why he bothered with such a lie I got no idea
Because he believes in the epistemic power of imagination, just like every non-scientist and anti-scientist, from Greenpeace to the Catholic Church, everywhere.
This is the primary distinction between the scientific, Bayesian world-view and the non-, anti- or pre-scientific worldview: the latter is fundamentally based on the idea that what we imagine has something to do with what is.
Rather than base their beliefs on Bayesian updating from evidence derived from systematic observation and/or controlled experiment, such people (sometimes called "philosophers" when they do this professionally, although there is also an important professional sub-type called "economists") chose their beliefs based on what they imagine, or can imagine, or can't imagine.
It's an incredibly common, and you see it amongst self-proclaimed skeptics as well. This is just one particularly absurd example, but believe me, when you (or I!) make claims based on our imaginings rather than ideas that have been publicly tested by controlled experiment and systematic observations (which is just what science is) we look precisely as foolish to those whose beliefs are grounded in the outside world rather than the contents of their heads.