Notices
Results 1 to 40 of 40

Thread: 1 in 5 Americans believe Sun revolves around the Earth

  1. #1 1 in 5 Americans believe Sun revolves around the Earth 
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    1 in 5 Americans believe Sun revolves around the Earth

    Raw DOGMA

    Well the question is, how can Americans vote on such things as global warming, stem cell research, cloning and what have you when basic scientific fundamental concepts fly right over our heads.

    "American adults in general do not understand what molecules are (other than that they are really small). Fewer than a third can identify DNA as a key to heredity. Only about 10 percent know what radiation is. One adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth, an idea science had abandoned by the 17th century." Said Jon D. Miller, a political scientists who directs the Center for Biomedical Communications at the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, he regularly surveys Americans for his clients which include the National Science Foundation on the public’s knowledge and attitudes towards science in general.
    I mean, lets be honest, if you don’t know what a fucking cell is how can you understand what stem cell research is enough to vote on it?

    And according to this guy most Americans don’t know what a cell is.

    Then it hit me.

    There is a reason why people are fighting so hard to get creationism taught in the public schools along side evolution as a scientific alternative.

    Like I said, it hit me. And it hit me hard.

    Americans, on top of not having a clue what a cell is or what radiation is or even that the Earth revolves around the Sun are letting religious leaders dictate to them what to vote on issues that would take knowledge of basic scientific fundamentals, because I am assuming that they are assuming that since these religious leaders are supposedly moral and ethical “authorities” they should be qualified to figure out where we stand on these scientific issues, but who is to say that they even know these basic scientific concepts?
    http://www.eightballmagazine.com/dia...02/034/708.htm

    The guy has a point. How can people make an informed decision if they are uninformed or just plain stupid? Reminds me of a joke I'll post with this article.

    __________________________________________________ ________

    THESE PEOPLE VOTE !!!

    READ MORE HERE

    Moderator note: Please do not copy/paste large amounts of text from other sites. I included a link to one of the hundreds of sites that is carrying this alleged email, which is probably completely contrived to begin with.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    soon someone will ask for equal time in the classroom

    after all, if 20% of the population believes it to be true, it needs to be taken seriously - it's a democratic country after all !


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    soon someone will ask for equal time in the classroom

    after all, if 20% of the population believes it to be true, it needs to be taken seriously - it's a democratic country after all !
    Wouldn't surprise me. After all they keep trying to pass the fairness doctrine.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    "Jamerica"...When in America, Florida; when in Jamaica, St. Mary
    Posts
    959
    I've always been concerned about the average American's scientific knowledge...a lot of the [list=1] don't know crap.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

    http://www.atheistthinktank.net/thinktank/index.php

    Theists welcome.
    ___________
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    ...a lot of the [list=1] don't know crap.
    not even when they step in it ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Senior
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    321
    I'm sure that 20% of the folks who laugh at the stat wouldn't know the difference between an electron and neutron. It's a positive that there are a lot of mirrors in the world so we look at ourselves smugly in the mirror.

    'What do you mean change the fuel pump myself?'

    'Eat meat every day for 50 years and not know how to slaughter a steer'

    'Difference between wheat and barley? I don't know'

    20% of folks claim others are ignorant when not recognizing their own ignorance in fundamental things 'in their face' every day. :wink:
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    the wise thing is to be aware of your ignorance rather than saying "what i don't know isn't worth knowing"

    if i'm aware that i'm crap at DIY through lack of knowledge i won't at least cause a DIY disaster by attempting something i'm not qualified to do
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Senior
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    321
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    the wise thing is to be aware of your ignorance rather than saying "what i don't know isn't worth knowing"

