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Twitter/@EtienneKlein Ever since the James Webb Space Telescope began sending incredible photos of the universe back to earth, scientists, clergy, and ordinary citizens have been awestruck at the sharpness and the detail of images from the $10 billion telescope.
French physicist Étienne Klein used his time on the telescope to image our closest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri. Photo de Proxima du Centaure, l’étoile la plus proche du Soleil, située à 4,2 année-lumière de nous.
Elle a été prise par le JWST.
Ce niveau de détails… Un nouveau monde se dévoile jour après jour. pic.twitter.com/88UBbHDQ7Z — Etienne KLEIN (@EtienneKlein) July 31, 2022 The image garnered thousands of “likes” and retweets. “This level of detail,” Klein wrote. “A new world is revealed day after day.”
But what “world” was revealed? As it turns out, Klein had tweeted out a photo of a slice of sausage.
Vice: But a few days later, Klein revealed that the photo he tweeted was not the work of the world’s most powerful space telescope, as he had in fact tweeted a slice of chorizo sausage. “According to contemporary cosmology, no object belonging to Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere but on Earth,” he said after apologising for tricking so many people. “Like an idiot, I got screwed,” tweeted one French user. “Same,” replied another, “the source was so credible…” No one should feel embarrassed about being tricked. Klein was trying to make a point about “fake news” and was more successful than he could have imagined.
An appeal to authority is usually considered fallacious in academic circles, but it happens every day in political life. “Some study” claims this or that, or “this expert” supports a particular point of view. It’s all part of the fabric of propaganda we’re bombarded with every day.
That’s not to say that all appeals to authority are bogus. […]
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