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Coronavirus and Conspiracy Theories, with Michael Shermer

2020-07-06 | 🔗

Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-host Chuck Nice, and Michael Shermer, author and Founding Publisher of Skeptic Magazine, investigate the rise of conspiracy theories during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Have you ever had their dream, where you're trying to take your business remote and its super confusing, but then you hear of bondage add for their team of remote business experts that you can just call and they can put a whole plan together. She, your business, can easily work from anywhere and on top of that they can even sort you out with a video api. They, u can use to build video into your absent websites. Have you ever had that dream will now what's an actual real thing that you can do you don't need to get into remsen anymore, to make your business communication dreams come true? All you need to do is call bondage now we're talking welcome to start off your place in the universe where science and pop culture collide knocked off begin right now. This is start talking near the grass Thyssen, your personal astrophysicist, with me is my committed coast, Jackknife Jerk, a Hawaii still tweeting, choked nice comic
Thank you, sir. Yes, I am having to remind people that you are common wealth. I have to remind myself I'm not worried about them. It's me that unconcerned about India, so This is gonna, be another in our most type part series on different angles into the The virus, and yet in this particular episode, will be addressing corona virus conspiracy theories. Oh, my goodness, there we're to be here for a few days, but it's and more broadly scepticism and science literacy and how are you invoking The universe is one example how we can invoke scepticism but There is no end in this list. And there's only one person only one ideal, candidate guest for this as the one only Michael Shermer. Michael welcome back to start up a threatened
returning champion rounding publishers, sceptic magazine bristling offer you been our guest on startup, multiple too. And you have a recent book. You have several books fact if I look carefully your shelve wanna go, so we want to see what people put on the shelves behind them. In this pandemic, era, Well, I've only reason issue. As you can see right, there is on conspiracies that was before the pandemic, so it was a good timing. I've never seen the spread like a virus of conspiracy theories like this. This is really question. Crazy and so in your latest book, giving the devil his do reflections of scientific humanist. Now you have a book with the word devil in it. Why have you expected
sell that book to fear, for their very is yeah just cut the sales in hand, at least Riker worthwhile result. What are your main arguments in there and wise the devil in the title? the devil is whoever disagrees with you or whoever you disagree with whose opinions you dislike. Anybody whose viewpoint diverges from yours and the reason those level should be given their due is so that for your own safety sake that is safe use, off on censorship and silencing people, for you seen their minority position. What happens when you're in the majority, when you're the lone voice, pushing back against the mainstream, when, when you want to push against the dogma, and you signed off on silencing people who disagree. Then then they'll come after you, so
title comes from a play called a man for all seasons about this robber bolts play that was made into a film about Sir Thomas more in his collision with King Henry, the eighth over his divorced from Catherine of Aragon in detergents a bunch of different threads in there, but one of which is Thomas more arguing with his future son in law about tearing down the laws to get after the devil? Metaphorically speaking, and more is arguing that we have to give the devil is due for our own safety sake. That is the law Are there to protect people? For example, the first amendment So, if you say well, we got to make an exception for this one person. Cuz he's really really bad and he okay. Well what about this person? Cuz they're really bad also, and he knows he's start with something like you know what is Pharisee theorists
Miss like Alex Drones and ok. Will we get? We have to silence him and cancel him, or what about this? This person over here David? I what about this guy? What about that guy? What about this corona virus sceptic? Well, wait a minute, maybe the sceptical of the corona virus theory the maybe as appoint. Maybe we can learn something from them. In other words, there is a kind of concept creeper, the Bin, of which we put stuff in that we think is dangerous, guess, larger and larger so low, It seems to me we ve all heard the phrase the devil's advocate and, if I remember correctly, this was would be in Church catholic church trials, yeah. Where someone you know your accused of heresy and someone would be appointed by the church to defend you in the face of the heresy, and course you are you, side of the devil. So we need someone to defend the devil and Devils advocate. So that was seems like
