Special Thanks to Ignite Baltimore for an inspirational eventing and everyone who attended the event. Here's the video of my presentation and I encourage you to check out the other talks.
Last month, a poll by Public Policy Polling sought to measure American's attitudes towards certain conspiratorial topics and some other, tentatively related, issues. The poll can be found here: http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2013/04/conspiracy-theory-poll-results-.html
Some of the answers were unsurprising. For example, 51% of those polled believed that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting in some sort of conspiracy. Also unsurprising that only 4 percent said they believed that Reptilians are active agents in society (but as a friend pointed out, 4% of the population is still 14 million).
Some questions are more troubling. For example, for the question "Do you believe aliens exist, or not?", a full 47% responded with an absolute no, while 29% said yes. I can understand a "not sure" answer on this one, but a hard "no" is just plain anthropocentrism. What could be more selfish and small-minded than being absolutely sure that we are the only intelligent beings in the universe, and that earth is the only home of life? Of course, it's possible that the question itself is flawed. The term "aliens" already alludes to little green men abducting hillbillies, not bacteria on Europa or civilizations in Draco. I think "Do you believe that life exists outside of Earth?" is much fairer.
Even more disturbing is that, according to the poll, 26% of Americans think that President Obama is the anti-Christ. Besides giving foreign press a field-day for article titles, this statistic completely baffles this American. Either the poll sample was extremely flawed or a disproportionate amount of Revelationists answer any polling service that calls them (doesn't phone polling already have an intrinsic bias?). Or--and I hate to think this--I am really living in a country where 1/4 of the population believes that we are living in the Biblical End-Times.
Let's get one thing straight: I'm willing to tolerate an extremely wide range of beliefs. Every day I read what many people would consider utter nonsense, and I'm willing to agree that there's a lot of nonsense out there. But for some reason, there's some nonsense that's been around for a very, very long time, and so I suppose this is what gives it credence. Because regardless of how you feel about the president's decisions, I really don't see how the idea that America has elected Satan himself and that the world will soon come to an end can be that much more popular than the contention that extraterrestrials are involved in our world affairs.