To:    Guardian CiF
Re:    Turning to nuclear energy is like a child playing with matches
Date: Thursday 24 May 07

In response to the Guardian leader, "All clear for nuclear" on nuclear energy.

Link to article and thread at The Guardian.

If we deserved our scientific name (Homo sapiens = wise and rational man), I would have few concerns about nuclear energy, although I suspect that a wise and rational humanity would not choose to use it on a large scale, anyway; not least, because it would have no need for it.

But the truth, of which we are in alternating denial (in ourselves) and recognition (in others), is that we do not deserve our scientific name. "Home stupidus economicus" would be much more appropriate.

We are "prime apes", with a very large brain and prodigious (animal) intelligence, which has recently learned to grasp (make good models of) physical reality (the fruits of which we now depend upon, but have also been intoxicated by - not to mention our planet), but we are still floundering in medieval darkness (though we fail to recognise it, of course) when it comes to our grasp (models) of human and social reality.

The scientific revolution has made the use of nuclear energy possible. But before we go ahead and do so (i.e. expand the use we are already making of it) we need to have a revolution in the human and social sciences. Once we have as firm a grasp (good models) of human and social reality as we do of physical reality, that will be the time to consider the large-scale use of nuclear energy.

Until then humankind is like a child with a box of matches (which contains not just nuclear matches, but others as well).

If there is a God (some higher spiritual authority) he is telling us with some urgency, not to open them (too late, Ethel! Then only with extreme care). Not yet. Not until we have undergone a revolution in the human and social sciences and applied them to the extent that we actually deserve the name, "Wise and rational man".