[ExI] Rationality and Irrationality

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Dec 19 03:45:18 UTC 2007

> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Kevin Freels
> > 1. Perhaps this is caused by lack of emphasis on science education?
> >
> My kids have learned all about global warming. In 1st grade my daughter
> was scared to death that we were going to die when the planet died. Why
> teach a kid this?...

Kevin this is one of the most important lessons your daughter will receive:
healthy skepticism.  First grade now, so she's about six.  Ten years from
now when kids gain the capacity for critical thinking, she will find that
the beach is still in the same place as it was when she was six.  Twenty
years from now it will still be right there.  We and the planet will still
be very much alive.  Winter will still come every year and the snow will
still fly.  Summers will still be happy times of fun and bikinis.  The
stunning brilliant display of leaves will still fall in autumn, flowers will
still bloom gloriously in the spring, even when she is an old lady.  

> ... What we need to teach more of is critical thinking...

Although perhaps not the intended lesson, your daughter's teachers did
exactly that.  

The global warming message weakens itself by underestimates of the time
scale involved, overstatement of the risks, and by understatement of the
benefits.  Seldom do I see in the mainstream media a list of all the things
that will improve if we get global warming, even though it looks to me to
outweigh the negatives.


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