One in four Americans is an idiot

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Magical Realist, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    It makes you wonder if this is what progress is, landing in an era where finally 50%-75% of the population are at least barely literate, as opposed to bygone days when only the elite could even read.

    Besides the 13% of science teachers who said they believe Earth is 6000 years old, something like 40% do not believe that species evolve through random events such as mutation and natural selection, but according to the will of God.

    Heh heh. The faithful are scrambling to rewrite the numbers anyway, thinking we'll never be on to their little scheme. At least they seem to be in control of essential facts when it comes to fabricating propaganda. That much is no accident.

    Man oh man. On Questioning Darwin they mentioned that we are in a period of rapid growth in number of new followers of Creationism-not only in the US but around the world. Based on that, I would guess that the rate of idiocy will grow over time. We can hope for mitigating circumstances (sex, drugs, rock & roll, whatever) to turn their kids away from the indoctrination. Based on that we might see it rise and then fall back down to present levels. By that time the next generation may be entrenched in science and technology almost as a matter of survival, requiring them to set down the crack pipe (corncob though they may be, cosmic) and crack the e-books. From that standpoint I think the long term prospects are very good. My luck would be that I'd be on my deathbed when they all surrender and tell us we can have our way. It's not without a reasonable amount envy that I feel trapped in the New Dark Ages.
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  3. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    Of course I don't have them. I never said I did. I was talking about you and not about me.
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  5. wellwisher Banned Banned

    It has to do with the dumbing down of culture, due to the liberal control of the education system. The religion effect can be factored out, since religion has had much less influences on culture since the 1960's, when scores where much higher. If you did this same survey, targeted to only students of religious private schools, which collectively score higher in standard tests, the score would be better.

    If you look at liberal education, everyone is a winner and everyone passes forward whether you fail or not or whether one is literate or not. Based on this philosophy, if you make stuff up or get the right answer both are winners, since competition is evil and right and wrong is relative. The children are also used to seeing revisionist history, propaganda and other forms of misinformation. I would guess they are unsure of the truth since nobody ever showed them truth.
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  7. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    You mean as opposed to the fundamentalist right wing that would replace evolution with creationism? The same ideological party that would eradicate sex education from schools? The one that disavows global warming? The one that can not grasp the concept of plate tectonics? Seriously?

    No it can't.

    Right wing fundamentalism's impact is actually increasing. You are part of a very vocal minority that is easily influenced by the wealthy powers that be. After all, your ilk can be convinced that the world is only 6,000 years old and that stupidity can be readily manipulated. Look in the mirror for a case in point wellwisher.

    Couldn't be that those statistics you allude to are influenced by privilege could it? Don't you think that students in a *liberal* private school might also do a better job on this survey? Your intellectual dishonesty has no bounds does it? (Note that the use of "intellectual" here is somewhat of a misnomer)

    Wow, something we can agree upon, although I don't attribute that philosophy solely to "liberals". Look at FOX for a prime example of "making stuff up".

    No it's not. It is reality. Reality sucks sometimes.

    Are you saying it isn't? Oh, I forgot, right and wrong are absolutes, just look to your Holy Book for the answers. Give me a break. Seriously? Really?

    And no disinformation is ever propagated by your side, right? Like maybe the genocide attempted on those evil Indians (Native Americans) for example? That wouldn't be "revisionist" would it? Yeah...

    Let us know the "truth" wellwisher. Was it divinely revealed to you? What is it?
  8. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The bottom line is liberalism controls most of the education process from kindergarden to university. Places where there is conservative influence, like private and charter schools, there are fewer idiots. What conservatives offered were vouchers where the cost we spend on public school students, can be used by parents to enroll in private schools. But this is resisted by liberals who see a major flight of students in the direction of fewer idiots.

    Part of the problem is connected to teacher unions, which tend to vote democrat. The price of this voting block is to compromise the best interests of the students. More union jobs, means idiot choices like teaching diversity in a hundred languages. This makes little sense, since English in the US offers the widest possible future for any young person, since this is the international language of jobs. Other languages in American will narrow job opportunities, but will create union teacher jobs and the welfare state. If we narrow opportunity in there future they become dependent on democrats; more votes.

    Another problem is the liberal illusion of equality, in terms of results, when it is clear not everyone is equal; genetic diversity. This requires grade inflation, forced busing, quotas, lower standards, passing illiterate students, etc, to perpetuate the mythology. The idiot army that results is to perpetuate the illusion. If you dumb all down they are all equal.

    In terms of the death of indigenous people, during the settling of the America's, this came mostly from disease, which was not known at the time. Much of this death came from good intensions, where people, such as missionaries, gave the indians old blankets for warmth, with these old blankets containing diseases that did not impact the Europeans.

    Liberalism is creating a similar situation, in that the heart is in the right place, but since this is all experimental, the brain is not aware of the devastation consequences of poorly constructed experiments. The future will see.

    Conservative is based on things that have a track record over many years, such as teaching the basics. Liberalism tends to create new ways until problems appear and then try something new to fix the problems. All with little track record of success. Yet they call the conservative approach radical, redefining language, with the student body clueless of the scam.
  9. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    It is also resisted by this taxpayer who has no kids in school. MY money goes to the public schools, as should ALL taxpaying members of the PUBLIC. You have every right to enroll your kids in a private school if you so desire, but you also have every responsibility to support the public institutions we all rely on.
  10. Balerion Banned Banned

    There's no way that's true. Three of my friends are really smart.

  11. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    Keep revising that history wellwisher.

    Can't you even bother to check Wiki if you can't go any further?

    There are two documented instances of attempted germ warfare by the British against North American Indian adversaries during Pontiac's Rebellion (1763–66). In the first, during a parley at Fort Pitt on June 24, 1763, Captain Simeon Ecuyer gave representatives of the besieging Delawares two blankets and a handkerchief that had been exposed to smallpox, hoping to spread the disease to the Natives in order to end the siege.[13] William Trent, the militia commander, left records that clearly indicated that the purpose of giving the blankets was "to Convey the Smallpox to the Indians."[14]​
  12. Bells Staff Member

    Actually, the reality is that conservative parents are doing their best to dumb down public schools, by demanding religious education and ID be taught instead of science. The blame is directly at their feet.

    As opposed to the ultra right Republican who believe that humans walked with dinosaurs?

    And the alternative?

    There's this documentary called Jesus Camp. It is an eye opener for the ultra right education principles.

    Except when the blankets were laced with smallpox..

    Yes.. teaching science is experimental. Which is why there are so many people in the US (and the world for that matter) who still believe that the sun rotates around the earth.

    Lets see. I can choose to have my children be taught Adam and Eve and creationism as per the Conservative set of belief, or I can want my children to learn science. Which would you pick?

    Keep in mind that 39 got the 'the universe began with a huge explosion' question right. The rest got it wrong. Now watch the first 2 minutes of the 'education' portion of Jesus Camp and you might just recognise why that number is so low.

    One third of Americans utterly reject the theory of evolution and believe instead that humans "have existed in their present form since the beginning of time," a new survey has found.

    About a quarter of Americans believe that evolution was guided by God while only 32 percent of those surveyed believe that evolution is due to "natural processes such as natural selection," the Pew Research Center found.

    The broad results were little changed from a similar survey in 2009, but Pew found a drastically widening gap along party lines.

    Some 54 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats said they believed in evolution in 2009.

    That ten-point gap more than doubled in the latest survey, which found that only 43 percent of Republicans believe in evolution while 67 percent of Democrats said humans have evolved over time.

    So track record over many years, huh?
  13. CptBork Valued Senior Member

    The writers of this quiz were scientifically illiterate too! The correct answer to #7 is false: the Big Bang wasn't an explosion, and we can't even be certain that it's an accurate picture going back earlier than the nuclear recombination era.
  14. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

  15. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well Republicans have always had a problem with education – especially critical thinking skills.

