Setting the record straight on Wood & Douglas, 2013 | The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

Anyway, the damage seems to have been done – the PressTV article has been reprinted on a lot of different websites, forums, and social media thanks to its sensationalised headline and smug triumphalism. I’m ambivalent about this – I like that my research is being recognised since I am inherently a media whore, but I’m less happy about the fact that it’s only seeing wide exposure after having been twisted and misinterpreted by an extremely biased article on Iranian state-run media. Still, the last article that we published was met with headlines like “Psychologists prove conspiracy theorists are all crazy!” (there’s no room for nuance on the Internet, is there?) so I suppose it all balances out. I just hope that some people will read the paper itself rather than taking PressTV’s word for what it says.

The conspiracy to twist the findings of a study about conspiracy theory is underfoot.  Treat lightly, dear reader, there’s a good chance you are already a part of the “traditionalist conspiracy” (the conspiracy that there is no conspiracy).

Mormons get off on Hating Fags

Yea, sorry about that title, Mom.  And brother.  And sisters.  And nieces.  And nephews.  And grandma.  And grandpa.  And “1st” cousins 1-68 (no, I’m not joking).  My apologies to you all.

Y’all are a bunch of bigots.

This is why I don’t hang with you folks nearly as much as I’d like to.  That hurts me.  A lot.

But the rest of my family is much larger, even if they don’t know it.  Regardless, at times likes like….and by times like this….I mean times like this….

Here are just a few of the attempts to get me to see reason.

“Are you a member or not? Do you want gays to get married in the temple? Please follow the brotheren’s [sic] council [sic] on Proposition 8. This is a important gospel principal [sic].” G., e-mail.

“No unclean thing can enter the house of the Lord. Gays are unclean because of the Scriptures. You have to be hot or cold about it or the Lord will spat you out.” T., e-mail.

“Were you listening in church when the letter was read from the First Presidency about supporting proposition eight?” R.Y., e-mail.

“Get with Prop 8 or your [sic] a homo.” Anonymous.

……ya’ll annoy the ever-living shit out of me.

O.k. those are arguments this guy got, and not me personally, but the point stands rather firm.

In order for me personally to properly address this situation, I need to share an anecdote, some scientific research, and then one of my favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis, author of The Narnia Chronicles and hardcore Christian.


So I didn’t get the emails or the forwards, but I did hear the argument that gays would “sue” to get access to get married in “The Temple” if they weren’t specifically prohibited from marrying.  I’ve had 2 sisters and 1 brother get married in “The Temple”.   You know how many of those marriages I was at?  0.  Nada.  When a family member, who’s an ordained Elder BTW, can’t even get access, it’s insane to think someone is going to go through all the hoops necessary to gain access only to try and break the rules.

There is no court in the country that is going to order a religion to allow someone to do something against their rules, on their property, in their building, with their sacred rites.  It’s absolutely ridiculous to think it’s even possible, but that’s exactly what a few million people were told, and believed absolutely.

There’s only one reason to look down on another group, and cause them such pain.  And it’s not self-preservation.


“Aggressive adolescents showed a specific and very strong activation of the amygdala and ventral striatum (an area that responds to feeling rewarded) when watching pain inflicted on others, which suggested that they enjoyed watching pain,” researcher Jean Decety, a professor in psychology and psychiatry at the University of Chicago, said in a university news release. “Unlike the control group, the youth with conduct disorder did not activate the area of the brain involved in self-regulation (the medial prefrontal cortex and the temporoparietal junction).”


“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be ‘cured’ against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”


In other words….

Y’all need to back to fuck up, and take a moment to check yourself. I don’t recall a lot of sermons from El Christo about hating the fags and making laws against them.  Even in that crazy whacked out part when he appears to the “jewish indians” in the New World for a few days.

UPDATE: Olbermann puts it a bit more eloquently.   Oh, and Keith.  I don’t know if you were just playing at being ignorant, but at the beginning of your rant, you say you don’t know why they were pushing so hard to take these rights away….if you read the paragraphs above, that part should be cleared up.

To put it in simplistic Donny Darko terms, they were motivated by Fear, not Love.

What’s the saying, “inasmuch as ye have done this to the least of these my brethren, it is as if ye have done it unto me.”  Riiight.  Don’t y’all understand how this stuff works yet?

Oh, and Keith, this “not voting to display my impartiality, but I would vote if it *really* mattered” bullshit is just that.  Essentially what you’ve just done is recommend a whole bunch of people do something that you yourself felt beneath you.  C’mon dude, don’t lose that big head in the clouds.  You’ve already started plumping up nicely, don’t make that fat head thing literal.

Water Bears May Be Fruit of All Life

Vacuum (imposing extreme dehydration) and solar/galactic cosmic radiation prevent survival of most organisms in space [1]. Only anhydrobiotic organisms, which have evolved adaptations to survive more or less complete desiccation, have a potential to survive space vacuum, and few organisms can stand the unfiltered solar radiation in space. Tardigrades, commonly known as water-bears, are among the most desiccation and radiation-tolerant animals and have been shown to survive extreme levels of ionizing radiation [2, 3, 4]. Here, we show that tardigrades are also able to survive space vacuum without loss in survival, and that some specimens even recovered after combined exposure to space vacuum and solar radiation. These results add the first animal to the exclusive and short list of organisms that have survived such exposure.

Current Biology — Jönsson et al..

This is via Metafilter.

Water-bears can be seen here.

Fossil range: Early Cambrian to Recent[1]
The tardigrade Hypsibius dujardini

The tardigrade Hypsibius

[full article]

I covered a bit of the concept of “Panspermia” in my Spore review.  This looks like a possible culprit, as the dang things can surive /scary voice/ the vacuum of spaaace1! /scary voice/.

Pot Kills Staph

Sept. 4, 2008 — Chemicals in marijuana may be useful in fighting MRSA, a kind of staph bacterium that is resistant to certain antibiotics.

Researchers in Italy and the U.K. tested five major marijuana chemicals called cannabinoids on different strains of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). All five showed germ-killing activity against the MRSA strains in lab tests. Some synthetic cannabinoids also showed germ-killing capability. The scientists note the cannabinoids kill bacteria in a different way than traditional antibiotics, meaning they might be able to bypass bacterial resistance.

At least two of the cannabinoids don’t have mood-altering effects, so there could be a way to use these substances without creating the high of marijuana.

Marijuana Ingredients May Fight MRSA.

This is pretty cool.  I’m curious to know it’s special secret ingredient.

ya know…