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"Three can keep a secret if two are dead."
Benjamin Franklin

Well, actually two people can keep a secret. Just not more than two: "7 Secrets Only Two Living People Know (For Some Reason)" By Kathy Benjamin
"5 Ridiculous Secrets Only Two Living People Know: Part 2" By: Kathy Benjamin, M. Asher Cantrell

The conspiracy theory is a favorite for the paranoid. It is a convenient answer when the numbers just don't add up. It takes no real proof, and often the absence of proof is just proof it exists! They all just KNOW they have "The Truth" and are uninterested in anything that might challenge that belief. Science doesn't matter. Evidence doesn't matter. Reason itself doesn't matter. None of that matters, other than how they can be twisted to reach the desired conclusions, and any scientific evidence conflicting with that belief system must to them be the result of a coverup. This is all just like a cult, where, the more evidence is presented to members that they are in a cult, the more tightly they cling to their cultish beliefs.

Karen Douglas On Conspiracy Theories:

Jamie Bartlett and Carl Miller on 'Truth And The Net':

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial:

Denialism: Media in the Age of Disinformation - Michael Specter, Chris Mooney, Shannon Brownlee, Shankar Vedantam

Chris Mooney and Dr. Ben Santer on Communicating Climate Change (can be applied to almost any form of denialism):


New York Times - "Numberplay: Rare Coincidences Are Very Common!" By PRADEEP MUTALIK
"6 Insane Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened" By Jacopo della Quercia
"5 Minor Screw-ups That Created The Modern World" By Jacopo della Quercia
"8 Absurd Jokes That Predicted Real Life Events" By Simon Bower
"Top 10 Most Remarkable Coincidences in History"
"5 Creepy Coincidences You Won't Believe Actually Happened" By Jacopo della Quercia

Grand Conspiracy Theorists typically rely on a lot of eyewitness testimony:

But is eyewitness testimony reliable?

Why eyewitness testimony is a weak form of evidence here and here
“The Martian Panic Sixty Years Later: What Have We Learned?” by Robert E. Bartholomew
“Two Mass Delusions in New England” by Robert E. Bartholomew
"What America’s greatest hoax has to teach us about memory" By Michael Rosch
"When testimonials are used in medical advertising" by Orac
"The Wooliness of Memory" by Daniel Loxton
"Exploiting psychology in law and advertising." By William Saletan
"Change Blindness" By Steven Novella
"5 Mind Blowing Ways Your Memory Plays Tricks On You" By Matt Moore
"More Evidence Our Memory Stinks" By Steven Novella
Wired - "Ads Implant False Memories" By Jonah Lehrer
"Implanting False Memory" By Steven Novella
"How Friends Ruin Memory: The Social Conformity Effect" By Jonah Lehrer
"The False Memory Trap: How Our Brains Are Constantly Distorting The Past" By Chris Weller

Richard Wiseman - colour changing card trick:

Monkey Business Illusion:

'Invisible Gorilla' Test Shows How Little We Notice By Charles Q. Choi

Playing Mind Games:

Skeptic Check podcast - Plotting Along

"Crank Magnetism" by Mark Hoofnagle
The "vindication of all kooks" corollary to the principle of crank magnetism by Orac
"Crank magnetism strikes again" by Orac
Crank magnetism at a young age: Anti-vaccine "resistance" and 9/11 Truth by Orac
"Straw men and projection: Tools of quacks and conspiracy theorists to deflect critical thinking" by Orac

