Moon landing: How Bill Nye shattered NASA claims with simple Apollo 11 theory

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On July 20, 1969, NASA completed the seemingly impossible Apollo 11 mission to put the first two men – Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin – on the Moon. The pair made history when they stepped foot on the lunar surface, bringing an end to the Space Race by burying the US Flag in the surface. But, their monumental achievement has long been overshadowed by outrageous claims that the Apollo programme was an elaborate NASA hoax, with up to 25 percent of Britons supposedly believing the claims, according to a survey in Engineering & Technology magazine.

But, popular American scientist Bill Nye came up with a theory as to why people are inclined to believe such conspiracy theories.

He told Big Think in 2017: “Right now, the last couple months, I’ve been messing around with the idea of cognitive dissonance.

“This is to say you have a world view, you’re presented with evidence that conflict with the world view.

“So you either have to change your world view, which is hard because you’ve lived your whole life with it, or dismiss the evidence and dismiss the authorities that provided it.

Moon landing: How Bill Nye shattered NASA claims with simple Apollo 11 theory

The Moon landings happened more than 50 years ago (Image: GETTY)

Moon landing: How Bill Nye shattered NASA claims with simple Apollo 11 theory

The Apollo 11 crew (Image: GETTY)

I’ve been messing around with the idea of cognitive dissonance

Bill Nye

“The authority could be a person or it could be a book, or an article on the internet.

“So you dismiss the evidence so that you don’t have this discomfort in your mind, this dissonance.”

Mr Nye then focused on the Moon landings and why there was no question over them possibly being faked.

He added: “That’s what I’m working on right now and apparently the way to overcome that is to say ‘we’re all in this together, let’s learn about this together’.

“You have to present the conspiracy theorist with the idea that he or she may be rejecting evidence because it’s just so uncomfortable.

READ MORE: Moon landing faked? Apollo 11 scientist exposes truth after 50 years

Moon landing: How Bill Nye shattered NASA claims with simple Apollo 11 theory

Bill Nye with Neil deGrasse Tyson (Image: GETTY)

“But when it comes to Moon landings, just ask the person how you would generate all that paperwork.

“The warehouses full of documentation that NASA created to make landings on the Moon would overwhelm anyone trying to do it on the side.

“It would be very difficult to print all that.”

Mr Nye concluded by summing up why scientists must continue to try and educate the doubters.

He added: “Somebody who has a world view that’s inconsistent with evidence takes a while to turn around.

Moon landing: How Bill Nye shattered NASA claims with simple Apollo 11 theory

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon (Image: GETTY)

Moon landing: How Bill Nye shattered NASA claims with simple Apollo 11 theory

The crew touching back down to Earth (Image: GETTY)

“It’s like the example of palm reading, it’s not something that people reverse their ideas on immediately.

“It takes, in my experience, about two years for somebody to sort of look at palm reading or a card reading and realise that they are taking information that you’ve given them and they’re feeding it back to you.

“People just lose sight of history and we tend to go ‘well look at the facts,’ but it takes people a couple of years to do that.

“So stick with it, you’ll get frustrated, the person ill get frustrated, but present the idea of cognitive dissonance.”


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