed counter demonstration, and say their demonstration is the good one.

    They think they have all the right answers, and that the answers of the evolutionists are all wrong; they don't even have to examine them in detail, because the bible says that they can only be right and the evolutionists wrong.

    Discussing with a creationist is like discussing with a wall; any of your arguments will bounce against the wall of their incredulity, no matter how good it is.

    When you believe in something, when you care for something, when you want it to be true, then you'll build up your reasoning on it, and will reject anything which goes against it.

    I understand that those who believe in Apollo absolutely want it to be true, and think that those who criticize it are just idiots who can't accept the greatest achievement of man; they can only be wrong, delusional idiots, who invent theories which have been over and over "debunked".

    It's not long ago that I have started to have doubts about Apollo; I have seen very suspicious pictures on the net showing anomalies; I have seen videos showing strange anomalies; then I have started to investigate myself to know more; I have entirely downloaded the photos of the Apollo lunar surface journal onto my computer, and I have started to study them systematically; I have done systematical comparison, geometrical analysis on them, even superpositions, I have magnified some interesting parts showing strange details, and I have started to see incoherences, more and more; at the start, I was not seeing so many, but with the training, I have found more and more of them.

    Then I have seen the description of the operating system of the Apollo computer, and, as I am professional computer engineer, I was able to judge it as a professional, and I have seen it was contaning plenty of absurdities.

    Then I have seen a web page "TALES FROM THE LUNAR MODULE GUIDANCE COMPUTER" from Don Eyles, relating the history of the AGC, and I have found it very amusing…and also stuffed with plenty of absurdities about computer, electronics, automatic.

    Now that I have seen all these incoherences, do I believe in the moon hoax just because I have a psychological problem which would make that I like to believe in this hoax?

    I care for honest science, so if I think that something contains scientific inocherences, my natural impulse is to question them and show them.

    If everything was looking correct about Apollo, then I would think that the arguments of those who attack Apollo are incorrect, and come from their ignorance of scientific facts, and I would be on the side of those who defend Apollo, I would not attack Apollo for the pleasure of attacking Apollo.

    I don't see myself as attacking Apollo, but as defending honest science.

    In Apollo, I respect anything which is authentic; I'm ready to believe, and I believe that Americans at least landed robots on the moon.

    About landing men, it's much more difficult; not only about the difficulty of landing men on the moon with the limited technology of the sixties, but also because of the problem of radiations and extreme temperatures.

    So is my belief in moon hoax only due to emotional reasons? Honestly I don't think so; I would feel ashamed if I was thinking that my belief is only based on emotion.

    • PsiCop

      To be clear: I'm not going to be baited by someone who claims to be a skeptic,but who clearly is not one.