Sunday, August 4, 2013


“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” Isaac Asimov

And here is a link to a prime example of Isaac Asimov’s quote. Check out the conspiracy theories surrounding an attempt to standardize a core curriculum for science education in this country. It’s a socialist plot. It’s a fascist plot. It’s…well you get the picture. There’s an unhealthy percentage of our fellow citizens who are not only ignorant when it comes to science, they’re damn proud of the fact. /And if religion wasn’t being used as an excuse I doubt anyone would be allowed to get away with this bullshit.

All these folks prove is that they have absolutely no understanding of how science works. And some of the comments on the story are even weirder. A theory, in science, is the best explanation we have for how gravity works, how planets orbit the sun or how life got from one celled critters to the marvelous variety we have today that fits the facts as we know them right now. As the facts change, the theory is refined.

And that seems to drive the fundies crazy. Then there’s the link to this website where the author argues that we have to understand where these Luddites are coming from. Well, I do understand where they’re coming from and I lost patience about a hundred squares back. Maybe that’s part of the problem. Most of us were brought up to be nice, polite little boys and girls. We were not brought up to confront willful idiocy with all the respect it deserves.

But there’s a double edged sword. Confronted with “you know something? You’re an idiot.” The Luddite doesn’t have to listen. He can retire from the field hugging his belief that he’s being persecuted for his religious beliefs not for his willful ignorance.

I guess you do have the right to choose ignorance for yourself. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE OR MANDATE IGNORANCE FOR ANYONE ELSE. ESPECIALLY YOUR CHILDREN. Please excuse the shouting.

They’re my kids, I should have right to control what they learn. And there’s the I don’t have kids why should I have to support other people’s kids. Sorry, but society has a stake in what little Bruce and Betty are learning. Our math and science scores are abysmal compared to many other countries. Our teachers are ridiculed. Many districts are starved for support. Sorry folks it takes a little more money to run a school than it did in The Little House on the Prairie days.

We’d all better hope that little Bruce and Betty grow up to be engineers, accountants, mechanics and doctors. I don’t fancy trying to take out my own appendix if it needs doing.

No comments: