Conspiracies have been a part of our culture pretty much ever since we have a culture to speak of. Curiosity and paranoia are both engrained traits that manifest themselves quite often, so even if we don’t necessarily believe a conspiracy, we at least consider it. In order to hopefully open the eyes of even a few American citizens, a physicist developed an equation that estimates the life of conspiracies.
- The developer of the equation, Dr. Rick David Grimes, is an Oxford post-doctoral physicist
- He based his equation on three factors – number of conspirators, time passed, and the intrinsic failing nature of conspiracies
- Sheriff Grimes used 4 fake conspiracies and three real ones in order to test his equation
- Mathematicians at the University of Washington said that the math is correct
- The paper was published in the Plos One journal
Tired of senseless conspiracy theories, Dr. David Grimes came up with the equation in the hopes of convincing those people not quite sure in their beliefs that some of the most popular conspiracies out there are absurd.
Even though he doesn’t think he can sway those that have a strong conviction and are certain in their beliefs, he hopes that he can at least open a few minds to the truth.
The equation takes into account 3 factors – the number of conspirators, the time passed from the inception of the conspiracy, and the intrinsic nature of conspiracies that drives them to failure.
For more data on the equation, the doctor calculated that the intrinsic possibility of a conspiracy to fail is four in one million. However, it falls drastically as time passes and as the number of conspirators grows.
He also went for a best case scenario for the conspirators, in which they can all keep secrets and nobody is investigating the conspiracy.
To develop the equation, Dr. Grimes used data from real uncovered conspiracies – the NSA’s PRISM exposed by Edward Snowden (36,000 people, exposed after 6 years), the Tuskegee syphilis experiment in which penicillin was kept secret from African-American patients (6,700 people, exposed after 25 years), and the FBI’s poorly handled forensic analysis which led to the imprisonment and execution of innocents (500 people, exposed after 6 years).
Following the confirmation and validity of his equation, Dr. Grimes analyzed the potential times of exposure of 4 widely believed conspiracies.
The moon landing as a hoax conspiracy would have been exposed in 3.7 years, the ‘companies are withholding the cure for cancer’ conspiracies would have been exposed in 3.2 years, while the ‘vaccines cause autism’ would have been exposed in somewhere between 3.2 and 34.8 years, and the ‘climate change is fake’ conspiracy would have seen exposure in 3.7 to 26.8 years.