Popular conspiracy theories such as 9/11 was an inside job, climate change is a hoax or the moon landings were faked, would have quickly been exposed, according to fresh research from a physicist at Oxford University.
Dr David Grimes created a model for calculating whether a vast subterfuge could be concealed from the public, concluding that the more people that know about a hoax, the quicker the truth would come out.
According to Grimes’ research, for a deception to last five year, less than 2521 people would have to know about the conspiracy. For the deception to last a century, there could be no more than 125 plotters.
The researcher concluded that had the moon landings been faked, the 400,000 people working for NASA at the time would have leaked the secret within four years.
"A number of conspiracy theories revolve around science,” said Grimes in an article published in the journal 'Public Library of Science ONE.' “While believing the Moon landings were faked may not be harmful, believing misinformation about vaccines can be fatal.”
“However, not every belief in a conspiracy is necessarily wrong - for example, the Snowden revelations confirmed some theories about the activities of the US National Security Agency,” he added.
"It is common to dismiss conspiracy theories and their proponents out of hand but I wanted to take the opposite approach, to see how these conspiracies might be possible. To do that, I looked at the vital requirement for a viable conspiracy - secrecy."
Commenting on his work, Grimes noted that not everyone who believes in conspiracy theories are “unthinking” but said he hoped that by showing how unlikely “some alleged conspiracies are, some people will reconsider their anti-science beliefs.”
"This will of course not convince everyone; there's ample evidence that belief in conspiracy is often ideological rather than rational, and that conspiracy theories thrive in an echo chamber,” he said. “This makes challenging the more odious narratives much more difficult.”
Grimes concluded that for the world to “address the multitudinous difficulties facing us as a species, from climate change to geopolitics, then we need to embrace reality over ideologically motivated fictions.”
In readiness for the conspiracy theorists soon to be sitting in their underpants typing out angry responses, here are 11 proofs that the moon landings were NOT faked: