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UNIVERSITY OF ANTIOQUIA- SCHOOL OF LANGUAGES MULTILINGUA Worksheet Conspiracy Theory Conspiracy theory is a term that originally was a neutral

descriptor for any claim of civil, criminal, or political conspiracy. However, it has become largely pejorative and used almost exclusively to refer to any fringe theory which explains an historical or current event as the result of a secret plot by conspirators of almost superhuman power and cunning. Conspiracy theories are viewed with skepticism by scholars because they are rarely supported by any conclusive evidence and contrast with institutional analysis, which focuses on people's collective behavior in publicly known institutions, as recorded in scholarly material and mainstream media reports, to explain historical or current events, rather than speculate on the motives and actions of secretive coalitions of individuals. The term is therefore often used dismissively in an attempt to characterize a belief as outlandishly false and held by a person judged to be a crank or a group confined to the lunatic fringe. Such characterization is often the subject of dispute due to its possible unfairness and inaccuracy. According to political scientist Michael Barkun, conspiracy theories once limited to fringe audiences have become commonplace in mass media. He argues that this has contributed to conspiracism emerging as a cultural phenomenon in the United States of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and the possible replacement of democracy by conspiracy as the dominant paradigm of political action in the public mind. According to anthropologists Todd Sanders and Harry G. West, "evidence suggests that a broad cross section of Americans todaygives credence to at least some conspiracy theories." Belief in conspiracy theories has therefore become a topic of interest for sociologists, psychologists and experts in folklore. Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory One of the most popular Conspiracy Theories is that Nasa faked the moon landings. You can find in Internet the following information about it: Moon landing is a hoax Some of the theories surrounding this subject are that the Apollo astronauts did not land on the Moon; Nasa and possibly others intentionally deceived the public into believing the landings did occur by manufacturing, destroying, or tampering with evidence, including photos, telemetry tapes, transmissions, and rock samples; and that Nasa and possibly others continue to actively participate in the conspiracy to this day. Those who think that Nasa faked some or all of the landings base their theories on photographs from the lunar surface which they claim show camera crosshairs partially behind rocks, a flag planted by Buzz Aldrin moving in a strange way, the lack of stars over the lunar landscape and shadows falling in different direction.

Other popular theories are:

Global warming is a hoax Secret Societies Paranormal activity Man-made diseases Assassinations Among many others

Activity You are going to watch a video about a famous conspiracy theory. Task 1 Go to Youtube, watch the documentary screened by FOX called Moon Landing Hoax Conspiracy Theory and answer the questions bellow: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Whats the documentary about? Name the people involved in this discussion. Are they reliable? Why? What evidence is mentioned to support this Conspiracy Theory? Whats Nasas answer to each piece of evidence? Whats your opinion about this? If the theory were true, what do you think would be the reason for creating such a hoax?

Links to see the whole documentary: Moon Landing Hoax - Conspiracy Theory Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5MVVtFYTSo Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b309_YspwMk Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1CpNoI4WGc&feature=related Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8qzDJwYjro&feature=related Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiCKy41zZMU Task 2 Choose a Conspiracy Theory, research as much as possible about it, and prepare talk about it. Try to answer these questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Whats the theory about? What evidence is presented by the theorists? What do skeptics say about it? What makes this theory plausible and what doesnt? Try to bring images, pictures, drawings or videos related to the topic you chose.

Helpful websites: http://www.alternet.org/story/140296/the_10_most_popular_conspiracy_theories/ http://www.djmick.co.uk/really/15-believable-conspiracy-theories/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conspiracy_theories http://www.conspiracy-theories-hoax.com/


This worksheet was designed by the teacher Natalia Alarcn Penagos