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I recently ran across an article and a paper on determining the potential lifespans of conspiracy theories. It is an interesting idea, but I think there are problems with it so I posted a link and a comment on a forum to which I belong. Several people replied, but they ignored the paper and attacked my comments about problems with the method. Take a look at the paper and see what you think. I think that it is a method to make shooting from the hip look more dignified. Set up an equation to give the false impression that it is mathematically based. Then throw in some numbers that exemplify your opinion, and suddenly you have a number that indicates the potential life of a conspiracy theory. One of the factors is the number of people involved in the conspiracy, and that makes sense. Part of my comment was that the facts about the climate change conspiracy had been out even longer than the indicated potential life of that conspiracy, but people still believed it, and they do. 

I quickly got sick of pointing out the holes and the articles of faith involved in the climate change orthodoxy and stopped replying, but there is an unusual problem with the climate change thing: there is too much data, and the data is subject to interpretation in various ways. 

There are other things that are controversial that share the characteristic of having a great deal of data that can show different things to different people, but most science is clear and unambiguous. Matters that are subject to various interpretations can become mired in conspiracy theories. The Assassination of JFK is one such event for which there is too much data. 

At least seven people have admitted shooting at JFK on that morning in Dallas. There is documentary or photographic evidence for the presence of most of them, and the rifle that the Dallas police first produced was the one that one of them owned. I shouldn't go into details about this, because there are so many details. But the existence of all those people and evidence make it look like someone may have been trying to hide the actual facts with the investigations that were done. 

Another subject of conspiracy theories that has too much evidence about it were the attacks on the World Trade Center 9/11/2001. Many people believe that it was in side job done by the U.S. government. Their problem is that they have looked at and accepted some evidence but not all of the evidence, and some one dreamed up some falsehoods about the attacks that were not shown to be lies. For example, the rumor that some parts of the towers were closed off for a few days is firmly believed by some people, but it didn't happen. If all the facts were to come out, it would overwhelm many people, but it would become clear that the official version is correct. 

It is usually a good idea to examine as much of the evidence as possible. In the case of the World Trade cent that leads to official story, but in the case of the Assassination of JFK the full set of evidence leads to uncertainty; it is possible that there were several people shooting, but I won't go into the details now. In the case of Climate Change, the full set of evidence points whichever way way one wants it to go. There is a huge amount of data that shows that global warming is simply more of the cycles in climate that the Earth has gone through since climate first developed. But one can also use that data to show that human activity has caused climate change. 

The idea that it might be possible to predict the viability of conspiracy theories is interesting, but it would be better if there were a surefire way to determine the veracity of a claim that might be involved in a conspiracy theory. As it is, I am pretty well satisfied with considering the evidence and making a conclusion from the. That requires that I toss out some evidence, and others might be tossing away different evidence; that's what makes a horse race.

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