It's tin foil hats, all the way down

In 2010, scientists published a paper on conspiracist ideation as it applied to both climate change and the moon landing. This year, the published a second paper — about the conspiracy theories that sprung up in response to their previous research.


  1. The third paper in the series has already been written, but they’ll never let outsiders see it, not after what happened with the first two!

    1. This methodology is inherently flawed. Tinfoil hats only work if they’re made with real tin, and the aluminum foil that the modern consumer products industry replaced it with isn’t enough to protect your thought processes the way tin did.

      Furthermore, as you probably know, one of the byproducts of the aluminum refining process is fluorides, which are being added to our water supply because of a Commie plot against America’s precious bodily fluids, but this paragraph will probably never make it past the moderators.

  2. Unfortunately, those papers have been debunked.  The authors did not perform the research they claimed and most of their data was not provided by actual denialists.


        This link isn’t a debunking, but it does elucidate some of the story behind the controversy about the papers.

        The research for the initial paper (NASA faked the moon landing – therefore (climate) science is a hoax: An anatomy of the motivated rejection of science) included a survey. The survey was released and publicized on 6 to 8 blogs on the pro-science side on August 28/29/30 2010. The suggestion was made in the comment sections of these that the over-the-top nature of the conspiracy questions invited spoof responses, and that it was too obvious that the intention was to link skepticism about climate-change to having other wacky beliefs. In September 5 – 2? invitations to publicize the survey were sent not by the lead author but by an unknown assistant to 5 anti-science blogs, few of which found the invitation compelling enough to publicize to their readers.
        One participant in the survey saved screen-shots of the questions:

        The second paper was largely about the criticism of the first paper. 

        1. See, that’s why a citation was needed.  That looks like a pretty crappy survey.  Oddly enough, I think real research has found similar results, so what was gained there?

      1. Another example of debunking:

  3. I still haven’t figured out why the Challenger and Columbia disasters don’t have an associated conspiracy.

    In the same way I still haven’t figured out why 9-11 and the Moon Landings do have associated conspiracies.

    1. I still haven’t figured out why the Challenger and Columbia disasters don’t have an associated conspiracy.

      Because there never was a space program. Duh.

    2. My personal favorite is the proof that Shakespeare’s plays weren’t actually written by William Shakespeare, but by another man with the same name.

      1. Homer too.  His work was written by a different Homer, a secret that has been suppressed by the Classico-academic conspiracy to better access the mountains of funding available for the study of ancient Greece.

        It all started with the swineherd.

      2. Lazy conspiracies are the best.

        Strangely enough, elaborate conspiracies are incredibly dull. I watched a “reptiloid expose” by David Icke and expected to be fascinated by the depictions, I ended up incredibly bored by all the unimaginative attention-seekers. For all the otherworldness I had in my head, they couldn’t come up with anything relatively science-fiction or epic in scale.

    3.  Oh, it’s easy enough to concoct one. Easiest is to cast doubt on the authenticity of the space shuttle Enterprise. It could have been a stand-in for either (both?) of the doomed launches.

      Once you replace the ship, then the crew suffers a standard Capricorn One style fate. Except in one variation, Columbia’s crew is even today living on the seekret Nazi moon base on the far side of the moon.

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