What Do Aliens, Climate Change And Princess Di Have In Common?
The article answers. A person who believes one conspiracy theory is more likely to believe another, and a person who believes conspiracy theories is less likely to believe scientific findings or be scientifically literate, implying some underlying, generalized manner of thinking that is crucial to being scientific. I find this interesting when compared with another favorite tidbit of mine, which is that people with higher IQs and more advanced college degrees are more likely to believe conspiracy theories. You would think those things would not have a positive correlation with rejecting science, but these findings put together would imply that they do.
I suppose to anyone who has spoken with a conspiracy theorist it is unsurprising to hear that the theories cluster together, and a person who believes one believes many others. For the general public the big finding of this work is that denial of global warming clusters in with the others. For that reason, I suppose, it is the focus of the piece above. In other words, if you think think global warming is a hoax, you are also much more likely to believe the moon landing was hoaxed, or that Barack Obama is a Muslim from Kenya.
In a rather comical turn, the author of the paper has been subjected to accusations of carrying out an intentionally flawed study with some sort of ulterior, possibly conspiratorial motive.
For his part, the author says the findings are no shock, because scientific thinking and conspiracy theory thinking are essentially opposites. This seems like an interesting pronouncement. In what ways do you suppose the two are opposites? I suppose the one only ever comes to tentative conclusions derived from empirical evidence, while the other comes to absolute conclusion expounding upon little to no research, perhaps infinitely.