The Latest in Science Denial – Pluto Truthers

August 19, 2015

pluto ‘Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.’ – Albert Einstein

Climate deniers are often compared to those who claim NASA never landed on the moon.  There are similarities, and probably a certain amount of crossover, as it seems we have a hard core of people who simply want to believe that those crazy NASA scientists are lying to them, in order to steal their money, or something.

Now we have a new strain of denier, unwilling to believe that a spacecraft has reached Pluto. Remember the days when we had hope that the internet would make us smarter?


There’s a small but vocal group of conspiracists—bloggers have taken to calling them “Pluto Truthers”—who claim the recent images are fake. In fact, they argue, New Horizons is simply the latest bogus galactic mission to deceive the public, perhaps to divert tax money to more secretive or nefarious government projects. That trickery is nothing new, they charge; it goes all the way back to the first moon landing.

Crrow777 isn’t the only one calling it baloney. Kedrick Blessed (real name), a 30-year-old computer engineer in California, says he grew up wanting to be an astronaut—until he stopped believing that NASA had the technology to go into space. “Anybody can go on the computer and create those,” he says of the Pluto images. “There’s no radiation lines…. There’s no stars.” NASA claims to do missions such as New Horizons, he says, only to build popularity for the agency.

Justin Shaw of Lethbridge, Alberta, says there is no doubt in his mind that the flyby images are computer-generated. “The whole mission is fallacious. There’s no authenticity to this at all,” he says. “People don’t think twice about it.” He adds, “I’m not sure what their motive would be to be faking it, other than deception. We have a lot of tax money that’s disappearing for who knows what reason.”

Years of dealing with climate science denial have taught me that Einstein had it right.


23 Responses to “The Latest in Science Denial – Pluto Truthers”

  1. omnologos Says:

    I have never come across any climate skeptic who is also a Moon landing denier. It would be an interesting profile so if anybody knows any name that would “fit the bill”, please let me know.

    Incidentally, I do not think any of the 12 Moon walkers (or anyone who’s ever been in Lunar orbit) is now a climate change activist – but I might be wrong.

    As for the Pluto Truthers, I would simply ask any one of them what evidence would make them change their mind. None, probably.

  2. SmarterThanYourAverageBear Says:

    there is no doubt in his mind that the flyby images are computer-generated

    Well duh there Justin – just how did you expect, if the mission was real, they would get images back any other way, call Canada Post and ask them to pick up some polaroids from the satellite?

    Just like my Canon 6D there’s a lens (telescope) passing an optical image to a CCD which then records the images in binary bits.

    People like that make me embarrassed to be a Canadian.

  3. edaviesmeuk Says:

    “…until he stopped believing that NASA had the technology to go into space.” Yeah, bet he saw a program on satellite TV saying that.

  4. ubrew12 Says:

    If we don’t find extraterrestrial intelligence soon, there’s no hope for the Universe.

    • ubrew12, here’s an echo to your comment:

      How do we know there’s extraterrestrial life that’s intelligent?

      Well, they haven’t come here, have they?

    • Andy Lee Robinson Says:

      Start by looking for terrestrial intelligence first…

      • earlosatrun Says:

        Not much hope for finding any of that.

        Sorry. 😦

      • vtgrn Says:

        There cannot be any intelligent extra-terrestrial life… all astronomers and physicists (probably controlled by something called Satan) have conspired, over centuries, to fool us into believing that stars, galaxies or “the Universe” exist. What fools we are. (Sarc off)

    • dumboldguy Says:

      An old joke, modified to fit this thread;

      Scene: In a galaxy far far away. At boot camp for the Intergalactic Marine Corps. Recruits lined up in ranks in the hot double sun being harassed by the Drill Instructors. Visible in the ranks are recruits of all sizes and shapes and colors from planets all over the galaxy—-think Star Wars bar scene.

      DI screams: “All you freakin’ space maggots that are intelligent species take one step forward……NOT YOU, EARTHLINGS”

  5. “I have never come across any climate skeptic who is also a Moon landing denier.”

    Sadly, and much to my disappointment, the author of the autobiography “The Last Man on the Moon”, Gene Cernan, is a dyed-in-the-wool climate denier.

