Friday, April 16, 2010

Understanding Crazy Conspiracy Theories

This is a great article helping you to understand the ideas that spawn to make the average conspiracy theory...
In my opinion the anti-science movement engage in:

1. Cult-like behaviour: dogmatically supporting the all-knowing Leader,
2. Conspiracy theory: there is a global conspiracy to hide The Truth,
3. Misunderstanding what science entails: i.e. if there is one thing science cannot explain that proves all those things that have been elucidated (evolution, germtheory) are wrong,
4. Double standard: even if science is right it does not apply to their specific case, i.e. because of their unique nature Intelligent Design, homeopathy, paranormal claims, et cetera, should not be held to the same standard as the scientific community,
5. Thinking that attending Google University (Dah Google) equals years of study, and doing research, in a certain field -expert opinion is just that: opinion,

The last point - 5 is an important one. It's the classic of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Where a little knowledge is dangerous - when not applied with a little humility to understand how far you've have to go to fully understand the area.
* Anti-global warming:
1. Cult-like behaviour: The Leader (lobbying groups) discovered The Truth (global warming is non-existent) and it is treated as dogma,
2. The Truth is a highly unlikely theory which ignores a multitude of evidence disproving it,
3. Conspiracy: climategate proves scientists are hiding The Truth,
4. Misrepresentations and logical fallacies: the fact scientists debate the details proves there is no scientific consensus,
5. Double standard: claiming unethical behaviour of scientists while ignoring actual misconduct by "sceptics."


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