I’ve undoubtedly mentioned in this blog that one of the reasons I came to Washington was to find out whether some of my intelligent friends who had conspiracy theories were on to something.
My conclusion, coming fairly quickly after I started my job as a congressional staffer, was not really — that in an open society like this one, somebody involved in a conspiracy would, sooner or later, leak it.
But it’s always fascinating to me how many conspiracy theories there are. In fact, in any given year, about half the public generally endorses at least one conspiracy theory, according to political scientists Eric Oliver and Thomas Wood.
People have conspiracy theories as a way to cope with difficult emotions, Oliver and Wood say.
Conspiracy theories are a way of reacting to uncertainty and powerlessness, said a New York Times article awhile back.
Anyway, The Wall Street Journal is reporting on a conspiracy theory I’ve missed: that the Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile subterranean loop that smashes particles at nearly the speed of light to enable physicists to test various theories, may breach another dimension and unleash the forces of darkness.
And a group of Raelians, who see life on Earth as the creation of scientists from another planet, announced last year that they would protest the collider’s destruction of tiny life forms contained within particles, the WSJ says.