How do we know that the moon isn't cheese?

Sean Carrol explains why there are some ideas science doesn't have to test in order to know that they're ridiculous. (Via Bora Zivkovic.)


  1. The point is that we knew just as well that it isn’t made of cheese before we sent anyone there or even pointed a telescope at it. Since there is no non-absurd hypothesis which would account for a gigantic sphere of cheese to be orbiting the Earth for billions of years, there is no reason to waste time debating it (a.k.a. “teaching the controversy”), just as there’s no point in debunking young-Earth creationists or perpetual-motion inventors.

  2. I get the part about there is no god (preaching to the choir), but he lost me when he started talking about cold fusion.

  3. IIUC, ‘green’ in this context means “not yet ripened,” and the cheese is in fact still liquid and bubbling (hence craters etc.).  I think a vat of actual new cheese may look kinda like the moon, if viewed from directly above (the vat, I mean, not the moon).

    Before I found out what green cheese was, I thought that idea was totally stupid, because, you know, you can SEE that it isn’t green!  But I think it was never meant to be taken seriously in the first place; it’s just fanciful.  No one knew what the moon really WAS, but all but the stupidest people knew it wasn’t really green cheese.  Right?

    I mean, the stars are made of lemon drops, the bigger ones are lollipops…even a child doesn’t believe that.

    Besides, how could it stay green for years and years? It would have to ripen eventually.  And if it did, maybe the cheese would fall to Earth as manna from heaven.  Velikovskians take note.

  4. First they came for the moon cheese.  Then they came for the pink nerve gas farting dragons.

  5. Just out of curiosity, are those pink dragons who fart nerve gas, or dragons who fart pink nerve gas?  Or both?  Or neither?  Or perhaps both AND neither?

    *achieves Nirvana and vanishes in a puff of patchouli*

  6. There’s an infinite number of claims that can be made. The trick then is to search for evidence of which claims can be true and assume the extension of currently verified claims when no evidence for new claims is currently available.

    So, since Earth is made of rock, Moon is made of rock, and until we knew better, Jupiter is made of rock…

  7. This is where that spherical cow radiating milk isotropically in a vacuum really comes into play. 

Comments are closed.