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Has Science Gone Too Far? is a series of parody advertisements for the website Officialquiz.com, which typically feature poorly photoshopped images challenging the viewer to determine whether the photo is “real” or “fake.”
The domain for the website Officialquiz.com was registered on October 23rd, 2008, which provided “IQ tests” to paid subscribers. The website ran a widespread banner advertising campaign, which asked viewers if photoshopped images such as the Helicopter Shark were “real or fake?”, adding that a majority of people could not accurately predict the answer (shown below). As of February 2013, Officialquiz.com is no longer open to subscriptions.
The earliest known instance with the caption “Has science gone too far?” was submitted to FunnyJunk by user stupot on January 31st, 2010, featuring a photograph of a seagull edited to have human arms.
The photoshopped seagull image was submitted by Redditor thebeefytaco to the /r/funny subreddit on May 14th, 2011, where it received over 5,000 up votes and 400 comments prior to being archived. On April 1st, 2012, Redditor Kronson submitted another example to the /r/funny subreddit, featuring a cat with a poorly photoshopped piranha superimposed on its face (shown below, left). Prior to being archived, the post accumulated more than 5,100 up votes and 120 comments. On April 6th, FunnyJunk user fegeltroll submitted an example featuring a photo of actress Kirsten Stewart from the fantasy film series Twilight (shown below, right). Within the next 10 months, the post received over 30,000 views, 1,100 up votes and 60 comments.
On September 5th, a Facebook page titled “Has science gone too far?” was launched, garnering more than 130 likes within the next five months. As of February 11th, 2013, search queries for “Has Science Gone Too Far?” yield over one thousand results on FunnyJunk, where the phrase has been used in a similar vein to What Has Science Done? in reference to any poorly photoshopped image.