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Moon landing deniers get tweet in the eye from physicist Brian Cox

Technically Incorrect: Cox, a professor and TV star in the UK, gets tired of those who think the moon landings were filmed in a studio. Buzz Aldrin backs him up.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Professor Brian Cox denies deniers have a brain. David Levenson/Getty Images

The lovely thing about deniers is that they won't be denied.

Whenever something interesting happens, they insist nothing interesting happened at all. It was all a fake created by the guardians of our mini-galaxy of power and celebrity.

So when NASA's New Horizons probe began sending pictures back from just outside Pluto last week, it wasn't long before the deniers denied it was happening.

The Twitter hashtag #NASAHoax was adorned with suggestions that the images were faked. I mean, a heart? How cliched can you get?

Some, though, still haven't gotten over the moon landings -- which many believe happened 46 years ago on July 20. The moon landings that were clearly filmed in Las Vegas, that is.

Professor Brian Cox is something of a TV star and a more than part-time particle physics professor at the University of Manchester in the UK. He's a thinking person's One Direction. And he's tired of those who believe it's easy to fake a six-iron on the moon in a studio.

So he offered a tweeted observation, which does include a fine English colloquialism that I'll happily translate for you, should you need it. Cox wrote: "I've said it before and I'll say it again - if you don't think Apollo 11 landed on Moon you are a colossal nob end & should get a new brain." (For those of detailed mind, "nob end" is sometimes spelled "knob end.")

I admire when a professor of particle physics can speak with such clarity. You might think that even some of the deniers would respect his view.

However, peek into the comments on his fine tweet and you see, for example, one from high-falutin' British lawyer Martin Porter: "Can you believe my daughter's PHYSICS TEACHER told a classroom he did not believe the moon landings!"

There are the things we publicly say and the things we privately believe. They don't always have a comfortable relationship.

In the case of Cox's tweet, he received support from Buzz Aldrin, who has some experience of going to the moon. He tweeted: "@ProfBrianCox is a pretty smart guy. Also the Russians would have exposed by now if we didn't land."

You would, indeed, think that political foes would have exposed proof of fakery, if they actually had any.

Still there will always be doubters. They're like Charles Barkley, who still believes a jump-shooting team can't win the NBA Championship. This despite watching the (allegedly) jump-shooting Golden State Warriors do just that.

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When a physicist speaks bluntly. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET