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Six Persistent Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:14 am
by Fordama
From The National Geographic

Fact Checking 6 Persistent Science Conspiracy Theories
Conspiracy theories that are easily debunked by science still persist.


Conspiracy theories are as American as apple pie. A national poll released this week by Public Policy Polling (PPP) found that some popular conspiracy theories in the United States have persisted for years, like the belief that a UFO crashed in Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.

Meanwhile, new theories have gained believers, such as the ideas that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks and that Osama bin Laden is still alive.

Perhaps not surprisingly, many of the ideas in the new poll are based on a misunderstanding of science—or a stubborn refusal to acknowledge it.

Here's a reality check on some of the science-related conspiracy theories from the survey:

1. A total of 37 percent of American voters believe global warming is a hoax. Most (58 percent) of the people who believe this identified themselves as Republicans. Of those who don't believe global warming is a hoax, 77 percent are Democrats.

Reality Check: Numerous scientific studies have confirmed that the Earth is warming and that the rate of warming is increasing. Average temperatures have climbed 1.4°F (0.8°C) around the world since 1880. Much of the temperature increase happened in recent decades, coinciding with a spike of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere as a result of human activity.

The effects of global warming on the natural world are equally well documented: Arctic sea ice is now thawing at historic rates, flowers are blooming earlier, and the migration patterns of birds and other animals are changing.

2. A total of 29 percent of voters believe aliens do exist. Another 21 percent believe the U.S. government covered up a UFO crash near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947.

According to PPP, more Americans who supported Mitt Romney for president last year (27 percent) than those who supported Barack Obama (16 percent) believe in the UFO cover-up.

Reality Check: It hasn't always been the case, but many astronomers today are open to the idea of life existing elsewhere in the universe—and even to the possibility of intelligent alien life. That's thanks in large part to the relatively recent discoveries of hundreds of so-called exoplanets—worlds beyond our solar system—and thousands of planet candidates. Most scientists think it's only a matter of time before a habitable, rocky, Earth-like twin is discovered.

Even our own solar system might contain evidence of alien life. NASA's Curiosity rover recently discovered tantalizing evidence of clays and minerals that scientists say could only have formed in water. The implication: Ancient Mars had the conditions and ingredients necessary to support life.

As for UFOs, most sightings are eventually linked to more mundane causes. For example, a recent video by actor Russell Crowe purportedly capturing a UFO outside his office was likely reflected sunlight from a plane passing near sunset.

3. Some 20 percent believe childhood vaccines are linked to autism. These voters believe that childhood vaccines against mumps and other diseases could increase the risk of developing autism.

Reality Check: A recent government study confirmed what many scientists have been saying all along: There is no connection between the number of vaccines a child receives and his or her risk of developing autism.

The study, published last month in The Journal of Pediatrics, also found that even though kids are getting more vaccines these days, those vaccines contain fewer substances that provoke an immune response.

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The other three..... http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... ls-debunk/

Re: Six Persistant Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:25 am
by 18echo
Fordama wrote:1. A total of 37 percent of American voters believe global warming is a hoax. Most (58 percent) of the people who believe this identified themselves as Republicans. Of those who don't believe global warming is a hoax, 77 percent are Democrats.
I appreciate it when PPP does pop culture polling.
What they did not delineate was whether people believed in the "A" in AGW, as opposed to GW on the whole.
They didn't even include the phrase "man-made" in the question..

Q1 Do you believe global warming is a hoax, or not?
Do ................ 37%
Do not ........... 51%
Not sure ......... 12%

They also asked if the moon landing was faked.
I once got into an hour-long argument with a PhD nuclear physicist from DTRA who believed the moon landing had to be faked.

Re: Six Persistant Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:37 am
by sbayhills
I saw that same point. I believe the sun is the greatest factor in our environment. The Left continues to use man made global warming as a vehicle to push their ideologies.

Re: Six Persistant Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:57 am
by Wabash
I saw this poll as well.

It seems there are still no shortage of nutcases willing to believe the most fantastic ideas.

Science and proof be damned.

Many of whom are on these boards.

Re: Six Persistant Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:07 am
by seeinred
sbayhills wrote:I saw that same point. I believe the sun is the greatest factor in our environment. The Left continues to use man made global warming as a vehicle to push their ideologies.
Time out SBH, are you telling us you don't believe that the planet is warming due to increased CO2 output????

Re: Six Persistant Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:12 am
by sbayhills
I believe what I said;
I believe the sun is the greatest factor in our environment. The Left continues to use man made global warming as a vehicle to push their ideologies.

Re: Six Persistent Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:35 am
by crayegg
Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. However global temperatures have been increasing. Since the sun and climate are going in opposite directions scientists conclude the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming.

The only way to blame the sun for the current rise in temperatures is by cherry picking the data. This is done by showing only past periods when sun and climate move together and ignoring the last few decades when the two are moving in opposite direction.

Link

Re: Six Persistant Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:38 am
by Parrotpaul
sbayhills wrote:I believe what I said;
I believe the sun is the greatest factor in our environment. The Left continues to use man made global warming as a vehicle to push their ideologies.
Because you believe something makes others' ideas bogus ideaologies.... but makes your belief truth? How does that work?

Re: Six Persistent Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:40 am
by sbayhills
There is question on whether the temperatures are rising as you believe.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/fe ... 6609140980

Re: Six Persistent Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:41 am
by seeinred
Th sun is the greatest factor; I'm certain that no thinking person would argue that. The sun is getting help from our increased co2 output. Heat from our suns rays can't escape our atmosphere as it once could. As a result, the ice caps are decreasing allowing for more green forests to develop and grow. That dark green color holds the heat more than the reflective ice used to do. The result is an exponential heating factor... Do you need me to give you research links???

Re: Six Persistant Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:44 am
by sbayhills
Parrotpaul wrote: Because you believe something makes others' ideas bogus ideaologies.... but makes your belief truth? How does that work?
I stated what I believed. When the Left's front man is a hypocritical fraud, in it for his own personal gain, it doesn't play well with those with common sense.

Re: Six Persistant Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:02 am
by Vilepagan
sbayhills wrote:I stated what I believed. When the Left's front man is a hypocritical fraud, in it for his own personal gain, it doesn't play well with those with common sense.
I think the problem is that you are talking about global warming, a scientific subject, in partisan political terms. I don't think that reflects the "common sense" view of the issue.

Re: Six Persistent Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:19 am
by seeinred
Here is an easy to undertand climate change myth buster for you to click through... enjoy
:D
http://www.livescience.com/19466-climat ... usted.html

Re: Six Persistant Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:21 am
by Wabash
sbayhills wrote:
I stated what I believed. When the Left's front man is a hypocritical fraud, in it for his own personal gain, it doesn't play well with those with common sense.
That may all very well be true. However, science doesn't care about all that nor does it change the fact that it is happening and getting worse.

Re: Six Persistant Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:59 am
by Fordama
sbayhills wrote:
I stated what I believed. When the Left's front man is a hypocritical fraud, in it for his own personal gain, it doesn't play well with those with common sense.
As soon as you analyze the problem as left-right, or worse by personality of someone--you have abandoned scientific thinking. Apparently you have chosen the Sun simply because it is more comfortable with your political beliefs. Climatologists and astrophysicists have already debunked that hypothesis, but you are going to stick with it because you don't like someone. I don't get that kind of thinking.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-a ... vanced.htm

Fordama

Re: Six Persistent Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:35 am
by sbayhills
I have chosen the Sun, because it has a lot more to do with our environment than what the human race does. Climatologists and astrophysicists stand on both sides of this issue, and spend a lot of time debunking the finding of each other. The Left uses man-made global warming as a reason to promote their agenda, despite contrary scientific evidence. It is not a proven fact.

Re: Six Persistent Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:15 pm
by kramer
Fordama wrote:Here's a reality check on some of the science-related conspiracy theories from the survey:

1. A total of 37 percent of American voters believe global warming is a hoax. Most (58 percent) of the people who believe this identified themselves as Republicans. Of those who don't believe global warming is a hoax, 77 percent are Democrats.

Reality Check: Numerous scientific studies have confirmed that the Earth is warming and that the rate of warming is increasing.
If the rate of warming is increasing, how come the last 17 years of RSS data shows a downward trend?
Image

In addition, even former NASA scientist James Hansen has said that recent temperatures have been flat and you can see that from the graph above if you ignore the "spike" in temperature in 1998.

So where is this missing increasing rate of warming?

Fordama wrote: Average temperatures have climbed 1.4°F (0.8°C) around the world since 1880.
Were they for the most part flat before 1880? No:
Image
Fordama wrote: Much of the temperature increase happened in recent decades, coinciding with a spike of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere as a result of human activity.
Where's this "spike" of CO2 in the following graph?
Image
I see a rate of change increase but not a "spike."
Fordama wrote:The effects of global warming on the natural world are equally well documented: Arctic sea ice is now thawing at historic rates,
Recent mapping of a number of raised beach ridges on the north coast of Greenland suggests that the ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was greatly reduced some 6000-7000 years ago. The Arctic Ocean may have been periodically ice free.

http://www.ngu.no/en-gb/Aktuelt/2008/Le ... years-ago/
Fordama wrote: flowers are blooming earlier,
But this spring, local wildflower watchers say bluebonnets and their usual sidekicks, Indian paintbrushes, are sparse.

“Everywhere is about two weeks late,” said Spencer Moore, a Waco optometrist known for photographing 
eagles at Lake Waco. “They’re coming out, but just a smattering of them. I think this is going to be one of those off years.”

http://www.wacotrib.com/news/environmen ... 734d0.html
The National Park Service announced today that the peak bloom for the famed cherry blossoms will come a week later than originally estimated. Instead of peaking between March 26-30, said the service, they will be in full glory from April 3-6.

http://dcist.com/2013/03/peak_bloom_for ... s_push.php

Re: Six Persistent Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:27 pm
by Fordama
sbayhills wrote:Climatologists and astrophysicists stand on both sides of this issue...
Actually, that is the highly flawed logic that our media presents--that both sides of an issue carry equal weight. Only an extreme minority of astrophysicists and climatologists stand on the side that the Sun is a large cause in the current global warming.

Neil Degrasse-Tyson talks about this phenomena of "presenting both sides" as though equal weight should always be given to both. That may work well when talking politics, religions, etc, but that's just not how science works.

Fordama

Re: Six Persistent Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:29 pm
by Fordama
I knew Kramer was going to show up with some Alex Jones-like post full of scrawl!

Fordama

Re: Six Persistent Scientific Conspiracy Theories

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:37 pm
by Zebra
Fordama wrote: Actually, that is the highly flawed logic that our media presents--that both sides of an issue carry equal weight. Only an extreme minority of astrophysicists and climatologists stand on the side that the Sun is a large cause in the current global warming.

Neil Degrasse-Tyson talks about this phenomena of "presenting both sides" as though equal weight should always be given to both. That may work well when talking politics, religions, etc, but that's just not how science works.

Fordama
How "extreme" is that minority or do we just take your word for it? Got any numbers?

How idiotic for the astrophysicist to not know how science works ... :shrug: