Sunday, January 15, 2023

The Great Moon Hoax of 1835

Around 1835, there was a movement to try to reconcile religious beliefs with scientific discoveries. There was also new and growing newspapers that would do anything to boost circulation, while feeling no responsibility for truth or journalistic ethics. In this environment, Richard Adams Locke wrote a series of satirical articles poking fun at those who believed that heavenly bodies would be populated because God wouldn't waste the space, so to speak (never make assumptions about God). The Sun, which Locke worked for, published the articles, but didn't identify that they were satire. And the Great Moon Hoax was launched. Locke was shocked that readers took it seriously, but as we've learned many times since, people will believe what they want to believe. (via Nag on the Lake

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"..While feeling no responsibility for truth or journalistic ethics."

And this happens with the media to this day.