Intelligent people can blindly believe incredibly false ideas. Isaac Newton is an excellent example. I think few would argue that he was smarter than more or less anyone on /. But he went ended up following some pretty fallacious paths, which I am sure he would have defended fiercely and intelligently. This may be understandable given the times he lived in, but it is not today since so much of what people believe is so demonstrably false. Yet people persist in the belief that opinion is as good as proven fact (clue - it's not), and that anyones opinion is as good as anyone elses (another clue - it's not. As an engineer, my opinion, say, of a bit of code or circuit design is more well founded than, say, my wifes, who is a teacher. On the other hand her opinion on teaching is more well founded than mine.). What is missing in the US is being taught to *think* and to think *critically*. Instead we allow pressure groups to dictate what is taught and what is not. I do not have a problem with organized religion, but I do have a problem when schools of thought are dictated by people who are so shallow minded that they are afraid to use the intelligence they were born with. It seems as if you scream and stamp your feet loudly enough, and hide behind good old freedom of speech, you can force any harmful creed down someone elses throat.