Is the US hostile to science?
Rawlings said the (intelligent design) dispute was widening political, social,
religious and philosophical rifts in U.S. society. "When ideological division
replaces informed exchange, dogma is the result and education suffers,'' he
Also from the article:
Polls for many years have shown that a majority of Americans are at odds
with key scientific theory. For example, as CBS poll this month found that 51
percent of respondents believed humans were created in their present form by
God. A further 30 percent said their creation was guided by God. Only 15 percent
thought humans evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of
Other polls show that only around a third of American adults accept the
Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe, even though the concept is
virtually uncontested by scientists worldwide.
"When we ask people what they know about science, just under 20 percent
turn out to be scientifically literate,'' said Jon Miller, director of the
center for biomedical communication at Northwestern University.
He said science and especially mathematics were poorly taught in most
U.S. schools, leading both to a shortage of good scientists and general
Only 20% are scientifically literate. And isn't that the sort of thing that replicates itself across generations? If I'm not scientifically literate, how supportive am I going to be of schools or others orienting my kid in that direction? Probably not very, especially if you're contradicting my belief systems in the process. And in the meantime, other countries are passionate about science, recognizing that it represents their future.
So what's the solution? How can you get parents to "give up their kids to science" so to speak? All I can see is a concerted effort at all levels to drive home the simple message that "science equals success." If you want our country to prosper - if you want your kid to have a good job when he/she grows up - man, you better let them loose. Otherwise we are doomed to fail, and I do not believe that to be an understatement.