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Comments

Gary Hurd

Howdy Joe,

Thanks for your comments.

There is another interesting problem with secrets of the 'intelligence' agency sort; they frequently can't be used.

Case examples 1) using information that is gained from a decoded enemy message exposes that the code has been cracked. This renders the "secret" that the code was cracked useless.

2) useing information from an enemy source will expose the source, who will then be sujected to reprisal.

Cary

What's truly ironic here is that, if it is a conspiracy, God's the culprit - He laid the fossils in the earth, etc etc.

The Religious Right just has no sense of humor. ;-)

PaulG

Joe -- I'm sorry for jumping into comments on this post so late, but I just found your blog (nice, too, by the way!) and thought I might post anyway. People who hold extreme views on just about any subject often trip over themselves with "conspiracy theories." This is not just an artifact of the debate about evolution, or science in general. Think about the conservatives in the media, state legislatures and Congress harping on "activist judges." Or think about the more extreme people in the environmental movement and their "conspiracy" and "selling out" accusations against anyone who doesn't agree with them wholeheartedly.

What seems to be at work here is a faith-based ("faith" not meaning "religious," but rather not supported by substantial evidence) belief in the correctness of their particular belief, coupled with a well-founded understanding that theirs is a minority view. Those on the "other side" are then seen as having the same faith-based belief in their "side" (we have to have sides here, otherwise there's no us versus them), which is why we hear about the religion of evolution or the religion of science so often. They do not accept the possibility that others hold evidence-based views on the subject, or that the views of others might stem from different understandings or priorities. I don't think that the conspiracy theorists reject the evidence presented so much as they refuse to accept the possibility that there is evidence. Any tangible evidence that is presented is therefore obviously false and can be explained away simply by saying so. To them, what is important is faith and faith cannot be swayed by mere evidence. From this they falsely come to the conclusion that the only way so many people could be bamboozled into accepting the "other side's" "evidence" is if that side engaged in a massive and pervasive campaign to mislead the public. This, of course, requires a huge number of people with similar views in government, academia, primary and secondary education, and the media. Hence, a conspiracy. It should be noted, however, that such a conspiracy doesn't require management, it just requires a sufficient number of independent actors with a common goal.

Joe McFaul

PaulG, I agree with you 100%. That's why my approach is to challenge a person's faith as little as possible, and concede as much as is possible to be consistent with the person's faith. I alos can usually find that a single person doens't believe in every conspiracy, so I try to show them the common denominators of all conspiracy theories and ask them to explain why "their" conspiracy is an exception to the general rule.

Thanls for the visit and kind words!

wee kee

these are really interesting stuff.
wee kee

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