Darryl Cunningham--creator of the graphic novel Psychiatric Tales and a webcomic taking apart the irrational voodoo of homeopathy whom I was happy to meet in London last month--marks the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in a very appropriate way. His latest is a simple, direct, and devastating look at the Moon Hoaxers, the idiots (can't think of any way to say that nicer, or any reason to) who believe humans never landed on the Moon.
I just don't get the many species of hoaxers, truthers, and consipiracy theorists who seem to be everywhere these days. Is this something new, or did they always exist and just never have access to media like the Internet to spread their lunacy (heh)? I suspect they think they're acting in the best tradition of truth-seeking and skepticism; the difference is that they never apply Occam's Razor to conclude that the simplest explanation that fits the facts is probably the best. In their worlds, the simplest explanation is just part of the conspiracy, and the more obvious that explanation seems, the more insidious and deep the conspiracy. They also often seem to regard the laws of nature and physics as optional. My sense is that they're natural contrarians (which is a quality I admire and share) who like the smug satisfaction of knowing "secrets" no one else knows without having to do the actual heavy lifting of examining evidence or learning math, physics, engineering or biology.
As much as I liked Darryl's well-researched and -reasoned comic, I still think the best response to a Moon Hoaxer ever was delivered by astronaut Buzz Aldrin in 2002:
Just one of several reasons Buzz is a hero. Happy Moon Landing Day, all. Yes, it happened, and the evidence will rest on the Moon for millions of years after the last Moon hoaxer is gone. Go read Darryl's comic.