The Flouridation of water is a communist plot and other tales of the crazy side of the internet
So in all seriousness, I'm arguing with a friend about many different crackpot theories (he has recently opened his mind to so much his mind apparently fell out) so I'm stuck arguing with him over whether Fluoride in the water is evil to RFID's in vaccines and whether the UFO's built the pyramids, being that this guy is a freshmen in college leads me to believe he's at that critical point where if he is not challenged to have a rational mind he will soon be a unkempt conspiracy theorist that people avoid at parties. I've been beating him and his co-conspirators on his facebook page with logic and reason but it's starting to take too much time and research. So I'm coming here for a bit of research help, does anyone have any great studies on the efficiency of Fluoridation in the water. The net is well riddled with anti-fluoridation material with only a few government websites doing comprehensive studies...
I know some of you have a policy of not engaging in crackpot theories but I also know nearly everyone in their intellectual development goes through a phase like this..... (be it Occult, Aliens, Psyhic powers, vampire boyfriends :-p) So anyway help me out so I can get some work done at work and not get fired rebutting crackpot theories!
That aside, I'll join on. It's always a laugh.
Hmmm, I'm starting to think that mind altering drugs are involved in this case....
1) Examine the conspiracy, figure out just how difficult it would be for the government to pull it off. How many secrets they would have to keep. How many people would have to keep their mouths shut. How smart, ingenious, and efficient the government would have to be for it to be true.
2) Examine how absolutely stupid an inefficient the government is at almost every level. They can't even manage a post office. They can't even get an electronic voting machine that works. They can't deal with a natural disaster like a hurricane.
3) 1+2 = 3. A government that can't deal with hanging chads, and where congresspeople and supreme court justices don't even understand what e-mail is, can not in any conceivable way engage in a huge flouride conspiracy.
4) Also occam's razor.
Sadly, this strategy is only good against government conspiracies, and has to be altered to work on something like the Illuminati or aliens. Luckily, most conspiracies are government conspiracies.
Also, I have a question. It seems like most conspiracy nuts are in the US, and have conspiracies about the US government specifically. I imagine there must be conspiracy nuts in other countries with theories about their own governments. Or do they have theories about the US government? I want to hear about some international nut jobs.
I guess you should try to explain the concept that just because they want you to think it doesn't mean it's false, but it's easier to give up.
At one point, I described a vast theory to him, and he was saying "Yeah man! that's it! you totally get it, This is amazing, I'm amazed you uncovered that plot on your own, most people have to be shown the truth!"
Of course, what I described to him was an extended summary of the plots to Assassin's Creed 1 and 2.
I even mentioned an a middle eastern Assasin called Altair, an Italian called Etzio, Leonardo da Vinci, the whole deal - and it turns out that 99% of it was what he already believed.
Wierdly enough, he also notes that it's not right(Read, it's not the fashion anymore, since conspiracy theorists became the butt of a lot of jokes) to call them conspiracy theories, because conspiracy theories are "Misdirection and lies that THEY put out there to throw you off the REAL truth!"
But yes, to stop Rambling and answer your question, Scott - What I can tell, they do Believe in the conspiracy theories about the US government, and all of that nonsense, however, they generally also include plots from their own governments, and more international, far reaching plots, many of them based in or involved with the USA, as apparently, according to them, that's the easiest place for them to conduct their operations, because that's the country that they have the most control over.
-Boiling won't do the trick and ice melts into your soda.
-Starbucks employees all worship the Mother Hydra symbolized as a "mermaid".
-Don't wash dishes or do laundry because the residual chemical WILL seep into their system.
After a few week, I see this problem hospitalizing itself.
That being said most of this stuff is crazy nonsense that doesn't have anything to do with anything. My motto is test everything, believe nothing. If I can't verify it personally, then it's is belief based on the appeal to authority fallacy. I can't know that someone else isn't just making up a bunch of numbers to fit their theories, it's been known to happen, scientists are people too. Therefore it comes down to a practical viewpoint. The practical thing is to accept what works to a limited degree, seeing as I don't have the time to actually test these things myself.
For the water fluoridation thing, I guess the way to actually see is to use non-fluoridated water exclusively for a month, record how you feel etc on a regular basis then go back to the fluoridated water and again record health, etc. then compare the results. Otherwise you are just believing what others tell you, and if you really care about it affecting you on a daily basis, then there is no room for belief.
If you wanted to go really hardcore, then you could routinely inject mice with doses of fluoride and compare them to a control group and monitor the health of the two. But I doubt that peta would be so happy about something like that, and it doesn't seem like a step most people are willing to take.
