0258: "Conspiracy Theories"

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0258: "Conspiracy Theories"

Postby The LuigiManiac » Mon May 07, 2007 4:03 am UTC

Image

This one is right up there in my little group of memorable favorites. I can not honestly take conspiracy theorists seriously. Also, I love the way God's voice is written.

EDIT: Title field: Try debating graduate-educated young-earth creationists sometime.
Last edited by The LuigiManiac on Mon May 07, 2007 4:08 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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THE CAKE IS A 3.141592653589...!

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Postby athelas » Mon May 07, 2007 4:04 am UTC

If only you could report bugs in the fabric of creation.

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Postby joeframbach » Mon May 07, 2007 4:07 am UTC

Alt-text: Try debating graduate-educated young-earth creationists sometime.

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Postby Iluvatar » Mon May 07, 2007 4:08 am UTC

Loose Change:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDx1GLqvBO8

Unfastened Coins:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saHs6J0OXVI

It seems that not a Monday/Wednesday/Friday goes by without XKCD putting out a comic that makes me want to high-five Mr. Randal.

By the way, I assume your condemnation of conspiracies doesn't extend to the obvious infiltration of our government by raptors.
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Postby Iluvatar » Mon May 07, 2007 4:09 am UTC

If you ever want to see fun, bring a conspiracy theorist to a debate society. Like cheese in a woodchipper. :D

On an unrelated note, these guys are great: http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/. They used to have a much better website; they were always fun to point conspiracy theorist at; provided a bit of perspective.
Last edited by Iluvatar on Mon May 07, 2007 4:11 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SpitValve » Mon May 07, 2007 4:10 am UTC

I appreciate that he specifically says young-earth creationists...

Perpetual motion is always a fun debate :)

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Postby The LuigiManiac » Mon May 07, 2007 4:12 am UTC

Iluvatar wrote:By the way, I assume your condemnation of conspiracies doesn't extend to the obvious infiltration of our government by raptors.


Of course it doesn't. Hasn't that "conspiracy" been proven time and again by webcomics, internet forums, dictionaries, and TV shows?

EDIT: The only thing I don't get is the definition of "young-earth creationist". Do they include everyone who believes that God created the world?
Last edited by The LuigiManiac on Mon May 07, 2007 4:23 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
Spoiler:
THE CAKE IS A 3.141592653589...!

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Postby Iluvatar » Mon May 07, 2007 4:13 am UTC

I appreciate that he specifically says young-earth creationists...

Creationism as a whole can be twisted to fit the observed facts. YEC's get to go against directly observable phenomenon.

And the perpetual motion debate is right up there with the plane on a conveyor belt and the .999~ = 1 debates in terms of fun.

Of course it doesn't. Hasn't that "conspiracy" been proven time and again by webcomics, internet forums, dictionaries, and TV shows?

Indeed, but still there are doubters, and there is much that is not known to the public as a whole. For example, what would you say if I told you that Belial is nothing but a raptor in a hat?
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Postby rhalleys5th » Mon May 07, 2007 4:24 am UTC

Couldn't help but be reminded of Dinosaur Comics in the last panel....I love that the upper border of the panel = God.

Have there been any deities in an xkcd comic before?

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Debating a creationist

Postby pianojosh » Mon May 07, 2007 4:25 am UTC

The alt text for this comic really hit home for me. I got into that debate with an a college grad (only undergrad, but still). A biology major, nonetheless.

Boggles the mind sometimes.

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Postby OmenPigeon » Mon May 07, 2007 4:27 am UTC

The LuigiManiac wrote:EDIT: The only thing I don't get is the definition of "young-earth creationist". Do they include everyone who believes that God created the world?


Young-earth creationists think God created the world a few thousand years ago. I think about 6,000, which they get from adding up the ages in the Bible.

Old-earth creationists think the earth was created by God a few billion years ago.

Then theres subsets of each on whether evolution did anything since the world was created, and so on and so forth. For some reason, Christianity seems predisposed to creating very specific sects.
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Postby The LuigiManiac » Mon May 07, 2007 4:31 am UTC

OmenPigeon wrote:
The LuigiManiac wrote:EDIT: The only thing I don't get is the definition of "young-earth creationist". Do they include everyone who believes that God created the world?


