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Why are people here so scientifically illiterate

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In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 12:10:09 AM PDT
A customer says:
Doctor - "Silly boy, I wrote my first fortran program in 1963-4."

You should have stayed with it, then.

Not that it changes that I don't need a refresher.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 4:31:33 AM PDT
In reply to your post on May 17, 2012 9:18:58 PM PDT
Lana B. says:
"Hi Christine:

i am just marveling at your patience..."

It's not patience, it's rage.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 9:42:30 AM PDT
Gibblefix, Gribbleflix, dribblefix to the rest of us. As mathematics is a tool for the scientist, so Gibblefix is a drool for the IDer. Kindly leave the stage.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 8:42:29 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 10, 2013 3:10:30 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 8:50:11 PM PDT
Sad. Very sad. Don't know what else to say.

When those whose profession is to seek the truth are portrayed as self-serving by those who would choose to repress the truth in the name of political gain ---- well, I'm just glad that I'm old and nearing the end of my useful lifespan.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 9:56:24 PM PDT
A customer says:
That sounds a little harsh, Christine! But you're both right. One doesn't know whether to cry or make someone else do so.

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 10:18:47 PM PDT
Re Bubba, 5-15 8:15 AM: Most interesting. Apparently my apnea was not as severe as yours, as the UPPP did the job. (An MMA was on the back burner as a possibility if it had not worked -- but I am not at all sure that I would have put up with it.) Since the apnea caused me no visible symptoms at the time, and relieving it changed nothing except the nervousness of people observing me sleeping, I doubt that I would have been sympathetic to any further treatment -- and certainly not CPAP. (But one of my in-laws uses one.)

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2012 10:42:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 18, 2012 10:47:35 PM PDT
Lana B. wrote:
"I do feel the same way sometimes.My daughter (5th Grader) recently told me some of her classmates insist: "all scientist are liars"..
======================================
Lana,

How would you attach any merit to the insisting of 5th graders?

In such young age, kids parrot what they hear from parents, media, and other sources without the slightest clue of what that means.

It is surprising that you take seriously your daughter's classmates' assertions when you should have guided your daughter to the proper concept.

Among those proper concepts is the fact that scientists themselves do not take things for granted, compete with each other for the ultimate and unprecedented prize.

It is really a shame that 5th graders could influence a mom to believe in such fallacies. Plus, there is no such thing as a license to become a scientist.

Mohamed F. El-Hewie

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 1:47:45 AM PDT
Don't give up hope, Christine. Get yourself a dog that needs walking every day.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 5:19:48 AM PDT
Deckard says:
Christine M. Janis said:
"Sad. Very sad. Don't know what else to say.
When those whose profession is to seek the truth are portrayed as self-serving by those who would choose to repress the truth in the name of political gain ---- well, I'm just glad that I'm old and nearing the end of my useful lifespan."

Political and monetary gain.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 5:44:08 AM PDT
Bubba says:
The water spraying it to keep certain types of green vegetables such as green onions and leaf lettuce looking fresh and crisp.

http://www.ehow.co.uk/about_6596869_do-fresh-fruits-vegetables-water_.html

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 6:01:52 AM PDT
Bubba says:
For some large supermarket chains, economies of scale and the power of central management policy are very amazing.

One large supermarket chain in the US is Safeway, which in addition to a network of huge distribution centers, also has its own dairies and bakeries; which are as larger or larger than most other stand-alone commercial dairies and bakeries. Safeway's produce distribution centers even have large, sophisticated, banana ripening and storage units.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 6:18:33 AM PDT
Bubba says:
What is your preoccupation with Nobel prizes?

Did you know that Marie Curie has won two Nobel prizes? Physics 1903 and Chemistry 1911

Did you know that the International Committee of the Red Cross has been awarded three Nobel prizes? 1917, 1944, and 1963

Did you know that the Winston Churchill was awarded the 1953 Nobel Prize in Literature? Winston Churchill did not win the Nobel Peace Prize.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 6:23:31 AM PDT
Re Lana B., 5-15 4:10 PM: "Cuba has 100% literacy rate? How about excellent education given to people in Soviet Russia?" It should be apparent by now that, even if these claims are true, there is a lot more to civic values than an "education."

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 6:33:25 AM PDT
Re Jason, 5-15 6:39 PM, and other posts regarding education: It is easy to snipe at the schools, some of which are atrocious but others quite good. But this is to at least some degree an irrelevancy: if one has the desire to learn, it requires little more than access to a good library to do so. When I was a kid, I read the science shelves at the library from one end to the other, and learned a LOT.

Also, attention from parents is crucial. Parents need to be on top of what the kids are studying in school, and prepared to offer additional resources if it seems useful to do so. One can learn a lot simply by talking around the dinner table. (How many families do that anymore?)

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 6:49:22 AM PDT
Bubba says:
If your sleep apnea was mild to the lower end of moderate, an oral device may have also been an effective treatment.

Using The American Academy of Sleep Medicine criteria, the severity of OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) is measured by airflow drops per hour of sleep, known as AHI (apnea-hypopnea index).

AHI ... Severity
0-5 ... None
5-15 .. Mild
15-30 Moderate
30+ ... Severe

The general symptoms of the severity levels are commonly:

Mild -- Unwanted sleepiness or involuntary sleep episodes occur during activities that require little attention. Examples include sleepiness that is likely to occur while watching television, reading, or travelling as a passenger. Symptoms produce only minor impairment of social or occupational function.

Moderate -- Unwanted sleepiness or involuntary sleep episodes occur during activities that require some attention. Examples include uncontrollable sleepiness that is likely to occur while attending activities such as concerts, meetings, or presentations. Symptoms produce moderate impairment of social or occupational function.

Severe -- Unwanted sleepiness or involuntary sleep episodes occur during activities that require more active attention. Examples include uncontrollable sleepiness while eating, during conversation, walking, or driving. Symptoms produce marked impairment in social or occupational function.

Another severity level is an AHI of 120 per hour (or more). I am in this group with an AHI of 132. The physiological Consequences of this level while sleeping are:

Heart function: Severely disturbed
Blood pressure: Very high
Blood oxygen: Large, frequent drops

http://apneos.com/severity.html

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 6:53:06 AM PDT
Bubba says:
"In such young age, kids parrot what they hear from parents, media, and other sources"

My guess is that a 5th grader is not going to hear that "all scientist are liars" from main stream media; it is very likely that she was brainwashed to believe this by her parents.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 7:33:32 AM PDT
Lientje says:
John D. Croft: I'm sure this has been brought up by others, but a couple of the reasons are obvious.
One is that Rush Limbaugh is a significant spokesman for a significant number of people. He barely
graduated from high school, having decided early on that making money was far more important than
being educated.

Second, we have a significant number of people who take the Bible literally.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 7:47:11 AM PDT
There are honest and dishonest people in every profession, and different degrees of honesty in every human heart, varying according to issue. Certainly, there's a lot of dishonesty out there.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 7:56:34 AM PDT
Lily: I rebutted Croft's OP a few times in this thread, showing that in one international survey, when adults are tested, only Sweden comes out ahead of America on scientific knowledge.

So given that many Americans still take the Bible literally, or seriously, and Rush Limbaugh is still on the radio, does that mean these might be reasons why we do relatively well on science tests? Or does your argument only work in one direction? I can think of a few reasons why more theistic belief might positively impact scientific knowledge:

http://christthetao.blogspot.com/2011/03/why-are-americans-so-scientifically.html

It's a little harder to credit Limbaugh, either way, since his focus in on politics, not science, and he's bright enough, in his own way. When he talks about Global Warming, he often brings in Lee Spenser, who is at the least, an eminent and informed scientist, and is not likely to decrease scientific knowledge in listener's minds, somehow. So your premise is mistaken, and the causes you blame for an effect that doesn't exist, wouldn't likely have that effect, anyway.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 7:57:39 AM PDT
Steven McCaw says:
How I know you are not a scientist:

A: You used the term "Only a theory". A theory is something which has been tested over and over again and has come out true. Short of the laws of thermodynamics (and a 'law' is something very specific, which I won't clog this response to a 3 year old idiot with) a theory is the highest standard of validity a principle can hope to have. 2+2=4 is something which hasn't been disproven despite being tested over and over and over again.

B: You self-identify as a scientist. No scientist anywhere would call themselves a 'scientist' because the term, in and of itself, means nothing. Science is composed of hundreds (if not thousands) of disciplines that may have no overlap. I, for example, am a geologist. Within geologists, there are geophysicists, geochemists, exogeologists, petrologists, structural geologists, stratigraphers, geomorphologists, and a whole mess of other specializations that I don't care to mention.

C: Of course math isn't science. Math is math. Science often *requires* math to understand or apply it in any meaningful way, but if math is an apple, then science is a fruit salad. A mathematician and a scientist are as different as a farmer and a chef.

I somehow doubt you've graduated high school, Mr. Ph.D.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 7:57:46 AM PDT
In reply to your post on May 19, 2012 1:47:45 AM PDT
Philip Duerdoth says:
Don't give up hope, Christine. Get yourself a dog that needs walking every day.

Hey Philip (and Elliot)

Didn't mean to sound quite so maudlin in that post. Had just finished grading my final exams and was having an attack of "why do I bother", given the terrible answers I was getting to some of the questions! (Although most of my students are wonderful, including the undergrad TAs who were helping with the grading.)

Have not replaced my last dog because have been doing too much travelling and am not sure about when/if I'm making a big move. My geriatric (28 but thinks she's 10) horse is still going strong, so now term is over I'll see her more often.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 8:18:25 AM PDT
Robert: When I was a kid, I read the science shelves at the library from one end to the other, and learned a LOT.

When I was a kid, Robert, I had a father who was a physicist and a school that allowed me to do physics and chemistry for just one academic year, when I learnt that Faraday had something to do with electricity, and chemistry had something to do with making smells. How I wish me pa had had greater input in my science education. Bit late now!

It wasn't all wasted. I did languages and that served me well for the next few decades. And recently I read The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science. Richard Holmes, a wonderful book which brought me up to date on 18/19th century stuff. Forty years late but better late than never.

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 8:22:07 AM PDT
But Philip

Don't forget that all scientists were creationists back then (or, at least, that's what people keep telling us)

In reply to an earlier post on May 19, 2012 8:29:52 AM PDT
I met an old chap with his donkey on a hillside up the mountain from here, and he introduced himself as being 80 and his donkey was 30. Both were still working pretty hard.

It was then I learnt that donkeys can live till 50. But not carrying quite so much stuff, I imagine.
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  463
Total posts:  10000
Initial post:  Oct 13, 2009
Latest post:  May 19, 2012

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