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The Conspiracy Theory Detector
  • zcopleyzcopley
    Posts: 204
    I've been enjoying reading the epic comment thread of this article, starring Jim Fetzer (mentioned on BoR #505):

    How to tell the difference between true and false conspiracy theories
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-conspiracy-theory-director

    Thought this was a great response to the article:


    176. Jim Osburn 01:43 AM 12/17/10

    The Conspiracy Debunker Detector

    How to tell the difference between a conspiracy theorist and an arbitrary debunker.

    In response to Michael Shermers column (December 2010), I would like to offer the following aids to those who wish to be able to detect arbitrary debunkers of conspiracies.

    1. Debunkers are inclined to ignore evidence and resort to social commentary about conspiracy theorists in general. This has a snob appeal for those who do not wish to dirty their hands with details.

    2. The theorist selected for description is always from the radical fringe, and never from the thoughtful, intelligent people who have studied the evidence. This is the straw man syndrome.

    3. The radicals are described in terms like nutty, breathless, and idiotic. This implies that all supporters of the conspiracy are equally off balance,

    4. The debunker will route the discussion from the subject conspiracy to encompass all other supposed conspiracies, thus belittling them all in a class action tactic.

    5. The debunker is usually in a position where intellectual honesty on an unpopular subject would be hazardous to his professional reputation or academic position. Television personalities and print columnists are examples.

    6. The debunker either cannot or will not separate the ranting of those would poison the well with tales about little green men from the careful reasoning of the legitimate theorist.

    7. The debunker will reluctantly admit that conspiracies like false flag incidents do sometimes happen - never here and now, but sometime long ago and somewhere far away.

    8. The debunker will not accept a conspiracy theory that consists only of unanswered questions. The theory must be complete in every detail in order to merit consideration.

    9. The debunker harbors a silent faith in authority that is not unlike a religious dogma. My government would never do a thing like that!

    10. The force of denial of a conspiracy is directly proportional to its presumed consequences if true. There are many who cannot accept the terrible implications of government complicity in the events of 9/11. These people will reject the conspiracy theory instead.

    Jim Osburn



  • kenkckenkc
    Posts: 23
    Stuck my two cents in.