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I don't believe in photos from space as well. When you think about it, the reproducibility of the scientific method seems to have been lost in modern times in favor of "nerd/black/wheelchair science man said so" TV shows. I much prefer the algorithmic proof of scientific claims, so that I can use my own tools and my own brain to confirm the result such as the sailing ship phenomenon and the geometry of the horizon. Anyone agree?

In principle, sure! "Nullius in verba" and all that. But where I think this is interesting and most important is for those pieces of knowledge whose scale / cost make independent confirmation firmly outside the reach of any but the most well-resourced of agents. I think the subject of vaccine safety exemplifies this well. There are only a tiny number of people in the world who, realistically, can independently kick the tires on whether vaccines do / don't work or whether they are / aren't safe. Vaccine believers / skeptics are basically all just left to take someone else's word for it.

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