"From global warming to fluoride: Why do people deny science?" BY AJIT VARKI AND DANNY BROWER
"The Conspiracy Meme" by Ted Goertzel
How To Generate Scientific Controversy
How To Monetize Scientific Controversy
Scientific American - "Why People Believe in Conspiracies" by Michael Shermer
Cracked.com gives a spectacular 411 on grand conspiracy theories
Live Science - "Top Ten Conspiracy Theories"
"Top 10 Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories" by Alexander Zaitchik
"Conspiracy Science" by Steven Novella
Psychology Today - "The Narcissus in All of Us" by Joshua D. Foster and Ilan Shrira
"What happens when you study conspiracy theories? The conspiracy theorists make up conspiracy theories about you!"
"Martin Gardner’s Signs of a Crank" by Brian Dunning
Skeptic's Dictionary - "Illuminati, The New World Order & Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists (PCTs)"
"The Shady Agendas Behind 5 Popular Conspiracy Theories" by Mark Hill
"5 Pathetic Groups That People Think Rule the World" By Fernando Espino
"Chemtrails in the Sky Are Evidence of Nefarious Activities for Broad-Based Conspiracy Theorists" By Alexander Zaitchik,
"Conspiracy Thinking – Skepticism’s Evil Twin" by Steven Novella
"Skepticism 101: Are THEY out to get us? by Michael Rosch
"Conspiracy behind Conspiracy Theories?" by Bob Maschi
"6 People Who Secretly Ruled The World" By Andre Fernandes
"7 Insane Conspiracies That Actually Happened" By Ned Resnikoff, Peter Hildebrand
"The ten best conspiracy theories" By Matilda Battersby
"The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science" by ROBERT L. PARK
Denialists all use the same tactics and logical errors by PalMD
"Unified theory of the crank" by Mark Hoofnagle
Wikipedia - Crank (person)
"The psychology of crankery" by Mark Hoofnagle
Wired Magazine - "The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories" By Jonah Lehrer
"I’m skeptical of denialism" by Phil Plait
What Would Convince You That You Were Wrong? by Greta Christina
The life cycle of grand conspiracy theories by Michael Rosch
"Conspiracy" by Mark Hoofnagle
"Denialism in the Literature" by Mark Hoofnagle
"Angels and Demons - Feeding our love of conspiracies" by Mark Hoofnagle
The A-Team blog "Proof they're out to get us? Not so much."
"Confessions of a Non–Serial Killer" by Michael O’Hare
Study - "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments" by Justin Kruger and David Dunning
"The Golden Age of Conspiracy" by Nick Cohan
The A-Team blog "Conspiracists see hidden messages in TV shows "
"Cranks, quacks, and peer review" by David Gorski
Anomaly Hunting
"Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia: Notes from a Mind-Control Conference" by Evan Harrington
And here's a short description of common denialist tactics framed around a discussion of Global Warming Denial
Rotten.com Library- Conspiracies
“There must be a reason,” or how we support our own false beliefs by David Gorski
Ten Characteristics of Conspiracy Theorists
"Conspiracies and Hitchhikers"
"Conspiracy Mongering at Age of Autism" by Steven Novella
Top 10 Swine Flu conspiracy theories
"The New World Order is Coming for You!" by Staks
NPR - "Refusing Flu Shots? Maybe You're A 'Denialist'"
Factcheck.org - "Whoppers of 2009: We review the choicest falsehoods from a year that kept us busy." by Lori Robertson, Brooks Jackson and Jess Henig
The 12 Weirdest Right-Wing Conspiracies Of 2009
"Science Denial on the Rise" by Steven Newton
"The 5 Creepiest Unsolved Crimes Nobody Can Explain" By Evan Kasindorf
"The 5 Creepiest Unexplained Broadcasts" By Evan Kasindorf
"The danger of science denialism" by Orac
When right wing loons try to "do" science involving vaccines or HIV/AIDS... by Orac
"The business of denial"
"Are one person's iconoclastic views another person's denialism?" by Orac
Point of Inquiry podcast - "Michael Specter - The Menace of Denialism"
"Infinity + 1" by Michael Rosch
"Lazy conspiracy theorists" by Michael Rosch
"The U.S. Army’s Weed Weapon: A Paranoid But True Conspiracy" By: Robert Brockway
Point of Inquiry podcast - "Naomi Oreskes - Merchants of Doubt"
"The genetics of autism" by David Gorski
"The 6 Most Misguided Causes Ever Made Famous by Celebrities" By Will Kriegshauser
"5 Absurd (But Mind Blowing) Pop Culture Conspiracy Theories" By Jacopo della Quercia
"The Nature of Consensus" by Steven Novella
“Conspiracies and plot holes” by Michael Rosch
"The Context of Anecdotes and Anomalies" by Steven Novella
"Conspiracy Central: Dealey Plaza, JFK, and LHO" by Michael Shermer
"I Can Fly" by Steven Novella
"What is it about mid-April and violence in America?" By Tricia Escobedo
"Why conspiracy theories die hard" By Brendan Nyhan
"When facts fail: UFO cults, 'birthers' and cognitive dissonance" By Susan Perry
"Belief in Conspiracies Linked to Machiavellian Mindset" By Tom Jacobs
"The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science" By Chris Mooney
Jesse “The Body” Ventura versus Michael “The Mind” Shermer by Michael Shermer
"Straw men and projection: Tools of quacks and conspiracy theorists to deflect critical thinking" by Orac
‘Heads I Win, Tails You Lose’: How Parapsychologists Nullify Null Results by Richard Wiseman
"The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science" by Chris Mooney
"A Consilience of Observations" by Donald Prothero
"The Tablo Story: A Disturbing Case of Motivated Reasoning and the Internet" by Chris Mooney
"Why The Scientifically Literate Can Believe Silly Things" by Chris Mooney
"Juicy Post-Hoc Reasoning" by Steven Novella
Scientific American - "Why People Believe Conspiracy Theories" by Michael Shermer
Scientific American - "Conspiracy Contradictions" by Michael Shermer
"12 Million Americans Believe Lizard People Run Our Country" by PHILIP BUMP
National Geographic - "Fact Checking 6 Persistent Science Conspiracy Theories" by Ker Than
"12 Million Americans Believe Lizard People Run Our Country" by PHILIP BUMP
"Conspiracy theorists flummoxed in face of actual scandals" BY ALEX SEITZ-WALD
New York Times - "Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories" By MAGGIE KOERTH-BAKER
"The Real Problem with Conspiracy Theories" By Paul Rosenberg
"5 Conspiracy Theories That Are Shockingly Easy to Debunk" By Douglas A. McDonnell & M. Asher Cantrell
"Conspiracy theories: the science behind belief in secret plots" by Dean Burnett
"Right, left, wrong: people reject science because …" by Stephan Lewandowsky
"Inconvenient Truth-Tellers" By Scott Sleek
"If You Distrust Vaccines, You're More Likely to Think NASA Faked the Moon Landings" By Chris Mooney
"The Creeping Danger of Conspiracy Theorists" by Kurt Eichenwald
"Could An Evil Mega-Corporation Ever Exist In Real Life?" by Rob Boffard
"Who Falls for Conspiracy Theories?" BY TOM JACOBS