    “In the you-can’t-make-up-this-stuff department, here’s what the Republican Party of Texas wrote into its 2012 platform as part of the section on education:

    Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

    “Across the country Republican governors have announced major cuts to higher education budgets that will significantly alter issues of access to quality public education and excellence in what those programs can offer. Yesterday Graham Spanier, the President Penn State University, had this to say about the 52.8% cut announced by Governor Tom Corbett:

    "Abraham Lincoln is weeping today," [Spanier said], a reference to the Morrill Act of 1862. The act, signed by then-President Lincoln, fostered the creation of land-grant institutions -- including Penn State -- to expand the availability to higher education for the non-elite.
    Now state funds make up about eight percent of the Penn State budget, having declined steadily from nearly 37 percent as recently as 1970. Under Corbett's budget proposal, introduced Tuesday, state support would fall to about four percent of the university budget.

    According to Penn State-supplied numbers, the proposal would mean a decline of $182 million from current state funding levels for the university.

    Pennsylvania is not alone.

    Similar massive cuts to state-assisted higher education have been announced by an overwhelming cadre of gung-ho Republicans and a few feckless faux Democrats in Florida, Louisiana, Nevada, Arizona, California, Utah, Colorado, Missouri, Georgia, and Texas. Plans to cut budgets are still being formulated in other states, but the pattern—indeed, the Republican template—is already clear. By the end of the next fiscal year, universities in many states will be forced to consider privatizing their flagships in addition to seeing programs and faculty at other state-assisted schools terminated.

    States used to gladly support universities and colleges because leaders on both sides of the aisle recognized that a well-educated workforce is in the best economic and social interests of all of us. That progressive narrative changed with the election, and re-election of Ronald Reagan, who began a conservative propaganda campaign based on three key ideas: that big government is bad for everyone because it is big; that regulation is bad for business because it regulates; and that taxes are an evil invention created by liberals in order to (a) get their hands on our hard-earned money, so that (b) they can redistribute wealth to those who don’t deserve it.

    Since Reagan’s message fired a shot across the collective university bow, there has not been a single president from either party who was brave enough to call bullshit on these three ideas for fear of alienating an increasingly fearful and ignorant electorate. Instead, we have seen a short history of increasing capitulation to the trumped-up demand for lower and lower taxes, which led to less available funding for schools; to less and less regulation, which led to the creation of online universities passing as legitimate institutions of higher learning while being allowed admit students on the basis of their loan value; and smaller and smaller governments that balk at doing anything that might require a sensible increase in revenues to support the public good.

    To this mix of Reagan’s message came an effective propaganda campaign to redefine colleges as “enterprises” on the business or “entrepreneurial” model. By turning students into paying customers and measuring success by the MacDonald’s or Walmart multiplication metric of low price x numbers of customers served, over time too many Americans came to see state-assisted education (for cutbacks in funding by the year 2000, state systems no longer identified themselves as “state-supported) as little more than commodities that failed to meet the “green light special” test of cheapness.

    Higher education was touted by Republicans and by a relentless barrage of propaganda on right wing talk shows as a business no longer associated with the public good because its product had become too dear. A college education was and is widely criticized by these silver-tongued lizards of the right wing talk show swamp as being “too expensive”; professors, by the lie of the Republican fairy tale, only work a couple of hours a week, and “get paid too much”; and, given the recent lack of employment opportunities for college graduates despite the largest capital reserves for corporations who should be hiring them (an inconvenient fact left out of right wing arguments), if getting a degree didn’t mean getting jobs, then what good is it? What good is all that fancy education, huh?

    So it was that the dramatic decrease in funding support for higher education that had been on a downward spiral for twenty years didn’t become the annual nightmare for universities until 2008, when the global economic meltdown, a “get out of jail free” bailout for banks and Wall Street, and significantly reduced state revenues coalesced into a perfect opportunity for Republican strategists to deliver on one of their principle goals, which is the dismantling if not the wholesale dis-establishment of public education. We can no longer afford it, they say. Abraham Lincoln weeps, indeed.

