Comment by Heather Spoonheim on November 1, 2011 at 3:46pm

I know this video is rather long - but it is truly worth watching.

Comment by Robert Karp on November 1, 2011 at 4:37pm

I just don't understand how any country, "westernized" or "third word", can take the United States seriously when our foremost leaders are spouting inane nonsense.  It is utterly indefensible and pretty much makes me feel sick.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on November 1, 2011 at 4:55pm

It think that part of the problem is that the U.S. spent so much time at the cutting edge of scientific discovery.  The generation before mine felt like they were really getting a handle on things and felt confident because of it - then science started both to let them down and generate new theories that made a lot of hard fought learning less relevant.  The combination of these two things has led to a generation of people who are just saying 'screw it' to science and well documented facts because they can't keep up anymore - and legislators are pandering to this trend with lines like 'well can we ever really know the truth?'

 

While science education seems fundamental to overcoming this problem, I think we need to realize that most people simply aren't equipped to keep up in multiple disciplines and need to develop confidence in the findings of those who are at the top of various fields.  Unfortunately, for many, this just creates a scientific priesthood of sorts, once again dictating knowledge from authority - something we've struggled for centuries to put behind us.

Comment by Dennis Weaver on November 1, 2011 at 5:16pm

While watching this, it reminded me of some comments that Dr. Smith made in TA Radio Ep. 25. The entire interview is well worth listening, but the comments he made start at roughly 48:00 (or several minutes earlier for the extended discussion) of the interview. To obtusely summarize, he makes the observation that as much genetics has become a large part of biological/evolutionary research, this causes an even greater disconnect between scientific and the general public and so a harder challenge to face in terms of education. I took this in mind with the general U.S. population and thought it was an excellent point of concern.

Comment by rhonda blankenship on November 1, 2011 at 6:02pm

unfortunitly Religion has gotten in the way.  Archeaology proves We've been here a long time. A very long time. and Religion's such as christanity, threatens all Humanity, all Life, the Planet itself. their book (holy bible)say's it (rev.) , they pray for it (armigedion) History and Science has proven the damage religion has done to Us all.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on November 1, 2011 at 6:23pm

Thanks, Dennis - this seems to be becoming a running theme these days.  There was a blog post a while back suggesting scientists in general needed to be better spokespeople for science, and it lead to quite a discussion with several people pointing out that we have some great spokespeople already (Kaku, Degrasse, etc).

 

@Rhonda - I think religion only provides the venue for willful ignorance and the overwhelming volume of scientific information is turning people off, giving them greater motive to take-up what religion has to offer.

Comment by Ron V on November 1, 2011 at 11:59pm

Any good suggestions on places to move outside the US that are not theocracies and where people value science and intelligence?

Comment by justin gold on November 2, 2011 at 6:11am

great post Heather,enjoyed that.

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