Why Do People Believe In Aliens, Angels and Conspiracies?
Is it just us, or does it seem like everyone is turning into a conspiracy theorist these days?
Aliens, spirit guides, the Illuminati – name some mysterious pocket of paranoia or eccentric belief, and there is some kind of massive online community dedicated to understanding it.
While conducting research for our recent white paper on the explosion of Conscious Media, we noticed that one particular subsegment of the Conscious Media Consumer market - the "Mystery Hunter" - is on the rise. No longer limited to a fringe subculture, we discovered that people from all walks of life - from millennials to suburban moms - are becoming fascinated by strange belief systems...
What is driving people to entertain the supernatural and outlandish? Two powerful cultural shifts are accelerating this trend:
1) Religion on the decline:
The Pew Research Center dropped a bombshell report late last year revealing that "one out of five U.S. adults do not identify with a specific religion, and the number of Protestants has for the first time dipped significantly below 50 percent." The decline of religion has created a huge vacuum. Whereas historically most people have relied on the guiding narrative of religion to inform their life decisions and moral choices, now many have withdrawn from organized religion. Yet they often still hunger for something to believe in. People want to believe because they are increasingly open-minded and there is more that is inexplicable as traditional institutions break down. This new mindset was recently highlighted in the popular Salon article “Religion may not survive the Internet,” which details how factors such as the proliferation of “cool” science media (think Neil deGrasse Tyson’s work) has promoted a more scientific point of view.
2) The Ubiquity of Information:
The Internet has provided a unique platform for niche interests to proliferate. And in a noisy environment, weirdness rises to the top -- content creators need fresh novelty to continually attract views. This primes the modern content consumer to entertain unusual ideas. Add this to the speed and amplification effect of the Internet, and you have a recipe for success.
Time will tell where this swell of non-traditional beliefs will lead society as a whole, but to understand the conscious consumer further and find some clues, please read our report for more information.
If you would to go deeper and understand how your company can sync with the Conscious Consumer market, please get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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