systems and rigged against rising, to say nice to see that this court isn't bias of I'm already on the side of the devil, as you are prosecuting me for being on the side of the damage that has an inkling of what you're saying here. That's right to actually that the position the devil's advocate, the advocates of the ugly was position by the catholic Church also to act as a sceptic against a miracle claims, that is to say, everybody in their brother had somebody they thought should be canonized. And you have to be yet. I figured it was like to major miracles and three minor miracles too. Big Addison checklist is a technical checklist in southern ITALY, everybody had a story about weeping, statues and and and bleeding pictures and a miracle cures, and things like this of the catholic Church realise that most these are bogus, so they would appoint a sceptic. Essentially someone like yourself for me to go out there and investigate and find the now
no explanation and then once all those are eliminated than it there's some laugh and they did. They could say. Will that one is a miracle now you- and I would not go that far of course, but they they did. Sentry because the devil's advocate is actually a valuable position. Skeptical position, I'm going with the blue of blue Oyster, called an I'm living forgiven. The devil is, do that's that's where I am An unbroken I'm burden for you, there's a song and ok, but you would- You need free speech in order to combat conspiracy theories, the other rights here I kind of our two. This was really practical, wrote a virus, and so how does this play out so that the reason we need free speeches, because most of us are wrong much of the time, and so the only way to find out is to listen to what other people have to say so them
you think. While we have the final truth, no, we don't have a sign up. We never have the final truce turn of truce with a capital t in science and a coronavirus is viruses Examples of this are so many unknowns, and you know I admire doktor to very much he's, not omniscient that these now God he may be wrong about some things and end the CDC same thing and so forth. So it's good to listen to the people that are in that. Pull away from that. Are there they disagree little bit could be. This could be, that is a vile weapon or is it a you know genetically engineered virus, or is it a bad virus when we have the answer to that now? But but it's ok to talk about that because you know maybe it is this: are there and the thing conspiracy theories. Neil is that a lot of em there's enough of them that are true, that it pays to be constructively conspiracy, see minded that is a little pair,
I'd in Alan and it's not that you know we think bill gates is gonna. Take over the world or five g is causing the corona virus. But we do know that pharmaceutical companies have hacked the FDA s system of regulations to cheat. They the standards and make more money. We know Volkswagen Hack, the emission standards to make them We know government agents and politicians lie and an insider trading in Wall Street. There's enough these kinds of things that go on that As you know, I am a little sceptical about what the CDC said or what the Chinese are telling us. That's, not a crazy position to take. You know. Another words
that happens that there is a kind of a logic to listening to some of it at least now these sort of go from like ten percent away from the vow to mainstream to twenty percent. To David, I think, said, step ivory towers and bill gates again, but the problem of silencing him, let's say like last week, he got kicked off you tube. Does he appeared on this? British tv show you to jail. Why would I get off this guy named David Ike who's? Who sort of the Alex Drones of England? I mean he's way out there. He thinks you know the lizard aliens are secretly running the world and all this stuff. He is way out there, but you know thanks, thereby the Africans totally behind that one of not there. More amphibian out. I mean I want to do something about it say: don't love me with the greatest Talkum Frog leap through that there is a funny story about that that than nine eleven
others are are divided amongst themselves about do you know whether there really were planes are not theirs? There's an extreme. A group of the truth is who think their work that there? the no planners that these were holographic images that people think they saw planes, but but but it was actually just accept. Devices and the regular nine eleven to those who just think it was inside job by the Bush administration. They say all those no planters, their crazy, and I d bug each other and in their sites like that, and
This is a man and flatter authors are divided about their arguments in some kind of fun to watch them go at each other, but that's part of the free speech. Let let everybody had their voice, it'll be pretty obvious, which ones are crazy in which regions are not. So may I ask this Michael with respect to health concerns such as a pandemic. There are consequences to misinformation and there are consequences too, for people who profit. Gay conspiracy theories to the detriment of the greater society. How do you deal with that? So here is a person who says like we shouldn't do: a b and C. I don't care what it was to set, but but a b and c actually contributes to the public good by keeping all safe from one another and getting the spread of the disease. What do you do?
