Nation of dumb and (getting) dumber

My suspicions have been confirmed. We’re a nation of dummies. And, apparently, we’re getting dumber. We can’t write in complete sentences. We dont know how to spell, or puncuate (yes, screw-ups are intentional). We don’t know how to think critically, to discern whether what someone else asserts is truth or bullshit.

Richard Arum, a professor of sociology at New York University, participated in a pretty thorough study of 2,300 students at 24 universities and found their workloads and study habits are becoming decreasingly challenging. They read less, study less, write less. Kollej for Dummies. There have been many anecdotal complaints about students of the Age of TXTing who are unable to write or spell, let alone string together a coherent series of thoughts. And plenty of allegedly educated adults who suffer the same afflictions.

This has real consequences, consequences that are revealing themselves across sociological strata.

We have biology teachers who believe in the literal interpretation of creation. Adam and Eve and all that, created in seven days. I saw a story reporting that nearly 30 percent believe in creationism, in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. It’s a fairy tale, people – a fairy intended to explain a scary world to frightened, ignorant and mostly illiterate people. So what’s your excuse?

In a blog titled, “In Defense of Science,” Marcello Gleiser puts forth this statement that exposes the irrational stupidity of evolution deniers:

Now, many will say that they are not anti-science per se, just against the science that clashes with their religious beliefs. So, antibiotics are fine, but the theory of evolution is not. If only they’d take the time to learn about how antibiotics work and about how over-prescribing can result in germ mutations that render some antibiotics ineffective. It’s is a real-time illustration of the theory of evolution at work.

Ignorance is one thing. The people who were the initial target audience for the book of Genesis were ignorant. They needed someone or something to tell them how to behave. It was the bedrock of civilization. But civilizations change. If they didn’t, we’d still be walking in sandals and riding camels (or donkeys or horses or elephants, maybe). For one, I’m glad to have a car to hop in, especially for a commute of more than 20 miles. And as we continue to grow, I assume that the vehicle of choice will soon use something other than fossil fuels.

Willful ignorance is another thing. Tell you what. If you think science is fake, if evolution is a false science, if we never actually made it to the moon, then you might as well give up your car, go live in a cave and eschew most modern medicine. Is that a deal?

OK, then. Bye-bye. And I’ll take your smart phone. You don’t deserve it.


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