|“If you make up your mind about a contentious issue without having heard all sides, you will be wrong at least half the time." 1|
Every person is a product of the times he lives in. We all believe that our values are objective and moral, but that cannot be true because every generation believes that, yet they have vastly conflicting values. Only a few hundred years ago our ancestors found nothing objectionable about owning and selling other people, and some millenniums prior to that the main course at dinner might be a member of a neighboring tribe. Had we lived then, there is little doubt we would not have objected. Several hundred years from now a future generation is likely to consider our values to be as ignorant and barbaric as we consider those of our predecessors.
I mention this to encourage the reader to jettison, or at least rein in, the opinions, attitudes, and beliefs that he has picked up during his life, because in this book many of them will be disputed. Step out of your times, as though you had just arrived on this planet, and weigh the evidence and reasoning presented. It is nearly impossible to arrive at the truth by listening to only one side of the story, and you are about to hear another side.
Much of what people are told in schools and in the media today just isn’t so. There are knowledgeable people who know it isn’t so, but they dare not say anything. The rest of us live in this sea of misinformation. Since almost everyone believes the prevailing misinformation, we assume it must be true. So we act on it, making important decisions about our lives, decisions that all too often are disastrous.
Now, in my waning years, I can see no contribution I could make to the next generation more important than to challenge what I believe to be at least some of these erroneous beliefs. To encourage the dissemination of this book, it is being published without royalties and may be copied, with attribution, without liability to the author. I hope to make it available on the internet without charge, as I have done with my other books.
Very little is held back in this book. 2 An effort was made to avoid unnecessary insensitivity, but shocking facts, even facts that some will find offensive, are displayed right out in the open where they cannot be missed. I have tried to be as accurate as possible, though I would be amazed if there were no mistakes, as so much ground is covered and speculation was required to fill in gaps in the evidence. Technical language is avoided where possible and explained where used. Large amounts of additional material could have been included, but after working on this almost full time for about four years, I’ve decided it’s time to call it quits.
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2. Some information that is highly controversial, but off-subject or difficult to verify, even if it is probably true, was omitted. Back