â€œAs far as evolution, there is cold hard scientifically discovered evidence that in perfect cycles of time, spanning thousands of years, all of the life on the planet went through a sudden and beneficial "evolution" completely changing the DNA of all life on the planet. These "just happen" to be connected with apocalyptic catastrophes, each in turn from water (great flood), earth (quakes), fire (volcanoes), and air (atmosphere). All these events are scientifically documented. It just fits. Now the spirit evolution is coming up. Our dna is also linked to us spiritually. A study was done where tongue scrapings were taken from a volunteer and shipped to a lab across the country, him on one coast, his dna on the other. Using atomic clocks, they had him record every moment of his life for a week or so where he felt stress. At THE EXACT SAME TIMES, his dna sample would undergo the same emotional states. Then theres phantom dna, which proves that our entire "life code", so to speak, is literally formed in photons, or light. We are beings of light. Beings of love.â€
The pyramids all over the world have baffled modern scientists and construction workers for years. They all unanimously agree that they would NEVER be ably to construct even one pyramid even given 20 years. EVERY SCIENTIST who ever took a look at them. It is just too precise. There are marble and granite rooms inside Egypts pyramid. Egypt, as well as Maya, has an intricate cyclical astrological calendar accurately predicting many past and future events, both ending in 2012. With Nazca, first off, do you have any idea how old the lines are? Many thousands of years ago. With any knowledge of weather patterns and erosion, those lines would be thought to have disappeared long long ago. Yet there they remain to this day. Also, take a look at the mountain tops, some are missing! Where is all those tons of dirt? No where in sight. Then there is Puma Punku in Tiahuanaco. The stones are so hard and so straight that they locked together perfectly. Not to mention they would have had to move the rocks all at least 10 miles. To cut the stones so perfectly straight, they could only have used a laser. No edge could possibly cut that perfectly. And then they did this all without any writing system. No way could they do that without written plans. Tying it all together, we have all over the entire world, we are surrounded by ridiculously over sized stone structures that all look similar, have similar pictures, similar qualities both qualitative and quantitative, all from the same time period, with countless individual cultures who were all physically separated by immense distances. Tell me how to disprove that. In fact, take anything here and disprove it. Just try.
If you can't, then............."
(I've already worked the different non-crazy theories on how the pyramids were created, I'm working on my evolution answer currently)... I love the claim "EVERY SCIENTIST" :-p
It is fallacious to draw a broad conclusion based exclusively on limited personal experience. Controlled scientific studies (yes, plural) are the only way we have to really draw these sorts of conclusions. The whole "I tried it and didn't like it" is so uncontrolled it's laughable. At minimum, you need to conduct it in a single-blind fashion, and preferably one in which you were unaware that you were being studied.
EDIT: You don't have to refute anything. He's nuts. Plain and simple. He didn't make a single valid or supported claim; thus, you just dismiss his arguments until he can actually cite things.
Ask him to provide you with studies. If he says, "Science is just part of the conspiracy," punch him in the dick and never speak to him again.
I re-read his ramblings. The guy is a lost cause. This isn't "open-minded liberal college kid" any more. He's seriously deficient.
Also, I've talked to him a good deal before he left for his first year of college and he was going down the rational skeptical route laid out by his parents, it was unnerving to see the last few months he slid into pseudoscience.
I mean, it's one thing to have a few conspiracy theories. Believing in aliens? We're suffused with that stuff. JFK? How many movies have been made about that? But fucking phantom DNA? Where the fuck do you come up with that? You either have to be doing some serious hallucinogenics, or you have to be batshit crazy. Maybe both.
His general tone is one that indicates he is completely convinced of the rightness of his views. There really won't be any arguing with him. He'll just throw a barrage of questions at you. Like I said, just ask for scientifically valid studies. Let me know how he responds to that.
The problem I'm concerned about is really that people blindly accept things from authority without properly understanding what the hell is being said. That is they can't discern a crackpot in a lab coat from a real scientist. Therefore, if the experiment is repeatable and the results are valid, then your results should match theirs. The other issue is the problem of the subjective objective viewpoints. We experience things on a subjective level, so sometimes in order to convince someone you have to get them to experience what you are talking about first hand. Objectivity is great until you run into the issue of repeated experience working against you.
Of course at that point there is a good chance of insanity, but if it's insanity that yields results and it isn't bothering or hurting anyone else then what does it really matter. If someone feels better because they believe the water they are drinking is fluoridated, then regardless of whether it is or isn't they are feeling better. If experience is fooling us, then on a practical level people will always default to that.
I know the stuff I wrote up there wasn't scientifically valid, but it might get that person to just shut up, so it was more of a marketing tactic against their stupidity than an experiment. It would take me a little while to actually come up with all of the proper criteria for an actually valid experiment.
The basic philosophy remains the same though, test, don't believe. Rather than trying to convince people that you are right or wrong, present them with a means to gather data themselves and show you actual recorded evidence. At very least if they go down the slippery slope to prove their point, they may end up doing some real science eventually. At least that's what I'd like to believe.