Here, Adam Ruben, – “Experimental Error: Forging a Head” Science (April 22, 2011), reflects on how to construct a science hoax and have free publicity coming out of your ears:
Attach the bones of something to the bones of something else. You have just created the missing link between those two species. “It’s amazing!” you can announce. “I’ve discovered the skeleton of the mythical half-chimp, half-sturgeon!” (Do not, however, attach the bones of something to nothing. It’s really not that impressive to declare, “I’ve discovered the skeleton of the mythical half-chimp!” Gross.)
– Claim that your unique object has some impressive attribute, such as size, age, or incompatibility with accepted chronology. A 12-foot-tall, 9000-year-old Sony PlayStation, for example.
– Make your hoax scary. People should resist the urge to investigate fully because, well, they don’t know that the Manitoba Cypress of Demise inflicts syphilis on all who dare speak its name, but do they really want to take that chance? [further directions follow]
Curious how many famous science hoaxes* centred on evolution or environment issues. Comments?
(*Terminology note: Many sources would call the glued-together fossils “fraud” rather than “hoax.” – UD News)