I'm fascinated by the continuing appeal of fringe science, of conspiracy theories, of UrbanLegends and hoaxes that can pop right back up after being disproven.
Non-science fluorishes because it rewards in some way — financially, emotionally, politically, professionally. Science may languish when it is more frustrating than rewarding.
Some scientific fraud is motivated by the opportunity for financial or professional reward. Shinichi Fujimura was discovered to have buried objects that he then "discovered" at the Kamitakamori site — positioning genuine artifacts in a context that would have put them among the oldest Paleolithic objects in in the world. He blamed his fraud on the pressure to find ever-older objects.
In 1869, the Cardiff Giant was "discovered" and triggered fierce discussion of whether it was a petrified man or an ancient statue. Actually, it was a venture by an entrepreneur who profited nicely from the excitement. You can see the Cardiff Giant today at the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
Museum of Hoaxes
Weblog about hoaxes, pranks, and fakery of all kinds. See the Hoaxes by Category for hoaxes in a variety of sciences. No Kensington rune stone, but Kinderhook Plates
Created by. Last Modification: Saturday 31 of January, 2004 21:01:32 UTC by .