Skip to content


Nuclear radiation, Kierkegaard, and the philosophy of denial via The Ecologist

As the evidence of the extreme harm to health inflicted by nuclear radiation mounts, the denialists are resorting to ever greater extremes, writes Chris Busby. On the one hand, advancing the absurd claim that ionising radition is not merely harmless, but health-enhancing. On the other, closing down the experiment that would have provided the strongest evidence yet.

Kierkegaard said of belief that it becomes stronger the more impossible and threatened it is. And this seems to be rapidly coming true in the case of nuclear energy. The torture imposed on logic, reason and observational data by the advocates of nuclear power has now reached the level of clinical psychosis.

A psychosis is a thought disorder in which reality testing is grossly impaired. There is so much evidence that nuclear power kills, causes cancer, mutates populations, reduces fertility and kills babies that only a mad person would continue with the belief that it is a good thing and should be pursued no matter what the cost in money and death.

Every ionization causes damage to the cell, and therefore even at the smallest dose, one ionisation, there is damage to the cell and hence a finite probability that this will lead to cancer. These are the armies facing each other in the petition to assume a threshold, based on the hormesis model versus the Linear No Threshold model.

Hormesis, or ‘radiation is good for you’

Actually, as far as human cancer and genetic damage is concerned, both are wrong. I met the hormesis brigade, Myron Pollycove and Ludwig Feinendegen at the CERRIE conference in Oxford in 2004. They were quite sympathetic with what I was arguing (maybe they hadn’t thought it through), but they both seemed like nice guys. Scientists anyway. Not psychotic. Because their arguments were based on observation.

Sadly, it’s not true

So what is wrong with hormesis. Is radiation good for you? The answer, of course, is no it isn’t. There are two alternative, not mutually exclusive reasons. The first is due to Elena Burlakova, Head of Radiation Biology at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Her groups have carried out dozens of experiments on the effects of radiation on different systems.

Read more at Nuclear radiation, Kierkegaard, and the philosophy of denial

Posted in *English.

Tagged with , , , , , .


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.