Young-earth creationists think God created the world a few thousand years ago. I think about 6,000, which they get from adding up the ages in the Bible.

Old-earth creationists think the earth was created by God a few billion years ago.

Then theres subsets of each on whether evolution did anything since the world was created, and so on and so forth. For some reason, Christianity seems predisposed to creating very specific sects.


Thanks. From that, I have a feeling Pentecostals are young-earth creationists, which means I just condemned myself. Ouch.

I wasn't really paying attention to that particular phrase until I read the title, which was after I made the statement.
Spoiler:
THE CAKE IS A 3.141592653589...!

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Postby The Mighty Thesaurus » Mon May 07, 2007 4:36 am UTC

rhalleys5th wrote:Couldn't help but be reminded of Dinosaur Comics in the last panel....I love that the upper border of the panel = God.

Have there been any deities in an xkcd comic before?


http://www.xkcd.com/c224.html

RMS appeared in http://xkcd.com/c225.html.

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Postby Zip » Mon May 07, 2007 4:40 am UTC

Alt text changed.

New alt text: "There exist many graduate-educated young-earth creationists. They have conferences."

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Postby OneLess » Mon May 07, 2007 4:44 am UTC

The alt-text I'm seeing says
There exist many graduate-educated young-earth creationists. They have conferences.

:|
EDIT: Dern, took me 4 minutes to type this :lol:

Over at the colbertnation.com forums they had such a problem with 9/11 wackos that they had to create a "Conspiracy Theories" sub-forum so that the people wouldn't spam the Political Discussion forum with their crap. It's freakin' hilarious to read some of the garbage they post :D
http://www.colboard.com/viewforum.php?f=10&sid=16ac5057c48af61049a72e14272b0d7b

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Postby Bear » Mon May 07, 2007 4:53 am UTC

OneLess wrote:The alt-text I'm seeing says
There exist many graduate-educated young-earth creationists. They have conferences.

:|
EDIT: Dern, took me 4 minutes to type this :lol:

Over at the colbertnation.com forums they had such a problem with 9/11 wackos that they had to create a "Conspiracy Theories" sub-forum so that the people wouldn't spam the Political Discussion forum with their crap. It's freakin' hilarious to read some of the garbage they post :D
http://www.colboard.com/viewforum.php?f=10&sid=16ac5057c48af61049a72e14272b0d7b


Just one look at that board made my head hurt. It takes a special type of person to be able to be that crazy.

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Postby Relsqui » Mon May 07, 2007 4:53 am UTC

Y'know . . . there are people who believe that what the government says must be a lie, and see conspiracies around every corner.

And there are people who believe that those people are nutcases, and the simplest possibility is the correct one. (Mr. Ockham comes to mind.)

And then there are the rare middle-grounders who take the time to get all the facts and make informed decisions about what really happened.

Me? All I know is that there are things I simply don't know--and just between you and me, I don't think those other guys know either.

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Postby Solt » Mon May 07, 2007 5:09 am UTC

I admit I once thought Loose Change brought up some legitimate points. It took Maddox's extreme sarcasm and one thorough read of NIST's FAQ page on 9/11 to get me to realize how stupid I was being. I am honestly embarrassed that I passed judgment without first checking both sides of the story, and that I believed something so obviously biased and logically flawed as Loose Change.

At least it was a good learning experience- I've become a lot more skeptical since.
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Postby apricity » Mon May 07, 2007 5:22 am UTC

New alt-text again:

Did you know there are graduate-educated young-earth creationists? P.S. Sometimes I have fun with self-reference.


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Postby cephalopod9 » Mon May 07, 2007 5:32 am UTC

I love the timing in this comic.
Image

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Postby SohumB » Mon May 07, 2007 5:40 am UTC

The Mighty Thesaurus wrote:
rhalleys5th wrote:Couldn't help but be reminded of Dinosaur Comics in the last panel....I love that the upper border of the panel = God.

Have there been any deities in an xkcd comic before?


http://www.xkcd.com/c224.html

RMS appeared in http://xkcd.com/c225.html.


Of course RMS is a deity! Why have I not realized this before!

...Back on topic, I wish I could file bug reports in creation. Either that, or we get to hack at the source.

And of course the universe is interpreted, so no restarting necessary. This also explains why it took so long for stuff to happen.
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Postby dfoxfranke » Mon May 07, 2007 5:44 am UTC

SohumB wrote:...Back on topic, I wish I could file bug reports in creation. Either that, or we get to hack at the source.

And of course the universe is interpreted, so no restarting necessary. This also explains why it took so long for stuff to happen.


Well, we already know that the universe is written in Perl, which uses bytecode. So yes, you would still have to recompile.

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Postby tyr » Mon May 07, 2007 5:53 am UTC

I sincerely hope he is prepared for conspiracy theorists flaming this thread. The same thing happened on Maddox's fansite. These people just can't laugh at themselves!

I once saw a debate between Dylan Avery and co. and the Popular Mechanics editors. The setup of the debate (and the personality of the moderator) made me think it was on public television. I saw it originally on YouTube. The point is, the Loose Change people were callous, disrespectful, and had no regard for the rules of such a formal debate. I recall numerous interruptions, and, at one point, Korey Rowe said, "I'm calling you a liar, because you are a liar".

Perhaps one would take conspiracy theorists more seriously if their argumentative methods weren't so laughable (though you do sort of grimace while you're laughing -- seriously, who does that?)

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Postby Gelsamel » Mon May 07, 2007 5:55 am UTC

Yep I remember years and years ago I saw one of those flash things showing how the pentagon "had no debris" and all that, and I just thought "Oh me yarm" then I actually did my own research and found out how absolutely bullshit CTs are.
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Postby Belial » Mon May 07, 2007 5:56 am UTC

I sincerely hope he is prepared for conspiracy theorists flaming this thread.


Yup.
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Postby Traisenau » Mon May 07, 2007 6:00 am UTC

Wow, no mention of the Kennedy conspiracies?

"I get it now, LHO killed Kennedy to steal the Jack Ruby"

Edit: New Alt text again, it's just: "There are a lot of graduate-educated young-earth creationists"
Last edited by Traisenau on Mon May 07, 2007 6:03 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Workaphobia » Mon May 07, 2007 6:00 am UTC

SohumB wrote:Of course RMS is a deity! Why have I not realized this before!

A rather kick-ass one too I must say. How many other deities do you know that have their own airships?

lanicita wrote:xkcd is God.

I'm finding that to be more and more true with each passing comic.

How is it that every alternate comic manages to locate and express an issue or opinion that's been resounding in my head for years, but with total accuracy and a better vocabulary? It seems like every fundamental thought or observation I have sooner or later makes it into here. Why, it's almost enough to make me develop a conspiracy theory...

When I saw the first panel I knew that I would love this one. But the last panel is pure gold.

On a side note, I'd like to say for the record that I do not hold nearly as much disdain for young-Earth creationists as I do for 9/11 conspiracy nuts and especially the moon-landing doubters. Yes, the creationists are drawing absurd conclusions from straight-forward evidence, but at least they do not claim to believe in the same set of fundamental axioms about the universe that we do. Normal debate and evidence is irrelevant in this case; it can neither substantiate nor refute their claims.

I don't think that the kind of people who will use a bunch of unrelated arithmetic patterns - some of which are mathematically redundant but not obviously so - in support of arguments concerning the motives of governments and terrorists, have the same excuse.

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Postby OneLess » Mon May 07, 2007 6:06 am UTC

Bear wrote:Just one look at that board made my head hurt. It takes a special type of person to be able to be that crazy.

Heh, check out "Jabulon"'s posts. Just to give a taste, he once said that jet fuel does not explode if an aircraft crashes :)

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Postby Rocco » Mon May 07, 2007 6:13 am UTC

I was a conspiracy nut at one point. I read up on some refutation from Popular Mechanics and the like, but was never 100% convinced that I was being a moron. I was about 70% there when I saw THIS wonderful breakdown.

My question for 9-11 conspiracy architects is this: What's the point of searching for "truth" if you have to make so much stuff up in the process?

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Postby EvanED » Mon May 07, 2007 6:23 am UTC

I have carried out discussions/flame wars about the moon landing conspiracy, because those people are psychotic.

One of the debates was on Fark, and while I couldn't convince the guy he was full of crap, I did seem to put his conspiracy beliefs on a shaky foundation.

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Postby VZG » Mon May 07, 2007 6:28 am UTC

I enjoyed this comic, of course, as I always do with xkcd... but this is a the first one that's also left me with an unpleasant feeling. It's not the comic itself, really, because I would have a good laugh... if not for the fact that each of my brothers believe at least one of those theories. Well, one may have finally seen that the moon landing was real, but my other brother still believes Bush set up 9/11. It's a shame, because he's otherwise very intelligent, and he's never seemed to believe any conspiracy theories before...

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Postby Messiah » Mon May 07, 2007 6:28 am UTC

I take offence, on behalf of all conspiracy theorists.

Well, sort of. I'm not 100% for either side. I just know that my rule of 90% bullshit, 10% truth has worked for just about everything I've encountered so far. And I'm willing to state, and debate (haha, they rhyme, I mean *hem hem* serious voice) that 9/11 has factors which cannot be completely explained as they have been given to us. And not just 9/11 either. And frankly, I'm quite surprised at the high and mighty attitude that so many, seemingly educated, people have taken. Anyone with a college degree can see that blindly believing what the government tell you is going to lead to trouble. In much the same way that overgeneralising and ignoring EVERYTHING they say will too.
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Postby Phy » Mon May 07, 2007 6:29 am UTC

So Logical Guy is trying to convince CT that he's espousing beliefs that have no correspondence to reality... and then he goes and talks to God. I get it! This comic is a tragedy.

Although it could be that in XKCDverse, God actually responds when queried.

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Postby Belial » Mon May 07, 2007 6:32 am UTC

And not just 9/11 either. And frankly, I'm quite surprised at the high and mighty attitude that so many, seemingly educated, people have taken. Anyone with a college degree can see that blindly believing what the government tell you is going to lead to trouble. In much the same way that overgeneralising and ignoring EVERYTHING they say will too.


Luckily, it's not the government's job to tell us what's going on in the world.

We have independently verified reporters for that.
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Postby iw » Mon May 07, 2007 6:32 am UTC

I was about to post that pretty soon clever atheists were going to point out the apparent "contradiction" in the guy railing against conspiracy theories and nutcases and then turns out to be religious, but I was beat by 3 minutes!

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Postby toysbfun » Mon May 07, 2007 6:33 am UTC

I think conspiracy theories exist because they provide comfort. Which is the more comforting thought: (a) 9/11 was a conspiracy that involved hundreds of powerful government officials or (b) fewer than two dozen people can rock a mighty nation to its core? Or with JFK: (a) the Mafia, KGB, CIA, and FBI conspired to have him killed or (b) a lone nut with a rifle takes out the most powerful man on Earth? I think it boils down to a secret cabal in control of everything, creating order, being a more comforting thought than shit randomly happening and no one has any control.

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Postby Messiah » Mon May 07, 2007 6:34 am UTC

Belial wrote:Luckily, it's not the government's job to tell us what's going on in the world. We have independently verified reporters for that.

Ahh yes, and if there was a conspiracy of this level, the government would be stupid enough to tell people low enough that the reporters could find out. How much of the information the reporters have to go on, comes from government agencies?
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Postby Messiah » Mon May 07, 2007 6:36 am UTC

toysbfun wrote:I think conspiracy theories exist because they provide comfort. Which is the more comforting thought: (a) 9/11 was a conspiracy that involved hundreds of powerful government officials or (b) fewer than two dozen people can rock a mighty nation to its core? Or with JFK: (a) the Mafia, KGB, CIA, and FBI conspired to have him killed or (b) a lone nut with a rifle takes out the most powerful man on Earth? I think it boils down to a secret cabal in control of everything, creating order, being a more comforting thought than shit randomly happening and no one has any control.

Which is more threatening? One small terror unit which can be destroyed overnight by bombing? Or the fact that the government which can limit your every move is willing to lose civillian lives for their own purpose? Personally, the smaller the threat seems, the safer I feel.
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Postby Twasbrillig » Mon May 07, 2007 6:38 am UTC

You don't SERIOUSLY believe we landed on the moon, do you?
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Postby Phy » Mon May 07, 2007 6:43 am UTC

iw wrote:I was about to post that pretty soon clever atheists were going to point out the apparent "contradiction" in the guy railing against conspiracy theories and nutcases and then turns out to be religious, but I was beat by 3 minutes!

Yes.


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