    if i'm aware that i'm crap at DIY through lack of knowledge i won't at least cause a DIY disaster by attempting something i'm not qualified to do
    Most of the smug 'know-it-alls' wouldn't have a clue and wouldn't have a clue about a million other 'science facts' that have nothing to do with DIY. At least the DIY group have some real time, real sense judgement. Easier to get a kick out of mocking others than admit 'cluelessness' about all sorts of things.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    Some of the dumbest people I know have PhDs.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Guest
    The only funny part about that article is how obviously made-up it is. Does anyone case about the validity of the random statistics he is spewing?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    as with everything in statistics the central question should be : how was the figure calculated + who stands to gain from publishing it ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    935
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    The only funny part about that article is how obviously made-up it is. Does anyone case about the validity of the random statistics he is spewing?
    Yeah I'm on board with this point. People can be very stupid but I have a hard time believing it without seeing the methodology.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    So perhaps there should be a campaign of non-partial education on the subject? (Just like there should be with every law.)

    It doesn't hurt to educate someone, in order to get an educated answer from them.

    If I go into a 1st grade classroom and ask the kids to decide on something that they don't know about, I can't expect to get a valid response back. However, if I take five minutes to tell them what the details are, my odds improve dramatically.

    People are not generally stupid, they're uneducated. With proper information, they will make proper decisions (on a higher ratio).

    Of course, some of that responsibility falls on the shoulders of the citizens, too. A LOT of people promote and vote for and against laws that they have no flip'n clue what they really are. No one reads the laws. You can find the full details of every law in this country, and all the documents concerning how it was made, in the Library of Congress (not to mention other sources). Don't understand something? Go look it up! It's your right.
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    M
    M is offline
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    282
    It's far worse than you all think.

    Even among people who believe they "know" that the Earth revolves around the sun, few fully understand that the relative motion can be described from either point of view. The fact that we prefer to describe the Earth as revolving around the Sun does not mean this is the absolute and only truth. In kinematics, the choice of a coordinate origin is entirely arbitrary. We choose the Sun as the origin within our solar system (hence the name), because it greatly simplifies the description of the motions of planets and moons in this system. To say that Ptolemy was *wrong* by choosing the Sun is ignorant. He wasn't wrong, he just made the math he was dealing with unnecessarily difficult. His model was very complex, but not inaccurate (for his time), and certainly not wrong from a scientific perspective. The reason why it's abandoned today is that it's badly impractical, not invalid.

    There should be no doubt for any minorly educated person that the model of the Earth revolving around the sun is the model of choice. Reasonably educated people should also know why. However, to simply reject the statement "the Sun revolves around the Earth" as *wrong* with a sense of absoluteness is just as ignorant as stating the opposite.

    How many people who consider themselves so much more educated than the dumb-witted terracentrics really grasp the basic underlying concepts?

    As an old saying goes: "A donkey carrying a load of books is not an educated man." Education is a matter of manners, skill, knowledge, and understanding,... not knowledge alone. So take a straight look at yourselves before rolling your eyes at others.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    don't they both orbit around a common center of mass?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    correct - but as far as i'm aware this common centre of gravity lies underneath the sun's surface, hence it's not totally ridiculous to describe the earth going around the sun rather than the other way round
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    correct - but as far as i'm aware this common centre of gravity lies underneath the sun's surface, hence it's not totally ridiculous to describe the earth going around the sun rather than the other way round
    Agreed.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    True, the mass of the planets (especially Jupiter) causes the center of the solar system to be off from the center of the Sun. I seem to remember the variation being something like a 1-million miles.

    Someone can correct me if they want to, but if the mushy parts of my brain remember right, the Sun is about 850-thousand miles in diameter. So that kinda means that the solar system is actually revolving around a point about 150-thousand miles out from the surface of the Sun.

    No wonder this place always feels like it's wobbling!.....Or maybe it's the beer... :wink:
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    True, the mass of the planets (especially Jupiter) causes the center of the solar system to be off from the center of the Sun. I seem to remember the variation being something like a 1-million miles.

    Someone can correct me if they want to, but if the mushy parts of my brain remember right, the Sun is about 850-thousand miles in diameter. So that kinda means that the solar system is actually revolving around a point about 150-thousand miles out from the surface of the Sun.

