A scientist has developed an incredible mathematical formula that he claims disproves a number of popular conspiracy theories – including that we faked the Moon landings.
The Independent reports the genius behind the equation is Dr David Grimes, of the University of Oxford. He’s developed a method of showing mathematically that a certain number of people can only keep a secret for a limited amount of time, and as more people become involved, the less time it can remain a secret.
He worked out that if a mysterious government agency wanted to keep a secret for over one hundred years, then their scheme could only involve a maximum of 125 people. However, a plot involving more than 2,521 people could stay covert no longer than five years.
Therefore he claims the moon landings, which took place in 1969 and involved at least 411,000 NASA employees, could not have been faked and kept secret until now. His complex equation worked out a plot to fake the Moon landings would have been revealed in just three years and eight months, because of the large number of people working on it.
Despite it looking like Dr Grimes has gone out of his way to dismiss conspiracies he claims the opposite.
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.
— The Independent (@Independent) January 27, 2016
His equation takes into account the probability of a conspiracy being accidentally revealed or deliberately leaked by a whistle-blower. This was informed by evidence from real conspiracies, including Edward Snowden’s exposure of the NSA Prism project.
The research also examined medical conspiracies and suggested a vaccination conspiracy would have emerged in three years and two months, while a suppressed cancer cure would be exposed in three years and three months.
Dr Grimes added:
A number of conspiracy theories revolve around science. 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.
Will this news penetrate through conspiracy theorists’s tin foil hats and manage to change their minds? Probably not…