with somebody like that who is posing an eminent threat yeah, why with you on that, and that is a disease tween that which is actual action or behaviour that people take versus the words. They speak less concerned about the words that they speak in but but going out without a masker mingling amongst other people when you're sick, in a lot Americans have this crazy idea that freedom means I can do anything I want like there's a viral video last week of the woman and target might have been costs. Go you know, purposely copying into somebody's I'm an American and the constitution says I can do anything I want. No mandate does not say that you are not free to draw on the left side of the road right. You give up that freedom for the security of a safer drive. And his go right down the line from their there's, a thousand freedoms you give up every day. In the national interests or security or safety of your community. Whatever and of the kind that libertarian notion
but too far in the freedom for you to swing your arm ends at my nose and the freedom your kid coffin, my kids face when he's got a coming what disease that that that ends at my kids, you know the health. So you know to the to the end actors who say why I should be free not to vaccinate my kid well now. Ok, maybe, but then my kid should be free from your kid. So you can send your kid public schools, libraries Bubba ghouls, you don't let him out of the house, because you know that that's a risk so and we we make those kinds of sacrifices in the interests of health and safety all the time, so the ground of irish kind of push people on this. You see these people very confused about what Freedom means so so I would take a break in a couple minutes, but just before we do my question is what makes the corona I was more susceptible to conspiracy theories than some other thing that might be in the news. Is because we don't have a come, complete and total candle on
and so that leaves open. Room down people's imagination. I, like that activists yeah too, to quote one heroes. Aristotle, you another method that nature abhors a vacuum. The mind abhors a vacuum of explanation and will fill it with them we got, and so will we didn't know for why what was gone. I will grant a virus and the novel corona virus has way was called out. Was novel in a we'd, never seen it before. Even though thing you got together, like it yeah. There's a lot of China look like a, but it was different. The origin was, you know your gun of you're China wasn't exactly the the other most regimes and trustworthy regime and and over nineteen pandemic that that comes from the ground, virus end. We weren't sure, half ass I was going to spread. I'm sorry, it's like the air. We should close economy. A few weeks earlier, like Germany, did, has looked down their coming out of it sooner than we are so far
but nobody knew that. That's with hindsight right we just didn't, know you know I was there when the TED Conference, when Bill Gates gave that famous speech now Siena, gun viral video was twenty fifteen day. This is coming. It's the next big thing and we're all like here. We ve heard this for their age one and one in the bird flu and lively when Ebola an eye and on and on every couple years, one of these things in it he says this. Is it and then it Peters out? Ok, so it would like completely crazy to think this might just Peter out right and that, but now we got all ok I didn't so that can opens the door. This is so you have uncertainty, a threat, a serious threat, a real threat, and then couple that to a couple other things that were going on the roll out of five g. At the same time, writer. What is five g? Well, its extension of forgery, its invisible forest, the electromagnetic radiation. I can't see it like nuclear energy. I can't see its melodies to touch it and it's dangerous is potentially threatening
and so the five cheating and then you throw em the there's always a faint aroused by plus five g was primarily by the Chinese so that the regulated double force operating on the right and the fertility wave, the pet of the discussion parent adequately. We should note that the counter factual cities, they dont, have five g that have been hit by the crown of virus and and so forth. That refute that hypothesis benevolence, but also another normal driving force behind conspiracy. Theory theories is power differentials, so can spears theories are usually targeted at rich and powerful people Corporation big government agents? an agencies and so forth and so now. Here's bill gates now involved in public health, vaccinations things like this and the virus and he's rich and powerful
and you know that kind of got lumped in there with the big companies rolling out five g, and then big farmer is always in that formula right here. There now being discussed in oh they're gonna make a vaccine that every it has to take so they're gonna make a fortune on it and then bill gates. Again, chip everybody, so he can control the world population euphoria. Yeah yeah yeah, you ve got out that event. The way. Michael. It's not a ship, it's nights, adapters went away I was wondering how they're going to fit him inside the needle atto, but that's right now by already take a break and where we come back will take your questions that have been solicited in the past twenty four hours,
overloaded with sceptics, questions about the court, a virus and scepticism in general. When we come back. We're back starter, didn't this is actually a cosmic queries. Addition exploring conspiracy theories in the Corona verse, Gacek, nice. As always, and leave me out. I don't believe I dont believe This is about exploring conspiracy. Michael Shermer, who is the patron saint?
