Johan’s second suggestion as to why some oppose nuclear power discusses a trait many here in the US pride ourselves on: anti-authoritarianism (read his entire comment). In an interest group where I ask people where they get information, what information they see as reliable, one person listed alternative sources, as if alternative were a badge of correctness.

We live in a society where many on the right attack scientists as immoral because they believe in evolution. Many from both the right and the left attack scientists because the body of scientists (though exceptions can be found and are frequently cited) have chosen the “wrong problem”, or chosen the “wrong solution”. We have created a society that will not find solutions to climate change and other pressing problems, because it is scientists who alert us to the problems, it is scientists who alert us to some of the solutions.

We absolutely must question what we hear, until we understand what is true and what is not, what is important and what is not. Questions are needed for us to clarify our understanding, for others to clarify their explanations. The value of skepticism is to enhance understanding.

The New York Times is running a series on Intelligent Design. “For the institute’s president, Bruce K. Chapman… intelligent design appealed to his contrarian, futuristic sensibilities… More student of politics than science geek, Mr. Chapman embraced the evolution controversy as the institute’s signature issue precisely because of its unpopularity in the establishment.” Individualism at its worst.

An aside

Promoters of Intelligent Design, the most popular version of creationism today, agree that the universe is 13.6 billion years old. According to the ID people, God devoted time and consideration to improving? advancing? lower species, as well as leading most to extinction, many hundreds of millions of years before He brought forth man. According to ID, God devoted considerably more time to several non-human species than He has spent with us. It’s surprising that this is compatible with creationism.

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