Tue. Oct 19th, 2021


The holidays are fast approaching and you know what it means: pumpkin spice everything, seasonal joy and family gatherings – while avoiding your QAnon loyal relatives like the plague. But when you end up cornered by them, get ready.

In his latest book, How to talk to a science denier, Author Lee McIntyre examines the phenomenon of denial, discovers conspiracy theories and explains how you can address your relatives’ misconceptions about why the earth is not flat, starting with the mRNA vaccine.

MIT Press

How to talk to science deniers: Conversations with flat soil, climate deniers and others who reject reasoning, Published by Lee McIntyre, MIT Press.


Belief in conspiracy theories is one of the most toxic forms of human reasoning. This does not mean that the real conspiracy does not exist. The conspiracy of the tobacco companies to obscure the relationship between Watergate, cigarette smoking and cancer, and the NSA program during the George W. Bush era are all examples of real-life conspiracies to spy on civilian Internet users, which were discovered and uncovered by the evidence.

In contrast, the conspiracy theory makes the argument so vicious that whether there is any evidence, the theory is claimed to be true, which leaves it beyond the reach of being tested or refuted by scientists and other abusers. Therefore, the difference should be between the actual conspiracy (for which there should be some evidence) and the conspiracy theory (which usually has no credible evidence). We can define a conspiracy theory as “an explanation that refers to a hidden, violent force that seeks to advance some evil motive.” Importantly, we need to add that these are “highly speculative.” [and] On the basis of any evidence. These are pure assumptions without any basis in reality. ”

When we talk about the dangers of conspiracy theories for scientific reasoning, our focus should be on their immoral nature, which means they are not even worth testing in the first place. What is wrong with conspiracy theories is not usually that they have already been refuted (although there are many), but that thousands of innocent people will continue to believe them even when they are rejected.

If you deny science, you will find a conspiracy theorist. Sadly, conspiracy theories seem to be quite common even among the general public. A recent study by Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood found that 50 percent of Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory.

These included the 9/11 conspiracy to create Truth and Obama, but also the notion that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deliberately stopped curing cancer, and that the Federal Reserve has deliberately orchestrated the 2008 recession. (Significantly, the conspiracy to assassinate JFK was so widely held that it was excluded from the study.)

Other conventional conspiracy theories যা which run the range of popularity and extraordinary হল are that the “Kemtrel” released by the airline was part of a secret government mind-control spray program, that Sandy Hook and the schools in Parkland were “false flag” operations, that the government told the truth about UFOs. Covering up, and of course the fact that the earth is flat is a more “science-related” one, global warming is a hoax, some corporations are deliberately creating toxic GMOs, and Covid-1 is because of the 5G cell phone tower.

In its most basic form, a conspiracy theory is a non-clearly rational belief that some impossible things are still true, but we do not realize it because there is an integrated campaign led by powerful people to cover it up. Some argued that conspiracy theories were especially prevalent during the Great Social Rise. And, of course, it explains why conspiracy theories are not unique to modern times. Like the terrible fires of Rome in AD, we saw conspiracy theories at work, when the citizens of Rome became suspicious of a week-long fire that engulfed almost the entire city – when Emperor Nero was conveniently out of town. Rumors began to spread that Nero had started it to rebuild the city in his own design. Although there was no evidence that this was true (even for the legend that Nero sang during the burning of the city), Nero was apparently so upset by the accusation that he began his own conspiracy theory that Christians were actually responsible for the practice of burning them alive.

One can immediately understand why conspiracy theories are useless for scientific reasoning. In science, we are looking for proven evidence by testing our beliefs against reality. If we only find evidence that fits our theory, this may be true. But if we find any evidence that disproves our theory, it must be refuted. With conspiracy theories, however, they do not change their views even in the face of proven evidence (they do not feel that they need much evidence, out of gut instinct, that their opinion is true in the first place). Instead, conspiracy theorists use conspiracy theories as a way to explain the lack of evidence (because cunning conspirators must hide it) or the presence of evidence that denies it (because shills must forge it). Thus, the lack of evidence in favor of conspiracy theory is explained by conspiracy, which means that its followers can count on both evidence and lack of evidence in their favor.

Virtually all conspiracy theorists I call “cafeteria skeptics.” Although they claim to maintain the highest standard of reasoning, they do so inconsistently. Conspiracy theorists are famous for their double standard of evidence: they insist on an unreasonable standard of evidence when it expresses concern about something they don’t want to believe, when they admit with non-existent evidence what they don’t want to believe. We have already seen the weakness of this kind of electoral argument with cherry picking evidence. Add to this a tendency for paranoid suspicion to belong to mostly conspiratorial thinking, and we face an almost impenetrable wall of suspicion. When a conspiracy theorist arouses their suspicions about the alleged dangers of vaccines, chemtrails, or fluoride কিন্তু but then accepts any reverse or debunking information as evidence of a cover-up-they confine themselves to a hermetically sealed box of suspicion Can get out. For their skeptical protests, most conspiracy theorists are actually quite wrong.

Faith in the plane of the earth is a great example. Again and again at FEIC 2018, I have heard presenters say that no scientific evidence has been forged in favor of the curvature of the earth. “The moon did not land; It happened on a set in Hollywood. “All airlines are involved in pilot and astronaut fraud.” “Photoshop those images from space.” The vague evidence of this claim was not only that the people of the flat land abandoned their faith, it was used as further evidence for the conspiracy! And of course claiming that there could be a bigger conspiracy theory than the devil has a hand in the flat earth? In fact, most people in the plains will admit it. A similar chain of reasoning is often used to deny climate change. President Trump has long held that global warming is a “Chinese hoax” aimed at undermining the competitiveness of American production.

Others have argued that climate scientists are cheating information or that they are biased because they are benefiting from paying attention to money and their work. Some would argue that the conspiracy is even more damaging – climate change is being used to justify more government control or the acquisition of the world economy. Whatever evidence is presented to refute these claims is interpreted as part of a conspiracy: it was false, biased or at least incomplete and the real truth is being obscured. No amount of evidence can ever deny hardcore science because they distrust the people who are collecting the evidence. So what is the explanation? Why do some people (such as science deniers) engage in conspiracy theories when others do not?

Various psychological theories have been given, including inflated self-confidence, narcissism or low self-esteem. A more popular sens minimalist seems to be that conspiracy theory is a coping method that some people use to deal with feelings of anxiety and loss of control in the face of big, annoying events. The human brain does not like random events, because we cannot learn from them and therefore cannot plan for them. When we feel helpless (due to a lack of understanding, the magnitude of an event, its personal impact on us, or our social position), we may be drawn to an explanation that could identify the enemy that could confront us. This is not a logical process, and researchers who have studied conspiracy theories will note that those who tend to go “through their hearts” are more likely to engage in conspiracy-based thinking. This is why ignorance is so closely related to the belief in conspiracy theories. When we are less able to understand something based on our analytical faculties, we may feel more threatened by it.

There is also the fact that many are attracted to the idea of ​​“hidden knowledge” because it works their ego to think that they are one of the few people that others do not know. In the most intriguing study of conspiracy-based thinking, Roland Imhoff discovered a hypothetical conspiracy theory, then measured how many things it would believe, depending on the epistemological context in which it was presented. Imhaf’s conspiracy was a vague one: he claimed that a German manufacturer had created a smoke alarm that emitted louder sounds that made people feel nauseous and frustrated. He complained that the manufacturer knew about the problem but refused to solve it. When the tenants thought it was secret knowledge, they were more likely to believe it. When Imhaf presented it as common sense, people thought it was true.

No one here can help but think of six hundred wise men in that ballroom in Denver. Of the six billion people on earth, they were the self-appointed elite of the elite: those who knew the “truth” about the flatness of the earth and were now called upon to awaken others.

What is the harm from conspiracy theory? Some may seem benign, but keep in mind that the most probable reason to predict faith in conspiracy theories is to believe in another. And not all of it will be innocent. What about anti-waxers who think there is an official cover-

On top of Thimerosal data, whose child gives another measles? Or the belief that ethnographic (man-made) climate change is just a hoax, so do the leaders in our government feel late? When the clock ticks to avoid disaster, the consequences of the next man may be impossible.

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