Can I say that about you, Michael Saint of Scotland, more miracle before I'm sainted, so with this new book out, the full name, the devil, giving the devil is. Do you so exploring free speech and arguments in the sky, movement and how we can apply that wisely in our current. Who is our current challenges so check you gotta question for us. We have several questions from our patriotic patrons who support us I'll off this daily there's, not just patron for this as you, I suggest we laid off with our patriarch patrons and we're late. Their way to the front of the list, as that's just like the titanic. This of the Titanic, sank Jack. I have to go as that of God. There is not a good allows you to doubt that aren't so anyway. Let's
with Robert Colonel who says who assist in the death of conspiracy theories, is it better to confront them or Nor has there been any research on whether confronting these theories makes it more likely. People believed them because of the leaf. Reinforcement, furthermore, does confronting them, give them credibility and helped them spread. Wow Robert I'm gonna, say that's a damn good question. Michael. What is gonna be the question of the day? Well, they're going to spread anyway, whether your norm, or not in the modern age everybody's around publisher, with their own you to channel ensigns. That's not, its strategy? On the other hand, you not required to respond everybody I mean we ignore the flatter three for a long time, because you know the head of a dyed back, ninety, six or whatever, and that was the end of that he was the last member. But then a kind of Europe as you know, little a couple years ago and can spread, went viral without all right, I guess we need to have an issue of sceptic.
How we know the earth is not flat, and you know how to science work anyway, and we gotta use it as an excuse to talk about that. But if you ask average person. How do you know the earth is round had? He know, goes around the sun and so forth. A lot of people can't articulate that. So we that well This use that as an excuse, something like that. We also It depends on the influence that the claim has the conspiracy theory. Is our people talking about it care about it. Do we need to provide some kind of response to the media in the public, and I so that also depends in terms of free speech. You know people should be free to say what they want, but I'm not required to enable their speech. So occasionally, creation is Sir Holocaust deniers had tried to place ads and sceptic. I don't take them, but that's not have not censoring them. Frida published around newsletters and magazines and produce Rome, dogs or whatever, but such a different kind of thing they're. So maybe up
answer the question where you are censoring them in your own mouthpiece, what I've heard a trifle in a way, though I have to be selected, we can talk about everything I picked the ones. I think there are most important just like college campuses They they invite. Maybe twelve public speakers to come to cap is right, but there's a thousand Jews from so in a way there that's a kind of censorship. I suppose that you you you discriminate, but that but their free to do whatever they want. I bet, but did you ever moat? I'm sick, you answer the question: should you directly engage a conspiracy theories on the hope and expectation that. You will change their mind. Oh I forgot that yeah. So there this idea? A few years ago, the so called backfire effect, that is by addressing a particular claim and explaining why it's wrong like climate denial denial, no actually just doubled. The people will double down on their beliefs digging their heels
the big in there he'll, not the studies that have not been replicated, that is to say it looks like people can change their mind if you present evidence in a particular way One in a very visual away in a pie, chart paragraphs things that are easy to understand. The piles of numbers in it in a table, but something that's visual to you, President away that that doesnt challenge the person's deepest moral beliefs right. So the number the number one predictor of climate scepticism is political position so, but but clear sceptics who were tend to be conservative. They don't know anything more about climate science than than the climate. The believers say, Democrats, liberals, there's essay knowledge about climate scientists not predict who believes in it or accepts it. So the public expression it scepticism or believe, is more of a signal to your tribe, I'm so conservative? I doubt that climate signs business right if you don't know anything about it,
same thing with evolution in on it. If you give people, if we give Christians a choice between Darwin and Jesus, there not taken Darwin. Starwood is not going to be anybody's Savior at the right. They have to take that off the table. Keep keep your Savior keep Jesus. Keep your crisp evolution was the way God created life for something like this, and then you take them off the table, so they don't feel threatened. So those are the two things here, due to get around like fire. If other tactics, this is tactical strategy. Ok, so we're. Ok, this one is from who's, this guy chuck co has to start talking you're on member? Indeed, I am has there been any studies done on these psychological make up of people who are prone to believe in conspiracy theories. He added A fair amount of research on their now. First of all,
all the mean we hear of the conspiracy there is some overweight guy in his parents, bedroom you now, with a tinfoil hat and an internet connection, you know that that's not the case really. Most conspiracy theory served thoughtful, educated and so on. It depends on the conspiracy theory right so say politically. Those that are in power tend to be less conspiratorially mine in the nose out of power, so the losing party usually goes goes conspiracy, bonkers after they lose that those in power dropped the conspiracy theories. Now the current administration at present seems to be an exception to that. He still talking about it. The conspiracy against him in the election, as I do, you want shut up I was rigged is like you know, you won right.
