‘In the long run my observations have convinced me that some men, reasoning preposterously, first establish some conclusion in their minds which, either because of its being their own or because of their having received it from some person who has their entire confidence, impresses them so deeply that one finds it impossible ever to get it out of their heads.
Such arguments in support of their fixed idea as they hit upon themselves or hear set forth by others, no matter how simple and stupid these may be, gain their instant acceptance and applause.
On the other hand whatever is brought forward against it, however ingenious and conclusive, they receive with disdain or with hot rage — if indeed it does not make them ill.
Beside themselves with passion, some of them would not be backward even about scheming to suppress and silence their adversaries’.
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642).
His guest blogger contribution arrived a little late, but his words have the same value now, than when written. Isn’t it fascinating how human progress hasn’t resolved the old ‘fixed ideas’ problem?
A lot has happened since Galileo; our minds still seem to work the same way.