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Conspiracy theories, from creationism to resistance to vaccines, and what can be done against them

"Brandolini's Law" states that the amount of energy required to disprove a conspiracy theory is ten times the amount of energy required to produce it

Up to 40% of adults in the United States today agree with "young earth creationists", who believe that all humans are descendants of Adam and Eve who lived about 10,000 years ago. They believe that life is a product of creation rather than evolution and common descent. They established a creation museum where humans live alongside dinosaurs, when today's scientific knowledge states that man's ancestors evolved only about six million years ago, while almost all dinosaurs, except for their descendants the birds, became extinct long before that - 75 million years ago, and apparently due to A meteor hit the earth. They wrote and published research literature that does not meet the criteria of scientific research, because in scientific research the writer does not know in advance what the conclusion is, while the creationist "research" begins by determining the conclusion in advance, manipulating every piece of evidence to fit the conclusion, and ignoring any fact that contradicts the conclusion.

Paul Breiterman from the University of Glasgow in Scotland Claims Creationism has the characteristics of a conspiracy theory: creationists claim that behind the theory of evolution there is an entire universe in which organizations with their own separate laws determine the essence of evidence and scientific proof; that the scientific establishment that arrogantly and arrogantly promotes evolution is a morally corrupt elite; This elite conspires to take over all the jobs in the academy and all the research grants; That this elite is trying to promote a materialistic philosophy devoid of a higher providence, and in short, to promote atheism; And that the supreme goal of the conspirators is to deny any divine authority, and the supreme beneficiary and the main motive for the conspirators' action is Satan. Among those who claim it was so Member of the Science Committee in the United States Congress. 

The study of the past is presented as unprovable

Creationists define the study of the past as research based on unprovable assumptions, while ignoring genetic, geological, andIce core research, dating using tree rings (Dendrochronology) and methods dating Radiometrics. Creationists attack falsification of evidence in science, such as Piltdown man scam, while ignoring the fact that it was science itself that discovered the forgery and denounced it using its own methods. The creationists criticize evolutionary studies from the 19th century and point out inaccuracies in them, while ignoring the fact that in the 19th century the theory of evolution was not as established as it is today. Countless fossils have since confirmed the predictions of evolution since then. The discovery of DNA and its role in the middle of the 20th century proved the existence of everything phylogenetic tree (lineage of species) whose existence evolution predicted. The creationists ignore all of this and attack the research of 19th century scientists, who did not have a single trace of the tremendous knowledge available to science today. Creationists though Purchasers advanced degrees in biology whose goal is to destroy the science of biology from within, as they unashamedly admit, thereby meeting all the hallmarks of a conspiracy. 

Creationism, a response to the continuing accumulation of evidence for evolution, began in the 20s and gained momentum with its arrival in public education in the XNUMXs and with the publication of bestsellers such as "The Genesis Flood" by John Whitcomb and Henry Morris. Morris founded the "Institute for Creation Research", and other institutions arose in this spirit, with publications, websites and even museums. These institutions and their publications are hostile to science, but present themselves as scientific in order to receive a little of the aura of authority and prestige of science, as totalitarian regimes such as North Korea, the former East Germany and Cuba boasted and still boast of the title "democracy" or "people's democracy". Some of these organizations claim that science and religion can be reconciled, and rely on scientists such as Stephen J. Gould, who coined the term "non-overlapping kingdoms" (Non-overlapping magisteria), to indicate that science deals with facts, religion deals with values, and these should not be confused. Gold was one of the best public relations people of evolution, but his hasty words on the issue of values ​​and morality were used by creationists to claim that science has nothing to say about values, and therefore every other secular theory - moral philosophy, humanism, liberalism, social democracy, etc. - has nothing to say either. say in these matters. This is how the conspiracy of the creationists, according to which evolution is the devil's messenger, also expanded to matters of morality, values ​​and ethics. Scientific research findings, such as the observations and studies of France de Val About animals, can teach about natural morality. This is how science becomes relevant in understanding the human soul and in discussing social morality and social laws. Thus another component of the creationists' conspiracy theory is refuted. 

