Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Yeah, Copernicus Was Alright, But Have You Heard Of Anaximander?

Yeah, that's right: 20% of adult americans think the Sun revolves around the Earth. This article, courtesy of boingboing, is pretty nutsy. It's about this guy who does science surveys and all the sorts of depressing things people don't know about science. I suppose it doesn't really matter to most people what molecules are, or that there's something called "DNA" that affects "heredity" (more than 2/3 of Americans). So I guess, you know, go about your business, people. It's just kind of shocking.

But, and the article makes this point too, these people get to vote! And they get to vote on issues like "should we allow stem cell research." If you don't know what a molecule is, or what DNA is, how the plup are you going to know what a stem cell is or whether it is good or bad? Saints preserve us.

Forgive me, this is ranting - yes, I do believe in "democracy"; I'm not trying to be elitist, I guess I just wish the education system in this country could at least pass out a card that says "the Earth (here) revolves around the Sun (shiny flying thing)," maybe at graduation or something. Print it on the back of the diploma, I dunno. Either that or we're going to have to really start thinking about Plato's Republic again. Get us some philosopher kings up in "he-ah."

This article is also good, about how Creationism - ahem, Intelligent Design - sux0rz. Apparently it is by a "philosopher," which you don't see too much of these days. Very refreshing.

Copernicus Is Not Amused.

Anaximander, for those of you who didn't take Pre-Socratic Philosophy in college (I can't imagine why not), had this to say about the whole contraversy (kindly paraphrased by wikipedia):

Out of the vague and limitless body there sprung a central mass — this earth of ours, cylindrical in shape, poised equidistant from surrounding orbs of fire, which had originally clung to it like the bark round a tree, until their continuity was severed, and they parted into several wheel-shaped and fire-filled bubbles of air.

Sounds about right. Of course, he had an excuse - he was born in 610 BC.


At 8/31/2005 09:47:00 AM, Blogger Ross said...

This is why moving to a referendum system like California is a terrible terrible idea.


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