The Sprinkler Rainbow Conspiracy: What the Hell?
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 16, 2009
Okay, I was shown the following Youtube video by a physics teaching colleague. I cannot do it justice by attempting to write a description, you just have to watch it for yourself. Just… wow…
I really hope this is a joke or a spoof, because if not, this is one of the most whacked out displays of scientific ignorance & conspiracy mongering that I’ve ever seen. My favorite line: “This cannot be natural.”
Because she doesn’t understand how rainbows form – they are essentially an optical illusion based upon the physics of sunlight refraction & reflection with water droplets – she makes an incredible argument from ignorance and implies there must be some kind of government conspiracy to… poison/mind-control us? In addition, note how she throws in the bit at the end about how “They” want to take away our constitutional rights and freedoms for extra added spooky effect.
This, of course, is an excellent display of how necessary it is for people to have a basic scientific education that teaches not only certain facts but also methods of logical & critical analysis. Because, though you and I may laugh at the silliness of this video, there are those out there who are ignorant, paranoid, and – well – crazy enough to take what this woman is saying at face value. And while we can laugh or giggle at the stupidity of this woman’s argument, what isn’t a laughing matter is that this exact same method of argumentation is employed time and time again by a variety of conspiracy theorists & pseudoscientists, whether they be Holocaust deniers, creationists, 9/11 Truthers, Birthers, New Age gurus, alt-med quacks, anti-vaccinationists, physics cranks, etc. And there are plenty of people who buy into that crapola.
And one more thing: they get the same vote as you and me during election time – that’s what I find scary!