What is a Conspiracy Theory?
Michael James Scharen

michaelsbookcorner.com
July 13, 2021

“When you don’t trust people who are perpetually wrong, that’s not denying science. That is science – you are making observations, and drawing reasonable conclusions. In this case, the observation is that our establishment sucks, and that it can’t be trusted.”.
-- Kurt Schlicter

"People are so alienated from their own soul that when they meet their soul they think it comes from another star system."
~ Terence McKenna

The title and topic if this blog post has to do with conspiracy theories. I, myself, have been accused of being a conspiracy theorist. But what does that mean? Granted there are some way-out-there ideas that may be readily debunked. Let's discuss those ideas which cannot so be easily dismissed. In my experience, calling someone a conspiracy theorist never has much backing from the accuser. This is tantamount to just another ad hominem attack rather than serious debate. But such attacks are not meant for debate but the stifling of debate itself. This is the hecklers veto, but names and higher volume are a poor substitute for facts.


Fig.1 - Speaking the truth gets one branded as a 'conspiracy theorist'.

We need to go deeper and stop listening to such logical fallacies (see previous blog post). Such childishness must be left in the 6th grade school yard where it originates. I will admit, I have been guilty of spouting off, but quite often I present facts to back up my so-called conspiracy theory. Such facts are generally dismissed out-of-hand without any facts or evidence to counter my arguments. Some theories are merely conjecture but others have been well tested through time and serve as useful models for the prediction of events. The strength of the evidence and predictive value of the theory prove its usefulness. This is all well and good for science and engineering, but what about human beings?

One of the greatest threats we face are those using science as an appeal to authority argument. I have another blog post covering that, but there is a lot to be said about the harm this causes. I have a friend who is an older college student (40s) who just graduated. He concurs that probably 90% of the general population is ill or un-equipped to analyze more than a weather report. Statistics, scientific data, and the way they are gathered or interpreted can be highly suspect.

Just because someone is a scientist does not mean they are the be-all and end-all of knowledge. Believe me, I have worked with plenty of Stanford, Berkeley, Oxford, and Cal Tech graduates that a self-educated high school or undergraduate could run circles around. People have no idea! That is a subject for another post.

If things were not bad enough, we escalate things further by mixing science with politics. Academia has always been there to prop up the State. As clerics waned in popularity, the University has taken up the torch. This is not to say that fantastic things do not come out of universities, but quite often it is through the resistance of the universities themselves. Just ask Newton or Einstein. >

The propping up of the latest political folly by Academia has accelerated greatly since the 1920's and 30's when the Ivy League supported ideas like eugenics. Since WW II, universities have relied almost entirely on government support. Harvard, a private university with a multi-billion dollar endowment, rakes in more Federal dollars than it has to spend from that endowment. Would it be outrageous to believe that Universities are paid to follow the Party Line (Party meaning the one-party that is the year-in year-out bureaucracy)? People follow the incentives, regardless of where they come from. Or is such inductive reasoning just another conspiracy theory? Follow the facts. Inductive reasoning is often very accurate as Occam's Razor would tell us.

In the 1940s, the Soviets wanted to create a law based upon the nonsensical writings of a man called Lysenko. His theory stated that species -- human beings in particular -- could evolve during a single life-time. Why would they do that? To become the New Soviet Man, of course, and all at once. A name was coined for this legislation of reality and that is Lysenkoism. This is how science is used as a political pretense to pull some shenanigans that were in the works all along. How did the Patriot Act get passed so quickly? Such simple questions are never answered.

There are many powerful people in a hurry, or people in a hurry to become more powerful. This has never changed. Often their plans leave a wide trail of breadcrumbs for which we are just supposed to ignore. If we begin pointing them out. creating time-lines, and generally putting the pieces of the puzzle together to produce a inductively valid explanations, then we are called conspiracy theorists. Dissenters are ridiculed, shouted down, and often pursued through the so-called justice system until broken and unable to fight themselves or even rally support. The winners surround themselves with useful idiots running around virtue signalling each other while others are publicly rewarded for their gas-lighting efforts.

Human beings have something we call history which is also highly contestable. What is left out or covered up by historians often bears great weight on events. It is my contention, however, that much of what is not discussed openly is generally out there for the public to scrutinize. Those pointing fingers and calling others conspiracy theorists are the first to point away from well-known and well-documented evidence contrary to their positions. They will resort to whataboutism, postulate some straw-man, red herring, or open up their entire tool kit of logical fallacies to distract people from the truth.

The zealots for idiotic and harmful ideas are not capable of pursuing a fact-based argument. Many are quite enthusiastic about resorting to violence, however. They have nothing else but their fear and hatred to run on. How do we deal with those?