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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

US Poll on Conspiracies

Public Policy Polling has done a poll of Americans and their attitudes on conspiracy theories. From the New York Business Journal today:

Did you know that 4 percent of Americans believe that "shape-shifting reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and gaining political power to manipulate our society"?

So if you think President Barack Obama speaks with a forked tongue, that could be why. Of maybe it's a sign that he's the Antichrist -- 13 percent of Americans (and 20 percent of Republicans) believe that.

These numbers are courtesy of a recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh, N.C., firms that often works for Democrats.

Dean Debnam, the firm's president, noted that "even crazy conspiracy theories are subject to partisan polarization," but he seems to find it reassuring that "most Americans reject the wackier ideas out there about fake moon landings and shape-shifting lizards."

I'm not reassured. If you're like me, you probably come into contact -- or at least walk in close proximity -- to 100 people a day. The fact that four of these folks think shape-shifting lizards are running things scares me.

And there's a lot more support for other ideas that have little, or no, basis in reality: 28 percent of registered voters believe that "a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government, or New World Order."

15 percent believe "media or the government adds secret mind-controlling technology to television broadcast signals."

15 percent believe "the pharmaceutical industry is in league with the medical industry to 'invent' new diseases in order to make money."

11 percent believe "the United States government knowingly allowed the attacks on September 11, 2001, to happen."

The poll also found that 37 percent of Americans (including 58 percent of Republicans) think global warming is a hoax. That one's worth a healthy debate, but most climate scientists think it's real.


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