At The Roanoke Times, retired professor Fred Waddell offers a theory as to why
people fall for conspiracy theories gain acceptance. He identifies four operative factors; here’s one of them (emphasis added):
First, the myth that all opinions are of equal value, regardless of the underlying facts behind any issue. Opinions on medical, scientific or professional areas that require years and years of study and a lifetime of research are no more valued than those of anyone. Remember “alternative facts” made by an advisor to the former president? As ridiculous as it may seem, “alternative facts” are the basis of today’s conspiracy theories, and theorists are quite willing to harm others and even put their own lives at risk to defend them.
Follow the link for the other three.
(Spellink erorr correxted.)