Why do people confuse facts with opinions?

I see, by the letters to the editor, that some readers believe global warming is a hoax, even though the science has been clear for many years, documented by photos and statistics, and representatives of 192 countries are meeting in Copenhagen to try to slow it down.

Evolution is scientifically proven, regardless of how many people have opposing opinions. Is it likely that rogue scientists created millions of fake fossils that can withstand radioactive carbon dating, buried them deep in obscure locations all over the world and then dug them up again to document evolution?

How do “birthers” believe that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States when his official birth certificate has been verified repeatedly? Did someone put a fake birth announcement in a 1961 newspaper in Honolulu because he knew the issue would arise 46 years later?

We all have opinions, but what counts are opinions backed up by verifiable facts. If a “fact” sounds unlikely, why not look it up and see if it’s really a baseless opinion? Why not verify inflammatory ideas? FactCheck.org, PolitiFact.com, and snopes.com are three of many available sources.

Ellen Field, New Gloucester

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