From the Department of Getting Paid To State the Incredibly Obvious comes this tidbit: If you're a conspiracy theorist, you probably don't believe what scientists have to say about vaccinations, genetically modified foods, and climate change.
From Mother Jones:
The new study, by University of Bristol psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and his colleagues in the journal PLOS ONE, finds links between conspiratorial thinking and all three of these science-skeptic stances. Notably, the relationship was by far the strongest on the vaccine issue. For geeks: the correlation was .52, an impressive relationship for social science. Another way of translating the finding? "People who tend toward conspiratorial thinking are three times more likely to reject vaccinations," says Lewandowsky. (By contrast, for climate change denial and GMO resistance, the correlation with conspiratorial beliefs was real but much smaller, .09 and .13, respectively.)
This shouldn't surprise anyone. People who subscribe to outlandish conspiracy theories as a rule don't trust the "official word" on anything, and if you've already proved that you don't need silly things like evidence and an adherence to reality to back up your views on a few subjects it's not a reach to stick to that standard across the board. As I've said many times before, this is why we have the scientific method in the first place: because it's an immutable way of determining the truth, and the truth is the yardstick we use to measure reality. There has to be an at least functionally common yardstick within our society, because if not everything descends into chaos; anyone can make up any story he or she wants and call it the truth -- which is exactly what conspiracy theorists do.
Denying the safety of vaccines or the facts about man-made global climate change -- shouting about how both are hoaxes engineered by scientists trying to put one over on the sheeple -- makes you a conspiracy theorist. That's the thing: believing the moon landing was faked or that the government was behind 9/11 is the same thing as believing that vaccines cause autism and climate change isn't real. It all stems from a paranoid -- and arrogant -- distrust of authority and the need to feel somehow more informed than the docile masses. It's the kind of hoseshit non-thinking that's made idiots like Alex Jones millionaires.