Mathematics shows that conspiracies are bound to come out sooner or later. Nothing could remain hidden for long.
The experts have said that it is a difficult task to keep a conspiracy an inside job. Sooner or later someone will tell all and then the conspiracy will remain a conspiracy no longer.
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While the conspiracies thrive for a while, within a few months or years, their cover is blown sky high. This has been proven by mathematical models. The study appeared online in the journal PLOS ONE.
An equation was developed to explain this phenomenon. It consisted of three components: the number of individuals involved, the time lapse and the inner nature whereby a conspiracy explodes.
This equation was applied to four famous conspiracies: the moon landing hoax, climate change scare, autism-causing vaccines and big pharma plot to suppress a cancer cure.
The researchers said that if these four conspiracies had any truth to them, they would have come out and been revealed long ago. But the fact that they still are a part of the lunatic fringe culture means that they have no truth to them.
"A number of conspiracy theories revolve around science. While believing the moon landings were faked may not be harmful, believing misinformation about vaccines can be fatal. However, not every belief in a conspiracy is necessarily wrong - for example, the Snowden revelations confirmed some theories about the activities of the US National Security Agency," explained Dr Grimes, a physicist working in cancer research, is also a science writer and broadcaster.
"It is common to dismiss conspiracy theories and their proponents out of hand but I wanted to take the opposite approach, to see how these conspiracies might be possible. To do that, I looked at the vital requirement for a viable conspiracy - secrecy."
The moon landing hoax would have been revealed in 3.7 years, climate change fraud in 3.7 to 26.8 years, vaccine-autism connection in 3.2 to 34.8 years and cancer conspiracy in 3.2 years. The math models were the same used in research on radionics. The derivation of this equation took place via the Poisson distribution. This methodology uses various techniques to discover the probability of an event over a certain amount of time. A number of assumptions were utilized and deduction skills were employed as well. And while the formula is generalized, it is incomplete as well.
Three conspiracies that came out into the open as real were analyzed. There was the NSA program known as PRISM. It has its whistleblower in the form of Edward Snowden. Then there was the Tuskegee syphilis experiment.
The cure for the disease was kept a secret from African American sufferers. Over 6700 people were involved and Dr Peter Buxtun told the press about it.
Finally, there was the FBI scandal where Dr Frederic Whitehurst announced that the agency had been faking forensic facts thereby leading to the deaths of benign people.
About 500 people were involved and within 6 years, the cover was blown. By connecting the various links, a conspiracy could be predicted to be real or not.
The truth lies somewhere between two extremes and so it is in case of the wild and woolly conspiracies that abound in today’s highly stressful times.
Dr Grimes said, "Not everyone who believes in a conspiracy is unreasonable or unthinking. I hope that by showing how eye-wateringly unlikely some alleged conspiracies are, some people will reconsider their anti-science beliefs.
"This will of course not convince everyone; there's ample evidence that belief in conspiracy is often ideological rather than rational, and that conspiracy theories thrive in an echo chamber. This makes challenging the more odious narratives much more difficult. If we are to address the multitudinous difficulties facing us as a species, from climate change to geo-politics, then we need to embrace reality over ideologically motivated fictions. To this end, we need to better understand how and why some ideas are entrenched and persistent among certain groups despite the evidence, and how we might counteract this."