Post by Vincent McConnell on Aug 10, 2011 6:14:15 GMT -4
So today, in an attempt to prove my overly-cynical dad they went to the moon, I gave a whole presentation about docking/undocking, lunar orbit and flying to the moon. For some reason or another, he still believes that period technology could not have gotten them to the moon.
In addition, I showed cross-reference weather patterns with Apollo 11 broadcasts and he claims, "That's all manipulated."
Is there any proof I can give him to convince him the technology DID exist to get to the moon?
"WHOOPE!! That may have been a small one for Neil but that's a long one for me!" -Pete Conrad
"How long must it take before I cease to be known as a spaceman?" - Neil A. Armstrong
Is there any proof I can give him to convince him the technology DID exist to get to the moon?
Probably not. It seems your Dad made up his mind already, and mere facts rarely trump such beliefs...
However you could try to narrow down his disbelief. "Technology" is such a wide area, have him state what exactly he thinks did not exist. Rockets, Computers or whatever? Show him some examples of other technology from the time and try to find out what's so special about Apollo.
Logic and algebra are nothing against the awesome power of mindless faith.
It appears to me from the brief description you gave that no exclusively technical argument will convince him. If you wish to go further with the issue you must discover and address his underlying and irrational concerns. A way to do this is to find common ground on some other event that both of you share interest in. Then work from there into comparisons and analogies to Apollo, sprinkled with whatever technical discussion you can provide. The main strategy is to work toward his trust and accept of your judgement. The process is not really about Apollo in the long run but in extending the scope of the relationship with your father. An endeavor that is worth your time and effort even if it does not change his mind on Apollo.
For those who wish to maintain an illusion, ignorance is the best source of knowledge.
How about sending him to JayUtah's Clavius? (Link at the bottom of every page here.) There's plenty there about the technology.
Most people who believe in the "hoax" actually know very little about the moon landings, and in particular, the Mercury and Gemini missions that led up to them. Those of us who grew up with the entire space race from Sputnik 1, read or saw at the movies or on TV all the details as they unfolded, bit by bit, including the disasters, so there was little doubt in our minds that all those amazing things were slowly and methodically being accomplished.
Besides, a lot of it IS rocket science, so understanding it takes a lot more effort than, say, understanding a motor car. One difficulty is simply getting our heads out of our earth-centric understanding and trying to understand what space is really like, such as the "no temperature" thing. If you've never been there, it's not easy. People often insist that "space must be cold (or hot)" and cannot accept that a vacuum has no temperature.
Because none of the books I read ever explained it well, it took me 40 years to get to understand the type of trajectory a spacecraft took to and from the moon and why it seemed to "steer" by merely accelerating or decelerating. And most of that understanding came from members of this forum, for which I am very grateful.
Don't criticize what you can't understand. — Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1963) Some people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices and superstitions. — Edward R. Murrow (1908–65)
Providing he's open to rational argument, you could start by pointing out all the third-party evidence backing NASA's claims. People all over the world were following the missions with radio and optical telescopes, the geologists were convinced by the returned lunar samples, etc.
As to the technology, Apollo's been taught in aerospace engineering courses for the last four decades. All those lecturers, all those students, and never a one has spotted a problem with the technology.
Then there's the fact that the Apollo record has stood up to some pretty obscure challenges, such as the Italian school project that derived the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit from the delay due to the speed of light in the Apollo transmissions, or the thread here where the challenge was to detect the planet Venus in the sky in Apollo Lunar photos.
Finally, if Apollo was a hoax, why has NASA gone out of it's way to involve so many outsiders in the programme? Foreign investigators in the science teams, Australian and Spanish tracking sites, and most recently the LRO team mentioned in the third-party link above, were all given ample opportunity to discover anything fishy.
Why don't you simply talk to him about how you were converted, and why..?
Is he perhaps motivated to believe the hoaxers simply because he dislikes authority and just wants another thing to add to his 'justification list'? If so, good luck with changing his mind.
And to be perfectly frank, it requires a fair bit of knowledge of the requisite topics (engineering, physics, photography, space sciences, general science) to be able to discern reality from bull****. If he doesn't have that and is unwilling to learn you'll be pushing it uphill. If he does have the required nous, it should be pretty easy - refer to my first Q above..
Post by redneckr0nin on Aug 11, 2011 6:59:13 GMT -4
I agree with Kiwi send him to Clavius as it has the best collection of moon facts out there that are easily understood and cross referenced if need be! That is where I started and although took me about 6 months of intense study I know that without a doubt we went to the moon! Beforehand I had some doubts or the very least thought some of the hoax theory sounded viable! That is until I researched and found out not only did we go to the moon when we said we did but how silly and unsubstantiated the hoax claims were!
Vincent, everybody's different. As an engineer, I actually like to read old Apollo documents. Over the years I've studied quite a few Apollo systems and procedures, understood most of what I read, and never found anything that obviously couldn't work as described. Everything makes sense. So if they had the technical capability to go to the moon, why wouldn't they use it?
Now I admit I'm a little different. I can identify with Scotty's great line from The Trouble With Tribbles when Kirk confines him to quarters after a bar brawl with the Klingons: "Thank you sir! Now I can catch up with my technical journals!" I assume your dad isn't an engineer, simply because most people aren't. So he probably won't get turned on by lots of technical details. But like most people he probably understands, at a deep intuitive level (and probably better than most of us engineers), something much more complex: human nature.
And it's just not in the nature of human beings -- large groups of human beings -- to keep a secret for 40+ years. Especially one as explosive as an Apollo hoax would be.
When two countries spend vast sums over decades preparing to destroy each other, rattling sabers and competing fiercely for the "respect" of the rest of the world, one would certainly expect each country to watch the other very closely and to fully exploit any compromising information it might obtain.
It would certainly not be in the nature of either country's leaders to sit on such evidence to the present day when publishing it would humiliate their adversary -- as proof of an "Apollo hoax" would have done had the USSR possessed any.
You can make any number of common-sense appeals to human nature to argue that the "moon hoax" claims are just plain silly. They may not be as logically compelling as an in-depth technical analysis, but they're much more likely to be effective with most people.
A large part of the belief factor is the desire to feel clever. By not accepting the "official story", they feel like they're outpacing the authorities.
So respond to that with, "There's nothing clever about being stupid."
Also try to make the point that if the technology wasn't available to land a man on the moon, it certainly wasn't available to produce such an elaborate hoax. That's always the clincher. When you really dive into the details of what would have to be faked, you see what a monumental task it was. You can imagine an exchange like this happening:
CONSPIRATOR 1: So this is what we would have to do to fake it?
CONSPIRATOR 2: Yes, sir. And we would also have to buy off the Russians.
CONSPIRATOR 1: But we're doing this to get one over on the Russians. What's the point?
CONSPIRATOR 2: If you want to carry out this hoax, this is what it will take?
CONSPIRATOR 1: Ah screw it. We'll just do it for real.
This is a pretty consistent theme among the hoaxers. In order to explain all the radio signals, artifacts, etc, they end up granting NASA a better lunar robotic capability in the late 1960s than they actually had.
Thing is, they just want to dispute the official record somehow. Doesn't matter what actually happened, as long as it's something other than what the history books say.
"Show us a photo of either the descent or the ascent rockets firing and the exhaust plume. And exactly how does a space craft fly when "The engine is NOT ON"" -Stelios at the DIF Google search this site