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dpworkin's avatar

What does the apparent deficit in scientific knowledge portend for the United States?

Asked by dpworkin (27030points) April 9th, 2010

Here is an interesting quote from a poll that was just deleted from a new NSF report:

45% of Americans in 2008 answered true to the statement, “Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals.” The figure is similar to previous years and much lower than in Japan (78%), Europe (70%), China (69%), and South Korea (64%). The same gap exists for the response to a second statement, “The universe began with a big explosion,” with which only 33% of Americans agreed. Here is the source

How do you feel about these unreported figures? What do you think it means for us as a Nation? How concerned are you?

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30 Answers

jeanmay's avatar

Does this indicate a lack of scientific knowledge, or rather a lack of belief in the quoted statements? I think the latter must be true, but either way I find it worrying. A friend of mine was always shocked that we (in England) had to sing hymns in school. I’m shocked that so many Americans choose to ignore evolution in favour of creationism.

RareDenver's avatar

The world is heading to Idiocracy

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

There are numerous types of knowledge deficits that afflict large proportions of Americans.

Ignorance of history, economics and philosophy compound the deleterious effects deficits in scientific knowledge.

Sometimes even public figures seem to revel in their ignorance.

The long-term success of the USA may well be compromised by such wide-spread lack of knowledge and the insight that would otherwise result from it.

jerv's avatar

Sounds like Fox News is winning….

ETpro's avatar

We must revitalize public education if we are to remain a great nation. Science, math, even being able to speak and write our native language correctly are all slip-sliding away.

jeanmay's avatar

I think American society is already compromised on so many levels. Look at the reaction to the idea of accessible health care, for example. Statistically speaking America has the worst health care system in the developed world. Look at aspects of the judicial system, such as minors being given life without parole sentences. Certainly seems like idiocy from an outside perspective.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro What? And have concerned parents pull their kids out of school before they get their heads full of misinformation? I mean, you cant tell them that the Universe is billions of years old because it’s a proven fact that the Universe is only 6000 years old. Dinosaurs are a conspiracy cooked up by heathens, and carbon dating is fake!

@jeanmay Those are facts and therefore irrelevant. Reality means nothing to America!

jeanmay's avatar

@jerv There are no facts. All science is a model based on evidence, and the stronger the evidence, the more accepted the theory. Why the majority of Americans choose a model based on little or no evidence is beyond me.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Everybody looks at the supply side of this equation rather than the demand side.

“You know what They want? Obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.” – George Carlin

ETpro's avatar

@hiphiphopflipflapflop That’s what the power brokers who fund the political system want, and they could care less if getting it destroys this country. They are fabulously wealthy billionaire multinationals and will just move on to where the pickings are better. If we are fool enough to let this happen, then we deserve the third-world status it’s taking us toward.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

@ETpro it’s one thing to wake up to what’s happening (from my experience that takes being hit over the head by reality pretty hard several times… if you’ve managed better, I salute you), but it’s another thing to come up with effective ways to get in the way of people who hold all the cards already.

DarkScribe's avatar

They do call it the “Big Bang Theory” (I like that TV show…)

jerv's avatar

@DarkScribe That is why I get off on the anti-evolution crowd. It too is a theory and that means that it admits that it isn’t sure. The reason it isn’t sure is that theories require proof whereas Creationism only requires faith.

@jeanmay Sorry, I forgot the sarcasm tag. I thought it was obvious….

davidbetterman's avatar

Gee, a poll. How many people were polled? How many people are there in the US?

Nuff said.

dpworkin's avatar

@davidbetterman Thus you refute statistical analysis and controlled sampling? Brilliant!

jeanmay's avatar

@davidbetterman @dpworkin Stuff statistical analysis. Everyone knows the majority of Americans are stupid.

Kidding.

davidbetterman's avatar

@dpworkin

As if polls prove anything. Random samples of 200 people do not indicate what is going on in the lives and minds of 200 million others.

Your comeback is ludicrous, but amusing.

Americans are some of the smartest people on the planet. Fluther is proof of that.

jeanmay's avatar

@davidbetterman Fluther is proof? Prove it!

@jerv What does a sarcasm tag look like?

DarkScribe's avatar

@davidbetterman Americans are some of the smartest people on the planet. Fluther is proof of that.

Um, has anyone hinted to you that internet forums are not American only? How many Flutherites do you think are Americans as against international? I have no idea, but I suspect that you don’t either.

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dpworkin's avatar

@davidbetterman Kindly back up what you are saying, or shut the fuck up. You never show evidence, you just make stupid declarations and then stick to them.

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DarkScribe's avatar

It comes from being a superior intellect.

You are just being a widdle poo poo baby.

Hey – someone has just de-cloaked.

ragingloli's avatar

To be fair, I would have responded to ”“The universe began with a big explosion,”” With ‘no’ as well. The Big Bang was not a big explosion, but an expansion of spacetime itself from a hot and dense primordial state.

ucme's avatar

Flagged too much of a simple poll. Only kidding, although these polls do reveal an interesting if not entirely unexpected slice of Americana, ergo some are simpletons, apparently.

jerv's avatar

If this poll were taken in the South or the Midwest, the results are actually better than I would think. I mean, those are two regions known more for their religious zeal than for the quality of their schools.

@davidbetterman Fluther is not proof since the types of people that find their way here tend to be a cut above the Yahoo Answers crowd. All it proves is that we are good at making stupid people feel unwelcome.

davidbetterman's avatar

@jerv Some here are pretty good at making intelligent people feel unwelcome, too.
But that only makes some return! LOL…
@dpworkin I sure hope you don’t mistreat your GF like you do people on fluther.

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