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Validating a measure of teacher technology integration
A book written by Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian would very likely be a best seller.
So, why does Bill Nye, a guy who purportedly lives and breathes science, continue to “believe” that nuclear energy is unsafe? As with his creationist counterpart, I suspect he was imprinted with this belief in his youth. His environmentalist monkey troop circle heavily overlaps that of the anti-nuclear energy monkey troop.
The “nuclear power is unsafe” argument was one of the first to fall. Now, of course, you can lead a horse to water …but what about Fukushima?Not expecting to find any epiphanies like memes and selfish genes, I’m going to pass on Nye’s 300 page Reader’s Digest version. The employees are all bibliophiles and the new non-fiction tables are typically full of great books.I usually feel like a kid in a candy store and walk out with an armload, but not this time. I noticed that roughly a quarter of the books were written by entertainment celebrities, which makes sense from a publisher’s perspective because they have a good chance of being profitable.Bill Nye photo via Simon Fraser University Flickr Creative Commons, Sunniva Rose Via TEDx Talk Screenshot An article last week in Business Insider discussed Bill Nye’s conversion from anti-GMO to pro-GMO (genetically modified organisms).According to Nye, while attending a political rally in NYC: “…one speaker insisted that the US president Barack Obama was part of a conspiracy sponsored by large agriculture companies to control minds — and received a great many cheers — somehow that passionate man at the microphone crossed a line for me.” Was it a desire to distance himself from conspiracy theorist nut-balls or was it the result of his exposure to facts by real scientists at Monsanto that finally convinced him to change his mind?As an aside, Nye’s book on the subject also pales in comparison to the works of an actual scientist: Over the years I’ve read all but the last two of Dawkins’ books listed above.I’m presently in the middle of reading Appetite for Wonder.On the other hand, a modern day comedic celebrity publicly expressing his or her unqualified opinion on important topics can have a disproportional negative impact, like this comedian’s opinion of vaccination policy, or energy policy which in turn, thanks to climate change and assuming humanity is capable of doing anything about it, can have a negative impact on our children’s futures. The numbers have little impact on the beliefs of creationists, aging anti-nukers or new-age anti-vaccers.Max Planck once said “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” Bill Nye once said “Don’t believe everything grownups tell you,” which includes what Bill tells you, although he may deny being a grownup.Today, what we call celebrity worship is probably a distortion of a basic behavior rooted in our genes that at one time somehow helped move copies of genes into the future.The behavior may have facilitated the status hierarchy inside hunter gatherer hominid troops …or not.