But there, but there are some things like it would call global coherence. It is the moment you took the box for believing one conspiracy. Very that you think Princess Diana was assassinated, you're more likely to believe it the UK was assassinated by a conspiracy or and in any number of the other popular nine eleven was an inside job and so forth that that that this sort of a tendency to, To think somebody is behind the scenes pulling the strings in the moment you so to go down that path way. You think it happens everywhere, even with annex tinkler, conspiracy theory, that is, people that are more likely to check the box that they take princes Diana was murdered, are also more likely to think she faked or death. It is still live somewhere. What they can't be. They can't both be triple. She can't be they're alive at the same time, right, Sir,
and also there's a bias that some people are more inclined to. That is there a site that size of the car should match the size of the effect in ozone? Alex Ass was the worsening happened a group of people committed by the Nazis, this regime and histories. Try to get this match by J O K, here the free world and then and most powerful man on earth assassin. Thereby Hulu Ruby, Oswald, some loan that doesn't match. We can add the FBI this year. The KGB and the Cubans in the mafia. You know what kind of make it match same thing with princess die cause of death, drunk driving, speeding, no seatbelt in a tens of thousands of people die of that every year, but princess. I'm not supposed to die like that right, so you get at the Emma five near my six in the royal family, the Arabs and we're all in on it, and so ninety members of nineteen guys with box cutters, you know brought down the World Trade Center building the Abbe come on. That's just the Bush had to be involved in this group and neck
so you get some of that, and some people are more inclined towards that kind of reasoning than others because deep in our minds, we we want a full explanation, for this doesn't need those beings. Terms, but a psychological need being served by the flesh. Let's My conspiracy theory there exactly right and an even scarier is the idea that nobody's in charge The idea that there is a cigarette smoking man behind the curtain and he's making the all these things happen, wars and economic revolutions on, but the idea that actually there's nobody that runs the economy. The economy is just the sort of chaotic unpredictable thing that's kind of scary. You know you know where we're question by Michael: ok, isn't God the ultimate conspiracy?
dearest I mean people who believe in God. That's the ultimate conspiracy. Gotta charge of all things. So, here's the question are religious people. If they are satisfied God is operating? Do they have any more or less susceptibility to other understand, things are the world with regard to conspiracy I haven't seen any data on that that religiosity, as a predictor of conspiracy minded whether or not where the opposite ending up as in ITALY the people, are less ever greatly from Rome, are less. Represented among astrologers, another sort of yes, new age That would be good that that there may be a good study for our research team to get to work It is the moment we hang up here, but unless it actually need Neil, you got me thinking there in a way I mean that the common line that religion, people uses. Everything happens for a reason. Reason that now
not just Christians, I mean there's a lot of like deeper chopper following Buddhists, western Buddhist that thank you, know, there's some kind of cosmic force that balances things and if something bad happened over years at the good happens over there, that we also me conspiracy, theory that that is a kind of conspiracy. Theory had really thought of it. That way, interesting who, I'll by Jacques Gimme Jimmy's more. Now here we go this Alan MOSS says, first of all, Let us show my question is: where is the healthy line between believing in some gram, conspiracy and being a very cautious sceptic you had to an end is this. Is it for some? Not for you, of course, our real, but is it for some, perhaps the beginning of a slippery slope. I started as a sceptic and then before you know it out all believe anything. This is bs
Carl Sagan had a great line that I quoted in my first book. Why people? We were things on the kind of healthy sceptics Isn't that finding the rub between being open minded enough to accept radical new ideas, but not so open minded that your brains fall out and you believe every wacky thing that comes down the pike and it's hard to know where that line is essentially the line of demarcation between science and suicide. Say and it depends on the particular area. So since we're dynamite conspiracy theories, the bigger it is the grander it is the less likely. The theory is to be true again back conspiracies like Volkswagen, cheating, the emission standards or pharmaceutical companies, cheating the FDA regulations in those are real conspiracy, but the very narrow and targeted like we know why they're doing it money in this one little area, you know, but the moment you scale up world domination is like? Ok, probably
what you need you need the Cubans in the Chinese and the North Koreans with this just keep adding them in their right. You got enough and it is right and the more people that have to be involved right is people's people are fairly incompetent, and they bumble in stumble their way through jobs and now the idea are you if you cracked, the perfect team to go out there and pull this off Amene Nixon had a prick team of you know that the Watergate burglars ripe nominees regime in Gee, Gordon Liddy I mean come on that They couldn't even Burglah office without getting caught right, that's kind of how things norm. Ago the more Ellen was now a billion photos or uplifted internet every day. You know pictures stuff, even even stockpiled aliens in area, fifty one somebody sneak in a photo out on their instagram. You know that's right, actually use the He leaks is an example of the absence of evidence is evidence of absence, that is to say,
