I have been thinking for a bit on why people deny things for which there is generally solid evidence. We have global warming, the holocaust, and the theory of evolution for starters. Is it really because these concepts are incompatible with their belief system? I have concluded that it is something more. It is because of the policies based on them.

With evolution, it does go against a strictly literal interpretation of the Bible. I don’t see this as the real source behind the militant disagreement with it though. Given the chance, Christians would eventually embrace it, as they have with other unpopular scientific discoveries. What really inspires the refusal is that evolution is used as a tool to enact anti-religious policies outside the scope of the theory. By denying the theory of evolution, some Christians seek to throw atheism back to a time when it was politically impotent and intellectually indefensible.

Denial of the holocaust, particularly in middle-eastern countries,  also is rooted in policy consequences. It was because of the Holocaust that there was support for Israel to be re-established. By denying that it ever took place, Muslim leaders seek to take away both the main impetus for having to live with the Jewish State as a thorn in their side, and the stigma of having supported Adolph Hitler during WWII.

Finally there is the denial of global climate change. Like the others, it is an attempt to block policies, which in this case are designed to increase government control over society. If we could just get rid of this theory, then the doors would be open to harvesting natural resources that would spur growth in our economy, and maintain a greater degree of personal freedom and upward socio-economic mobility.

This is the problem we see here: we have a tendency to attack the tool rather than the underlying problem. This is a children’s sword-fight, where one party hits at the sword of the other party. Evolution has nothing to say for or against the existence of deity. The Holocaust has no bearing on whether there should be a state of Israel. Global warming is irrelevant to the question of to what extent a government should control or be controlled by its people. Enough sword-fighting, we need to get down to the root of things. It is time for some fencing.

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