More Absurd Antiscientific Beliefs

We live in times of unprecedented scientific progress. The workings of distant planets, the most elementary particles, the DNA in our cells and the information processing in our brains are all understood to an astonishing level. Not every scientific question is answered of course, and answers often gave rise to more questions. Scientific theories sometimes get revised, but many of them have supreme predictive power in the 21st century. Science ain’t perfect, but what we know now and what we can do with this knowledge is utterly astonishing in comparison to humanity’s state of knowledge only 10 generations ago.

But unfortunately not all of humanity is participating in this enormous gain in knowledge. Many findings have become difficult to understand, and people want simple answers. Not everybody has the intelligence, education and leisure to acquire advanced knowledge about the workings of the world. And people often vehemently resist believing in facts which are counter to their religious beliefs or would force them to reconsider their life styles.

Denial of anthropogenic climate change, evolution, and the moon landing, and a belief that the condensation trails of airplanes are mind-control tools are well known examples of absurd anti-scientific beliefs. But let me introduce a few more, albeit lesser known anti-science conspiracy theories:

Whale Shark Denialism

Whale shark: whale or shark? Scientists agree that it’s a shark, but an increasingly vocal group of whale shark deniers, with ample support of the corporate media, claim that the issue is not settled and that it might as well be a whale. Whale sharks have gills like sharks, a cartilaginous skeleton like sharks, a shark nervous system and a shark skin. “But this is simply the opinion of the scientific establishment”, said Peter O. Daneben, spokesperson of the whale shark sceptic’s movement and prolific blogger & newspaper columnist. “I am keeping an open mind here” he added.

Whale or shark? Not everyone agrees.

Anti-Toilet Paper Movement

Everyone does it, almost every day: take a shit. Many people then clean their asses with some toilet paper. But: God does not want us to use toilet paper. Two thousand years ago, when god spoke to his people, there was no toilet paper, so it would be blasphemy to use it now. Anyone who uses it will surely go to hell (at least with a clean ass, I might add).

Railroad ESP Conspiracy

Almost every country in this day and age has a network of rail lines. But why? Everyone knows that it’s so much faster and convenient to get to places with your car than by train. The answer is that rail lines act as conductors for extra-sensory perception (ESP) by government specialists who in this way can exert mind-control power even into the most remote corners of a country. ESP power is usually limited to a few hundred meters, but the energy forms involved can travel almost infinitely far along metal rods.

A clear indication for this is also that many rail lines are not private property, but state owned. This almost automatically makes them a communist conspiracy, and hence a mind control tool. What more proof do you need for the rail’s function as ESP conductors?

Ion Channel Denialism

This is a rather sophisticated conspiracy theory: a type of ignorance contingent upon a lot of previous education. All of neuroscience agrees that ion channel proteins in the membranes of nerve cells are responsible for the fast electric activity these cells show. A few Nobel prizes were given for work on ion channel proteins. All of neuroscience agrees on their importance, but for one guy – this is not the most popular conspiracy theory yet. He claims steadily that proteins have nothing to do with nerve cells’ electrical potentials, and that it’s the movement of lipid molecules which does it.

Does one of these movements actually exist? Guess which one, and win a copy of my psychedelic political parody set in a globally warmed future, The Mindpost. The first two correct answers win.