Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Council of Nerds: America Getting Dumb

In a report that would shock you if any of you gave a fuck about science, America's dominance in the field is being threatened by economic growth in Asia and our reliance on filling technical jobs with foreigners. From the Times:

The report, available at www.nsf.gov/statistics/indicators, recommends increased financing for basic research and greater “intellectual interchange” between researchers in academia and industry. The board also called for better efforts to track the globalization of manufacturing and services in the high-tech sector, and their implications for the American economy.

Over all, it said, surveys of science and mathematics education are both “disappointing and encouraging.” Fourth- and eighth-grade students in all ethnic groups showed improvement in math, the report said, but progress in science is far less robust. And knowledge gaps persist between demographic groups, with European- and Asian-Americans scoring higher than students from other groups.

Many Americans remain ignorant about much of science, the board said; for example, many are unable to answer correctly when asked if the Earth moves around the Sun (it does). But they are not noticeably more ignorant than people in other developed countries except on two subjects: evolution and the Big Bang. Although these ideas are organizing principles underlying modern biology and physics, many Americans do not accept them.

“These differences probably indicate that many Americans hold religious beliefs that cause them to be skeptical of established scientific ideas,” the report said, “even when they have some basic familiarity with those ideas.”

Well then, stop the country please, I'd like to get off. How do we live in a country that put a man on the moon and now have a population that doesn't know if the Earth revolves around the Sun. Gotta love the Times answering the question for us, because it isn't something taught in science class from the time we're children. Ah fuck it, American Idol is on, right? Let's just stare at it and laugh at the bad singers! Hooray! Hooray!

1 comment:

ShakeShock said...

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