you know that you have followed just or the Nile M truth is what always say will, of course we don't have direct evidence Shermer, it's a secret is classified in our and is like. Ok. Here we have ten million documents that are classified leaked, by Wikileaks, there's nothing in thereabout Roswell really embodies area. Fifty one no sun memo from Bush telling somebody to plant explosive devices in the World Trade Centre will it is for take another break and will become our third and final segment conspiracy, it's time to give a patriot, shut out the following patriotic patrons Sammy Cigar and Caleb silly be guys. Thank you so much for your support. Without you, we could not make this show and for those of you listening who would like your very own patriarch, shot out good, a patriarch,
dot, com, slow start talk, radio and support us we're back starter, jackknife, Michael Shermer, MIKE, I know you for I've. Never really long time, I'm just pleased to have this friendship. That goes back decades, that where we were kind of fighting for the same causes, but differently I mean I'm not in your face, You don't need me your. Have you got it I just want you to know that I'm a huge supporter of your work and your life's direction. You ve taken it, so I just want to put the thank you I appreciate that operators are standing by to take Europe. You're donation zone
Really I did it take. While this the meat is cut, it takes all of us working on this together right. Suddenly designers Moorfields pushing back in their areas. And as we are as kind of a collective body that says, here's all the different. Claims, and here's the experts in that. So we're all gonna work into the same really enlightenment idea that there is a truth, be known. Truth is this multi and that science is the best tool we have to get their ice guard jacket. He began, let's go to Magdalena Gruber, an Magdalena says. Thank you for sparking joy and curiosity of science and my forties. Could you please tell me how to sell the idea of scepticism to people successfully to get them excited? about being sceptical. I find it immensely hard not to sound, condescending or start cast in good. When I try well
the later. Maybe it's you Michael, you got it. You gotta admit through a lot of gas in the community, there are just ass holes in the end, it's like. I know more than you may as an educator. It hurts me to watch that exchange because I want I care what someone knows and doesn't know, and I find in a way that they can communicate. Not just. Down to them- and you know such folks are in the sceptics community already do about their yes. Well, you tell him, don't be a deck. But even that doesnt title over speech given by our friend and colleague, Geronimo like yeah. That's why I give holds me, don't be dead,
and I fear that I think that was fairly well received. But I know you got some push back. The Carl made that point back in the nineties. I think it was a passive, maybe from demon hunted. Whirl worry he's Something like it's easy to be kind of sending the people. I I feel the urge myself bubble up and I have to kind of suppress it. We should also press it and just talk about the positive aspects of what we know. Acknowledged that the other person you know is intelligent, thoughtful or else they're, not gonna, listen to you, gonna, be respectful to certain route, is kind of basic rules of engage, or conversely, I further way that point of view is deeply imbued within an dream. Who was co. Writer of all three cosmos is so that ETA he turned we were to talk about. Some crazy idea that people have the earth did you say this is just preposterous that urges so strong but it? But then you know you can't in shouldn't, go
Otherwise you just lost your audience, so you ve got find a way, there's a sort of organs Lee reaches them so that they feel like that. You care about who they are and how they thinking where they came from, and that you gonna do into a new place. Yeah, that's right I'm fine say no one in the history of the world is ever joined. A cult in other join a group that they think is good just get sucked down the rabbit hole, and they only outsiders can kind of assessed that. But if you tell people you know you're in a cold, you know that's not what they think is going on in an analogous lee- I say no one's ever in this. The world has never been a pseudo scientist who goes down to a pseudo lab to collect pseudo facts to test the pseudo theory. It link they're doing something, and so you have to address it at that level like we're gonna ruin. Why is it you think that that's the case? I am, I know you get these What I called theories of everything in Einstein was wrong. Newton was wrong. Hawking was wrong. Worked out this new theory of the universe and my garage in ok. You can't you say you know what you're that
What are you crazy person this week this at any one of these kids? You know, that's just hurt if they don't think that that's what they're doing so, you have to at least listen. I mean if you're gonna gauge with them the rules conversation listen to what somebody has to say. Let them finish their satins see if you can repeat back to them what they just said in other that kind of steel manning rather than straw manning say it in a way that they would go yeah yeah, that that is what I am arguing: the more likely they got. No, no, no! No! That's not quite what me what I mean is now maybe they did mean that and they realize how nutty its hands when you say it, so they corrected. But that's also good right conversations about adjusting our ideas and changing id and so and so, and then I was honoured, Michael that you had invited me onto your podcast for my last book, which was letters from an astrophysicist about a third of them were carefully communicating with. So were conspiracy theories, there's a fighter you're in there and a big foot,
in so I was. I was honoured that you saw that in me enough to have you as a guest. Oh yeah. No! That's that kind of exchange. I think a super fascinating. I loved getting those kind of letters because it's it's entered to engage with them and just ask them what? How did you come to disbelieve through? What makes you think, that's true, or what would what would it take to change your mind on this stupid thing? To think about the psychology of white people believe they believed that an that's different from tape refuting their arguments, whatever this kind of two different levels Jack, would offer yeah, ok back to earth, Corona Corona verse that we live in jars V, says to mask or not to mask. That is the question. Why did the CDC change their advice about mass half way through the pandemic? Does this type of flip flop, your conspiracy theories, or at least increase?
