I was reading a lengthy article on -THE CASE AGAINST INTELLIGENT DESIGN [9.1.05]-The Faith That Dare Not Speak Its Name- by Jerry Coyne- when he started to explain about conspiracy theories and their value to religion and science. The Dover and Cobb county references are pertaining to schools that put warning stickers on their science books. The Scopes trial is over but still the fundamentalists have the right to teach creationism in schools.
When applied to evolution, the erroneous distinction between theory and fact shows why tactics such as the Dover disclaimer and the Cobb County textbook sticker are doubly pernicious. To teach that a scientific theory is equivalent to a "guess" or a "hunch" is deeply misleading, and to assert that "evolution is a theory, not a fact" is simply false. And why should evolution, alone among scientific theories, be singled out with the caveat "This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered"? Why haven't school boards put similar warnings in physics textbooks, noting that gravity and electrons are only theories, not facts, and should be critically considered? After all, nobody has ever seen gravity or an electron. The reason that evolution stands alone is clear: other scientific theories do not offend religious sensibilities.
The concept of a god as the creator is nothing more than a theory that requires faith to make it real. By applying faith to logic is a fundamental flaw in thinking, as we are designed to believe what makes us happy is good and we also need to explain the purpose and meaning of our lives. Religion rose because it was the first form of science which tried to define what was undefineable with a plausible reason that humans could easily interpret as fact. By observing the world around them as they saw it they made connections that explained how it worked. Without any proof as to its validity, it was a question of faith in interpretation that built adherants to belief.
Then science came along- real science- and slowly through trial and error, by observing and verifying what facts could be proven, theories were developed that seemed to give order to sequential development, that leads to provable conclusions. Evolution is one of these theories as is gravity and electrons. They may not be visible today or over short periods of time but through careful observation, one can prove it is so. Take the theory of E= MC2. Einstein theorized that light had mass but it took him several years to actually prove it to be so. By observing that light bent around gas clusters he proved that it had mass as it was affected by gravity. Theory to fact by observation.
Science is nothing more than a continuation of where religion began. Unfortunately, people can't let go of their antiquated belief structures whch satisfy their inability to do the research that would free them from their fears and obsessions. I guess it would take dragging them into heaven and showing them that gods' seat is vacant and always has been, before they'll lose their faith in imagination. Obviously facts are required to change peoples needs and death phobias. If only science could offer eternal life. But being grounded in fact kind of eliminates the faith thing.
Anyway, Our own theories about 911 and other conspiracies are important because proven or not, it is more important to posit ideas than to be content with the flow. Who knows what information will come our way that will awaken new ideas and realities in the future. Remember, religion was a force in all cultures throughout history, as it explained what was unknown, but was required to interpret our environment from the internal to the external. Nothing has changed. We are still receptors/ observers looking for facts to explain why we believe the things we do. It is just that now we are trying to make sense out of the facts we are not a party in knowing. But if the ones we are given are not adding up, then we need to work out what makes more sense and eliminate all doubt through trial and error, until we can draw up a new idea about what is really happening. This makes us much better than our ancestors who followed whatever they were told to believe and to put their faith into hypothetical suppositions rather than facts and research.
What we need is to come up with a theory of why it is important to have conspiracy theories to counter assumed and processed facts. We need a list of reasons why it's important to be a Theorist, since we may never have all the facts. Whenever we get people questioning the validity of conspiracy theories we need a set of references that can be presented based on facts and observations; theories that became realities and the changes that they brought. Like Galileo's telescope, or the world being round- those that tried to bring reality to supposed fact and were ridiculed for it. The changes they brought resulted in revolutions in thought that reverberate still, despite what the nay-sayers said. Eventually they were forced to acknowledge that sometimes the world isn't exactly what it appears to have been as presented and we move on. This is why we believe in 911 conspiracies.
We are not merely theorists- we are potential innovators.
The article was posted before in Health and Science but I will post the URL for you here. Long but informative.
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/coyne05 ... index.html
Have you noticed that the whole 911 thing is slipping into the past now as the new problems of the world are taking precedent. I guess no one is going to "Come Out" with the truth about what happened. Too bad, but I still say the Official Conspiracy Theory doesn't hold water. Never forget the criminal acts of our leaders.