Thursday, December 18, 2008


It Must Be Somethin' In the Water ...

I touched on "chemtrails" once before, in connection with the hypothesis of Bill Ellis that conspiracy theories are ways of making order out of disorder:

"I like to compare conspiracy theories to intelligent design theories because they basically make the same claim -- that the world that we see is not a complex system of random or near-random events, but rather it's designed by a group of very clever, evil people who are working behind the scenes ..."

It's the nature of the human mind to bring order out of disorder, Ellis said, and conspiracy theories often erupt in an attempt to do just that, explaining a wide variety of information in a fairly simple way.
You can go see that in operation in the article, "Chemtrails: Strong Competitor for Dumbest Conspiracy Theory Ever" by Ray Stern in the Phoenix New Times and even more clearly, perhaps, in the comments to the article so far.

One person, Alan, seems to think that Mr. Stern's assertion that contrails are formed when jet exhaust condenses in cold air is disproved because his "first sighting" took place "in NYC on a very warm, dry summer day," apparently unaware that temperature drops with altitude.

Another, Joya, can't understand why some jets flying directly above her, at the same time, leave "normal" contrails, which evaporate quickly, and others leave trails that last for hours, seemingly not knowing that not only temperatures but winds are different at different altitudes.

It's all the same, as Stern notes: the multiple assassins of JFK, the Pearl Harbor attack, the "murder" of Princess Di, the 9/11 attacks, rampant alien abductions, faked moon landings, Jewish world domination, Biblical creationism and chemtrails. A little ignorance, mixed with the perhaps evolutionarily instilled tendency of human beings to attribute any event of significance to us to the action of some intelligent agent, and out pops elaborate explanations for things that are merely the result of natural law and contingency.

Sad and funny at the same time.

I was most interested in this comment from the article, about the lack of a theory: Creationists do this all the time, because saying you believe in the vague notion of "intelligent design" sounds a lot less nuts than saying you believe baby dinosaurs rode with Noah on the Ark.

This writer is more perceptive than most.

Tom S.
Yes. I agree that was particularly good. I wonder if Stern has been involved in anti-creationism before?
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