The world knows now that the various woo-masters of the world were predictably taken in by a fancy crop circle shaped like a computer chip in Salinas, California. And yes, that should be embarrassing for them. But Ben Radford makes what I think is a very odd statement about it:
The crop-circle phenomenon came to global attention in the 1970s, when simple circles began appearing in the English countryside. The number and complexity of the circles increased dramatically, reaching a peak in the 1980s and 1990s, when increasingly elaborate circles were produced, including those illustrating complex mathematical equations such as fractals. The obvious and best-supported scientific explanation — that the designs are made by artistic hoaxers — is, by far, the least satisfying for many people. Which is more fun to believe: that nighttime pranksters are at work, or that mysterious, unknown intelligent beings are trying to communicate with humanity using complex, coded messages?…In this case, the “experts” were once again fooled; it was, undeniably, an advertising stunt. This hoax also reveals an embarrassing truth about crop circle research: that so-called experts cannot distinguish a supposedly real crop circle from a fake one. If the ones supposedly made by humans are so amazingly complex and intricate — and laden with so much hidden meaning — that they are mistaken for the real thing, then, by definition, all of them could be hoaxes.
I’m with the “experts,” I can’t tell the difference between a “real” crop circle and a “fake” one either. Since they all seem to be made by human beings, does that make them “real” or “fake”? They’re either all real or all fake, aren’t they?