“I think one of the reasons that we like conspiracy theories is I think that we like to feel like there is a group of people who are so smart and powerful that they can pull the wool over an entire country or in fact even an entire world’s eyes. That certainly makes us feel like somehow we’re protected, even if it’s not in our best interest.” –Jason Ritter
Everyone knows one: the friend-or-relative who simply can’t believe that things are the way they are, that someone’s out to get them, trick them, or con them in some way. It’s where my sympathies for Todd Snider came to a screeching halt in his (otherwise delightful) song,
when the line “conspiracy-minded” came up. Because there are some doozies out there.
Like the conspiracy that we never landed on the Moon, and that all of the Apollo missions were hoaxes. (Buzz Aldrin gave the greatest response of all-time to that.) Or that the ingestion of fluoride through fluoridated drinking water weakens our minds and allows governments or other evil organizations to control us.
Of course, there’s a huge amount of science and an overwhelming suite of verifiable facts to counter these outrageous claims, but what argument can you make against, “well, then they’re just in on the conspiracy!”
Rather than try and argue each one (e.g., the safety of GM foods, whether aliens have been visiting Earth, whether 9/11 was an inside job, global warming is a hoax, vaccines are harmful and do no good, etc.), I thought it’d be more helpful (and fun!) to discover just what type of conspiracy theorist you are!
All credit for this wonderful flowchart goes to Crispian Jago and his blog The Reason Stick. For those of you whose favorite conspiracy didn’t make the list (sorry fellow Americans, the flowchart is British), I’ll just leave you with a single, final link and image so you don’t feel left out!
Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here next week for some real science… unless I’m in on the conspiracy, too!