I call it the ‘Santa problem’… imagine a bunch of extremely intelligent young children discussing the nature of Santa.
The children, of course, would have the ‘undeniable forensic evidence’ of presents under the tree, cookies eaten & milk drunk. They would have reams of visual evidence, eye witness accounts, movies, TV & radio.
The intelligent, and oh so well behaved, children would inevitably begin debating on whether or not Santa was a magical being or a ‘sufficiently advanced Alien’ or whether his reindeer were powered by mini-nukes or space beams. Perhaps his sled is a hologram or perhaps he uses Star-Trek teleporters to deliver the presents. Some children would suggest that there must be teams of Santa’s working together as simple logistics forbid a single Santa. The children would write millions of words & produce tens of thousands of diagrams, computer models & graphs. We would have flight speeds, landing speeds, luminosity of reindeer noses, density of sleds, mass of presents, lists of good children & bad children, we would have articles on how reindeer cope with the Jet stream or how they can be tracked from Space. We would have psychological reports on the mentality of uber-altruistic super beings, zoological studies on slave-elves, social studies on the ‘inherent Socialism of the Elven-Santa economic model’, we’d have geographical write ups on where the Grotto is. Heck we’d even have crazy conspiracy theories about Santa actually living in Antarctica rather than the North Pole and how the space lizards are covering up this ‘fact’.
It would be a truly splendid body of work.
All ruined by one boy from Norway. This one boy decides to tell the other children that he thinks that maybe, just maybe, “our parents might be lying”.
Preposterous! Cry the highly intelligent, and oh so well behaved, children… why I’ve never heard anything so absurd in my life! Are you suggesting that there is a global conspiracy of parents around the world to fool their children! Why would they pay for presents then not take credit for the gift? For McDonald’s sake I even heard Santa that one Christmas Eve making sounds on my roof! What next? Are you suggesting that reindeer are fake too! What even is the motive? Are you trying to cover up the fact that Santa is a secret Zionist from Atlantis?
The boy from Norway is promptly mocked & ostracized & all becomes well with the world again.
This absurd situation is where we all find ourselves now… who on this planet most believes in 1960’s moon trips?
Children & academics.