View Full Version : Cosmic Conspiracies Confusion

Art Vandelay
2002-Apr-05, 07:39 PM
Please forgive me if this has already been addressed but there seems to be some confusing info on that Cosmic Conspriacies web site. http://www.ufos-aliens.co.uk/

I read through some of his Apollo stuff (until I fell asleep) and he seems to say this: On the one hand, the moon landings were faked but, on the other hand, they were real and they saw aliens flying around there.

Can't these guys keep their own ** straight?

2002-Apr-05, 08:25 PM
That's what we here in Canada call "sucking and blowing". In the Apollo hoax world, that's a common approach - look at little pieces even if they are inconsistent completely with other little pieces of your argument. Mutual exclusivity of HB's arguing points doesn't seem to bother them.
I thought the thrust of the website was that the record had been falsified to cover up the discovery of alien presence on the moon - until I got to the piece on radiation which implied that the astronauts couldn't have gone in the first place. My head hurts just trying to follow the train of (and I use the term loosely) thought.

2002-Apr-05, 08:58 PM
Obviously rigorous reason is not the hoax believers' strong suit. And no, they generally don't have a problem deploying mutually contradictory arguments. As I mentioned elsewhere, David Percy has no problem saying both that shadows are not affected by terrain variation and also that terrain variation can be observed by its effect on shadow.

But you have to be careful. Many of the arguments are simply a cascade of contingencies, not hypothesis meant to compose a holistic model. That is, they're intended to be interpreted as, "Well, if this isn't a viable theory, then try this other one."

Now in the context of legitimate scientific inquiry this is not necessarily a problem. Science progresses by successively formulating and testing different hypotheses. Unfortunately in the hands of hoax believers this procedure undergoes a subtle transformation into an attempt to cover all the bases. They don't understand the sciences involved, so they try a sort of "shotgun" procedure by throwing in hypothesis after hypothesis in the hopes that one of them will stick.

Rather than a thorough exploration of possible hypotheses, it becomes a tautological set of hypotheses through which the hoax theory is rendered true no matter what conditions prevail. If the radiation is an obstacle, it was hoaxed. If the radiation wasn't that big a problem, it was still hoaxed via some other means.

A normal investigation is a search for explanation. If we observe X we wish to find A such that A implies X. Thereby we derive a model by which X can be predicted and controlled by observing and manipulating A. We may try several correlates before arriving at a satisfactory one. But we test only one at a time.

The problem in the hoax believers' case is that X is not observed. That is, it is not known a priori that a hoax exists. Thus trying to explain an observation which has not yet been made amounts to the fallacy of subverted support.

One cannot establish a conclusion by means of a system of hypotheses that always has the conclusion as its outcome. That is, nothing is learned by tautological systems. Thus the introduction of falsifiability into an investigative framework. There must be a way for the conclusion to fail, otherwise its strength remains unknown. If nothing that you do affects the outcome, then you cannot assert that you understand what might affect the outcome.

Of course tautological reasoning greatly impresses those who don't understand why it fails. It gives the impression that the reasoning is rock-solid. And the co-opting of the scientific method gives the appearance of having tested the hypothesis when in contrast the goal is to evade any real test.

2002-Apr-05, 09:39 PM
On 2002-04-05 14:39, Art Vandelay wrote:
I read through some of his Apollo stuff ... and he seems to say this: On the one hand, the moon landings were faked but, on the other hand, they were real and they saw aliens flying around there.

Can't these guys keep their own ** straight?

It's pretty typical of someone who wants desperately to believe in a conspiracy... any conspiracy.

"The government lied to us! I'm not sure about what, but they lied to us!!"