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Seriously. Questions about alien visitations on earth have more credibility than this stuff. It would darned near require a conspiracy of every person on earth other than the conspiracy believers to pull this stuff off and it add absolutely nothing to Skeptics, IMO.

Yes, I am that tired of 9/11 conspiracy theorists.

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    @Bri: Absolutely NOT. – Sklivvz Sep 18 '11 at 8:29
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    +1 because "Questions about alien visitations on earth have more credibility than this [9/11 conspiracy theory] stuff." – Randolf Richardson Sep 19 '11 at 17:12
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    Alien visitations more credibility? Come on! I actually find that of all conspiracy theorists, some (!) 9/11-ers are the most sensible ones. Of course there’s the mad fringe but after the attacks there were enough really unanswered questions that they merited honest skepticism in the official explanation. Up to a point. Of course it’s a conspiracy theory but not nearly one of the worst ones. – Konrad Rudolph Sep 28 '11 at 10:49
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Just add to your ignored tags and set your account preferences to "hide ignored tags" if you don't want to see them. This will hide any 9/11 question from you.

I don't think we should prohibit those questions, we won't change the mind of a convinced Truther, but we might occasionally help some of those on-the-fence, that heard the conspiracy theory, but are still willing to be convinced otherwise.

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    ...plus dealing with 9/11 conspiracy questions is good practice for the new skeptics. =) – Randolf Richardson Sep 19 '11 at 17:11
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I understand you being tired of such ideas that do not stop despite the evidence. However, by what justification can we ban them, and not many other frustrating topics? Surely you must be equally over anti-vax by now. And what about homeopathy? Homeopathy is always my favourite pseudo-science to use as a baseline, because it is so easy to provide evidence that it has absolutely zero merit, and yet there are institutions (still!) dedicated to teaching it.

If we let personal frustration be our guide, many topics will be banned - topics that people believe in, topics that misinformation abounds in, and topics that people will search for in Google for reliable information.

If we accept the premise that there is a marketplace of ideas, and the best ideas with the best evidence will win out, we need to keep plugging away. (I admit I have difficulties with this idea when it comes to ideas that are not held rationally; sometimes I feel the best response to a conspiracy theory is not a debunking, but a referral for psychological evaluation, but alas that choice does not appear in the list of tools available - even to moderators.)

Until that becomes available, the best we can do is make sure that the questions are dealt with rationally and with evidence. Even if we can't persuade the irrational, we might be able to persuade the borderline cases that have heard the ideas and want to check before committing to them.

Actually, the best we can do is to provide a single canonical answer that thoroughly and completely demolishes all of the common crank theories, so we can simply reference it from all the other questions as they come up.

p.s. The irony that we would conspire here to suppress questions about 9/11, because there are no conspiracies to suppress questions about 9/11 is not being missed!

  • Disclaimer: I recently added the final vote to close a 9/11 Truther question, but it was because it was "Not a Real Question" - it was too poorly written to edit into shape - rather than any concerns about the subject material. – Oddthinking Sep 14 '11 at 16:50
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    "Actually, the best we can do is to provide a single canonical answer that thoroughly and completely demolishes all of the common crank theories, so we can simply reference it from all the other questions as they come up." -- This is actually a pretty darned good solution. Thank you. – Russell Steen Sep 20 '11 at 23:19

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