TED Conversations

Matthieu Miossec

Doctoral Student - Genetic Medecine (Congenital Heart Disease),

TEDCRED 100+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

what issues have you radically changed your mind about in the past few years?

If one keeps an open-mind, one is bound to change his opinion on certain topics when given a fresh perspective from conversation and debate or from the maturity one acquires with age. There is no shame in admitting that one might not have had all the answers at one time (if indeed there is a right answer to be found).

So what is at least one issue on which you've radically changed your mind before and what might have caused this sudden shift in viewpoint?

Honest answers will be much appreciated.

+2
Share:
progress indicator
  • thumb
    Jun 28 2011: Religion...belief in a god....I am now an agnostic.
    • thumb
      Jun 28 2011: Yes I have been through this change too. Although in my case the change wasn't so radical. I was unsure for a very long time, I tried not to think too much about it. When I finally did really think about it, I became an atheist.
      • thumb
        Jun 28 2011: Me too. But my doubts started when I was about 11. I am agnostic. I have come to the conclusion there is probably no God and its not worth bothering about. Religions are man made and on the whole harmful but some are more harmful than others.

        I have come to the conclusion that all religions take away some of your freedom by controlling your life and thoughts but some are more controlling than others, virtually enslaving you and others.

        I have come to the conclusion that because of aggressive religion our freedoms are seriously in peril and they have to be vigorously opposed.

        I agree with the Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity, from which stems all morality, but firmly reject the dogma of Christianity and all its beliefs.
  • Jun 28 2011: Like the co-founder of Greenpeace I realized only within the past decade the desirability of nuclear power. When I realized that 3-4 times the number of people who died in the holocaust have died and will die because of the coal cycle, I realized that only nuclear power could meet the energy needs of a green technology.

    It was my privilege to have as a suite mate the Army's go to guy for nuclear transients when Chernobyl went critical. He informed the Army brass, "You are going to lose some fire fighters and some helicopter pilots---thirty to forty people---that's about it".

    Chernobyl has as much relevance to modern nuclear plants as a Model T has to a Lexus. Did you read the WHO report in 2005 that indicated that some twenty years after Chernobyl melted down that fewer than 50 people died just as the nuclear expert predicted? Since low-level radiation improves your chances of avoiding cancer (hormesis) the Chernobylites and the Tokyoites will live longer, cancer free than the general population.

    The recent events in Japan are a testimony to the inherent safety of nuclear power plants. There you had an old plant, underdesigned for tsunamis and earthquakes in historic times, with an inadequate backup systems, yet still, weeks later no one has died. Compare that to the Bhopal DOW chemical spill where over 3000 people died. When was the last time you heard about Bhopal? When was the last time you heard about Chernobyl?

    The implosion fusion delusion is an attempt by physicists to increase market share not provide energy.
    • thumb
      Jun 28 2011: It's amazing, so far, so many people on this thread have had similar radical changes in opinion to mine. I also used to be staunchly against nuclear energy until I realised all the great benefits that came from it and that a lot of the fears around it are exaggerated. (My father still is anti-nuclear, we have heated discussions) As I see it, in the next few decades, we're going to have to make a choice as to whether we want to pursue nuclear energy as our main power source or whether we want to pursue coal. Renewable energies are just not there yet. Coal power not only does the damage you mentioned, it will be a nightmare in terms of Co2 emissions, something we can't afford given the oncoming climate crisis.

      You mention hormesis, is that, by any chance, the phenomenon that was observed sometime after Hiroshima happened?
      • Jun 30 2011: Indeed. Visitors to HIroshima a day after the bomb was dropped were cancer free, had better immune systems and lived longer than visitors just two days later when much of the radiation had presumably been dispersed by the wind. Cows exposed to radiation from the Trinity A-bomb tests had to be euthanized because of extreme old age. Workers at Los Alamos who ingested large amounts of plutonium lived longer than a comparable general population after some 37 years. Mice living in uranium dust from the Manhattan Project lived longer than controls and workers in the nuclear industry in the UK had a 15-20% lower incidence of cancer than the general population.

        What this means is we can predict from the Japanese melt down only a few workers will die from exposure to high levels of radiation. The remaining Tokyoites will live longer, cancer free than the Tokyoites not exposed to radiation.

        The whole linear no-threshold model (i.e. all radiation has some mortality) was created because geneticists learned that they could "scare the pants" off Congress by raising the bogeyman that all radiation was bad. The science has been so corrupted that the EPA is party to a fraud---the "dangers" radon. They always try to tie this to smoking which is a red herring. If you don't smoke moderate levels of radon are essential for good lung health. If your radon levels are too low, then you have the likelihood of increased lung cancer rates a good 50%.
  • thumb
    Jun 28 2011: Matthieu, Global issues and seeing the great potential of our humanism, scientific and technological knowledge and our power to contribute our deep convictions from our diverse societies and together transform our world into a better one.
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Jun 27 2011: That's interesting because the Israelo-Palestinian conflict also happens to be one of those issues where my views have radically changed. I however started on the other side of the spectrum, seeing Israel as a victim of its aggressive neighbours and seeing the whole situation as a continuation of European anti-Semitism. Actually learning about the conflict in high-school and seeing the conflict still unfolding in today's world news, made me unabashedly Pro-Palestinian. I'd say our positions today are probably closer then they were back in the days before our radical change of mind.
  • thumb
    Jun 28 2011: Evolution.
    The more I read the (rather shouty) pro-evolutionary literature, the more amazing and unbelievable it sounds.
    I have become dramatically less convinced than I was.
    • thumb
      Jun 28 2011: What do you find questionable about evolution. As a concept it seems to resonates so well with my intuitive understanding of how life changes.