If that’s the formula for “conspiracy theory”, please tell me the formula for conspiracy science in equally simple and precise terms, i.e.:
Conspiracy + Science = ?
After all, any theory is only as plausible as the science upon which it rests, right? Are there no scientifically viable values for “?” to render this formula true?
Tried setting “? = 0”, as in, putting those two together comes to nothing? If so, the formula now asserts that no scientific inquiry could reasonably assign truth to any conspiracy claim. If that seems in any way plausible, please think again and reconsider: what then becomes of the judicial foundation of “conspiracy” as a major crime with extensive enforcement codes and arduous prosecutorial processes? Without meaningful evidence, it’s vacuous, futile, and irrelevant.
In any case, “Kook” just no longer quite fills that blank, does it? The scientific baby didn’t quite make the toss with the polluted bath water this time, did it? The all too familiar ‘kook’ meme is suddenly rather slimy and sticky, eh?
To Be Perfectly Clear
I am both a conspiracy theorist (as an area of inquiry) and a conspiracy scientist (on principle) — the first precisely because I am the second,not vice versa. If my qualifications as such are in doubt, please review my profile and look closely at my credentials in math, philosophy, logic, and philosophy of science, and my academic and professional areas of interest, achievement, and pursuit in such rigorous fields as artificial intelligence as a domain of cognitive science, with practical application in clinical decision support, et al.
“Conspiracy theory” has become a brand label and a license to condemn, wholly devoid of causal meaning or value beyond its emotional impact on any semiotic encounter, unfettered by rational constraint – and it’s open season for each and every human, predator and prey alike. If that impact carries equally persuasive force on scientifically obtained evidence and rationally derived proof, entirely apart from its emotional shrapnel, however, the truth emerges.
The first “label and license” case is a blunder of epic proportion, an immorally cruel trick, or creation of a brutal semiotic weapon. The second “scientifically rational” case, by contrast, is a compelling field for scientific inquiry, rigorous investigation, and rational speculation, pursued while struggling mightily to keep emotional bias out of the model, especially as evidence supporting the theory increases.
Before comfortably and casually writing me off as, “Oh, ya – just another conspiracy theory kook”, therefore, please review the scientific history of Western Civilization.
Without exception, every scientific revolution, every subsequent pivotal technological advance, and every paradigm-shattering business venture starts with one kook conspiring with others of like mind and kindred spirit to rigorously, zealously, and purposefully construct theories, technologies, and businesses from the ground up. Philosophy thus grounds science, science yields technology and other practical bounty, and they all eventually coalesce to spawn business venture and enterprise that tend to achieve exponential growth and staggering success with phenomenal speed. The presence or absence of maximally rational science woven throughout the entire process makes all the differences that matter.
A Problematic Example
A problematic example may help: in Scriptural truth, every Bible-believing Christian commits to conspiracy theory or they violate their own doctrine. Absurd, right?
So …. Three guys conspire as one to conceive and execute a plan to redeem humanity from themselves. A fourth conspires against them (and against humanity) to convert followers to a rival paradigm and opposite path, set to entrap Christians by (among other ways and means) corrupting the very idea of ‘conspiracy theory’ through semiotic prevarication (he lies).
The conspiratorial redemption plan and its collaborators become a widespread joke with Christians as buffoons. Christianity manages to survive and advance against the evil adversary, nevertheless, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Christians not only don’t recognize and acknowledge themselves as conspiracy theorists at all, they also fail to grasp the lethal urgency of the divine and demonic conspiracies unfolding for and against humanity. Instead, they remain casually oblivious to and quite comfortably disengaged from the ruthless warfare raging continuously all around them.
[Note: if you aren’t quite sure who the three-as-one collaborators are behind the holy redemption conspiracy and the identity of their unholy adversary, then you are most likely either a poorly informed non-Christian or an intellectually lazy Christian desperately in need of Apostolic Creed review and accountability. And by the way, the notion of Divine Conspiracy doesn’t originate with me, apologies to Dallas Willard].
Worse yet, Christian voices are among the loudest and swiftest to wield what is now truly an unholy and profane sign (‘conspiracy theory’) as a weapon they assume wounds only their enemy. In fact, quite the opposite is true: those parries and thrusts with that semiotic weapon ricochet off that enemy. They indiscriminately and unjustly strike not only all non-Christians (i.e., adherents of different faiths, agnostics, atheists, et al.), but their fellow Christians and themselves as a self-inflicted wound dogmatically ignored by all, risking their own spiritual peril and doom. One can’t help recalling the limbless torso in Monty Python’s Black Knight Fight scene.