This is a very sad phenomenon indeed, but perhaps also worthy of study. What psychological, educational, and social factors could predispose a person to be susceptible to what are obviously insane assertions? My guess is that people are more likely to be easy prey for conspiracy nonsense if their grasp of reality is already somewhat tenuous, if they are less educated, and in general less capable of cognitive tasks such as plausibility assessment, consistency checking, and validation of facts. Unfortunately these are precisely the attributes of those most disposed towards mythological beliefs, because adherence to such beliefs arises from the same absence of cognitive skills that leaves such people vulnerable to additional fabrications that are likewise high in assertion and entirely evidence-free. It's very difficult to tell someone they should believe in one totally unsupported set of assertions while asking them to reject another totally unsupported set of assertions. On what grounds could a person, especially one of limited intellect, make such an arbitrary choice?

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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