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‘The Courage to Follow the Evidence’

‘The Courage to Follow the Evidence’
‘The Courage to Follow the Evidence’


From the Richard Dawkins Foundation Newsletter. Subscribe here.


The UK’s National Health Service recently released The Cass Review, an independent report intended “to make recommendations on how to improve NHS gender identity services, and ensure that children and young people who are questioning their gender identity or experiencing gender dysphoria receive a high standard of care, that meets their needs, is safe, holistic and effective.”

Dr. Hillary Cass’s final report is important for many reasons. First, it highlights the lack of sound science and evidentiary support for many common approaches to gender transition treatment for minors and raises serious questions about how and why the medical establishment has so “utterly failed” so many young people. It also provides at least a partial answer: the debate over transgender care has been so politicized and toxic that medical professionals have been “afraid to openly discuss their views” for fear of being vilified and bullied online.

Dr. Cass has been rightly lauded for having “the courage to follow the evidence.” We have made the point repeatedly: good outcomes are not possible when science is stifled by political agendas. In this debate and all others, we should demand scientifically sound, evidence-based answers—not politically correct sloganeering.

I had the pleasure of seeing Richard Dawkins’s appearance at the Dissident Dialogues conference in New York last weekend. His friend and former atheist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, shared the stage with Dawkins in a discussion about her recent, public conversion to Christianity. Unfortunately, it appears she is serious about her embrace of supernaturalism after having been such an important public intellectual and rational thinker for so very long. You can also look forward to Richard’s upcoming public speaking tour—the largest he has ever done—for a chance to see him speak in-person later this Fall.

We’ll also look at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom’s annual report highlighting the world’s most repressive countries when it comes to religious belief (or the lack thereof) and an urgent call by the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance to better protect the rights of nonbelievers around the world.

Finally, we’ll look at a story about an exceedingly rare (as in, “only three times in recorded history” rare) evolutionary event that was recently covered in Popular Science.

Richard Dawkins exemplifies what’s possible when we have the “courage to follow the evidence.” The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science remains committed to defending free inquiry and freethinkers, and we appreciate your continued support.

Robyn E. Blumner,
CEO and President, Center for Inquiry
Executive Director, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science


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