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Scientists did not create 3D models of Abrahamic prophets

The 3D model images are a meme trend on Twitter

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Claim: Multiple images are being shared on social media, claiming that scientists at universities have created models of what Adam and other Abrahamic prophets looked like. The models resemble contemporary celebrities.

Fact: Scientists did not create 3D models of how the prophets looked. The images are part of a funny trend on social media.

The most viral of these claims is an image shared by Alamo Drafthouse NYC on 27 October 2022 with the caption, “Scientists at Princeton University have reconstructed this 3D model of how Adam, the first human being created by God, might have looked”.

A 3D model of Vin Diesel shared as Adam

The image bears a resemblance to Hollywood actor Vin Diesel. Princeton University has not issued any updates about this 3D model reconstruction. On 28 October, the Twitter account replied to the Tweet stating, “Just a reminder that we’re a movie theater, not an academic journal…” signaling that the tweet is, in fact, a joke. Newschecker.in and Factly.in — who are also IFCN signatories have previously fact checked this claim. Many similar claims have also gone viral on social media. 

Fact or Fiction?

In order to assess where the trend began, Soch Fact Check conducted an advanced Twitter search. The trend started when a Twitter user shared an image with the caption, “Scientists at Stanford University have reconstructed this 3D model of how Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ might have looked” on 25 October. The tweet gained significant virality with 151.2k likes, 14.7k quote tweets and 12.7k retweets. This image is a model of pop singer Lady Gaga. 

3D model of Lady Gaga shared as Mary, the mother of Jesus

A similar claim was made in a tweet stating, “Scientists at Stanford University have reconstructed this 3D model of how Jesus of Nazareth might have looked”. The image in the tweet is a 3D model of Scottish actor Ewan McGregor.

3D model of Scottish actor Ewan McGregor shared as Jesus

Another version of the meme trend shows a picture of Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan with the claim that it is a 3D model of what Adam might have looked like.

Virality

Soch Fact Check conducted a CrowdTangle analysis for the 30-day period since 11 October to 11 November using the following search terms:

  • “scientists university 3D model”

The search turned up 537,446 interactions across 742 posts on Facebook and 1,763,930 interactions across 182 posts on Instagram. Almost all posts contained screenshots from the Twitter meme trend. Variations of the claim were shared here, here, here, here, here, here, and here on Instagram. On Facebook, the claims were shared here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: Scientists at Princeton and other American universities did not create 3D models of Abrahamic prophets and religious personalities. The claims are a meme trend on Twitter which gained fierce virality on social media platforms.

 

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