Last night at the Houston Skeptics in the Pub gathering, I spoke at length to one of the localÂ skeptics who hasÂ siezed an opportunityÂ to speak to whatÂ areÂ termed “at risk” young people about 9/11 conspiracy theories. Apparently, a large group of these Houston areaÂ kids have become exposed toÂ many of the oft-debunked conspiracy ideas surrounding the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington DC, and they have embraced them as true.
It will be interesting to see how our friend relates critical thinking to the young people, and I will be reporting on their interactions here on the pages of Skepchick.
But I began to wonder aboutÂ this particular demographic, and whether thereÂ could possibly beÂ something inherent in the groupÂ that makes them susceptible to bogus claims.
But this is the Afternoon Inquisition. So instead of listening to me ramble,Â I putÂ the questionÂ to you . . . Â
What elements, if any, specific to a demographicÂ might lead to belief in spurious claims? Is there a link between social status and a rational worldview? Might a distrust of authority lead someone to more readily entertainÂ tenuous subversive ideas?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.