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Deluded

Entry 453, on 2007-01-04 at 21:43:53 (Rating 3, Science)

I was discussing global warming recently and was told that a friend, who's intelligence I rate fairly highly, doesn't believe global warming is a real problem, and that its significance has been deliberately exaggerated by scientists for some nefarious purpose. I wondered to myself how a smart person could not agree with the scientific consensus and accept that human influence has a major impact on our current climate.

Then I remembered he also rejects evolution and believes in some weird variation of creationism. In reality, its amazing what intelligent, well informed, people can believe if it suits some higher purpose, or belief system, they have. The person I am referring to does belong to a nutty modern Christian church and probably subscribes to some forms of libertarian political views. So based on these, he is a classic candidate for delusional beliefs.

But I still wonder how intelligent people can believe in nonsense. I agree that global warming is a complex issue, and there is still some reason for doubt, but rejecting evolution is totally unjustifiable for someone with a science background, reasonable intelligence, and adequate knowledge of the subject. I guess it depends on their ability to change their way of thinking depending on the subject.

For example, I heard a podcast recently where a biologist said he knew evolution was true but still believes the Biblical account of creation. He knows these two are contradictory but when asked to explain admits he can't. Surely, he must know he is deluding himself, but maybe that is what he wants. Maybe that's what my friend wants as well.

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