Daily Archives: November 29, 2010

A prominent Pakistani scientist is stoking conspiracy fires

Salman Hameed

On my recent visit to Pakistan, I was amazed at the number of conspiracy theories floating there. Everything was blamed on a shadow conspiracy. And I heard these statements from very very (yes, the second very is not a typo) educated people – and many of these people have close connections to policy makers. Some of the craziest things I heard was that the recent crash of a commercial plane, despite the fact that the weather was bad and the plane was flown by a pilot two years beyond his retirement age, was actually caused Blackwater agents trying to crash it into Pakistan’s nuclear facility at Kahuta. That American President Harry Truman, soon after the end of World War II declared that we may think that Soviet Union is our (United States) enemy, but our true enemy is Islam. And that the catastrophic floods in Pakistan were actually caused by an American experiment in Alaska – that can control weather and earthquakes. Now all of these things are absolute nuts – not much different from many Americans believing that the astronauts never landed on the Moon, or the Kennedy conspiracy theories, or that the Pentagon was actually hit by a missile and not a plane on 9/11. Continue reading

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Indian circus comes to town!

Courtesy Express Tribune

Ivan Petrovich Pavlov is famous for his research on conditional reflexes, though he did much else to serve the cause of scientific inquiry. The phrase “Pavlov’s dog” has come to describe someone who merely reacts to a situation rather than using critical thinking. Famous English writer, Aldous Huxley, used the idea of Pavlovian conditioning as a major theme in his dystopian novel, Brave New World. Continue reading

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