The Ethics of Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories, a recent article emphasizes, are not harmless self-delusions: In an important sense every conspiracy theory comes at some moral cost. To offer a conspiracy theory is to make an accusation. The accusation may be amorphous (‘shadowy forces run the country!’) or highly specific (‘Prince Philip ordered MI6 to kill Princess Diana!’) but by [Read More…]

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X-Files 10.6: My Struggle II

Last night’s episode of The X-Files was the finale of the current mini-series, yet it ended on a cliffhanger which left us with the hope that there will be more. The episode left me feeling as though I was finally getting a sense of the big picture of what The X-Files had been about from [Read More…]

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A Strange Mix of Narcissism and Paranoia

A nice quote from the Alison Bernstein, better known as “MommyPhD.”   [Read more…]

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Further History-Denialism from Jerry Coyne

It boggles my mind and frustrates me when anyone engages in denialism, whether in science, history, or any other area. But when someone who has worked hard to combat denialism does it, it can seem downright baffling. But Jerry Coyne has done precisely that in the past, and continues to do so. In a recent blog post [Read More…]

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Mythicism, Creationism, and other Conspiracy Theories

I was made aware of a post by John Anthony Dunne, asking whether there is any parallel in Judaism for what Richard Carrier and other mythicists claim that Paul believed, namely that a celestial being died in the celestial realm. Presumably the closest Carrier can offer is his claim that Adam was buried in the third [Read More…]

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The Paranormal Conspiracy

I’m happy to be able to participate in the Patheos Book Club about Timothy Dailey’s book, The Paranormal Conspiracy: The Truth about Ghosts, Aliens and Mysterious Beings. A quote on the front cover describes the book as a mix between Mythbusters and Frank Peretti. In reading the book, I saw plenty of the latter, but [Read More…]

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Global Conspiracy

From People In White Coats. [Read more…]

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Whom Can We Trust?

Yesterday in my class on religion and science fiction, we began discussing Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Year of the Flood. On the same day, news broke of a salmonella outbreak in multiple states involving some seven different strains of the illness, with CDC workers returning to work despite the so-called government shutdown. News also [Read More…]

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Fundamentalism and Conspiracy Theories

Jeri Massi has been blogging about the connection between Christian fundamentalism and conspiracy theories. Here is a taste from her second post about this subject: [C]onspiracy theories are launched and spread by people who need an excuse for their powerlessness. And some psychologists warn that avid fans of conspiracy theories: those who go from one [Read More…]

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Paranoid Christians Providing Entertainment

Many of you have probably seen the round-up of “The 35 Best Times Someone on Facebook Thought The Onion Was Real.” I am saddened by how many of them involve gullibility on the part of Christians. Here are some examples: There is an entire web site, “Literally Unbelievable,” dedicated to The Onion being taken seriously on Facebook. Once [Read More…]

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Worst Conspiracy Ever (Dinosaur Skin and Creationism)

Eye on the ICR has a post about the discovery of some soft material from a dead dinosaur that had survived down to the present day. Not surprisingly, some young-earth creationists have tried to misrepresent it in order to imply that it shows that dinosaurs lived more recently. But it does nothing of the sort, [Read More…]

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