    America, wake up! Your country needs you to get off the couch and commit yourselves to countering this anti-education narrative. Because without the support of the public who public education serves, things can only get much worse. How so, you ask? Hmmm, let’s see.

    There are nine states currently considering laws that would make it okay for students to carry guns on college campuses. How do you think that fulfills any legitimate educational mission other than to make campuses into dangerous places where A’s are guaranteed? I can envision this scenario being played out by bulging pistols in the pockets of angry undergrads: “Tell me, professor, why I don’t deserve an A on that exam?”

    In the end, defunding public education and passing laws that make guns on campus a fact will only drive away intelligent students and faculty alike. It will cheapen the idea of what constitutes an educated person. And it will make access to a quality education all but unattainable for whole classes of people, including the “sons and daughters of the working classes” that land-grant institutions such as Penn State were established to serve.

    Put bluntly, it is not in the best interests of the rich to have a college educated citizenry. Educated people are critical thinkers and know enough history and science to see through the political chicanery of Tea Party liars and global warming deniers. And make no mistake, this war on public education is a delight to the wealthy, whose own offspring will always be able to afford an elite private school here or abroad. For working people, for those of us who aspire to send our sons and daughters to the best public schools because we think we still live in a country that provides that opportunity to everyone, think again.

    Abraham Lincoln weeps. So do I. So should you.”

    The bottom line is Republicans are threatened by education. If people are educated, they are less likely to believe Republican ideology. In the Republican world, ignorance of the masses is indeed bliss.

    “This winter, The New Yorker's Jane Mayer dug up a 2010 speech by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a Tea Party favorite, where he charged that during his days at Harvard Law School, the faculty included twelve Marxists "who believed in the Communists overthrowing the United States government." While Mayer easily dismantled Cruz's facts, he was just giving voice to the same basic charge of academic bias leveled by William F. Buckley in his classic 1951 book, God and Man at Yale, one widely shared on the political right.

    There, academia is viewed as a liberal bastion. Furthermore, it is seen as a place of deep ideological bias against conservatives and even, as Cruz's words suggest, of outright radicalism. Finally, it is seen as a brainwashing mill, intent on wiping away Little Johnny's religion and values, and turning him into, gasp, a liberal.”

    And people are surprised with the state of American education with this kind of crap going on? Republicans have long been the anti-education party. They don’t like institutions of higher learning. Reality, logic and reason are just not consistent with Republican stated ideology. Republicans view education as a threat to their ideology. That's why you have a good number of Republicans, including elected officials, who think women cannot get pregnant if they are raped. You know, women have those magic hormones that can stop pregnancies when they are "truly" raped.

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    Unfortunately millions of dollars are being spent by Republicans to deceive Americans, and, unfortunately it is working.
  16. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Didn't Mao hate intellectuals too?
  17. nitram22 Registered Senior Member

  18. nitram22 Registered Senior Member

  19. nitram22 Registered Senior Member

    I've been gone a bit. Hello.

    I'm really not surprised by with those rather conservative estimates. I actually knew
    someone at the age of 33, actually thought the moonlight was produced BY the moon.

    The greatest benefactor of tax dollars should be to EDUCATION. Better wages and tools
    to teachers and a greater number of classrooms with smaller class sizes so more effective
    education can be performed.
  20. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    That rant doesn't seem to have any bearing on the facts. In countries where they practice something similar to what is described above, education seems to go a lot better. In the US, where little like the above happens, the results are awful.
  21. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    .0000063% is an adaquate sampling base. True or False.
  22. Motor Daddy ☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ Valued Senior Member

    So you think if we went to any big city, pumped in enough money into teacher's pay and building enough classrooms to have 1 teacher for every 10 students that everyone would get smart and all would be good in the world?

    How about the kids that are smart enough, but the parents beat them every night? How about the kids that grew up running the streets at 8 years old, hanging with older kids teaching them how to survive on the streets in that gang infested neighborhood? If the kid does make it through HS, where then? Back to the streets working at Micky D's?
  23. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    True. That seems about right, depending on the confidence level, confidence interval and the randomness of the sample.

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