While many conspiracy theorists are politically liberal, they also include people on the right, including members of the John Birch Society, who imply that the Sept. 11 attacks were part of a continuing plan by U.S. elites to create a "New World Order" and impose greater control over Americans.Is anyone surprised by fact that people with advanced degrees believe conspiracy theories? Although plenty of sensible people get advanced degrees, the pursuit of an advanced degree is something that appeals to the kind of person who wants to load a lot of material into his brain and do things with it. Someone like that is more likely to get into conspiracy thinking -- things are connected! -- than the ordinary person who wants to get through with school and get out in the world and do things there. The sizzle and ferment of the inside of the head isn't what most people want. And they're suspicious of academic types with good reason. There are a lot of screwy people in academia.
Some conspiracy theories are fantastical (CIA agents orchestrated the attacks; Israel planned them.) -- the epitome of preposterous beliefs that start with a conclusion and work backward to find evidence. Each new month brings a deluge of crackpot theories, but a growing number of people say there are too many improbabilities -- too many illogical holes -- in the government's version of what happened....
"Conspiracists (come) from all parts of the population, they (come) from all racial and religious groups," says Bob Goldberg, a history professor at the University of Utah and the author of "Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America." "The fact that people who have advanced degrees believe in conspiracy theories does not surprise me because it's not an issue of whether you're smart or dumb. In fact, when you look at conspiracy theories, what distinguishes them is how rigorously logical they seem to be, that they are so intensely structured and that there's a belief that every single fact is important and connects to another fact. There's a rigor to (their) logic."
ADDED: Here's an article about two new government reports refuting the 9/11 conspiracy theory.