Saturday, April 2, 2011
"waste of my time, waste of my teacher's time and a waste of space"
There is a vast cancer of ignorance spreading across this country. Just to remind you, Lott's mother was a teacher. And his most famous statement?
"When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either." - FORMER U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
Just for the kids, the implication here is that if we had elected the racist Strom Thurmond (who in a delicious but all too typical twist of fate had a black child), things would have been better. Make no mistake, there are millions of Americans who are against the progress of science. They are almost all conservative Christians, like Strom. They are the ones who deny the true age of the Earth, who doubt evolution without ever actually learning about it, and the ones who think that physics is a waste of time for anyone but physicists to learn. The best we can hope for is that while republicans come in all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of personal differences, one fact is universal; no republican wants to die poor. Even if that means millons of other people will die poor. Republican funding of science and research, often under the umbrella of military R&D, has actually been better than Democrats. The funding of education, on the other hand, has usually not been so vigorous. But from my perspective, investing money in education of the public is important. Not only will it save money in the long run (smart people are more likely to take care of themselves, and less likely to commit crimes), but it is essential that the public be scientifically literate. I have no desire to debate climate change here, it is a complex issue with two sides who are generally both wrong (the deniers and doomsdayers), but all citizens should be equipped to understand topics like this for themselves. That is how a democracy functions. As of right now, I doubt that half of Americans realize that the Sun is a star. I am certain that only a few percent of Americans at most can explain what a "negative feedback mechanism" is. We are a nation of scientific dummies, and that is both embarrassing and dangerous.