Dear Science, I’m so sorry…
It’s a sad fact that being intelligent is now the “uncool” thing to do. Wanting to participate in learning and actually knowing how the world works can mean being bullied or worse. The backlash of this movement [I assumed] would be felt strongly starting with my generation [as an 80’s child]. I was unfortunately incorrect with this assumption, maybe it started a lot earlier.
I suggest this because the people we elect to make important decisions regarding education and science are so poorly equipped to make these choices that they don’t even understand the repercussions of the decisions, or they frankly don’t care.
Things like this pending legislation that requires even more oversight for the National Science Foundation [NSF]. The argument is that the body that governs spending for the NSF and what they use tax dollars to fund just isn’t doing their job. So we need a political spin on the science that we study or maybe that there is a particular type of science that will give the best “bang for the buck”.
Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chair of the science committee in the U.S. House of Representatives had this to say about the issue:
“The internal policy would continue to allow the NSF to evade responsibility for their decisions to fund questionable grants. The NSF wants to be the only federal agency to get a blank check signed by taxpayers, without having to justify how the money is spent.”
Translated roughly, congress should be allowed to review the way the NSF spends it’s [paltry] budget. Because congress is obviously more qualified to decide how the NSF spends its budget than the NSF. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough [at least to me] we have bills like this one in Louisiana. It allows for “alternate” science explanations to be taught in science class.
This is a not so thinly veiled attempt at teaching religion in science class. Religious based thinking does not belong in a science class any more than unrelated science would belong in religious study [no, there is no valid religious teaching that would belong in a science class]. Mostly because there is no scientific controversy regarding things like the big bang, climate change, and evolution.
They happened, deal with it, and the funny thing is that if there was one shred of evidence to refute them, the scientific community would welcome it. It would be a very big deal, not only to discover something like that, but the people involved would be forever famous in science, with names like Darwin or Einstein. It can be tough to accept, but science is fluid with discoveries, it is always changing, and builds on solid factual information.
The bill is no surprise since when it comes to religiously charged controversy regarding science people are typically on the fence. Things like smoking causes cancer are more believed than things like the big bang, evolution, or vaccines.
This study shows just how effective the controversy can be in America. Of course this study shows just how ineffective science education can be, since 1 in 4 Americans don’t understand the idea that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around.
The tenant of any scientific theory is that it makes testable predictions, if it cannot then it is not a good theory. The big bang [specifically inflation] predicted that there would be gravitational ripples in the universe, causing a particular pattern that could be tested for, which it was, and was found to be true.
Evolution is simple to disprove, find one fossil in the wrong era and that is all it takes, but this has not and most likely [since it hasn’t happened] will not.
Vaccines do not cause autism. I’ve written several posts like this, or even this one. There is plenty of scientific proof for this and no credible proof other than conjecture and correlation to the contrary.
[Loony Tip: Just because you can correlate something, does not make it the cause. For example, most robbers wear black, so most people who wear black are robbers. This is false just like a correlation between vaccines and autism.]
I feel sorry for people who want to learn and the people who want to teach, like this teacher punished for helping children with a science project. They weren’t building weapons, they were learning physics. But because it ‘shot projectiles’ he and the children were suspended.
More importantly, what kind of message does that send to the children involved?
I’m disgusted that things like this are happening in America, home of religious freedom, where you can believe what you want to believe. No one should be forcing beliefs on the scientific community, science and religion can play nice.I am quite anti-religion, but the two can coexist… only if you don’t force religious bias on scientific facts.
To future generations, I am so sorry. To the present generation, don’t do this to your children, they need science, science is what makes life possible, you are reading this thanks to science.
P.S. – If that isn’t convincing enough… how about this?