In science, the authority of thousands of opinions is not worth as much as one tiny spark of reason in an individual man. -Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei was punished for his ideas on heliocentrism because he was seen as a threat to the Catholic Church. His ideas went against the Church's teachings and beliefs, and so they saw him as a danger to their power even though he could prove his observations through the scientific method. Galileo was forced to recant his ideas and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. Of course, now we know he was right.
Facts are dangerous things because they often threaten the opinions of the majority, the powerful, and the wealthy. Facts are based on reality and can be proven, while opinions are based on personal beliefs and cannot be proven. Facts are also more reliable than opinions because they are not influenced by personal feelings or biases. So the oldest tactic the powerful, the majority, and the wealthy use to confront facts that contradict their interests is to attack the messenger as a bad person instead of dealing with facts.
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