ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 15th October 2017, 08:48 PM   #1
wasapi
Illuminator
 
wasapi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,677
Conspiracy theoriest and intelligence?

Just curious. I know two men who are both consumed with conspiracy issues about - everything. Everything. It wouldn't surprise me if one of them claimed the FBI was controlling Big Foot.

The thing is, both men are quite intelligent and well educated. I apologize if this has been discussed, but I wonder if this is not unusual?
__________________
Julia
wasapi is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 02:35 AM   #2
Oystein
Penultimate Amazing
 
Oystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 15,404
Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Just curious. I know two men who are both consumed with conspiracy issues about - everything. Everything. It wouldn't surprise me if one of them claimed the FBI was controlling Big Foot.

The thing is, both men are quite intelligent and well educated. I apologize if this has been discussed, but I wonder if this is not unusual?
Anecdotally you can find examples for anything on all sides of CT topics: dumb and smart, left and right, religious and agnostic, successful and failure, old and young, male and female, ...

The question is whether there are statistically significant differences between CTers and non-CTers. I am sure no study exists about CTers that has measured Intelligence as such, as in administering an IQ test. Some studies or polls have probably used education level.
__________________
Thermodynamics hates conspiracy theorists. (Foster Zygote)
Oystein is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 03:38 AM   #3
mikado
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,563
What about arrogance and that smug sense of being smarter than everyone else? Always suspected it's much more about that
__________________
member formally known as Renmarkable.
mikado is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 05:57 AM   #4
bknight
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 422
Originally Posted by mikado View Post
What about arrogance and that smug sense of being smarter than everyone else? Always suspected it's much more about that
Along with distrust of large organizations over which the CT has no direct influence.
bknight is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 10:22 AM   #5
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Northwet
Posts: 14,138
I'm an engineer. I've worked with any number of intelligent, competent engineers who believed ridiculous stuff. Intelligence does not protect against being a fool.

I, of course, believe that pumpkins should fly.
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 10:32 AM   #6
JoeBentley
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeBentley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 8,357
Conspiracy theories aren't "smarter." What they are is more organized, more neat and tidy, they follow a better narrative, have better balance, have a tighter three act structure.

They don't appeal to smart people per se, they appeal to people who need everything organized.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Hating a bad thing does not make you good." - David Wong
JoeBentley is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 10:34 AM   #7
xterra
So far, so good...
 
xterra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: On the outskirts of Nowhere; the middle was too crowded
Posts: 2,668
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I'm an engineer. I've worked with any number of intelligent, competent engineers who believed ridiculous stuff. Intelligence does not protect against being a fool.

I, of course, believe that pumpkins should do fly.
FTFY
__________________
Over we go....
xterra is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 12:16 PM   #8
Axxman300
Master Poster
 
Axxman300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central California Coast
Posts: 2,196
It's a character flaw.

When I was a salesman if found intelligent, educated people easier manipulate than folks who were street-smart. I'd appeal to their ego, make them feel smarter for shopping with me.

Street-smart folks expect everyone to be scammed and have their guard up.
__________________
Disingenuous Piranha
Axxman300 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 12:34 PM   #9
Loss Leader
Would Be Ringing (if a bell)
Moderator
 
Loss Leader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 24,082
I would think that intelligence and conspiracism don't strongly correlate. The "leaders" in conspiracy movements (authors, lecturers, etc.) are probably more intelligent than average, but so are the leaders in every endeavor.
__________________
I have the honor to be
Your Obdt. St

L. Leader
Loss Leader is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 01:04 PM   #10
mikado
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,563
Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
It's a character flaw.

When I was a salesman if found intelligent, educated people easier manipulate than folks who were street-smart. I'd appeal to their ego, make them feel smarter for shopping with me.

Street-smart folks expect everyone to be scammed and have their guard up.
Yes exactly why more people with hugher I Q s are apparently to be found in cults
__________________
member formally known as Renmarkable.
mikado is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th October 2017, 11:44 PM   #11
Oystein
Penultimate Amazing
 
Oystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 15,404
Originally Posted by mikado View Post
Yes exactly why more people with hugher I Q s are apparently to be found in cults
Is that so?
__________________
Thermodynamics hates conspiracy theorists. (Foster Zygote)
Oystein is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th October 2017, 04:58 AM   #12
Arisia
Graduate Poster
 
Arisia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: 26.2 from Boston
Posts: 1,033
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post

I, of course, believe that pumpkins should fly.
Are you taking part in any big punkin' chunkin' competitions this fall?
Arisia is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th October 2017, 07:21 AM   #13
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Northwet
Posts: 14,138
Originally Posted by Arisia View Post
Are you taking part in any big punkin' chunkin' competitions this fall?
Already did, for some definition of "big". Then again, the actual big event in Delaware has been cancelled for the third time in four years.
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 08:41 AM   #14
bknight
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 422
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Already did, for some definition of "big". Then again, the actual big event in Delaware has been cancelled for the third time in four years.
Slightly off topic, but I had always viewed your avatar as a tepee, but after your latest few posts, it does look like a catapult (for launching pumpkins, no doubt)
bknight is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 08:49 AM   #15
HSienzant
Illuminator
 
HSienzant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,363
Originally Posted by bknight View Post
Slightly off topic, but I had always viewed your avatar as a tepee, but after your latest few posts, it does look like a catapult (for launching pumpkins, no doubt)
You mean it's not a giraffe going back and to left after its head was shot off?

Hank
__________________
"Looks like we're really in nut country now, Toto."
HSienzant is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 08:56 AM   #16
HSienzant
Illuminator
 
HSienzant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 3,363
Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Just curious. I know two men who are both consumed with conspiracy issues about - everything. Everything. It wouldn't surprise me if one of them claimed the FBI was controlling Big Foot.

The thing is, both men are quite intelligent and well educated. I apologize if this has been discussed, but I wonder if this is not unusual?
As some people convert from conspiracism (myself included) I doubt if there's any correlation. Personally, I am a high school dropout.

Hank
__________________
"Looks like we're really in nut country now, Toto."
HSienzant is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th October 2017, 01:28 PM   #17
bknight
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 422
Originally Posted by HSienzant View Post
You mean it's not a giraffe going back and to left after its head was shot off?

Hank
LOL, could have been that also.
bknight is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 03:11 PM   #18
Pope130
Master Poster
 
Pope130's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,577
I wonder if it doesn't have more to do with the ability and need to form patterns from chaotic data than intelligence.
If your response to strangeness is: "That's weird, it must mean something." then you might be a CTist (or religious). If your response is "That seems weird, I wonder what's happening." then you might be an investigator. Or, if your response is "That's weird." and then go on with your life, you could be normal.
Higher intelligence could make this worse by increasing your ability to notice detail and form patterns.
Pope130 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 04:53 PM   #19
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Northwet
Posts: 14,138
Originally Posted by bknight View Post
Slightly off topic, but I had always viewed your avatar as a tepee, but after your latest few posts, it does look like a catapult (for launching pumpkins, no doubt)
It's a trebuchet. And it's launching a pumpkin.
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th October 2017, 05:57 PM   #20
William Parcher
Show me the monkey!
 
William Parcher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 18,133
One study linked social exclusion to conspiratorial thinking.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=317044
__________________
Bigfoot believers and Bigfoot skeptics are both plumb crazy. Each spends more than one minute per year thinking about Bigfoot.
William Parcher is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st October 2017, 11:21 AM   #21
phiwum
Philosopher
 
phiwum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8,928
Eh, probably we're confusing "intelligence" and good critical thinking. And even then, a very intelligent man can be drawn into ridiculous conspiratorial thinking.

Alexandar Abian, if I remember correctly, was a well-respected mathematician. Few folk can be better candidates for careful thinking than a good mathematician (algebraist, I think). This is a man who should be among the most careful thinkers.

But what is he known for? Aside from his mathematical contributions, he was convinced that a great many evils on the earth are due to the influence of the moon and we ought to blow up Luna. Pardon me if I get the details wrong, but this is roughly right. He spent the last decade or two fruitlessly trying to convince folk that this is what ought to be done.

Now, he might be an outlier and I don't pretend to have evidence otherwise, but I have this notion that it's not intelligence to blame entirely for stupid theories. Sometimes, intelligent folk get a bean in their head that they can't get rid of, and this leads to ridiculous conclusions. Whether this changes the correlation one way or the other, I don't know.
phiwum is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th November 2017, 07:36 AM   #22
albie
Scholar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 104
I was on the David Icke forum arguing against a forum advisor(like a mod but they get involved in discussions) He is a structural engineer. apparently. and said the twin towers would not have fallen. Not all of them are idiots. Or at least uneducated.

Incidentally this advisor banned me for a week when I simply pointed out that I had beat him on an issue. Corrupt place.

I think they are pretty average in intelligence with bursts of idiocy that feed their psychological needs. One thread on the DI forum was about how Kung Fu could take down the Illuminati. BWAHAHA. I fought and fought to make them see sense and that a man with a gun could take down any Bruce Lee. No. another forum advisor deleted all my posts that he could not answer.

Not so smart. But then who is? Many scientists believe in infinity.

Last edited by albie; 9th November 2017 at 07:44 AM.
albie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th November 2017, 07:41 AM   #23
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 25,300
Originally Posted by albie View Post
He is a structural engineer. apparently. and said the twin towers would not have fallen. Not all of them are idiots. Or at least uneducated.
Did he have any evidence he was a structural engineer, rather than, say, a carpenter with delusions of competence?

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th November 2017, 07:49 AM   #24
albie
Scholar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 104
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Did he have any evidence he was a structural engineer, rather than, say, a carpenter with delusions of competence?

Dave
No. But I have faith in humankind.

I have to say I find the same kind of biased thinking on a lot of forums. ahem.

Last edited by albie; 9th November 2017 at 07:52 AM.
albie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:30 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.