Confused by the overwhelming abundance of information

Demonization of the corona vaccines. Illustration: depositphotos.com
Demonization of the corona vaccines. Illustration: depositphotos.com

But most of the people who follow conspiracy theorists are not conspirators themselves. They hesitate, doubt and are confused by the enormous, unprecedented abundance of information on the web, information that is mostly false. Because they are afraid, they do not look for reassuring news but for the scary news, to know what to watch out for. The evolutionary source for this is clear: in our ancient past, six million years ago, in the savannahs of Africa, we were mammals without natural weapons, in the middle of the food chain between the super-carnivores from which we fled and the small mammals that we tried to hunt. In these millions of years, complacency could have brought us to its end and fear served our survival. He who was afraid, survived, therefore scary things attract our attention more. We perceive studies on health risks - for example, food dyes and electromagnetic fields - as more reliable when their results indicate a danger, and less reliable when the results deny the existence of a danger. That is why conspiracy theories succeed in convincing: they are frightening, world-wide and offer unequivocal and simple answers to the question "Who is the cause of the danger?" They point to a politician, a tycoon, a limited liability company or a state as the arch-villain, thus making it possible to find one guilty factor, to give an apparent explanation for what is happening (an explanation that actually explains nothing), and to get rid of the terrifying feeling of not knowing.

Arguing with conspirators can cause harm in several ways: first, it gives the conspirator a public platform and an aura of respectability. The onlooker might think there is something in his arguments. Otherwise why does anyone bother to argue with him? Second, it's a waste of time. "Brandolini's law” states that the amount of energy needed to disprove a conspiracy theory is ten times the amount of energy required to produce it, and after the theory has been disproved, the conspirator moves on to a new conspiracy claim and attaches a link to a scientific article that he claims proves his claim. The link is usually unrelated to the claim, and sometimes even refutes it, but the general public reads the claim, sees that there is a link to scientific research, is convinced by the scientific appearance, and once again the conspiracy debunker is forced to start chasing the ghost. In the last year and a half, I consumed too much quality time and hours of sleep and expended too many nerves in refuting fake news that was casually put into the air but convinced my concerned relatives and therefore required hours of searching and reading from me to trace its source and refute it. For my peace of mind, I created a few rules of thumb for myself:

There is no doubt

Demonization of the corona vaccines. Illustration: depositphotos.com
Demonization of the corona vaccines. Illustration: depositphotos.com

- If the claimant states that he has no doubt and that he knows everything, it is probably a conspiracy theory. The basis of science is the opposite: recognition that there are things we still don't know. Until today, the public has only seen the result of science: the doubling of life expectancy within a hundred years; eradication of diseases that killed every second child up to the age of five; Improving the quality of life for most of humanity. But the general public has never seen the scientific process in real time, and now, during the Corona period, it is being exposed to it for the first time. Science is a process of learning, recognizing mistakes and correcting them, hypotheses and refutations, disputes, hesitations, doubts and intra-scientific debates. Regarding the corona vaccine, we know that the vaccine does not harm fertility and that the vaccine does not cause ADE (increasing the activity of the virus depending on the antibodies), but we still do not know how quickly the antibodies fade and what is the likelihood that a new variant of the virus will succeed in overcoming the protection provided by the vaccine. The public interprets this as evidence that science does not know what it is doing, but science has always acted this way, and this is the only way it has achieved all its achievements. Science admits ignorance, but no conspirator has ever cast doubt on his theory. When you hear a claim made with absolute certainty, it's probably a conspiracy theory.

