Skepticism

Armoured Skeptic Falls for Notre Dame Conspiracy Theory

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Transcript:

On the one hand, I have a pretty great life, because I get to spend it talking about science and critical thinking with fellow nerds. On the other hand, sometimes my life is horrible because I have to spend some of my precious time learning about a YouTuber who calls himself “Armoured Skeptic” and who uses an avatar of a guy in a tux with a fucking knight’s helmet on his head. Jesus christ. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about “Armoured Skeptic”:

– His name is Greg

– He hates conspiracy theories

He thinks ISIS burned down Notre Dame and the government of France and the rest of the world is covering it up by calling the people who believe ISIS is responsible “conspiracy theorists”.

Oh no, Greg, no.

If you’ll recall, when Notre Dame went up in flames last week, authorities very, very quickly confirmed that there was no evidence of terrorism. I mean, they were able to figure that out while the Cathedral was still on fire. They said it was probably related to the ongoing restoration work, and as of this recording they suspect it was an electrical short-circuit, possibly in an elevator.

But of course, who would trust the word of the people fighting the fire, the people in charge of the Church, or the French government, when you could instead trust a guy on Twitter who says he has a friend who works in Notre Dame who heard the other staff members say they heard the fire was set intentionally? Or you could believe Paul Joseph Watson (no relation) over on Infowars writing a whole article about that tweet! You know, Infowars, that bastion of skeptical thinking.

Look, I remember 9/11. I have to. A bumper sticker insisted. So yeah, when some big disaster happens, my first thought is always going to be, “Oh no, is this terrorism?” That’s human nature! But there’s a difference between quietly wondering to myself, “Is this terrorism,” and grabbing a megaphone and yelling “The authorities are lying to you! Only I know the truth! This is absolutely terrorism!” And that’s what idiots like Paul Joseph Watson, Alex Jones, and Greg did. And yeah, Greg has a megaphone — his Twitter account has an astonishing 128,000 followers, somehow. And those idiots inspired all their idiot fans on 4chan, Reddit, Facebook, and elsewhere to work themselves into an anti-Muslim froth, with the idiots angry at both the eeeevil fire-starting Muslims and the cucked SJW authorities for covering for the Muslims, and for the cucked SJW world for believing it.

So Greg took some misinformation, helped spread it to a hundred thousand people, and thereby helped make the world a little more hate-filled. And ISIS didn’t even have to do a thing! Good job, Greg! He should look into getting ISIS to sponsor his YouTube channel. They must love him.

Now that it’s been a few days and it’s becoming more and more obvious to even the stupidest conspiracy theorists that the burning of Notre Dame really didn’t have anything to do with Islam, Greg limped back to Twitter to explain himself three days after his idiotic conspiracy theory Tweet. He wrote, “I re-affirm here that I wasn’t trying to blame anyone specifically – Using ISIS as my example was perhaps overkill.”

Yes, Greg, it maybe was perhaps overkill to state that this fire, which all the authorities immediately investigated and agreed was not intentionally set, was actually set by ISIS. He then says that despite what he Tweeted, he actually thought the people who set the fire (that authorities affirmed was not set intentionally) were the Yellow Vests, “as they’ve done a lot of this in the weeks leading-up;”

I had to look this up because while I’m familiar with the Yellow Vest movement, and I know that the economic equality movement has resulted in some violent riots, I wasn’t aware that the protestors had gotten into the “burning down national landmarks” business. So I checked and…no, they hadn’t. He’s just making that up to make himself look less like a ridiculous conspiracy theorist.

Happily he does end his stupid follow-up Tweet with “but I recognize I was wrong” so that’s nice. Oh but then he followed that up with another Tweet where he says he wasn’t wrong for defending people for shouting that it was arson. And then he posted another Tweet clarifying again that he “was defending the right to discuss the arson hypothesis, as Yellow Vest was so obvious a candidate.” That Tweet was liked 223 times. Let’s check out his initial Tweet again, in which he makes it clear he is among the people “entertaining the possibility” that ISIS burned down Notre Dame and the official story is a lie. And three days later he’s pretending that he was simply defending people who, like him, suspected that the Yellow Vests were responsible. And 223 of his followers completely bought that narrative-swap.

So yeah, now I know about Armoured Skeptic. And now I’ve made a video about another “skeptic” YouTuber. It feels like 2005 all over again. Leave your response videos below! Like, subscribe, comment! I will read all of the comments and take them to heart and reply to them and oh god I need to go for a walk now, goodbye.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor.

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3 Comments

  1. Reading up on the investigations I did discover a couple of reports such as this
    https://www.ibtimes.com/notre-dame-cathedral-fire-not-arson-875-french-churches-vandalized-2018-2785886

    The culprits in these frequent other cases were not thought to be Islamic terrorists but anarchists and some radical feminist groups who view churches as a symbol of patriarchy.

    My view is that the buildings themselves were completely innocent and undeserving of such retaliation.

    I am sad at the loss of a fine and rare example of medieval architecture and repository of ancient artefacts, which serve as a reminder of a pre – scientific age when the world was a darker place, haunted by spirits and magic, and utterly foreign to our way of thinking.

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