Skeptic Michael Shermer on Epstein, 5G Conspiracies | Joe Rogan


4 years ago



Michael Shermer

7 appearances

Dr. Michael Shermer is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, host of the podcast "The Michael Shermer Show," and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is "Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational."


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So, you know, this is one reason people believe conspiracy theories is because a lot of them are true. Yeah, that's what's scary. Not all of them, but I point to with you, with the Epstein case, like you were one of the first people, I mean, as a literally, you're a professional skeptic. And you looked at some of the evidence, you're like, Oh, well, you know what, this might be a conspiracy. You know, and when I said when Michael Shermer thinks it might be a conspiracy, it's probably a goddamn conspiracy. There's been enough of them. I'm still not sure about that one, because after I posted something about the, you know, the two cameras broke or whatever, somebody wrote me from that prison saying all those cameras are always breaking. Like, Oh, it's a little convenient, though, that, you know, he winds up strangling himself in a way that Michael Batten, the famous autopsy doctor, says is completely inconsistent with hanging and much more consistent with someone strangling you, including the actual area where he was hanging from supposedly. Like it's consistent with someone strangling you from behind, not consistent with you hanging by your own weight. Yeah, after Weinstein got his, sorry, Weinstein got his conviction, I thought, Oh, boy, but they better have a real suicide watch on this guy because he's he surely has a black book just as big as Epstein's. Oh, I'm sure. Well, I think what he's got is probably more incriminating to him, though. You know, I think what he's got is probably, hey, I had sex with all these starlets and turned them into big celebrities. And this and I bet he probably doesn't want that out, especially at this stage of the game. Nothing. I don't think anything he's got is going to make him look good. And I think with the thing with Epstein is he knew way too much about too many powerful people. There's so many connections that could be made with that guy. And that, you know, to this day, people are asking questions that people like Bill Gates don't want to answer or Prince Andrew or any of these people. They're like, you know, I don't want to talk about this. Yeah, I didn't hear the one about Gates, but Prince Andrew, of course, Gates apparently flew on the Lolita Express four years after he was convicted. Oh, OK. Wow. All right. According to the Daily Mirror, whatever the fuck it was. I would I would ask Jamie to look that up, but I've got his computer right now. Go get up on your iPad. Find out if it's true. If Bill Gates flew in the Lolita Express, because that's what I was reading today. There people were trying to ask Bill Gates, but it's so hard to know what's true and what's not true today. That's the thing is there's so much data. And so I mean, one of the things that's really sad about the loss of respect for mainstream journalism and mainstream media is, well, if we can't count on them, then who's regulating the independence? Who's regulating these websites? Who's regulating these people that are just, you know, so-called independent journalists that are just tweeting things and finding things and putting things up on their websites? It's so hard to tell who's telling the truth and who's not. And who's right? When I was when I was working on the Giving the Devil is Do, I had this kind of a challenge to me because I feel like there's so much fake news, real fake news. And just bogus theories and particularly in my areas of quack medicine and cancer cures and now coronavirus cures, you know, like Jim, you know, the old televangelist Jim Baker was selling those silver pills that you were supposed to do, silver derivative pills that were supposed to fight the coronavirus, whatever. You know, so a lot of that stuff is dangerous to have out there. But as a civil libertarian, I feel like, well, but I'm a free speech fundamentalist. I really believe people short of just lying about somebody or giving away the nuclear codes or something like that, you know, just let a thousand flowers bloom and just see what, you know, what this shine sunlight on all of them and see which ones rise to the top because they're supported by evidence. There's a risk to that. That is to say, you know, people will take bad information and they'll go shoot up a pizzeria or something like that. Now these, you know, this conspiracy theory about 5G related to the coronavirus, that is to say the theory is that 5G is causing people to feel ill, to take ill and that the government made up, the corporations made up this story about the coronavirus as a distraction from 5G. Okay, this is nonsense. That's so criminally stupid. You know, do you know who Lil Duval is? No. Of course not. He's a hilarious comedian who also has a great Instagram page and he put something up today. He retweeted something that says, if 184 countries have corona and only five countries have 5G towers, why the fuck would you dummies, why the fuck would you idiots think that 5G towers are causing COVID-19? It's such a great thing. And so many people are like, oh yeah. Oh well. And then I literally heard someone say, well, maybe the 5G causes the coronavirus and then they spread it to other countries. Like, oh God, you don't even understand viruses. Yes. Well, of course that was accused with 4G and 3G and cell phones back in the late 90s and early 2000s. There was a scare about holding the phone up to your room. We all started doing that and that this is maybe causing brain tumors. And of course you can find anecdotes. This guy spent a lot of time in his cell phone and he got a brain tumor over here on his left, temple lobe, whatever. The problem is, well, what about the hundreds of millions of people that hold their cell phones up? They never got brain cancer. Exactly. And so the real aspects of it, the energy from the cell phone itself or even these 5G towers is not strong enough to break chemical bonds like DNA to cause mutations in cells to then become cancerous. There's not a physical mechanism, A, and B, the counter examples that you always have to use. What about the countries that don't have 5G? What about all the people that use these things or stand or live near cell phone towers? They didn't get cancer. So you have to look at all the different options and our focus tends to be on the one cell. So I always use this heuristic for my class of teaching skepticism is a two by two matrix where you have four cells. So I did this with this, there's this documentary film coming out about horror films that are haunted or cursed horror films that are cursed. So like the which is the one where the actors died in the helicopter acts. Oh, the Twilight Zone, the movie and the exorcist and these other films where bad things happen to the actors that are in horror films. The problem with that is you're only focusing on one cell that is horror films that are cursed. Then there's horror films that are not cursed. Nothing bad happened to the actors in those. And then there's non horror films, regular films, which bad things happened to the actors. And then non horror films that are not cursed. Right. So when we just focus on the one cell, it's easy to find examples that fit it. But something like The Shining, which is a super horror scary film, nothing bad happened to the actors and or just take some other film like The Godfather, whatever. That's not a horror film and nothing bad happened to the actors and so on. So when you look at all the different options, this is just a way to think about any particular claim that then there's really nothing left to explain because you're just you're just plucking out anecdotes. We call that coincidences. They really, really love coincidences. They're fun because they love to believe in spiritual connections and they love to believe in clairvoyance and they love to believe in haunted things. Jamie pulled up the article. It's actually in the census. Bill Gates break silence on Epstein admitting he made a mistake in judgment by meeting with the pedo tycoon it says. So there's a little story about it. Who knows? But he is quoted in there. Yeah. I don't know. I I know. I mean, there's I know some scientists, a lot of scientists met with him, right? Yeah, because he was he had a way of attracting famous scientists because he had a lot of money and he said, look, I can fund your lab, help fund your lab to the two and a millions of dollars. You know, it's hard to resist that. And then maybe you go down that road a little bit and then you start hearing these rumors about his personal life and you're like, well, yeah, but the money is good for the lab. And, you know, somewhere down the line, it becomes obvious it was a bad thing. And it but it's too late. You already went down that road. So that, you know, it's hard to judge people after the fact and the hindsight bias. You know, we look back and go, how could anybody have ever had any association with them? It's like, yeah, but that's you know, we know we know stuff now that maybe not everybody knew the extent of it back years ago.