There are cases that are better to ignore

– Better to pick your battles. Don't get into any arguments. The claim "the pharmaceutical companies are making billions from the epidemic" can be answered briefly: "Well, is this new? They made a profit even before the epidemic", or: "And they are worth every penny. Even before the plague, you never expected that whoever would save your life would do it for free." To the claim "vaccines are a conspiracy to thin out the population of humanity", one can answer with a shrug: "for now, the one who is thinning out humanity is the corona virus." And in fact, most conspiracy theories are best ignored, for two reasons: First, such answers may not help. Prof. Eyal Winter Load: "When there is a polarization in positions, advocacy not only cannot cast doubt among those who are already convinced of their position, but can even intensify the polarization." A person who comes across a figure that contradicts his belief, goes with his private feeling and does not perform an analytical analysis. When we silence rational thought, areas of our mind that are activated during pleasure are activated. In 2004, the brains of Americans listening to presidential candidates were scanned. When the subject listened to the segment in which his preferred candidate contradicted himself, a part of the brain associated with rational, causal and critical thinking became silent, and areas involved in processing emotions were activated. The respondents refused to acknowledge that their candidate was talking nonsense. 

Dopamine release

Exposure to information that confirms previous beliefs is associated with dopamine release and good feelings. We remember such information better than information that contradicts prior beliefs and knowledge. If the conspiracy theorist's opinion is contradicted, his opinion will only get stronger. When a conspirator spreads a conspiracy theory online, hundreds of likes will not motivate him to continue writing as much as one dissenting opinion, with which he can argue and thus strengthen his opinion, both in his own eyes and in the eyes of his followers. 

And secondly, there are conspiracy theories that if you convince the holder that they are wrong, nothing will change. For example, if you convince an evolution denier of the fact of evolution, at most his education and way of searching for the facts will change. Conversely, if you convince a vaccine denier of the effectiveness of vaccines, his life may be saved, and if you convince a Kewannon supporter that the theory he supports is a conspiracy theory, the danger to the regime in the United States, as demonstrated by the invasion of Congress on January 6, 2021, may be at least significantly. 

Therefore, both to increase the chances of convincing your interlocutor and not to waste your time, you should take the old "don't feed the troll" Internet debate approach: ignore the urge to debunk the conspiracy theory, and instead focus on the fact you most need to establish: e.g. , in the current corona crisis, how the vaccine works: a messenger RNA molecule is inserted into muscle cells. The ribosome, the protein replicating organ in the cell, uses the information that this molecule conveys to it to replicate the "spike" protein. The cell displays this protein on its envelope. The immune system is alerted and produces antibodies to the corona virus. that's it. It's a process that will either way happen when the corona virus enters our body, but the vaccine prepares the immune system in advance, teaches it to recognize the virus before it enters, and thus allows the antibodies to be formed earlier. All the studies and observations of those hospitalized due to Corona indicate that the vaccine reduces the likelihood of serious illness or death by more than 90%. This is what we need to emphasize in the public debate to encourage people to believe in science. Any deviation to discuss conspiracy theories - Bill Gates, G-Five or billions of dollars in profits for pharmaceutical companies - could be ammunition in the hand of the conspirators.

- There is nothing like saying the phrase "conspiracy theory" to upset people who believe in conspiracy theories. It is better not to use this phrase. The fight is about health, not about one expression or another, and not about the lost dignity of the health system or the pharmaceutical companies. 

- Remember that it is much more likely that a wise man belongs to the camp of the skeptics, the wondering, the fearful, than that he initiates or actively supports the spread of a conspiracy theory. For everyone who firmly states that there is a conspiracy, or actively spreads a conspiracy theory, there are many who say: "I heard that...", express fear and look for information. Don't argue with them. Give them information and direct them to reliable and scientific sources of information. We can only hope that they will make the right decision, according to the scientific information currently known, and that they will slowly realize that if they scared them with one conspiracy theory, which was proven to be false, and then they scared them with another theory, which was also proven to be false, and this happens again and again, apparently the spreaders of conspiracy theories spread Not true, but - well, conspiracy theories are invalid. 

Success for all of us.

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21 תגובות

  1. hard to catch
    The writer gives the impression of having a high writing ability, perhaps also an education.
    But wow, how much arrogance, arrogance and stereotypes for one and a half shekels.

  2. A simple answer for all lovers of millions:
    Stupid science came up with these imaginary numbers by a fairly simple mathematical operation, called extrapolation, just measured changes on scales that could be measured, within the limits of a scientist's research time... and performed a simple estimated linear calculation, of course ignoring dozens of other parameters that might exist, such as deceleration/acceleration A constant of changes along the way due to natural and unnatural causes... so these very fascinating numbers spread in the world... 20 million years... 150 million years... as if someone wrote a date on them... and as such, everyone without independent thinking believes in their hearts as if science was really there to verify the findings.
    A small example: let's say a scientist comes to study a baby kangaroo, when we don't know how big it is when it grows up.
    And at the age of a day, he weighs 50 grams, and at the age of 3 days he weighs 350 grams. According to the same calculation, he concludes that at the age of 15 he will weigh 70000 tons...
    Sound silly? So is the religion of science, one for one.

  3. Well, it's time for you to confess (and of course it won't happen)
    that the academic world rises above the rest of the world.
    Broadcasting to the world that discoveries he made were actually made up by him, ignoring the fact that it existed before he made them.
    A topical example of the article: Darwin devoted an entire chapter in his theory to a question to which he himself admitted he had no answer - "Why is there not a single finding in the world of productions from 'intermediate' families, i.e. if the common ancestor of the rooster and the ostrich... and there are millions of years between them, i.e. millions Fathers and mothers, who developed on the way... so why is there not a single finding for those who were 'born and died' on the way?
    Darwin's empty answer was, more than 200 years ago... that they had not yet explored the whole world..
    However, after such a huge development of the world, this answer sounds more and more ridiculous, moreover, at the end of his days Darwin himself doubted the theory that he himself had developed.

    Another example of the academic world's monopoly on humanity/humanity:
    None of them will ever teach you at the university that Newton at the end of his days left his will to humanity, that "all the knowledge he studied was for the glory of God in heaven".
    So friends, there is a law that says, "Truth, there is only one, a lie, can come in any possible form, what makes the lie, weak, and the truth, strong forever!"

  4. A certain dissonance that has always bothered me in the opponents of vaccines is the militancy in their speech.
    If it really is poison that I agreed to be injected with and thanks to it you too can live a normal life - where is the gratitude for the sacrifice?
    I am also young, healthy and will probably survive infection and I also do not know if in a decade I will grow horns due to this innovative injection and I still agreed to it out of consideration for the collective. So in which section are you the one who is condescending to me?

  5. Prof. David Aviezer's book was mentioned, as well as others

    It is unfortunate that part of modern Judaism has taken ideas from the Christian fundamentalists (may they rejoice in the day when it disappears).
    Judaism has always separated religion from science - many Jewish scientists are believers, and do not mix faith with science. I recommend learning from them

  6. These are not activist agendas today. Science is under an all-out attack right on the brink of legitimacy. Unfortunately, I have not met many religious people who speak on different levels. Most of them accept the Torah as a book of history and science.

  7. Too bad you fell into the trap. Belief in creation does not contradict any part of science, not necessarily the theory of evolution (which is also questionable as a scientific theory. Let's see if you can bring me an experiment that disproves evolution...).

    There are many explanations of how evolution does not contradict creation, from the simplistic claim that the world was created in such a way that to man it would appear to be an ancient world, through the claim you made that faith does not describe reality but values ​​(and no, there are no values ​​in science. Secular philosophy tries to build its values ​​*on* Science, but of course it's not scientific but morality is by definition metaphysical.), to the claim that we have a fundamental barrier to understanding the process of the world's development because the world didn't necessarily run the way it runs now (just as the reality of a living person is different from the reality of the development of the fetus).

    After all, creation is not a conspiracy theory but a belief that does not contradict and does not deal with the plane of science, but rather with the metaphysical dimensions of the world.

    Conspiracists are people who come from all directions and backgrounds, and I suspect there are even more secular ones because they are more exposed to the false information on the Internet.

    Until now, I actually quite appreciated the site and its scientific objectivity, and it's a shame that you are destroying it with writers with agendas who try to inject their philosophical thoughts into science. Look at the rest of this writer's articles and you will understand what I mean.

  8. Too bad you fell into the trap. Belief in creation does not contradict any part of science, not necessarily the theory of evolution (which is also questionable as a scientific theory. Let's see if you can bring me an experiment that disproves evolution...).

    There are many explanations of how evolution does not contradict creation, from the simplistic claim that the world was created in such a way that to man it would appear to be an ancient world, through the claim you made that faith does not describe reality but values ​​(and no, there are no values ​​in science. Secular philosophy tries to build its values ​​*on* Science, but of course it's not scientific but morality is by definition metaphysical.), to the claim that we have a fundamental barrier to understanding the process of the world's development because the world didn't necessarily run the way it runs now (just as the reality of a living person is different from the reality of the development of the fetus).

    After all, creation is not a conspiracy theory but a belief that does not contradict and does not deal with the plane of science, but rather with the metaphysical dimensions of the world.

    Conspiracists are people who come from all directions and backgrounds, and I suspect there are even more secular ones because they are more exposed to the false information on the Internet.

    Until now, I actually quite appreciated the site and its scientific objectivity, and it's a shame that you are destroying it with writers with agendas who try to inject their philosophical thoughts into science.

  9. The difference between conspiracy and reality is at least half a year. Every conspiracy that existed in our country turned out to be true. Like the children of Yemen. Like the children of the ringworm. Like the imposition of vaccinations that will harm us.
    Conspiracy is a word that proves those who think and investigate. They are made to look delusional and that way they can continue to harm civilians without interruption. It's called mk ultra

  10. The "scientist" disparages various opinions, and this is already a good enough reason to disparage his opinions. I will not enter into a debate about religion. This is a long and complex matter. There are people who will not understand the matter for a lifetime, and it is a shame for them. Regarding vaccinations, there is a bottom line, the vulnerability of those who are vaccinated and there is no This is a debate, I tend to believe that the "scientist" writes this out of the deadness of his heart and innocence and not out of sheer evil and cruel greed as the wealthy people at the top of the pyramid do, I have all the hope that the old scientists will finally wake up and move to our side, this is a fight for a better humanity both scientifically and Socially and in this struggle we are all in the same boat.

  11. How is science different from religion?
    You can write a whole book about it, but I will summarize: it is not different.
    The only difference is that with religion half of your children will die before the age of 5 and with science they will all live full lives.
    With religion you will live to the age of forty and with science twice as long.
    With religion you will sit in the dark at night and with science you will play on the internet in the light.
    Your choice...

  12. For a biter:

    1. *about* 10000 years.
    2. An educated guess: you believe in the biblical story of creation and by the fact that you stopped reading immediately after finding two inaccuracies you strengthened Mr. Amir's main argument. so cheeky

  13. Creationism does not dispute the scientific findings but explains them differently. A wonderful book by Prof. David Aviezer called Berashit Bara demonstrates well the difference between a denial of a finding and an alternative explanation for a finding. The problem with the staunch believers of the theory of spontaneous evolution is the same problem as the devout creationists. Both are unwilling to consider another explanation for the same finding. There is no difference between them. Both are not scientists. When there is an alternative explanation then the theory, however beautiful it may be, is not proven. A rational person finds it difficult to believe that a random sequence of events caused the development of all the flora and fauna on Earth. When the rational encounters a barrier it will look for a less rational explanation. 'Sherlock Holmes' explained this when he said that if there is no explanation then the explanation that gives an answer is the correct one even if it is implausible. So there is a debate as to which is less rational. Creation by an unknown creator or self-creation. Well, Schwinn.

  14. Perhaps you can also explain to us what cognitive dissonance is and how it can be treated? The reporter seems to deny reality..

  15. If you're going to try to give your "scientific" opinion, at least be accurate with the facts.

    1) Creationists do not claim that Adam and Eve lived 10000 years ago but before 5782 (the creation of the world).
    2) The dinosaurs did not become extinct 75 million years ago but 65-66 million years ago.

    This whole article feels like a need to disparage opinions different from yours, and this is a quality that no scientist should have, of course every Monday and Thursday theories change, even ones that everyone was sure were correct, that's why it's called a theory.

    I didn't bother to read the rest of your article (after these two mistakes).
    A populist article and without any value that I would expect to receive from "Hidan"

    A little respect for the language won't hurt you

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