distrust in up for a t, nice one yeah yeah certainly can remember when that happened. Part of the reason they were saying no masks was at first, they were a worried about the supply chain for healthcare workers to have enough masks, and if everybody made a run on mass there wouldn't be enough for that healthcare workers. I think that was the first reason, but as I remember it is well yeah at the kind of master by say. Well, maybe you don't need it and then this science change and I think the science ever really change. The thing was more of a supply chain concern. And do you know we're still again what year we are did they were recording? We still don't know how to percent about how many feet should you be apart from you, a 6ft where they come up with that number? Maybe it's seven, maybe three That's our it! There's gonna, be a lot of hindsight by us in the next say decade of in guessing everything we did in. I saw some
First, today, on Germany, it looks like they did. They timed it just about right of windows, shut down the economy and their starting to reopen now, but they are all experiments. Different nations trying different things different states within the United States trying to everything's deep. This is good in Alex Experimentation is how we get to the truth. Your blood, That's not the the the fluctuating frontier what is experimental true is not something to talk in school. New fingers size as unknown thing right out of sight, two says something different tomorrow than TAT, All of a sudden people feel justified in this county. Our source of this information, yeah well source gets cancelled right now. That's right, yeah yeah! The problem was teaching justify. Science is just a body of facts. It is too delimited really a method. It's just a way of asking questions about the world and in Burkina answers you can get that a reliable and
also if we were to perhaps just a just the perspective behind what the way were teaching so ants and the way receive received, more importantly, focused more on discovery, yeah say it out. If it's all about discovery, Dennis k for things to change. We ve discovered, would like, for instance, thought. It was all about surfaces. We now discovered that it is not that. Still gotta be concerned about surfaces, but we also now must be equally concerned about our at school. With one another when it comes to speaking and being in our presence in and distancing so, but I think what happens is that this definitive and these declarative nature, of of arguments being made is what causes people
well there. You don't know how you talk about. Why this year alone for a surgeon general arguing that there's a year that rising its it would be better if we thought of failures as actual successes here we succeed. In finding out the cause of? It is not this. Does this business those successes actually is that this is the famous mantra in in space exploration is ever rocket, explodes on a launch pad and you say, well, no, it is an experiment, rich in data access, attics right about that that's funny, but I will not the rocket blew up. That's not funny! Looking over it, data privacy got it right? time for, like maybe one or two more but ok array Erika, I suggest Kabila,
She wants to know who is controlling the massive amount of twitter, but that are pushing for no mass and pushing to reopen America. Something I didn't know about is that we should ask Jack about their heads together. Highness, twitter. Jack Dorsey here. Tourism is what do I know I mean, maybe the russian bonds or chinese barter wherever I am encouraged by recent research by Hugo Mercier decoding scientist about the influence of those kind of Botz, say the twenty sixteen election. He thinks that the influence was negligible all that people were pretty already pretty majority, their minds in Ireland, The other thing, the funny story is you know that if you think Hilary is running, pedophile ring out of a pizzeria and I correct you, you're not likely to vote for Hilary you're. Probably he clearly did not a big fan of hers anyway,
oh she's, not showing babies of over here answer? My question was an excellent. Was Marilyn? Here's a network Seven been born, spend beyond bird once the notice we ve been up without his questions before we had is Brac again. So how can you say theories are conspiracies if China, is not being trans pairing, so no, and I think this is this- is really emblematic of a big problem, and that is you have one fat that actually leads and supports a conspiracy, but then that, mushrooms into like these. Thousands of things that are attached to the other thrice the problem with them.
