Wednesday, November 30, 2005


When Belief Trumps Fact

Ian Sample, writing in the Guardian Unlimited, reports that, in "a valedictory speech to mark the end of his five year presidency of the Royal Society, Lord May of Oxford will claim that fundamentalist thought in all its guises, from religious beliefs to the ideologies of green lobby groups, is skewing debates over some of the most pressing issues facing humanity, such as climate change and emerging diseases.

"Such is the influence of groups that ignore or misinterpret scientific evidence, that the core values that underpinned the Enlightenment and led to "free, open, unprejudiced, uninhibited questioning and inquiry, individual liberty and separation of church and state" are being eroded, Lord May believes...

"Fundamentalism doesn't necessarily derive from sacred texts. It's where a belief trumps a fact and refuses to confront the facts."


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