Thursday, September 9, 2010

Believing Is Seeing (What We Want)

Over at Phantoms and Monsters, there is a post that examines the still beating heart of 9-11 conspiracy. However, I must say most of it is based upon testimony and lacks any physical proof instead choosing to rewrite history and give errors in reporting greater significance. Add to this the frailty of human memories and we have a recipe for disaster. In fact, flawed memory is a topic discussed over at UFO Iconoclasts also.

This is a trap that paranormal researchers often find themselves in: witness testimony, while bolstering, does not replace hard evidence. While it makes for dramatic reporting, it does not replace the need for evidence either supporting or disproving claims. Much of this is spawned and promulgated by those who have a pre-existing distrust of the government, a propensity to see conspiracy everywhere, and a paranoid nature. Furthermore, their own confirmational biases won't allow them to shake these preconceived notions and look at the evidence objectively. We cannot take such things as early news reports that contradict later ones as evidence of anything more than hurried and sloppy journalism. Often times, at the onset, all the facts aren't in and reporting is incomplete. To make too much of this is to turn 9/11 into Roswell. "Well, they said it was a flying saucer first but then changed their minds. It must be a conspiracy!"

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