Proyecto Visión 21

It is absurd to think something is false just because a recreation can be made

Francisco Miraval

Let us assume somebody has the resources and the ability to make a good copy of the Mona Lisa painting. And let us also assume the copy is so good that non-experts have a hard time distinguishing it from the original. If that were to happen, nobody will think that the original Mona Lisa is a fake just because somebody was able to make a copy.

However, that absurd way of thinking (that is, the assumption that is something can be copied or recreated then the original is obviously a fake) is gaining popularity, mainly in those so-called “cultural” or “investigative” programs dealing with “paranormal phenomena” where the “investigators” think that this is the only way to do an investigation.

After only a few minutes of watching any TV program dealing with UFOs, aliens, Bigfoot, ghosts, or any other paranormal situation, the viewer will detect that, behind the techo-gadgets used by the investigators, there is false reasoning that is never explicitly explained and never debated.

This is an example of such reasoning: somebody sends a video where you can see a gigantic serpent crossing a frozen river. The “investigators” then recreate the images, this time using fallen trees and painted plastic bags. If the original video and the copy are similar, the only possible conclusion is that the original was a fake, probably done with the intention of deception.

It should be obvious, of course, that the original video could be a fake even if there is no way to recreating it. For example, the hoaxer could have found a way to create images almost impossible to duplicate. Perhaps the hoaxer did want to deceive us, even if the investigators cannot recreate the images.

Or perhaps there is no hoax and the original video is true, even if there are thousands of easy ways to create similar images. In other words, the fact that somebody is able to make a copy of a certain images says nothing about the authenticity of the original image.

This way of reasoning (thinking that only something that is unduplicable is true) enjoys now an ever greater popularity to the point that I am afraid it will soon move (and perhaps it already did it) beyond the limits of TV programs about UFOs and crypto-animals to invade our daily thinking about a variety of issues.

If we were to apply the same way of thinking that those TV investigators apply to UFOs, monsters, and ghosts, then we should stop using dollar bills because there are fake dollars in circulation. And we should stop trusting police officers and firefighters because there are fake police officers and firefighters.

In fact, we should stop accepting any kind of documents and probably anything, because nowadays everything can be copied or duplicated, and therefore all originals could be potentially false.

When truth is understood only as unduplicablity, truth is then calculated, constructed, and manipulated by the investigator, who will assume that all originals are guilty (false) until proven innocent (genuine).

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