Consider this a “trackback” to Mike’s blog at stupid Xanga that doesn’t allow trackbacks.
When I watched that creationism episode of BS it spurred a blog post about how evolutionary theory really isn’t that controversial at all. Essentially, I don’t see how anyone could honestly support an “Intelligent Design” concept unless he/she believes that the earth popped out of nowhere 5,000 years ago. I always thought in reality there weren’t many people who believe that specific idea so it boggles my mind how much steam ID is getting.
It’s like a large chunk of the country watched a real-estate infomercial, believed it, and then tried to get high-volume real-estate sales classes to replace AP economics.
It used to be religious people who wanted to dabble in science would take evolutionary theory as the best guess at what’s going on and then say, “I believe this amazing process stemmed from an originating, super-intelligent being (God).” I could accept that. You and I believe the same scientific theory, you just also guess something started the ball rolling. Big deal. Whatever is going on now is beyond comprehension and it really has to be a factor of America’s lagging education system. The frightening part is the poorly educated are actually attempting to make the next generation even more poorly educated.
Thomas Friedman asserts the world is flat, with China and India improving their education and industry, quickly closing the gap with the U.S. Friedman believes it isn’t that we are dropping to meet international growth, but the world community is growing much faster. This intelligent design fiasco is just one example proving him wrong.
This recent Friendman article is a nice follow-up to the above.
I just interviewed Craig Barrett, the chief executive of Intel, which has invested millions of dollars in trying to improve the way science is taught in U.S. schools. (The Wall Street Journal noted yesterday that China is graduating four times the number of engineers as the U.S.; Japan, with less than half our population, graduates double the number.) In today's flat world, Mr. Barrett said, Intel can be a totally successful company without ever hiring another American. That is not its desire or intention, he said, but the fact is that it can now hire the best brain talent "wherever it resides." If you look at where Intel is making its new engineering investments today, he said, it is in China, India, Russia, Poland and, to a lesser extent, Malaysia and Israel. While cutting-edge talent is still being grown in America, he added, it's not enough for Intel's needs, and not enough is being done in U.S. public schools - not just to leave no child behind, but to make sure that the best students and teachers are nurtured and rewarded. Look at the attention Congress has focused on steroids in Major League Baseball, Mr. Barrett mused. And then look at the attention it has focused on science education in minor-league American schools.
I’ve been trying to think of where I need to be going with my career over the next few years. I’ve had passing thoughts of either going back to school or trying to shift a little toward a more scientific focus. Whether that be as a software engineer helping facilitate research or an entire re-education undertaking, I don’t know.