Conspiracy Skeptic Unplugged Episode 16 - Conspiracy Con X
Skepticality podcast #136 - Voodoo History - Guest: David Aaronovitch

In their own words:
An Alex Jones Kool-Aid drinker's hilarious response to Psychologist John Gartner's piece in Psychology Today about conspiracy theorists
An Alex Jones Kool-Aid drinker's use of $cientology's playbook to demonize mental health professionals (And yes, it invokes Nazi comparisons)
An Alex Jones Kool-Aid drinker's crazy response to The New Republic for writing an article critical of Jones

How government agencies and the media REALLY respond when pharmaceutical companies misbehave. (Notice the total lack of collusion):
“Contractor Questions Order to Remove Motrin From Shelves" by Dr. RICHARD BESSER and BRINDA ADHIKARI

For a great primer on debunking many of the popular grand conspiracy theories, check out the podcast, "The Conspiracy Skeptic here.

Swallowing the Camel blog
Conspiracy Science

Jon Ronson at Boston Skeptics in the Pub:

Boston Skeptics in the Pub - Jon Ronson - May 9th, 2010 from Maggie McFee on Vimeo.

Conspiracy theories that won’t die:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Point of Inquiry podcast - "Robert Sheaffer - It’s a Conspiracy"
Point of Inquiry podcast - "Jonathan Kay - Among the Truthers"

"Conspiracy Thinking – Skepticism’s Evil Twin" by Steven Novella
"5 Conspiracy Theories That Are Shockingly Easy to Debunk" (#5) By Douglas A. McDonnell & M. Asher Cantrell
"Why JFK Conspiracy Theories Won’t Go Away" by Michael Shermer
Why Conspiracy Theorists Are So Obsessed With JFK's "Umbrella Man" by Steven Novella

National Geographic News - "The Lost Symbol" and the Freemasons: 8 Myths Decoded by Brian Handwerk
"Funny handshakes and bizarre initiation ceremonies? Myths and the Freemasons" by David Henry

Alex Jones A Cult Leader here and here.

Conspiracy Skeptic - Alex Jones' End Game:

Christian idiocy - Alex Jones:

Skeptoid podcast #225 - Beware the Bilderberg Group!
"The Bilderberg Group on Wikileaks" by Brian Dunning
Wired Magazine - "The Brain Eating Vaccine Conspiracy" By Jonah Lehrer
"Alex Jones is not too swift"
"Alex Jones is the King of All Crackpots"

"Alex Jones is a liar."

"I have ranted against Alex Jones as many of you already know. I believe he seriously distracts and drains resources from legitimate issues. Here are some of the reasons I do not support his agenda:
* Spreads erroneous, discredited information
* Elevates rumors and conspiracy theories to the status of facts; rarely provides sources for outrageous statements
* Misinterprets and/or misrepresents news items, legislation, government documents, etc., to bring them in line with his belief that the world's elite are carrying out systematic repression against all people in preparation for the installation of a "New World Order"
* Uses this misinformation to instill fear, anger, and panic in his audience
* Provides a forum for guests who hold pseudo-..historical and pseudo-..scientific views
* Provides a forum for guests who hold anti-Semitic views
* Provides a forum for guests who offer bogus medical treatments and cures
* Appeals to emotionality in lieu of logic/..rationality
* Fosters an "Us vs. Them" siege mentality
* Encourages fear and distrust of all officials, law enforcement personnel, military officers, medical professionals, and educators
* Presents deeply flawed analysis of historical events as fact
* Retroactively reshapes descriptions of events so that he can claim, "Everything I say comes true!"
* Promotes "Satanic panic" (anti-occult hysteria created by misinformation and hoaxes)
* Fosters extremely dangerous anti-vaccine hysteria
* Exaggerates and distorts information to fit his worldview (a common media tactic, but still unacceptable)
* Gives inaccurate health and dietary advice, though he is not a medical professional and does not seem to have a medical adviser
* Discourages people from donating to the American Cancer Society and other nonprofit cancer organizations
* Inculcates fear and disrespect of law enforcement by exaggerating and harping on isolated instances of police brutality and malfeasance
* Provides scientifically inaccurate information about global warming, space exploration, food additives, and sundry other topics of which he has no specialized knowledge"
-The Frank Factor Network at: http://thefrankfactorspace.ning.com

Many conspiracy theories revolve around perpetual warnings of doom not unlike the Jehovah's Witnesses:

Penn & Teller's "Bullshit" - Conspiracy Theories:

"The Evidence: Debunking FEMA Camp Myths" by Popular Mechanics
Skeptoid: FEMA Camps
"Breaking News: Brian Dunning Acknowledges FEMA Prison Camps" by Brian Dunning
Notice the date of the article and how long ago the author claims this plan has been going on for. Maybe FEMA's just waiting for Godot. "Fear of FEMA" By Larry Keller
"Top 10 Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories" by Alexander Zaitchik

MYTHBUSTERS [8-27-08]: Moon Landing Hoax:

Moon Hoax Not:

Bogosity - Lunar Lunacy:

Episode 5 of the podcast The Conspiracy Skeptic - "The Moon Landing Hoax"

