I wrote a piece a little while back on detecting bullshit in the media. Though that procedure still applies, there is another big issue that needs to be addressed. Conspiracy/religious nutjobs, whose sole response to anyone declaring anything that is in opposition, or contrary to, their favourite idea with aggression. These are the people who will post in a science forum anything that no reasonable scientist or scientific journal worth their salt would ever touch. In fact, most of these people won’t get much past this sentence before replying to this very post with some sort of attack, lacking anything other than unbridled fervor of stupid. It’s the same people who will reply to detractors by calling them sheep (or any derivative), losers, morons, etc. They throw the whole spectrum of ad hominem attack at anyone who presents any decent, evidence based, argument. These are the same kind of people who hang out on conspiracy/religious, nutjob, sites to find the most poorly researched, badly written, inane nonsense ever passed off as fact. These are the same people who type in all capital letters. It’s as if text-yelling could ever stand a hope in convincing us that our logic, reason, scientific method and scepticism could all be flawed.
These people claim to have done their research, but fail miserably at bullshit detection. They watch a show called “Ancient Aliens” and because they are in love with aliens see no need to look into the facts. I could start a show called “Ancient Candy Corns”, create every single fact out of thin air and call it truth, while blaming mainstream science are a bunch of “sheeple”, and it will have the same element of believability for them.
Seriously, if we agreed with these guys, we’d all be wrong. It’s as if these failed pseudoscientists can’t decide if we are all to die in apocalypse by Illuminati, aliens, the LHC, Nibiru, Nemesis, planetary alignment, photon ring, zombies, vampires, or any of the countless other theories one can dream up. My favourite, ad-hoc end-of-the-world scenario involves an army of my own minions, made entirely of candy corn. And yes, I just made that up a few sentences ago, as I typed this, with just as much thought put into it as any of the other countless, illogical, lame-arsed crap I’ve read, heard, seen and smelled over the last 40 years.
Finally, not satisfied with getting their jollies on the conspiracy sites they have to share their wisdom with the rest of the world, on sites that are geared toward empirical evidence. I’m not entirely certain whether these people are trolling or actually believe their trash and have been suckered in. But one thing is certain… the resulting outrage is not worth the engagement.