Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, December 06, 2007

In America, the Sun Revolves Around the Earth

We ain't much good at that there booklarnin’ but that don’t matter none. Any other country disses us, we just kick their ass. Anybody got a problem with that?

When it comes to teenagers’ literacy in science, the United States ranks 29th worldwide. Oh well, the Lord works in mysterious ways. What do we need science for anyway?

The Bible tells us everything we need to know. God created the world 5,000 years ago (or was it 6,000?). We don’t need a bunch of “scientists” to keep confusing us with wacky stories about “fossils” that are millions of years old. That’s not science; that’s Satan!

The 28 countries who outrank us in scientific literacy include Finland, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Lichtenstein. Well La-De-Fuckin’-Da! How many state-of-the-art weapons systems do those countries have? How many foreign countries are they invading and occupying? Huh? Huh???

cross-posted at Bring It On!



Blogger Randal Graves said...

Oh, fuck them. They can't even spell OrganiZation. Stupid fucking Eurotrash hippie fucks. Where's Chuck Norris?!?!?!?!?!

And these people wonder why Americans are getting nastier and more rude. You go to war with the culture you have, not the culture you wish you had.

December 6, 2007 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: Yeah, bring on Chuck Norris! You won't see him spouting a bunch of science gibberish like some girly man.

December 6, 2007 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger illnoise said...

I think the logic is more like "the earth revolves around america"

the little science that we do have is dedicated to designing anything that can end a life while outlawing that which might save millions(stem cells).

December 6, 2007 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Git 'er done, Tom!

December 6, 2007 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Illnoise: Yup, a million ways to kill; that's our top scientific priority.

J. Marquis: Right on.

December 6, 2007 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Hmmmm... our kids are down to 29th in science. I wonder why that is? I think there is quite a bit more to it than meets the eye. I could well just be paranoid, but as someone who works in public schools, I don't think I'm being overly so.

I wondered where these 15-year-old kids were in science about eight years ago. I did some research and Googled "OECD science literacy 2000" and went to a site that seemed to suggest our 15-year-old students were about 14th worldwide in science in the year 2000. Maybe I wasn't interpreting what I was looking at correctly. If someone else looks and finds something different, please let me know.

Now if this IS true, why would our kids drop from about 14th to 29th in the six years from 2000 to 2006? I tend to blame everything on the Bush administration, and I will blame this on them too because it is happening on their watch AND because of the administration's attitude toward science and reason.

The mouth-breathing slack-jawed rightwing knuckleheads will blame the declining scores on the public school system, period, end of argument. They won't bother to look at how much science has been suppressed since Bush took office, to admit that a number of people in the administration actually do believe Earth is only about 6,000 years old and hate science because it promotes the theory of evolution, or to admit how local school boards all over America are being infiltrated by their religious wingnut "stealth" candidates with anti-science agendas. While things could definitely be made better in the schools, the Bush approach to the schools is making them worse and leading things toward privatization of our public education system.

De-emphasizing science has multiple advantages for the wingnuts. One is to help drive down public interest in science (the fundamentalists love this), and for kids' science scores to gradually get lower (this conveniently makes the schools look bad, probably by design).

By its design, No Child Left Behind causes schools to teach to the memorization of answers and to the test results rather than teaching processes. This leads to a reduction in the amount of reason and critical thinking used by our students.

Teachers want to earn "highly qualified" status under NCLB, and their kids are all getting tested and tested and tested some more, with the teachers being judged by their students' test results alone. This causes many of teachers to focus on teaching kids to pass specific tests and give specific answers, without having spent adequate time teaching about (and learning about) how things actually work. If the teachers aren't judged to be "highly qualified" under NCLB, the school district can lose funding. Wow, imagine that!

I have to laugh... a couple of years ago the Oregon Science Teacher of the Year was not "highly qualified" according to Bush's NCLB standards.