The Conspiracy Skeptic podcast - "Moon Hoax and Stuart Robbins Revisited"

"Celebrate the Moon landing with 10 debunked ‘Moon Hoax’ arguments" By Scott Sutherland
Moon Base Clavius (Site devoted to debunking Moon Landing Denialist claims)
"Fox TV and the Apollo Moon Hoax" by Phil Plait
"LRO and the Apollo Hoax Believers…"
"Bart Sibrel gets Buzzed" by Phil Plait
Michael Shermer debunks moon landing denier claims
Wikipedia article on Apollo moon landing hoax conspiracy theories
NY Times - "Vocal Minority Insists It Was All Smoke and Mirrors" By JOHN SCHWARTZ
"Whoopi doo" by Phil Plait
"Moving the Goalpost on the Moon Hoax" by Steven Novella
Conspiracy Showdown
"Astronauts' tracks, trash seen in new moon photos" By SETH BORENSTEIN
"5 Conspiracy Theories That Are Shockingly Easy to Debunk" (#1) By Douglas A. McDonnell & M. Asher Cantrell
"Meticulous Visual Recreation Of Moon Landing Shows It Wasn't A Hoax" by George Dvorsky
And for more debunking of Moon Landing Denialist claims, check out the blog Bad Astronomy

EPA, NASA, FAA and NOAA - "Aircraft Contrails Fact Sheet (PDF)"
SkepticWiki - "Chemtrails"
On Atmospheric Disturbances, "Chemtrails" and the "Croft Chembuster": Critical Discussions
"Popular Chemtrail Spray-Plane Photo a Hoax"
Chemtrail conspiracy theory
Contrail Science
"Jet exhaust or government conspiracy?"
"Top 10 Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories" by Alexander Zaitchik
The Guardian - "My month with chemtrails conspiracy theorists" by Carey Dunne
"Chemtrails in the Sky Are Evidence of Nefarious Activities for Broad-Based Conspiracy Theorists" By Alexander Zaitchik,


CDC - "Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States"
Canadian Dental Association’s statement on the safety and effectiveness of fluoride. (pdf)
"Anti-fluoride activists should put their tinfoil hat theories to rest" by Michael Vagg
"Anti-fluoridation crankery? How quaintly 1960s! I only wish it weren't on ScienceBlogs" by Orac
Skeptoid podcast episode #58 - "Fluoridation: Death from the Faucet!"
"Fluoridation: Don't Let the Poisonmongers Scare You" by Bob Sprague, Mary Bernhardt, and Stephen Barrett, M.D.
"Fluoride--the misunderstood element" by Martin S. Spiller, D.M.D.
Wikipedia - "Water fluoridation"
Skeptic's Dictionary - "fluoridation of water"
Skeptically Speaking podcast - #102 Fluoride & Water Tech
"Fluoride, or how I learned to stop worrying and drink the water" by MARCUS GEE
Skepticality podcast - interview with Environmental Engineer Kelly Comstock
"Mike Adams is not a legal expert either" by Michael Rosch
"US says too much fluoride causing splotchy teeth"
"There’s nothing that controversial about water fluoridation"
Snopes - Is sodium fluoride used as rat poison?
Point of Inquiry podcast episode #58 - "John Dodes - The Tooth About Dentistry"
"Score one for the antiscience cranks in Portland on fluoridation"
"Decay in non-fluoride areas rivals Third World" by Julie Power
"New Study Shows Fluoride Safe" by Steven Novella
"Fluoride: Still Not Poisoning Your Precious Bodily Fluids!" by Grant Ritchey
Is Bottled Water Better Than Tap?
ABC News - "Water Wars: Is Bottled Water Better Than Tap?" 7/8/09
ABC News - "How Pure Is Bottled Water?" 10/16/08
"The Truth About Bottled Water" Jul 21, 2009 By David Zinczenko, with Matt Goulding
"Stop Drinking Bottled Water Now! (Infographic)" by Brian Clark Howard
CBS - "Bottled Water: 10 Shockers "They" Don't Want You to Know"
"5 Products that Will Be Exposed as B.S. in 2011" (#2) By: Soren Bowie

