Wednesday, 16 October 2019

"A theory is a sophisticated, systematic organisation of evidence, a real intellectual achievement. The intellectual monstrosities constructed without attention to the evidence that are often dubbed 'conspiracy theories are nothing of the sort. They don’t even qualify as valid hypotheses." #QotD


"From 'truthers' and 'birthers,' and from Flat Earthers to 'QAnon,' so-called conspiracy theorists have been garnering more and more attention, especially because President Donald Trump himself has been known to promote this kind of baseless speculation...
    "One flaw with the practice is that it explains events by reference to hidden agendas of nefarious agents when appealing to the conventional motives of ordinary public figures can do the job.
    "It is important to distinguish real theories and real hypotheses from what are commonly called 'conspiracy theories.' A theory is a sophisticated, systematic organisation of evidence, a real intellectual achievement. Even to form a valid hypothesis about a matter, you first need to know a lot. The intellectual monstrosities constructed without attention to the evidence that are often dubbed 'conspiracy theories are nothing of the sort. They don’t even qualify as valid hypotheses...
    "Baseless claims about conspiracies tend to attract 'crackpots' precisely because they are claims about secret plots. It is all too easy to claim that the reason there is no evidence for a conspiracy is that the conspirators have worked to cover it up. When claims about secret plots or coverups spread quickly, before there is time for the evidence to come in, it’s a good early sign — like smoke where there’s fire — that the claims spreading are mere conspiracism. This is the proper pejorative term to describe the phenomenon of asserting baseless claims about the existence of conspiracies..."

          ~ Ben Bayer, 'Analysing the Conspiracist Firestorm over Notre Dame'
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2 comments:

  1. When claims about secret plots or coverups spread quickly, before there is time for the evidence to come in, it’s a good early sign — like smoke where there’s fire — that the claims spreading are mere conspiracism.

    No, this statement is just as illogical as most conspiracy theories. The speed of how fast an idea spreads is not evidence of its truth or falsity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, on its own it's not evidence. It's a good early sign that you should *seek* evidence.

      Delete

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