A recent Associated Press poll revealed that a majority of Americans aren’t sure whether the Big Bang Theory, which postulates that everything was created in a massive expansion at the dawn of time, accurately explains the universe’s origin.
The poll indicated that 51% of those surveyed were skeptical that the universe began with the Big Bang. Which is understandable, since no one was around at the time to verify that this was, in fact, the way things went down. And relying on scientists to come up with a reasonable explanation is like signing mortgage papers without reading the fine print. You’ll wind up with a whole lot of “buts, ands, and wherefores,” all of it fairly incomprehensible to the layman.
But while the average Joe apparently isn't willing to throw down with the most commonly-accepted scientific explanation for how the universe was created, there are other theories that find people eager to believe even the most outlandish things.
In fact, some of the theories that people believe require far less proof than the one scientists came up with to explain their theory of creation. Most of these outsider theories rely on rumor greased with suspicion, with a sprinkling of paranoia as the pièce de résistance. Which is not to say they’re not true, or that the clues aren't there. It's all a matter of subjective interpretation, which makes it all the more delicious.
Here’s just a few of them that make the rounds.
Obama is a Muslim
One in five Americans believes our beloved President bows towards Mecca a few times a day, according to the Pew Research Center. Pew also indicates that among Republicans, 31% say Obama is Muslim (27% believe he’s a Christian, as he claims). Okay, so he was schooled in a madrassa. And spent time growing up in Indonesia. And has a name that's not exactly Peter, Paul, or Mary. But he's a devotee of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, most famous for his urging that blacks should sing "God damn America." There's your proof that he's not a Muslim.
Paul McCartney’s Dead, Man
Some 5% of voters believe that Paul McCartney actually died in 1966 and was replaced by a doppelganger who, incredibly enough, had enough musical talent and songwriting skills to pull off the switch. Is he the one and only Billy Shears? No less an authority than Time Magazine tackled the subject, but refused to debunk the rumor.
There is More to 9/11 Than the Official Story
Here’s an amazing fact — just five years after 9/11, a CBS News/New York Times poll discovered that only 16% of Americans believed the official government version of what happened. This was in 2006, when things were still relatively fresh in people’s minds.
Pope Benedict Didn't Resign Because of Faltering Strength
There are those who believe the real reason was either (a) a Vatican sex scandal, in which the Pope was intimately involved; or (b) a Vatican bank scandal, which the Pope knew about but wanted to avoid. There’s also the infamous “Last Pope” theory, which posits that he’s clearing out to make way for — SATAN!!
The Denver Airport is the Western Headquarters for the New World Order
Denver International Airport is the alleged western US headquarters of the New World Order. The reasoning is fueled by notions there’s a massive underground base and city existing underneath the airport (some claim it contains Reptilians). But this theory is mostly spurred by the oddball set of environmentally-themed murals created by artist Leo Tanguma that adorn the airport walls. The murals depict burning cities, gas-mask wearing soldiers, and girls in coffins; and at the capstone of the Great Hall, there's art which includes Masonic symbols and strange writing. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.