Science programs are fascinating...and disturbing. I learn a great deal about the world in which I live. But, I also realize the limit of my intelligence. I could not have made any of the discoveries needed to understand life. If humans had depended upon the likes of me, all would still be living in caves and subsisting on gathered berries.
I spotted the following headline on Salon:
You will be shocked at how ignorant Americans are
What Americans don't know and don't understand is an obstacle to progress
I am not.
I have known for as long as I can remember that citizens of the United States are either ill-informed or misinformed…or disinterested. One can only marvel that such uneducated voters elect officials that wield so much power in the world. Or this helps to understand why they screw up so often. Then again, if one considers the elected officials making a spectacle in various media, one recognises that elector and elected have a lot in common.
If one reads/watches/listens to more than one media outlet, one does not know what to think or believe. (Of course, Fox News lovers always know what to think: don’t, just believe whatever is said).
A good example of this is the recent story about Angie’s telephone and who’s listening. Below are two sample headlines. Take your pick...
From ABC News
Obama Reportedly Unaware of World Leader Phone Tapping
From The London Telegraph
Barack Obama 'approved tapping Angela Merkel's phone 3 years ago'
I report (or, rather, cut and paste from the Daily Mail), and you decide:
"Atheists 'have higher IQs': Their intelligence 'makes them more likely to dismiss religion as irrational and unscientific'
People with higher IQs were more likely to dismiss religious beliefs as irrational and unscientific, scientists from the University of Rochester found."
It’s official: I am not as smart as an 8th grader...in 1912. Although I could answer many of the questions, some are irrelevant to modern life...which is merely a lame excuse.
The conclusion I extracted from the linked article fits to story I read years ago about the steadily decreasing intellectual demands of the US public school curricula.
"A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive a solution to providing food or shelter probably died, along with his or her progeny, whereas a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus and be a more attractive mate. Clearly extreme selection is a thing of the past."
I must stop watching science programs on television.
Why? Because, once again, I realized the limit to my intelligence. (I like to delude myself of the opposite!)
Last night, there was a program on solar storms. Since this subject has been in the news recently, I thought that I should know enough to sound intelligent, if anyone brought up the sun. I learned a bit, but most was too complicated.
Again, I was amazed at advances in technology and how many intelligent people are running around doing amazing (unintelligible) things. Also, I wondered how people could figure out all that has been figured out and how anyone could invent machines needed to figure out such things.
Anyways, my conclusion from this program is that life is scary. If the sun gets in a bad mood, it can screw up life as we know it. I have blissfully wandered through life thinking that the sun is a good guy. Meanwhile, some bright folks have been doing the heavy lifting—science-wise. At least they know what will happen and can even predict when it will happen—from minutes to a few days. Don’t be surprised if your lights go out some day and you are no longer able to read my garbage. It will be the sun’s fault. Complain to him…
As an afterthought, I wonder what science-deniers think about this. Probably nothing, because they are brainless. Which makes me feel smarter than I probably am…
_ Why does this headline seen in Huffington Post not surprise me?
“Intelligence Study Links Low I.Q. To Prejudice, Racism, Conservatism”
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.