    No wonder this place always feels like it's wobbling!.....Or maybe it's the beer... :wink:
    I could find out the exact figure from a friend but it doesn't really matter the point is the same.

    Have on on me
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    Quote Originally Posted by scpg02
    I could find out the exact figure from a friend but it doesn't really matter the point is the same.
    i don't know the exact point at which the world starts to wobble, but it's somewhere in the range of 10 pints ...
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by scpg02
    I could find out the exact figure from a friend but it doesn't really matter the point is the same.
    i don't know the exact point at which the world starts to wobble, but it's somewhere in the range of 10 pints ...
    Perhaps some food would help.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    Quote Originally Posted by scpg02
    Perhaps some food would help.
    yuk - pop corn ! call that food ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    M
    M is offline
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    282
    don't they both orbit around a common center of mass?
    If you say so.... (sigh).

    Again, the choice of origin is arbitrary. What matters is the *relative* motion, which can be described in any coordinate system. Hence, the laws of motion can be written for any origin you choose.

    Your choice may effect the simplicity and elegance of the resulting equations of motion, but the physical behavior they describe is independent of the choice of origin.

    To give you a simple example: If you are standing in the center of a round-about and want to describe the motion of a car driving around, you would likely choose yourself as the center. The driver, on the other hand, might want to describe you as circling around him. Both points of views (and an infinite number of alternative views) are equally valid. They describe the same physics (kinematics and kinetics) in different but equivalent ways.

    In the case of Sun versus Earth, the variety of equations you may get depending on your origin is actually pretty trivial (like in the car/pedestrian example). Math becomes more involved when trying to describe the trajectory of the Earth's moon around the Sun (or about the center of our galaxy), for example. That's where the choice of origins and the construction of equations from various relative motions becomes important because it makes the derivation far easier.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    the center of mass for the earth sun system is only .00032 percent of the distance from the center of the sun
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by scpg02
    Perhaps some food would help.
    yuk - pop corn ! call that food ?
    Would you like me to whip up something else?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cardiff, Wales
    Posts
    5,810
    yummy, screaming flatface pancakes - my favourite !
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    ...with just a touch of scream, and cream of suffering.
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Forum Ph.D.
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    935
    Quote Originally Posted by M
    don't they both orbit around a common center of mass?
    If you say so.... (sigh).

    Again, the choice of origin is arbitrary. What matters is the *relative* motion, which can be described in any coordinate system. Hence, the laws of motion can be written for any origin you choose.

    Your choice may effect the simplicity and elegance of the resulting equations of motion, but the physical behavior they describe is independent of the choice of origin.

    To give you a simple example: If you are standing in the center of a round-about and want to describe the motion of a car driving around, you would likely choose yourself as the center. The driver, on the other hand, might want to describe you as circling around him. Both points of views (and an infinite number of alternative views) are equally valid. They describe the same physics (kinematics and kinetics) in different but equivalent ways.

    In the case of Sun versus Earth, the variety of equations you may get depending on your origin is actually pretty trivial (like in the car/pedestrian example). Math becomes more involved when trying to describe the trajectory of the Earth's moon around the Sun (or about the center of our galaxy), for example. That's where the choice of origins and the construction of equations from various relative motions becomes important because it makes the derivation far easier.
    In my opinion it's no big deal if people understand reference frames or not - we're talking about basic, common knowledge in the general population. A population by and large not particularly interested in science. Everyone understanding that the earth orbits the sun and the basic reasons why is good enough. Another example, it really is not important if Joe Average the book editor doesn't know the difference between a derivative and an integral, as long as he can balance his checkbook.
    One other point - it's just a matter of convention. In everyday language all points of view are NOT equal - in your example of the car driving around the stationary man it is assumed that the man is stationary and the car is moving because that's the convention we use, and using it brings clarity to the way we communicate. What purpose is there to consider the alternative?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    M
    M is offline
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    282
    One other point - it's just a matter of convention. In everyday language all points of view are NOT equal - in your example of the car driving around the stationary man it is assumed that the man is stationary and the car is moving because that's the convention we use, and using it brings clarity to the way we communicate. What purpose is there to consider the alternative?
    Finally someone is asking. What's wrong with choosing a single arbitrary point of view and calling it "absolute truth"? To claim that the Earth revolves around the sun was "knowledge" does exactly that. To say that the pedestrian is always the center of motion rejects the point of view of the driver. (FYI, both views are used in science, depending on the application).

    "The Earth revolves around the Sun" is not knowlegde. It's a postulate (I am sure you know the difference). Do you really think appropriate high-school education wouldn't be able to have the average person understand that there are often various points of views, all of which may be valid, but some of which may be superior to others? This is in opposition to the simplistic approach of serving the superior point of view on a silver plate and claim it's the only one!

    Why do I insist on seeing a bigger picture, even though much of it will be neglected anyway? Well, it has to do with the benefits of having an open mind. It has something to do with a general approach to all kinds of questions in life (not just science), when a single minded position just gets you nowhere. It has to do with an intelligent approach to solving problems. The problem I see with the public (and I believe we were talking about Americans in particular) is not so much the lack of so-called knowledge. It's the lack of an open mind, the lack of logical decision making skills (with desastrous effects when seen in the administration), that take into account all points of view to come to a final decision, instead of rejecting the unconvenient ones from the very beginning and heading straight for a pre-determined (and likely wrong) solution. In my mind, the is far more important to America's culture than the knowledge of scientific "facts", especially when it comes to making a sound decision on whom to vote for (I believe that was the subject of the discussion).

    That's why I said at the beginning, the fact that you rightly accept the superior postulate over the inferior one doesn't make you more educated. You'd have to understand the basic method of reasoning, and be able to apply it on other problems as well. I haven't seen any of that understanding in this thread, not even in those people who have expressed their feeling of superiority over the average American.

    Picking a tasty apple, served to you on a silver plate, doesn't make you an expert on pomology.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    For all intents and purposes in regards to the topic of this thread...the Earth revolves around the Sun.

    Can we get back to the topic? Or should this thread be moved...
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    M
    M is offline
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    282
    For all intents and purposes in regards to the topic of this thread...the Earth revolves around the Sun.

    Can we get back to the topic? Or should this thread be moved...
    I totally disagree. You must not have read the beginning of the thread. Read the original post again (not just the title), and tell me if you think that the question of this thread is whether the Earth revolves around the Sun or vice versa. The thread took this turn towards astronomy somewhere, but it wasn't the point of the post.

    The question was whether people can make an informed and intelligent (political) decision when they are not even familiar with basic concepts (of which planetary motion was merely an example to support the argument):

    How can people make an informed decision if they are uninformed or just plain stupid?
    My discussion is an answer to that argument. In particular I expressed my amusement about the irony shining through this entire thread.

    There... we are back on topic.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by M
    There... we are back on topic.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    Quote Originally Posted by M
    I totally disagree. You must not have read the beginning of the thread. Read the original post again (not just the title), and tell me if you think that the question of this thread is whether the Earth revolves around the Sun or vice versa. The thread took this turn towards astronomy somewhere, but it wasn't the point of the post.
    I did read the post.

    It reminded me of that argument in that period of history in which much of humanity believed that the Earth was stationary and that the Sun, Moon, and the rest of the "heavens" revolved around the Earth.

    Of course, we know today that that is not the case. The Earth is not at the physical center of the universe, nor are we so significant.

    Why go into minutia concerning the true center of the solar system's mass in this argument? It's rather irrelevant. If one person believes that we revolve around the Sun, and another more precisely states that we revolve around a point 150-thousand-miles off the surface of the Sun, unless we're asking for an exact model, they're both correct.

    Further, whether or not the person pointing to the Sun, or the 150k mark is more accurate or not, it's only an issue of accuracy at that point. Neither of those people believe the backwards 17th century viewpoint that the Earth is at the center of the physical universe.

