Using Conspiracy Theories as Evidence

I’ve seen an irritating trend over the years that seems to be quite prevalent on social media these days, and that is the use of conspiracy theories as evidence of something happening.

Some people will simply post links to the conspiracy theories without saying anything. Okay, that’s fine. I have no idea if they support it or are just making fun of it. But when getting into a discussion about things like asteroids or comets hitting the earth, vaccinations causing autism, jet contrails, and so on, some people will post the conspiracy theory links to support their argument.  My problem with this is that conspiracy theorists tend to look at unsubstantiated evidence (that is, it’s completely made up) or they take a set of real evidence and ignore the vast majority of it that would prove that they’re liars.  Conspiracy theories are unscientific. They do not follow any kind of testing or gathering of evidence required for things like science, forensics, or any criminal investigation. They usually start out as a conclusion, then they sift through the evidence to find one little piece that supports them, no matter how insignificant it is. And the rest of the evidence they throw away, mostly because it would completely refute what they claim.

Well, if anyone posts a conspiracy theory to support their opinion, then their claim has absolutely no credibility. None. You may say I’m closed-minded and that I’m ignoring the evidence, but that’s simply not true. I look at the evidence.  All of it. I don’t pick and choose. That’s why I know that conspiracy theories are nothing but bullshit. You have an extraordinary claim? Then show me all the evidence, and maybe I’ll believe it. Don’t like to some conspiracy theorist’s website. I want legitimate sources.

You may ask why I’m posting about this. Well, I’ve been seeing a rather large volume of posts like this on various social media platforms lately, and have even recently been told several conspiracy theories by someone in person who seems to get caught up in it.  And frankly, it’s irritation.  Not only that, it can be dangerous. Conspiracy theories may look rational on the surface, but the more you question and examine them, the more you realise that they are completely illogical. As a person trained in the scientific method, I naturally question things and want to find the answers. However, conspiracy theories defy logic. When I see people talking about these things as if they’re truth, I want to argue, but I know there’s no changing their minds. They’re so sure of it, they are blinded to the bulk of evidence against their claim.

So, this is a warning to you. If you respond to something I say on Facebook, Twitter, or even on this blog with a conspiracy theory, you have no credibility.