Tuesday, November 01, 2005

a cultural apocalypse

This really is just a random ramble, but....

I'm sitting here reading this article from the NY T times - it's about two groups touring the Grand Canyon. One group (christian) believes that the Grand Canyon was created 4000 years ago during the big flood that caused Noah to set sail. The other group (scientists) believe that it was created about 1/2 a billion years ago.

Currently, citizens throughout the US are doubting science. 45% (45!) feel that god created people in their present form within the last 10,000 years. Read that sentence again and think about it.

Back to the randomness: high-skill, high-education jobs like computer programming, complex manufacturing, and scientific research are fleeing North America to cheaper "labour markets" (which is a fancy way of saying poorer countries). The richest people in the US are still getting richer, but they are also less skilled - they are the managers, the business owners.

So at (or nearing) a time when the US will need to renew its focus on scientific education so that it maintains its economic and technological edge on the rest of the world, there's a big, grassroots push to revamp science education. Yeah, I know it's just evolution (for now), but is this the first small step?

Right now I'm reading The Stand by Steven King. It's a story of apocalypse. I've read a few other apacolypse stories, as well - Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged the most prominent. This creation-revision ideology sweeping the US really scares me, it brings to my mind visions of an apolcalypse - not a biblical one, mind you, but something else, like a cultural apocalypse.

I would never raise my children, if I have any, in the US.



Blogger Mark said...

45% is pretty messed up. But what concerns me more is the 1/3 of the population believe that the bible is the actual word of God. That combines two ingredients to make a a sour cocktail: faith and lack of education.
I may be mistaken, but I don't think most Christians believe the bible is God's word. I think the Koran is written as God's word, but the bible is more of a chronicle of God and God related things.
Again, I could be wrong, so I won't claim any of this as fact and feel free to correct me. Either way, crazy shit.

5:07 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

I'm still waiting for you to get a goat.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Goat! Goat! Goat! Goat!

1:40 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

the real problem with this story is how it is presented. the NY Times is the "newspaper of record" in the USA - its version of events is taken as the official account. so they have a great responsibility to do things right.

instead, this story is presented in the "he said, she said" style that now typifies all American media. i mean, why would you actually do any actual, costly, time-consuming investigative reporting? No! you don't need to bother to investigate the story, don't dig into the position of either party, just report one side's views, then the other. if the story's sources say it, accept it as true.

you will recognize the strategy: it typified the Bush-Kerry election and explains why a particular candidate got light treatment on some issues. it is also similar to the way the White House press corps operates: accept the Official Statments as fact, report it as such, then report an offical response from the Other guys. phew. done. equal time, everyone is happy, and more time to devote to Nick & Jessica, Paris Hilton, Lacey Peterson and the stuff that REALLY sells papers and TV ad time.

of course, if the "journalist" had dug at all into THIS story, there would be no story. There is no rational argument to creationism or so-called "intelligent design". it simply has no scientific validity. period. so in order to give the religious right their air-time, this ridiculous piece is presented simply as a 1:1 point-counterpoint of two equally valid conjectures. clever, huh? otherwise, there would be no way to squeeze "intelligent design" into the NY Times at all, because if you look too hard, there is really nothing to say in a true investigative format.


9:39 AM  

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