    • Kiwiiano Says:

      I won’t worry about it. Astronauts were crash-hot engineers but it doesn’t mean I would trust them to perform brain surgery, an archaeological dig or design a web page. We also have to take into account the fact that a lot of people can’t face the inevitable change of lifestyle dealing with climate change will entail.

    • neilrieck Says:

      Sadly, so is the other Apollo-17 astronaut (now politician), Harrison Schmitt.

      • Kiwiiano Says:

        Am I correct in assuming he’s a Republican, beholden to funders who are climate change deniers?

        • SmarterThanYourAverageBear Says:

          You would – New Mexico

          • greenman3610 Says:

            sadly, he is promoting educational programs designed to teach creationism, as well as climate denial

          • omnologos Says:

            The only scientist on the moon

          • dumboldguy Says:

            The only SCIENTIST on the moon? Are you saying that there are OTHERS on the moon as well who are NOT scientists? Where are they staying? At the Newt Gingrich Memorial Moon Base Hotel?

            Sounds like another conspiracy to me—-a cover up hiding a government program to feed the fat cats in the aerospace industry by having them send “a scientist” to the moon. And our very own Omno has uncovered it!

  6. indy222 Says:

    And this loser is a computer engineer? I hope that’s just his self-inflating term for schlepper in the back warehouse of some box maker. Hope he’s not writing code that I cross paths with.

  7. Kent Peacock Says:

    I happen to live in Lethbridge, AB, and I think that these Pluto Truthers are all a computer-generated fraud. They don’t really exist. No one could really be that stupid.

    Could they?

    • neilrieck Says:

      Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people – P. T. Barnum

      comment: this use of the phrase “American” would include Canada. I live in Waterloo Ontario and experience proof every day

    • SmarterThanYourAverageBear Says:

      two words “Stephen Harper” 🙂 good thing we got rid of him 🙂

  8. neilrieck Says:

    Bizarre denial has increased during the decline of every empire which has ever existed. Depending on how they are counted there have been more than 65.

    (comment: Americans refuse to use the “E” word which is probably why they are not listed in this chart…
    … even though their 300+ military bases around the world are vert reminiscent of the old British empire)

    But all empires end the same way with these noticeable symptoms: ignorance, superstition, religious fundamentalism, xenophobia, intolerance, rejection of science.

    The only good thing about the chart found here:
    is that the amplitude decreases while the period decreases. The bad thing about this chart is that no one alive today will enjoy the next rise (except, perhaps, the Chinese).

    comment-2: so Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the USA + Mexico, eh? Trump compares it to the Great Wall of China while I can only recall the Berlin Wall. But the fact that the media hasn’t called out Trump on this -AND- a lot of Republican talking heads seem okay with this is proof to me that the American empire is in decline. On a related note, hearing these latest republican talking points about using religion to justify other changes to American society (eg. overturning Roe-v-Wade) is icing on the cake. I thought there was supposed to be a clear separation of church and state. These prospective politicians seem to be talking a lot about religion. EMPIRE IN DECLINE!

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Well said! (And good links).

      Need I point out that the progression of life on this planet has followed a similar pattern of “rise and fall” as different life forms became dominant for a while and were then replaced by others?

      There is a big difference, though. Previous “empires” of living things were shaped by the environment, and rose and fell as the external conditions determined. Today, the empire of man is shaping the environment, and in such ways that ALL life on the planet is threatened.

      As to “…all empires end the same way with these noticeable symptoms: ignorance, superstition, religious fundamentalism, xenophobia, intolerance, rejection of science….”. Those may be just “symptoms”, but they are the major contributors to man’s inability to deal with present day problems in many areas (not just climate change). Circularity rules!

      Man’s brain has evolved to the point that we have had ever accelerating “civilization” and technological “advances”. Unfortunately, it appears that the rise of the “human empire” is turning out to be a failed experiment.

      (And I am reminded of similar timelines that show the many booms-bubbles-depressions-financial panics-recessions that have occurred during the rise of capitalism—-another experiment that is looking like it will not work in the long term).

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