Conspiracy Theories and the Gullibility of Society
Let’s start with exactly what is a conspiracy theory? The standard definition is:
1. A theory that explains an event as being the result of a plot by a covert group or organization; “belief that a particular “unexplained” event was caused by such a group.
2. The idea that many important political events or economic and social trends are the products of secret plots that are largely unknown to the general public.
The most bizarre fact about conspiracy theories is the fact that any evidence presented is by definition just another cover up by said secret organizations or groups to obscure the truth. Essentially, To conspiracy theorists, “belief” is far more important than any facts or evidence to the contrary.
There is something seriously wrong in society when uninformed “belief” in something is far more important than “scientific evidence” to the contrary.
When did we stop believing in science?
There are many, many, conspiracy theories out there, way too many to cover them all. But, here are a few examples:
- The Flat Earth Society
- Secret underground cities and caves at the Grand Canyon
- The Illuminati
- Shadow Government
- The American moon landings were a hoax
- Alien bodies stored at Area 51
- Chem Trails.
- Climate Change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese
- Bigfoot, chupacabras, Swamp Monsters, Mothman, and more…
- The origins of the AIDS virus
- The Philadelphia Experiment
- Etc, Etc, Etc.
Are we so gullible as a society that we will blindly believe anything that anyone says and take that to be fact? Evidently, we are. At least some of us anyway.
Often, conspiracy theorists quote “Unnamed Authoritative Experts” as the evidence and scientific legitimacy to support their findings. Since when are unnamed authoritative experts the basis for sound scientific method? What do they have to hide?
If something is fact, there is no legitimate reason to be utilizing “unnamed. authoritative sources”. In fact, this undermines the entire argument as it eliminates public scrutiny of the facts as well as eliminates the possibility that the evidence provided could be analyzed or peer-reviewed by other experts in order to reach similar conclusions based upon the preponderance of the evidence presented.
Of course, conspiracy theorists point to the fact these authoritative experts lives would be in jeopardy if their identity should become public. Their lives would somehow be threatened, or subject to ridicule, by the very same shadow government, or covert groups that actually control all that goes on.
Let’s take a look at just the few conspiracy theories I have listed and look at the basic facts;
The Flat Earth Society – They believe the Earth is a disc with the Arctic in the center and Antarctic, a 150-feet-tall ice wall, around the rim holding back water. NASA employees guard this ice wall to prevent people from climbing over and falling off the disc. Earth’s day and night cycle is explained by positing that the sun and moon are spheres measuring 32 miles that move in circles 3,000 miles above the plane of the Earth. These celestial spheres illuminate different portions of the planet in a 24-hour cycle.
OK??? NASA has only been around since the 1950’s so who was guarding the Arctic and Antarctic ice walls before the 1950’s? What happened to all the people who sailed to the edge of the Earth and were turned back by these sentries? Or were they all forced to sign some sort of binding non-disclosure agreement?
How do you explain the around the world expeditions that have taken place in the last few hundred years?
How do you explain the thousands of photos taken of Earth by multiple nations including the International Space Station, Satellites, Astronauts, and even High School and College students that have launched go-pro cameras on high altitude weather balloons? Every single one of these photos shows the Earth as being round.
I would think that the evidence is clear.
Secret underground cities and caves at the Grand Canyon
A story on the front page of the April 5, 1909 edition of the Arizona Gazette recounted the discovery of a series of bizarre caves and artifacts in the Marble Canyon region of the Grand Canyon. The report claimed two Smithsonian-funded archaeologists, Prof. S. A. Jordan and G.E. Kinkaid, are responsible for the find. As the article noted:
The problem here is, No record exists of Kincaid or Professor Jordan within the Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology, nor is there a paper trail at the Smithsonian detailing the artifacts gathered on the expedition. When asked directly about Kincaid’s claims, a Smithsonian Institute representative once said:
Well, the first thing I can tell you, before we go any further, is that no Egyptian artifacts of any kind have ever been found in North or South America. Therefore, I can tell you that the Smithsonian Institute has never been involved in any such excavations.
Just because this area has been a “No Trespassing” area for the last 100 years doesn’t in way mean that there are secret caves or underground cities that the U.S. Government is trying to hide. Besides if there were such a thing, I would think that there would not be any trace of it now. Especially, if the U.S. Government was trying to cover it up. 100 years is a long time to erase any trace of anything ever being there.
