Carl Sagan´s Guide to Fake News: The real story of the 23lb grasshopper

Independent confirmation of the facts is probably the first clue here.  If somebody really found a 23lb grasshopper there would probably be more than one picture of it. Occam´s razor would suggest that a simpler explanation is that someone simply doctored the picture.  The story also uses an Appeal to Ignorance, in stating that genetically modified (GM) seed is the only possible explanation.  In other words, because it has not been proven that GM seed does not cause grasshoppers to grow unusually large, then this must be the explanation.

In reality, the photo is faked and is an early example of “photo-shopping”.  It has been resurfacing in tabloid newspapers and internet sources in various guises over a long period of time. Snopes.com provides further background indicating that the likely source is from a photographic studio operating in the 1930s.  Fake news is not a new phenomenon …

Click on Carl Sagan´s Guide to Fake News if you want to find out more about fake news or the baloney detection toolkit.

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