    On another angle, my mother is not a scientist, but if you asked her where the Sun goes in the solar system, she'd say "at the center." Okay, so it's not 100% technically accurate and I wouldn't base any equations off of it, but if you were trying to find out if she believed the Earth was at the center or the Sun...she chose the Sun, and thus was correct. According to the subject of this post, that already puts her above the 1-in-5 who thought otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by M
    The question was whether people can make an informed and intelligent (political) decision when they are not even familiar with basic concepts (of which planetary motion was merely an example to support the argument)...
    I'm with you, and I've argued that point for years.

    It'd be interesting to find out just how many people in the US (or any country for that matter) have actually read their laws. Furthermore, what ratio have read the laws that they complain about.

    Then again, the problem is not entirely the citizen's fault, is it? Our politicians don't necessarily make an effort to educate the masses, because they know an educated voter will make an educated decision, and that could effect their ability to toy with the results. People don't like to make an effort, so it's easier to listen to what they're told rather than finding out if it's true or not.

    My favorite phrase is "How the hell did they come up with that law?"

    How? Well go look it up! The National Archives (NARA) and Library of Congress keep all that stuff. I'm not saying you won't find it's dubious, but it's all there.

    As wonderful as that all sounds, there is a practical limitation. At what point does our democracy require everyone to be intelligent and educated, in order to function fairly? Obviously everyone in the US can't know everything there is to know about everything.

    Let's say there was a vote next week on whether or not the Hubble Space Telescope should look at one star cluster, vs another, and that the vote was opened to the public.

    Outside of random guessing, how many people in the US do you think are qualified to make the decision on which star cluster is more worth study? Furthermore, do we wait for the other, non-educated people, to catch up to our level of understanding, before making the vote?

    Ideally we would say that only people qualified (lets say, have astronomy degrees) are allowed to vote on that problem. That's great and all, but it doesn't work in a democracy, where everyone has the right to vote.

    So where do you draw the line?

    On one hand, you can't deny people the right to vote.

    On the other hand, you can't possibly educate all voters on what they need to know to make a truly valid, educated vote.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    added this morning
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I think the whole problem is democracy.

    In a democracy, any issue that comes up for vote is put before the whole range of voting individuals (be it citizens directly, or representatives). The problem is, as we've already seen time and again, not all the voters know what they're voting for. They can be easily swayed towards picking the wrong thing, either because of their personal ignorance of the issue, or by manipulation (ie - politics).

    Monarchies (dictatorships, roughly) are at least to a degree free of this problem. That is because there is no public vote. The leader has advisers, who are knowledgeable in the subjects they are advising on, and they only have to educate one person: the guy in charge. No fuss (relatively speaking, of course).

    The problem with dictatorships, in this issue, is that people (ie - the public citizens) usually dislike it when someone tells them what's going to happen, without them having a say in it. So even though the King might have made his decision based upon deliberations with a panel of top astronomy advisers, and chosen a good solution to the problem, the public will hate it.

    Oh well.
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Flying through the air while using a laptop
    Posts
    23
    ...Wow, well...I didn't know that this country was that bad...

    This furthers my resolve to move to Switzerland
    Think. It's not illegal, yet
    Reply With Quote  
     

  36. #35  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    Quote Originally Posted by Winged Teen
    This furthers my resolve to move to Switzerland
    Move to Hawaii. Tropical sun, cool breezes, chicks in swimsuits, pineapples, and no one gets excited about anything...just easy goin'...
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  37. #36  
    M
    M is offline
    Forum Junior
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    282
    Wolf, I misunderstood you earlier. So we agree on the topic.