Another laugher about NCLB... an entire school can be judged as "failing" if mentally retarded students take the same tests as their age-level peers and fail those tests. A severely mentally handicapped 10th grader would very likely not pass a regular 10th grade test, so that would cause the school to "fail" and lose funding. Either Bush expects teachers to "fix" problems of retardation and low IQ/functioning, or else they are using those student populations as a convenient way to cause schools and districts to earn "fail" status. A school district with an influx of non-English speakers can similarly be penalized if the newcomers fail tests.

Sure, I'm biased, but Bush and his administration have it all wrong on education. I can't wait for someone with a less punitive attitude to take office. And I am sure the nation's scientific community shares that sentiment.

December 6, 2007 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Also, I am a member of the Flat Earth Society. We don't need no stinkin' round world.

December 6, 2007 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: "The mouth-breathing slack-jawed rightwing knuckleheads will blame the declining scores on the public school system, period, end of argument." Yup, you've got it. Wingnuts think teachers should be nannies, family counselors, surrogate parents and truant officers, in addition to teaching. But of course, if any teacher mentions Sex Education and corrupts a student, it's the end of the world. That's the parents' job, By God.

Go figure.

And "science"?? Only Devil Worshippers believe in a round world.

December 6, 2007 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Carlos said...

Ever see that movie Idiocracy? It's not much of a movie, but I swear it's where we're headed.

December 7, 2007 at 3:05 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

The Texas State Science Curriculum Director just resigned because the Fundies actually pushed her out for being pro-science ("anti-evolution"). The puritans, after being kicked out of Europe more than 200 years ago, have finally won this country.

December 7, 2007 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Carlos: I haven't heard of it, but the title sure sounds like what we're heading for.

Candace: The Texas State Science Curriculum Director was too "pro-science"? Oh my God, say it isn't so!

December 7, 2007 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Miss Kitty said...

I would laugh, but your post sounds exactly like what my ignorant-ass cousins in their shit-kicker boots and Carhartt coveralls would say. These cousins made fun of my sister and me when we were kids...for READING. We could read simple traffic signs, but the cousins could not.

That's most of America's take on the whole science/booklarnin' thang, I'm afraid. [sigh]

December 7, 2007 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Miss Kitty: It certainly comes in handy to be able to read traffic signs.

The scary part is, these scientifically illiterate teenagers will be our "leaders" someday.

December 7, 2007 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

We need another JFK to give us a little inspiration in the science sphere. It was because of his concern about us being behind the USSR in math and science and the space race that spurred all that scientific progress in the 60's.

With GWB we've had the "anti-JFK" - per your post and Snave's comment, this administration has suppressed science and the right-wing religious nuts have been the reason behind it.

December 7, 2007 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mauigirl: Our country has always had a competitive streak, but it's gotten very selective lately. If another country somewhere just might have a new weapon, we have to triple our Pentagon budget. But if dozens of countries have bullet trains that are 3 times as fast and punctual as American trains, or if most of the developed world has a better health care system -- yawn.

December 7, 2007 at 11:48 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

"Idiocracy" is indeed not much of a movie, but it has it's moments of hilarity. Seeing FuddRuckers renamed Buttfuckers, and finding out that Carl's Jr. has assumed control of some social services... pretty great. America has turned all its water into sports drinks, so no crops can be raised... the crops all die. The president is an ex pro wrestler with long hair, an entourage, and an IQ of about 65.

And the opening scene may be the best: a guy is sitting on his couch watching a TV program that has no plot but is rather a simple series of shots of a guy landing on hard items and shouting something like "Ow, my crotch!" That's the only dialog in that TV show, and that's the name of the show, too. And the guy watching TV is eating gobs of stuff from what looks like a bucket of lard! Heh...

More could have been done with the concept, but it does make its point that we are indeed headed down the road to idiocracy.

December 10, 2007 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I'll have to check that out. It sounds like one of those "so bad it's good" movies. They can be a riot if you're in the right mood.

December 11, 2007 at 12:13 AM  

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