"More Notes on the Anti-Amalgam Movement" by Robert S. Baratz, M.D., D.D.S., Ph.D.
Spyridon Condos - Mercury and Dental Fillings: Safer than You Think
Point of Inquiry podcast episode #58 - "John Dodes - The Tooth About Dentistry"

Ecosystem Services 101 with Hank:

"Mental States" by Steven Novella
"Psychiatry-Bashing" by Steven Novella
"Mental Illness Denial Parts I-V" by Steven Novella
"ADHD Revisited" by Steven Novella
Demonizing “Big Pharma” by Steven Novella

Just a few pieces on the anti-vaccinationist movement (for more on this, follow the link at the bottom of the page):
Quackcast podcast episode 34 - "Flu Woo for You"
"Why Do Anti-Vaccinationists Believe?" by Jacob Dickerman

"Birthers on parade, revisited: Happy Birther Day, Mr. President!" by Orac
Is the President An American?
"Taitz Loses An Ally - And Apparently a Lover" by Ed Brayton
"California Bar Now Investigating Orly Taitz" by Justin Elliott
Hawaii considering law to ignore Obama 'birthers' By MARK NIESSE
"End Game for the Birthers” by Bruce Lindner
The White House Blog - "President Obama's Long Form Birth Certificate”

"Bin Laden brings out the best in conspiracy theorists" By Wynne Parry
"How do you ID a dead Osama anyway?" by Orac
“Deathers” Offer a Unique Case Study for the Formulation of the Denialist Mentality by Chris Mooney

David Icke - The Lizards And The Jews (Jon Ronson)

Conspiracy Skeptic Unplugged Episode 17 - David Icke

"Former CSU professor speaks at extraterrestrial convention in Denver" by Matt Minich

Conspiracy Skeptic Unplugged Episode 14 - The Protocols of Zion and the Kosher Tax with Jonathan Abrams
Wikipedia - "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"

Conspiracy Skeptic Unplugged Episode 19 - ZOG

"Weather has conspiracy theorists strung out" BY STEPHEN CAUCHI

"The Hidden Cancer Cure" By Steven Novella


Conspiracy Skeptic Unplugged podcast Episode 6 - Denver Airport Conspiracy w/ Rich Orman

The Sinking of the HMS Invincible:
Conspiracy Skeptic Unplugged podcast Episode 15 - "The Sinking of the HMS Invincible with Nigel St. Whitehall"

Why do conspiracy theorists flock to Ron Paul?
Ron Paul, The John Birch Society & The Jesuits
The New Republic - "Yes, Ron Paul is a Bircher"
"Ron Paul, the father of modern day conspiracy theorists?"
"Memo to Ron Paul Supporters" By Mona Charen
"Ron Paul: Conspiracy Theorist"
"Ron Paul endorses . . . the John Birch Society" by Jim Addison
"Paulnetism" by AmateurScientist

"Did Shakespeare Write ‘Shakespeare’? Much Ado About Nothing" by Joe Nickell
"De Vere Authorship Argument"
Wikipedia - "Oxfordian view of Shakespeare authorship"
RationalWiki - "Shakespeare authorship"
NY Times Magazine - "Wouldn’t It Be Cool if Shakespeare Wasn’t Shakespeare?" By STEPHEN MARCHE
"Shakespeare, Interrupted" by Michael Shermer
"Don’t Forget Shakespeare Denialism!" by Chris Mooney
Skeptoid podcast - Finding Shakespeare
"Shakespeare and Skeptoid Redux"
"A Review of Anonymous, Commonly Attributed to John Orloff"
NY Times - "Shakespeare Folio Discovered in France" By JENNIFER SCHUESSLER

"6 Famous Unsolved Mysteries (That Have Totally Been Solved) (Item #2)" By Jacopo della Quercia & Sam Blitz

"Conspiracy Theories Behind BP Oil Spill in Gulf -- From Dick Cheney To UFOs" By David Phillips

"The Thorium Conspiracy" By Steven Novella

"Lucifer Is Not Quite Dead Yet…" by Brian Dunning

Point of Inquiry podcast -Alexander Zaitchik - Glenn Beck’s War on Reason

Michael Shermer on 911 denial and other conspiracy theories:
"9/11 "Truthers" a Pack of Liars" by Michael Shermer
Michael Shermer vs. a random 9/11 denialist

"Sandy Hook truther steals memorial sign, tells victim’s mother her child never existed" By Tom Boggioni

"The 1994 Formula One Conspiracy" by Brian Dunning


Contrary to what grand conspiracy theorists believe, the sky isn't falling. The world is getting better:
In the last 100 years the human lifespan has increased by over 35 years. 100 years ago the average lifespan was only 45 years. Now it's almost 80. And that number is increasing every year. If it keeps increasing at that same rate, the average lifespan of a child born in 2008 will be 98 years old.
Teen pregnancy, smoke, and drug use have all decreased significantly since the 1990s.
Rates of cancer have decreased steadily in the U.S. for 20 years and it's not just because people aren't smoking as much, though that's certainly part of it. It's also because new screening techniques that can detect pre-cancerous lesions in the colon and also because of the HPV vaccine which prevents the virus that causes cervical cancer.
Small Pox once killed millions of people per year; now it has been completely eradicated. It literally does not exist anymore.
Since 1990, global poverty rates have decreased by more than 30%. And they're on-track to have decreas 40% by 2015.
Divorce rates are much lower than people assume, and have consistently dropped since the 1970's in America. Only 20% of people who got married in the 1980s got divorced.
Violent crime rates dropped 5% between 2007 and 2008. And violent crime rates have been dropping consistently every year since 1993
The Red Cross collects 15 million blood donations per year. No one is compensated for those donations, except with cookies and juice. People just like helping other people.
In 1970 there were only 400 breeding pairs of Bald Eagles left in America, but the Endangered Species Act effectively saved the species. There are now more than 10,000 breeding pairs. During the same time Whooping Cranes returned from a much more serious 50 birds total in the entire world. There are now over 500.
"5 Complaints About Modern Life (That Are Statistically B.S.)" By Mark M., M. Asher Cantrell

Michael Shermer - "The Moral Arc of Science" - TAM 2012:

"Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions."
— Thomas Jefferson

The following are perfect examples of REAL grand conspiracy thinking but applied to theories so absurd that everyone should be able to see the fallacies. This is the very definition of Poe's Law:

"Lady Gaga, The Illuminati Puppet"
"Truther Toys" (These conspiracy toys are actually meant to be serious)
"I love a good conspiracy theory..." by Orac
"Men Going Their Own Way baffled by lesbians, refuse to believe they exist" by David Futrelle
"A Little Steve Jobs Conspiracy Theory" by Brian Dunning
Funny or Die - "Pitch Perfect 237"
A YouTube video claims ‘Back to the Future’ predicted 9/11 — and that isn’t even the weird part By Caitlin Dewey

Intentional mockery:
The Onion - "Conspiracy Theorist Convinces Neil Armstrong Moon Landing Was Faked"
"US Airways Flight 1549: It just doesn't add up"
"Polish Plane Crash: Conspiracy Theories Coming Soon"
The Glenn Beck Conspiracy Theory Generator

Review of "The Green Ink Brigade" - A history of conspiracy theories and how they’ve shaped the world.

Deceptive Deceptions:
See more funny videos and funny pictures at CollegeHumor.

What's the harm in conspiracy theories? 60 Minutes - Who are "sovereign citizens"?

For information on 9/11 conspiracy theories specifically, click here.
For more information on anti-vaccination conspiracy theories or autism denialism, click here.
For information on Holocaust Denial, click here.
For information on HIV Denialism, visit our Medical Quackery page here.

©2007 Staks Studios