According to Wikipedia.org – The Illuminati” refers to various organizations which claim or are purported to have links to the original Bavarian Illuminati or similar secret societies, though these links are unsubstantiated. They are often alleged to conspire to control world affairs, by masterminding events and planting agents in government and corporations, in order to gain political power and influence and to establish a New World Order.
Central to some of the most widely known and elaborate conspiracy theories, the Illuminati have been depicted as lurking in the shadows and pulling the strings and levers of power in dozens of novels, films, television shows, comics, video games, and music videos.
I think we can all agree that the rise of Donald Trump as the nominee of the Republican Party for President of the United States totally disproves that the Illuminati even exist at all.
Once again, according to Wikipedia.org – The shadow government (cryptocracy, secret government, or invisible government) is a family of conspiracy theories based on the notion that real and actual political power resides not with publicly elected representatives (for example, the United States Congress) but with private individuals who are exercising power behind the scenes, beyond the scrutiny of democratic institutions. According to this belief, the official elected government, is in reality, subservient to the shadow government who are the true executive power.
Shadow government theories often propose that the government is secretly controlled by foreign elements (such as aliens or the Vatican and Jesuits), internal minorities (such as the Jews, moneyed interests and central banks, or Freemasons), or globalist elites and supranational organizations, who seek to manipulate policy or conquer the world.
Once again, see my previous response to The Illuminati.
The American moon landings were a hoax
Let’s just look at the facts concerning the moon landing hoax. According to conspiracy theorists, Stanley Kubrick the famous movie director actually filmed the fake moon landing on a super secret CIA controlled sound stage in Hollywood.
This is kind of strange as Stanley Kubrick, was a well-known social activist.
Essentially, according to conspiracy theorists, the Apollo moon landing never happened.
Here is the video of the launch. We all saw the get into the capsule. We all saw the launch of Apollo 11, on top of the Saturn 5 Rocket. Here is the footage;
I remember distinctly being glued to the television as an 11-year-old by and Walter Cronkite talking us through what we were watching. If they didn’t go to the moon where did they go?
Three days later, this is what we all watched. It was exciting beyond belief.
With only 13 seconds of fuel remaining Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. I will never forget this day as long as I live. This was broadcast literally around the world. It was amazing!
So, some people who are not Astro- Physicists somehow decided that the flag didn’t look right, and the shadows on the moon were somehow suspicious.
Let’s look at the facts. There were approximately 400,000 people who worked on the Apollo program. Not one, not one person, has ever stepped forward and claimed or provided any sort of proof that this was an elaborate hoax.
Besides this was during the cold war, I am fairly certain that the Soviets would be the first ones to blow the whistle on any sort of hoax like this.
Alien bodies stored at Area 51
The CIA has confirmed the existence of Area 51. Area 51 is real, no doubt. Just because Area 51 is a top-secret military installation, somehow this has morphed onto this is the location that the Federal Government is storing the bodies of aliens that have crashed landed on Earth.
Just because one person claims to have seen them, one person and we have no way to confirm the authentically of their claims, so obviously, this is fact. Right?.
This really is just as stupid as it sounds. I could claim that the United States Government had killed the tooth fairy, stored her body at Area 51, and it would have the same exact weight. What proof do I have? Nothing! That’s the point.
Chem Trails. (I have already written about this one previously. You can read about it here) ->http://profoundrevelations.com/2016/08/17/chem-trails-real-or-fake/
Climate Change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese
This is a charge often repeated by Donald Trump. Let’s look at the facts. 99% of the world’s “climate scientists” and virtually all the world’s scientific bodies have stated unequivocally, that climate change is real, and is being caused by man’s activities.
Many unbelieving politicians, especially in the Republican Party preface their ignorant statement with “I am not a scientist, but…”
You can already STOP RIGHT THERE. If you are not a scientist, what credentials do you have to refute the science? In this case, your “belief” in something doesn’t fucking matter.
Bigfoot, chupacabras, Swamp Monsters, Moth-man, and more…
There has never, ever, been any verified sightings, dead bodies, bones, DNA evidence (Hair, scat, bones, skin samples, etc) Nothing at all to support the existence of these creatures. Until there is, there is no proof whatsoever that anything like this exists at all.
