But what if it works?

The difference between science and conspiracy theory/superstition is simple:

Good science leads to useful insights. And good science is the cure for bad science.

On the other hand, there are no good conspiracy theories, because they are attractive precisely because they’re unproven, imprecise and non-falsifiable. They’re not actually theories at all. They use confusion to create a sense of comfort and control when it’s in short supply.

It’s almost impossible to tell a good conspiracy theory from a bad one, hence they don’t work as theories.

And good conspiracy theories don’t lead to useful insights, nor do they help drive out the bad conspiracy theories. You can’t productively question someone’s superstition, because it never really thought it was an actual explanation of how the world is.

A good scientist has a theory and she’s eager to be proven wrong, so she can make better science. And delighted to be proven right, because she now has a useful insight.

Reality doesn’t care whether or not we believe in it, but it’s more useful for all of us when we understand it.


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