The Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s high-performance Jaguar XT5 computer, built by Seattle-based Cray Inc., was named Monday as the fastest on the planet in the latest semiannual TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.
It is often said that the government can do nothing right. As thinking human being we must recognize that broad generalizations may be true at one time or another but examining case by case is the best way to ascertain the truth. A government financed project in concert with a private company created the fastest computer in the world. Its purpose is research, one funded by the government.
There is a great deal of hostility to science in this country, hostility not based on fact but on rumor, lies and religious dogmatism. An ethical human being questions beliefs and decides to support or not support them based on his own decision making. Accepting a religious denomination’s directives on any belief without examination is an abdication of a human being’s responsibility to use the ability to reason.
Hostility to science can have long term effects on education and development in this nation. But far more dangerous is the implication that faith is utterly superior to reason. If thinking is not respected, there will be a temptation to choose leaders “just like us.” Instead of seeking capability, we seek comfort, because after all if reason, knowledge and education are not important why consider them a factor in decision making?