Why Conspiratrial Thinking Is So Often Utterly Incoherent

I just blogged this over at UFO Religions, but it’s equally applicable here given the sort of pablum that I deal with so often in the world of paleobabble.

You just HAVE to watch the video below (7:00). It’s clear and to the point, and you’ll no doubt have a laugh or two – a video on how Luke Skywalker’s destruction of the Death Star was *really* an inside job. It’s very well done and has almost two million views on YouTube.

The value of the video should be obvious. Every fact presented in it is indeed a fact from the movie. And every connection drawn is “reasonable” in the context of the narrative created. But the conclusions are absolutely wrong. This is precisely how so much conspiratorial thinking works … and fails horribly. Conspiracy is all about narrative interpretation, not “facts”. ¬†Once one part of the narrative fails, the whole thing crumbles. The beauty of the video is that the viewer already knows the narrative is wrong, but can see how that bogus narrative is created using nothing but factual data.

In short, it’s not about the data dots; it’s about how the dots are connected — and that usually (nearly always) happens in the theater of the imagination when it comes to conspiracy theory.

Divorcing Jesus’ Wife

This figures to be my last update on this, at least until after November’s academic conferences. I’m bored with it.

Here’s some item updates on the alleged (but now suspected by many to be fake) fragment that has Jesus referring to his wife. (In case you’re late to this party, here’s a good overview post from New Testament textual critic Dan Wallace). Of particular note is the last one, by Christian Askeland, a Coptologist I happen to know through email due to my day job. It’s an interesting video demonstration (for the non-specialist) of the fragments odd features that has led to suspicion of fakery.

My disappointment with The Guardian (from Mark Goodacre’s blog; deals with the archeo-witless media)

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Latest¬†(also from Goodacre’s NT blog; updates of the issue)

Christian Askeland on the “Wife of Jesus” fragment

Satirical Music Video Targeting Nibiru 2012 Mythology

One of the members of the Boston-based rock band, Metaphor for Everything, sent me the link to a new single, accompanied by a note that the song was inspired by my Zecharia Sitchin site. Apparently the site convince one of the band members to leave the ancient astronaut fold. I got a chuckle out of it; some clever lyrics. I also liked the swipe at Harold Camping in it.

And for those ancient astronaut fundies out there who take that material too seriously, the song is a parody of the Sitchin/Nibiru/2012 hysteria — it’s not a suicide anthem.