Tearing regimes not being up front, maybe transparent around us now. But how do we know we think, as they ve lied so many times it's like they treat that's why call the Chernobyl of China. You know that, because we know the Soviets were in a bit of, like I don't know a week and a half the radiation started falling over Sweden and Norway that they ve said. Well, I guess we should be more apparent about what actually happened at Chernobyl. That's the problem if you lie, and then you save all this time, I'm telling the truth. How do we know that fuels conspiracies them, of course, because that's part of conspiracy theories that Somebody is behind the scenes, doing something wrong. Of course, they're going to lie about it. That's true so there is good reason to be skeptical or or consumers, rural areas. What it means is in the case of China, then people like you said try telling the truth you dont know. Even if that is true, because there's a room that it could be a lie,
are afforded the universal earlier. False information. Disinformation, countess information very well in the words of Jean paying you can't handle that it was I who said that wondering where I was was see. So. We spend less couple minutes. Could you give me Some of the more outlandish by your judgment. Conspiracy theories were good whenever we let top three be adopted. Well, five g bill gates, by a weapon is about weapons is not quite as crazy, but but we now know from the genetic analysis that it was not engineered. It's a bad virus. You know that you know that, of course, The Anti Baxter's were all over this very predictable. They jump on anything like this. We ve been dragging them for quarter century every time. Something like this happens. There's any Baxter's.
They're, so that you know that doesnt great, just crazy, it's dead, just because you know vaccines are one of the best things we ve ever invented for saving human lives and in us of that, that's a disturbing. Why not just crazy bit by bit, but dangerous. We would have what do what wouldn't have actually say? Oh, that that the either the government or the pharmaceutical companies Pig farmers are using the crowd of Iris pandemic us as a scare tactic to force people to vaccinate and then from Are you go to their they're gonna Chickasaw today? Can trackers or NATO body and then trackers even the tracking and tracing does this idea is party, can it new world order? Conspiracy, theory that goes back to the nineteen eighties and in a way, if you think
We are all being tracked. We are already checked, you have a smartphone in your pocket that has chips in it and somebody knows where you offer and maybe who you're talking to and where are your shopping and so on and so forth. In a way this is kind of happened, but we ve all internally. Did it and it's not big farmers is not big government. It's a big tech walked right into it and then what about the consumer see there was maybe not a conspiracy or cover up there. It was a lab leaked yeah, so in nature. Nature Medicine Journal published the genome analysis of the novel crowded. And that it is you like. Ninety eight point, five percent similar do a bat grown a virus Roma ground of viruses are very common in a third of all common culture. Corona viruses, the others, are rhino viruses and one other It makes sense, Bass live better mammal
they're very susceptible to respiratory These they live in giant populations. There's a cave in Texas but like twenty million members like its city in Mexico, And they get these kind of pandemic spreads all the times up. You gotta make sense wet market entry in a better way. So that's that's. Don't social distance. When there has been aided out there, they hang upside down right, that's what makes it spooky other bigger, cute, comic social distance. I don't want to get a human viruses and wash your wings twenty second, but but but It is true that the work on is the site of a infectious. Disease. Research sat right and there are by our weapons labs around the world and to twice under it during the cold war. The rush,
meanwhile weapons labs had a leak. One was, I think, a fire, and the other one was an accidental leak. Answer is again: I completely crazy to ask the question or to explore the idea, but I think that one's answer now so Chart Michael. We are at a time, but is a highly illuminating Michael's, always great to talk to you and your new book you just released just in time for the ran a virus. If this issue, you are planning this, thank you The message we hang up, I'm going back in my bio weapons, lab to giving the devil his do reflections of a scientific humanist which you are so vital, always good to have you don't be a stranger Jack London in love. You too man. There are. I guys. Thank you, gentlemen. I get to see again excellent excellent art at this has been startled cosmic queries. This one on consumers
As always, I did you.
Transcript generated on 2020-07-28.