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Three-Way Marriage: Conspiracies, Questions, and Science

Three-Way Marriage: Conspiracies, Questions, and Science

Conspiracies, questions, and science are all married. It’s okay! I realize that some think that marriage should be only between one man and one woman, but they’ll need to open their minds to absorb these three ideas, just for now. Just to amuse me for a bit.

What the Heck Are You Talking About Shari?

You have no idea how often I hear that question, but with stronger language.

I’m talking about how conspiracies, questions, and science are all interrelated. Both conspiracy theory and questions are part of the scientific process. In fact, in some cases, conspiracy theories are just questions in formation. Some remain crackpot. Some are legitimate. These legitimate questions sometimes languish in conspiracy-land due to closed minds.

It’s important to note that some questions languish in conspiracy-land because they are crackpot, however.

Unfortunately, the crackpot nature of conspiracy theories closes our minds to new ideas. This leads us to discuss the relationship between conspiracies, questions, and science.

Reason for Conversation

This Friday, I watched the Rachel Maddow Show on my computer. There was a story about Yasser Arafat and new evidence that he was poisoned. The story also discussed the manner in which the questions of his death were raised. His death greatly impacted me. With it went an avenue to peace in the Middle East. It seemed sketchy at the time. I was deeply saddened that someone who really seemed to do the best for his people, pursuing multiple paths to do so, would pass in such a scurrilous manner. It was probably not pleasant.

So this story really peaked my interest. I tweeted it.

  1.  The tweet caught the attention of Al-Jazeera correspondent Clayton Swisher, who immediately rebuffed the tweet’s title: Conspiracy theories, intrigue lead to Arafat exhumation – @msnbc. I just used the title given in the Maddow tweet.
  2. He responded: it was science, not conspiracy theories, that drove the#whatkilledarafat #arafat investigation @ApresRainArroyo @msnbc@maddow.

This led to a train of thought on my side. At first, I thought: “he’s right, you know.” It was science. Also, after quickly Googling him, he was likely to know a heck of a lot more than me on the topic.

Then I realized since I really only saw one story on the subject, I really didn’t know what I was talking about. I’d like to add that it was an awesome story on the Rachel Maddow Show. Not only that, but it guided the viewers (me included) through the process of questions, which led to the investigations. The story began with unreal spy-like, yet actually real-life, instances of people being murdered. Their cases seemed to be the stuff of conspiracy theories. But questions ensued. And they were found NOT to be conspiracy theories, but very real.

In Arafat’s case, his wife kept pushing. I don’t know the particulars, but questions were asked, repeatedly. Then, they were finally addressed by scientists. Finally, a lab ran tests. Conspiracies, questions, and science. Because he was such a threat to others in power, the powerful transformed questions into conspiracy.

Conspiracies, Questions, and Science

So the case here is where does the science actually begin? In these assassination cases, the science really begins at the conspiracy level. It probably always has to. There are too many people in power to cover things up. Several political figures get assassinated under mysterious circumstances. Powerful people responsible have the sway to turn questions into “conspiracy theories.”

However, science begins at the conspiracy level for all great thinking changes. Changing your belief system is hard. Even if we see something is true over and over again, we really only absorb what we want to believe.

  1. Not too many centuries ago, people who thought the world was round were considered heretics.
  2. People who thought that the Earth revolved around the Sun were nut cases.
  3. People who thought it was really healthy for 1% of 1% of the population to own virtually everything and leave everyone else destitute gained more and more power.

Oh wait, we’re still contending with that last one.

In any case, the Rachel Maddow Show video is incredibly interesting and linked below. Mr. Swisher is correct, both in that he probably knows far more than I do on the subject, and that questions are part of science. And I got something to think about.

Thank you, Mr. Swisher, for raising the question between conspiracies, questions, and science.


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Three-Way Marriage: Conspiracies, Questions, and Science by Shari Maria Silverman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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