“No… It’s not enough just to believe. People can believe very strongly in all kinds of things that are wrong and even dangerous, like ghosts, or miracle cures, or white supremacy… I was thirteen when my parents left on that expedition, and I believed every day that they were going to come home, but they never did. I believed that you were my friend and wouldn’t abandon me, but I was very wrong about that as well, wasn’t I?” – Jennifer Airhart from my WIP.
True story – this is the quote someone once suggested I should change because it was too political. When I asked them to clarify, they said the ‘white supremacy’ bit might make nazis not want to read my books. So I responded by saying ‘great… it’s staying in then’.
Jennifer mostly just says all that because she’s angry at Kaya. She is a scientist and believes in evidence, but she knows she doesn’t know all the answers. That’s kind of the point – if anyone did know all the answers there wouldn’t be any need to do science. She doesn’t believe in ghosts, but if ever she did come across solid evidence for such things she would just be pitifully excited and thrilled about it. It doesn’t bother her that Sayuri, for example, is into astrology and crystals because those things are harmless and crystals really are fascinating. Psychics and mediums she is grumpier about, as after her parents vanished she had some negative experiences with those where she saw through it and realised they were just exploiting her.