A Lesson to the Credulous: The Cardiff Giant

No, I’m not going to write about the basketball player “coming out” as a homosexual and being lauded as if he were Jackie Robinson, Neil Armstrong, and Joan of Arc rolled into one. Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin just about covers that, don’t you think?

Instead, I’d like to introduce you to the Cardiff Giant, now residing at the Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, NY (see http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2172 ).

The creation of an atheist who wanted to make fools of rural Christian fundamentalists, the Cardiff Giant was dug up in 1869 by workmen, after being planted by its maker. He made a lot of money showing it around the country. P.T. Barnum got jealous and fabricated his own Cardiff Giant. When both giants turned up at the same place at the same time, the hoax imploded. Very soon, it was hard to find anyone who would admit he’d ever believed the giant was real.

People are easy to fool. Always have been, always will be. It’s part of our heritage from Adam and Eve, who started the trend. Election results show that it’s easy to fool people very badly.

Folks wanted to believe in the Cardiff Giant, and they let it get the better of whatever sense they had. I don’t think that’s changed; do you?


6 comments on “A Lesson to the Credulous: The Cardiff Giant

  1. EXCELLENT! (Funny they didn’t teach us about this in the Biology Department at the Uni.)

    1. At the Rutgers University biology department, they were interested in bigger hoaxes than the Cardiff Giant. As one of my instructors explained it, they wished to establish a Utopia in which individuality and personal freedom would be “engineered out of the system.” And that was back in 1969!

  2. Lee,

    It’s human nature to want to believe in something. We have all seen things, believing they were one thing, only to find out they were something else. When people vote for a president, they aren’t saying to themselves, “I’m looking to destroy America.” Most really believe the propaganda that led them to vote that person. Understanding how the Hegelian Dialectic of right versus left works in America, it really doesn’t matter who we vote for…what matters most is that we continually question the actions of government (every level of government). The Hegelian Dialectic requires blind loyalty to the Republican and Democrat parties. Blind support and blind opposition for every policy allows government to do as it pleases (such as support and opposition to war). The illusion of choice is what allows government to do what it does.

  3. Abe Lincoln was wise to this when he made the famous statement: You can fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time,” Today the problem seems to be that “some of the people” is getting bigger and bigger.

  4. I have had more than one person try to convince me that there is a vast conspiracy to conceal the fact that there are 30’ tall skeletons buried all over North America. Of course the evidence is always a copy of an old, crinkly photo and no one seems to be able to pin down a location where any of these are buried.

    People believe what they choose to believe.

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