The origins of the AIDS virus
Conspiracy theorists believe that the AIDS virus was created in a laboratory and injected into homosexuals and African-Americans by ruse of a hepatitis-B experiment back in 1978. Thabo Mbeki, the former South African President, said that the scientific claims that the disease originated in Africa is false and that the U.S. government actually created the virus in a lab and is trying to place the blame on Africa. Theorists believe that the AIDS virus was created by the CIA to rid the country of homosexuals and African-Americans and to weaken the group’s numbers.
Once again, where is the proof? There is not one shred of evidence that this is actually the case. The lack if evidence has not stopped conspiracy theorists from running with this wild accusation.
The Philadelphia Experiment
According to The Telegraph UK; The Philadelphia Experiment, Popularised by the Charles Berlitz novel of the same name, conspiracy theorists believe that during an experiment at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in October 1943, the US Navy destroyer Eldridge was rendered invisible.
According to some accounts, the scientists on the experiment found a way to bend light around an object but that the experiment went wrong and Eldridge was transported through space and time, reappearing at sea. Several sailors, it is said, were badly hurt when the experiment went wrong and some were melded into the ship’s superstructure. The US Navy has denied that the experiment ever took place.
Certainly, I can imagine that U.S. Navy did do experiments to render ships invisible to radar. However, this entire conspiracy came about based on a novel by Charles Berlitz.
Furthermore, according to Wikipedia; The USS Eldridge was not commissioned until August 27, 1943, and it remained in port in New York City until September 1943. The October experiment allegedly took place while the ship was on its first shakedown cruise in The Bahamas, although proponents of the story claim that the ship’s logs might have been falsified or else still be classified.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) stated in September 1996, “ONR has never conducted investigations on radar invisibility, either in 1943 or at any other time.” Pointing out that the ONR was not established until 1946, it denounces the accounts of “The Philadelphia Experiment” as complete “science fiction.”
A reunion of Navy veterans who had served aboard the USS Eldridge told a Philadelphia newspaper in April 1999 that their ship had never made port in Philadelphia. Further evidence discounting the Philadelphia Experiment timeline comes from the USS Eldridge’s complete World War II action report, including the remarks section of the 1943 deck log, available on microfilm.
Once again, the proof to support these type of wild allegations is not based upon any facts to support the actual evidence.
I am not saying that any of these theories that I have listed have zero basis in fact. What I am saying is that the evidence does not support the narrative that is provided to us. Until solid evidence is provided and verified, we cannot say for certain that these events actually happened as the conspiracy theorists would lead us to believe.
As Tom Dye, The Safety Guy, I often investigate incidents. Often, my initial working theory turns out to be incorrect. Once all the facts are revealed, timelines established, and sequence of events are verified, the actual root cause reveals that my initial working assumption was often incorrect.
The truth of the matter is always the truth, no matter what my personal beliefs may be. Obviously, I have to accept that where the facts and evidence may lead me, must take precedence over my personal beliefs on the matter.
I have to rely on “scientific method” to base my decisions on. what is the scientific method?
Per Wikipedia; The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry is commonly based on empirical or measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.
Another tool that I find to be extremely useful is; Occam’s Razor;
The definition of Occam’s razor is : a scientific and philosophic rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.
To put it into simpler terms; With two things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the right answer.
Is society gullible? Obviously, many people are. Whether it comes to politics, personal interactions, science, or everything in between. Many people rely on belief with no basis in fact and choose to ignore the evidence right in front of them.
When did we lose our way as a society start ignoring, or disbelieving scientists and science?
As the great Astrophysicist Neil DeDegrasse Tyson said; ” The best thing about science is it is still true whether or not you believe in it”
Here’s more from Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Am I a scientist? No. I am not; a Physicist, Mathematician, Chemist, Geologist, Biologist, or any other kind of Scientist. However, because I am not, I have to rely on the people who are. That doesn’t mean that I will just follow one person’s facts blindly, not at all. I do my research and try to find collaborative research from others to support the facts.
Who else are we to believe?
I believe in facts, and objective truths, whether I find them personally uncomfortable or not. Because it doesn’t really matter what I believe personally, because the facts speak for themselves.
Should you take my word that everything I have written as the truth? Of course not. Do your own research and cross referencing for own benefit, You would be a fool just to take my word for it.
Of course, the conspiracy theorists would say that I am just another member of some sort of secret organization or group, attempting to sway their opinion from the actual truth that they hold to be self-evident.
One never knows does one?
It is for you, and only you, to decide the truth for yourselves.
Tom Dye, The Safety Guy