Top 5 Unbelievable Beliefs People hold in 2017

Humanity has come a long way in the past 500 years. So much so that we look back upon the weird and wacky beliefs of the early 20th century and scoff at the fact that people thought it might be a good idea to brush their teeth with RADIUM or that it was fine to beat your wife so long as the implement was no bigger than your thumb. To say nothing of the levels of irrationality it took to get us going down the path to the First World War.

Here we are now in 2017 where children can and should be taught computer coding from preschool. Where high school children learn without controversy that the Earth is round and goes around the Sun. There is no controversy surrounding the Newtonian Laws of Physics. But still there are those on the fringes of society who outright refuse to join the rest of us in reality.

Now for the truly sceptical I want to point out that this article will refer to the fringes of the fringes. For the purpose of having an article that can be read by a wide ranging audience. Yes these things are completely obvious to those of us who successfully completed Primary School but none the less keep in mind that these are all things that ADULTS believe and practice.

So here they are the Top 5 Unbelievable Beliefs of 2017:




The fact that people still practice any form of fortune telling in the 21st century is baffling enough. Even palmistry has kind of been pushed to the edges in favour of the more colourful and dramatic card readings. But nothing compares with Rumpology. Rumpology, sometimes referred to as Bottom Reading is way a of examining the buttocks and crack of a human and determining their future and personality in much the same way that chirology or phrenology don’t work. It was invented or as she might put it rediscovered by Jackie Stallone, Sylvester Stallone’s Mother. According to Jackie (America’s foremost Rumpologist) Butt readings go back as far as the Babylonians. She claims that the Ancient Greeks believed that the Rump was the key to health and fidelity. It should be noted that there is no evidence to back up any of these claims. NONE. All you need to do is send Jackie a picture of your butt in the mail and pay the fees (starting from US$250 for a Gluteal Cleft report all the way up to US$600 for the Total Rumpology Report) and she will tell you your future. Like all other divination techniques this is essentially ‘cold reading’ mixed in with the sunk cost fallacy. If you spend $300 per butt cheek you are more likely going to believe that Sylvester Stallone’s Mum can predict your future when she makes the very specific claim of “You are a kind person who will be going on a trip of some kind very soon.”




Not to be confused with the pop psychology term for immature, emotionally draining adults. Who are more accurately referred to as emotional vampires. There are adults in 2017 who, not only believe in Vampires, of the blood sucking variety. But there are also Vampires who feed off of psychic energy. Basically these Energy Vampires will drain you of your ‘life force’ or ‘prana’, of an individual. Dione Fortune (an early 20th century occultist) wrote of psychic vampirism in her book, Psychic Self-Defense. Fortune considered psychic vampirism a combination of psychic and psychological pathology, and distinguished between what she considered to be true psychic vampirism and mental conditions that produce similar symptoms. Mixing in pop science with spirituality is one of the many ways that pseudoscience is able to work it’s way into the public consciousness. In particular the misuse of the word ‘energy‘ which to New Agers and pseudo-scientists is a word that is interchangeable with words such as ‘quantum’, ‘vibration’ or ‘natural’. Put these in front of any noun and you’ve got yourself a product that you can make all sorts of claims for.


3. Globe Deniers


Flat Earthers have got to be one of the most ridiculous beliefs that could’ve reemerged in the 21st century. Over three hundred years of physicists and astronomers making calculations using gravity. Almost a century of astronomers observing the other planets through telescopes with accuracy far beyond that of any previous century. More than half a century of NASA and other space agencies exploration of space. Now Tila Tequila has figured out that the Earth is Flat. As recently as February 17th Kyrie Irving stated on a podcast “This is not even a conspiracy theory, The Earth is flat.” Even though it’s a bit of an argument from authority I’m going to side with the past few generations of astronomers and physicists over a basketball player and an internet celebrity. Rapper B.o.B has also come out as a Flat Earther at which point famous astrophysicist and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson came out on twitter to school B.o.B on the facts.


4. The Illuminati


I really still can’t believe that this is still a thing. Again here it is important to point out that there was and have been several groups calling themselves the Illuminati (which is just Latin for ‘Enlightened’). These get mixed together, particularly with the Bavarian Group started in May of 1776. However this society was largely crushed out of existence in the 1780’s. The claim that there is some kind of  World-wide Organisation running things in secret is easily disproved by having any knowledge of the current state of International Politics. Governments can’t even cover up illicit affairs and general gaffs to say nothing of outright lies or Alternative Facts. These things are debunk immediately and unless you are particularly politically partisan there is no way to ignore these things. National governments can’t pull off a cover up lasting more than a few days. Even if there was a global attempt at conspiracy it would be revealed within minutes. In 2016 Dr David Grimes, from Oxford University, devised an equation to express how long certain conspiracies could ‘survive’ before being revealed – deliberately or unwittingly – to the public. The details of the research can be read here Basically Dr Grimes concludes that the greater the number of people involved the faster the conspiracy is exposed. Although the paper didn’t address the Illuminati specifically it did address certain activities that they are accused of perpetuating. The Moon landing hoax would have been revealed in 3.7 years for example, the climate change fraud in 3.7 to 26.8 years, the vaccine-autism conspiracy in 3.2 to 34.8 years, and the cancer cure conspiracy in 3.2 years.


5. The End is Nigh


Once again, the world is going to end this year. So what is this now, like the seventh or eighth year in a row. I guess eventually, on a cosmic scale, these people are correct. But I’m going to go ahead and predict that the world will not end this year. Nor will civilisation collapse. The most notable of these were the Harold Camping end times predictions of May 21st 2011. When the world didn’t end Camping claimed that it was an spiritual, invisible end. Although he said the actual destruction of the universe would now be on October 21st 2011. It didn’t. Also a similar post hoc rationalisation for the Mayan End of the World on December 21st 2012. Even coming up to the date many spiritualists began to claim that it would only be a spiritual awakening/change. This year it is the solar eclipse in August that is going to end the world. It’s important to note though that not all the world will see this eclipse. Only North America, the very north of South America, Western Europe and parts of Africa.


So there they are. The Top 5 Unbelievable Beliefs of 2017. Remember double check your sources, don’t share articles without at least reading them first, check any questionable claims and be sceptical. Even of this article. If you think The Illuminati is using Energy Vampires to read our butts across the flat plane of the Earth in order to cover up the end times. Please comment with testable, provable facts. No youtube videos please.

Joseph Paul John McCarthy

Joseph Paul John McCarthy

Joseph Paul John McCarthy has wanted to be a writer since before he could write.. He was a long time film reviewer for as well as reviewing film scripts for their monthly competitions. He has one self published book - The Science-Based Baby Book for Skeptical Parents and a novel which will definitely be published any decade now. He had an aneurysm and died on September 10 2015, but thanks to medical science he got better.