Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nat Geo 911 Truthers Presentation

There was a very good presentation over the long holiday weekend about the 911 truthers movement. Conspiracy theorists are rift and fill a human need. One book by an author with the title of "VooDoo Histories" is one one I am going to get based on the show. Several generalizations can be gleaned from the show that can be applied in general to not only conspiracy theories, but creationists, anti-vaxers, alternative medicine promoters etc. We have a need to tell stories and to embellish them to fit our world views or preconceived notions. We cannot tolerate that the world is random and chance rules our world or lives. We therefore have to come up with some story that takes that out of it. The other thing that made sense is that those beliefs are held so tightly that no amount of evidence can change them. Something called "motivated reasoning" takes over to change, discount the facts and evidence to fit our world views in our heads. We don't, or with great amount of difficulty, change our ideas, world views etc to fit the facts or evidence. It was interesting how the truthers did just that. One thing that is common to all the groups is that they just try to poke holes in explanations and don't offer up any hypothesis of their own. Except there is one theory the truthers have that is easily proven to be not possible. The creationists do the same thing. They offer a theory based on a 2000 year old religious text that is easily proven false. A pattern emerges as to how people hold on to false information, theories, beliefs etc. They also are so sure as to have no doubt. That is another characteristic of these groups. Underlying it is the possiblity of making money based on our herd behavior of fear of the unknown, uncontrollable events etc. A interesting phenomenon that can be generalized because of similiar if not identical behavior.
Skeptical DoDo

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