An odd conspiracy theory circulating online could rival that of the Flat Earth when it comes to sheer outrageousness.
Those who ascribe to this head-scratching concept say that renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking actually died decades ago and was replaced by an imposter.
Conspiracy theorists point to a litany of alleged clues gleaned from studying photographs of the famed scientist over the years as well as aspects about his life that, to them, just don't make sense, such as his remarkably long lifespan for someone diagnosed with ALS in the 1960's.
To that end, they argue that he actually passed away in 1985, when Hawking is known to have fallen gravely ill, and the proverbial 'role' of the astrophysicist has been played by someone else ever since.
Considering that the 'evidence' offered up by researchers is tenuous at best, it would seem that the crux of the conspiracy theory is really the hypothetical motivation for such a scheme orchestrated by the 'powers that be.'
In that area, at least, there is some food for thought as their argument is that the faux Hawking is being used to advance scientific ideas favored by the global elite.
An endorsement of a carbon tax, warning about the potential danger of ETs, and an increasingly dim view of humanity's future are just some of the stances advanced by Hawking in recent years that conspiracy theorists contend were put forward at the behest of his handlers.
While this aspect of the 'imposter concept,' is somewhat compelling, to arrive there via a long and winding road involving an imposter Hawking makes the entire idea sound implausible, to say the least.
Perhaps, if anything, the theory is a testament to the impact Hawking has had on society in that he has actually inspired a veritable 'Paul is dead' conspiracy for the scientific world.
Source: Daily Mail