[Disclaimer: By posting this article I do not mean to advocate the mainstream view that conspiracies are impossible. Both evidence and logic suggest to me that not only do some exist, but most are small and banal, and thus common. Nonetheless, this article describes one reason we should not swallow any old conspiracy theory just because its purported villain is someone we don’t identify with, but instead regularly question “the truth” as we believe we “know” it. Of course that includes those who don’t believe in conspiracies.]
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Recent polls have found that as much as 15% to 20% of the public, including about 30% to 45% of Republicans, falsely believe that President Barack Obama was not born in this country. Will Wednesday’s release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate put an end to the birther myth?The odds aren’t good. The problem is that people can be extremely resistant to unwelcome factual information.