Etienne Klein, a French physicist and philosopher of science, smiles for the camera on June 2, 2021 in Paris. (Image courtesy of Joel Saget/AFP; sourced from Getty Images)
A well-known scientist named Etienne Klein made a joke out of posting a slice of chorizo on Twitter, claiming that the sausage was an image taken by the James Webb space telescope.
The image, according to Klein’s post, depicted Proxima Centauri, the star that is closest to the sun.
He tweeted the image on July 31, 2022, and by the afternoon of August 6 had received more than 17,000 likes and 1,500 retweets. At that time, the post was still active.
He translated the post from French and captioned it, “Photo of Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun, located 4.2 light years from us.” “The JWST abducted her. A new world is continually being revealed at this level of detail.
Following that, he discussed the post’s true significance, which was a commentary on cognitive bias.
“Well, cognitive biases seem to have a field day during the aperitif, so beware of them. No item from Spanish charcuterie exists anywhere other than on Earth, according to modern cosmology, he wrote in an English translation.
He continued by stating that he posted the picture purely for amusement value.
“In light of some comments, I feel compelled to mаke it cleаr thаt this tweet clаiming to be а photo of Proximа Centаuri wаs intended аs а joke. The English trаnslаtion reаd, “Let us leаrn to be wаry of аrguments from аuthority аs much аs of the spontаneous eloquence of certаin imаges…