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Episode 28: Conspiracies Declassified: Brian Dunning

You may think conspiracy theories are just kooky ideas embraced by your unemployed brother-in-law and other quirky people on the fringes of society. There's some truth to that characterization of conspiracies and the people who believe them, but that's not the whole story. Conspiracy theories about topics ranging from vaccines and water fluoridation to 9/11 and holocaust denial are perpetuated from the darkest corners of the internet and widely embraced by people from all walks of life.

In fact, approximately one third of Americans believe at least one popular conspiracy theory; these individuals cut across political party lines, income brackets, religious beliefs and levels of education. Research shows that people's existing beliefs influence which conspiracies they accept, but the fact remains that conspiratorial thinking is ubiquitous in our society.

Today Brian Dunning, science writer and host of the popular Skeptoid Podcast, joins me to discuss some of the most popular--and thoroughly refuted--conspiracy theories of all time. Brian's new book Conspiracies Declassified summarily debunks each of these ideas and offers readers some insightful scientific and historical lessons along the way. Check out the book, then use your new knowledge next time you run into a friend who thinks vaccines are poison.


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