    Ideally we would say that only people qualified (lets say, have astronomy degrees) are allowed to vote on that problem. That's great and all, but it doesn't work in a democracy, where everyone has the right to vote.
    I would go further and say, ideally a well-designed democratic society ensures proper education for the vast majority (if not all) of its members. I am stressing the word "ensure", because "providing the opportunity" is not good enough. Education should be the number one priority of any democratic society. It is indeed a pre-requisite for a healthy democracy. (I think we all understand why dictators, kings, and all power-drunk rulers have a different opinion on education).
    Reply With Quote  
     

  38. #37  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    Quote Originally Posted by M
    I would go further and say, ideally a well-designed democratic society ensures proper education for the vast majority (if not all) of its members. I am stressing the word "ensure", because "providing the opportunity" is not good enough.
    There's a fatal flaw in the system, though. Namely, that you can't educate everyone, nor can you educate them enough to ensure an competent level of understanding.

    It should be emphasized in schools how our government works, how laws are made (I mean really made) and more, but about all that most people get is maybe a year of civics in junior high.

    Even if people understand how the process works, and why the actions that don't make sense, do...there's still the issue of educating them enough on the current issue for them to respond intelligently.

    For example, how many people in the US population have any clue what a stem cell is, except that it can come from fetuses?

    Heck, how many people understand lawn runoff contamination?

    Unfortunately, we're stuck with things as they are. If we force people to learn what they need to know, people will complain. And, of course, there's always going to be plenty of people who will take any form of government voter education system as a plot against freedom.

    Quote Originally Posted by M
    Education should be the number one priority of any democratic society.
    The school system is so far down on the totem-pole in America that schools have to beg for money left and right. That, in my opinion, is an intolerable sin in this nation. There's no excuse for our school systems not to be well funded, not to mention on the top of our priority list. I'd even go so far as to say that the government's lack of attention towards the school system in America is even worse a problem than the Iraq war.
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

  39. #38  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sacramento
    Posts
    237
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    The school system is so far down on the totem-pole in America that schools have to beg for money left and right. That, in my opinion, is an intolerable sin in this nation. There's no excuse for our school systems not to be well funded, not to mention on the top of our priority list. I'd even go so far as to say that the government's lack of attention towards the school system in America is even worse a problem than the Iraq war.
    I agreed with everything you said up until that point. The school systems are not underfunded. The money is just not getting to the kids and a lot of the funding is for special programs.

    I really liked the idea of the federal government doing block grants. Even though the over all amount was less it could be spent in ways the schools need rather than in ways they don't. Sadly all you heard about was how it was a cut.

    In my school district they don't have enough books for the kids but they built a brand new administration building. The kids are always getting a day off for teach inservice training and such.

    http://www.aft.org/salary/2004/downl...ySurvey-CA.pdf

    The average teacher salary in California for the 2003-04 school year was $56,444, up 1.4 percent from the previous year. California ranked 5th in the nation for average beginning teacher salary, at $35,135, an increase of 0.9 percent from 2002-03.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  40. #39  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,795
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    The school system is so far down on the totem-pole in America that schools have to beg for money left and right.
    I don't think funding is the problem.
    Cato
    When the poor quality of U.S. education is pointed out, we are frequently told that more should be spent on the government schools. But such claims are fallacious. Since World War II real (inflation-adjusted) spending per student has increased about 40 percent per decade, or about doubled every 20 years
    Reply With Quote  
     

  41. #40  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    969
    I guess I should have rephrased that a bit more.

    I believe there's a lack of proper funding, as well as a lack of government interest.

    There's a lot of money given to schools that goes to either the wrong thing, or is used below an acceptable level of effect.

    There also seems to be a lack of standards regarding how schools should be built. As an example I've seen amazingly six times since living where I do: a new school is built, and when it opens it's already over capacity by well over 50%. So now there's a sea of trailers setup around the new schools to accommodate the new students, and those are overwhelmed once again before they're setup. That's a failure in communication and planning, anyway you look at it

    I won't get into the lengthy discussion surrounding how schools should be run. That's a debacle I'm staying away from ATM.

    I think this classifies as getting off the subject.
    Wolf
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    "Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you." Alan Alda
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •