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       Wednesday, April 19, 2006

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The National Science Board ...

... has issued its 2006 report (statistics, narrative) on the state of science and engineering in the United States — and the news is not good.

Nearly a quarter century ago, the National Science Board's Commission on Precollege Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology assessed the state of U.S. precollege education in the subject fields and found it wanting. In the intervening years, we have failed to raise the achievement of U.S. students commensurate with the goal articulated by that Commission—that U.S. precollege achievement should be "best in the world by 1995"—and many other countries have surpassed us. Not only are they not first, but by the time they reach their senior year, even the most advanced U.S. students perform at or near the bottom on international assessments. [emphasis mine]

Here are some sobering numbers:

Percentage of 4th-graders not meeting specified math competence: 68
Rank of American 15-year olds in math, out of 30 industrialized countries: 21
Rank of American 15-year olds in science, out of 29 industrialized countries: 19

You don't have to be Mr. Wizard to see that America's technology leadership, and its wealth, cannot be sustained if numbers like this persist much longer. Indeed, it's not irresponsible to speculate that the nation may already have passed the tipping point. Certainly, we shall have to undo a lot of nonsense if we are to keep up.

It has always been the case, and it is the case today more than ever, that the creation of wealth arises from the application of intelligence and reason to physical problems. It is human intelligence, sifting through observations, abstracting principles, and projecting those principles into the future, that made it possible for man to learn to harvest seed, store it — and feed himself the next year. It is that same human intelligence that brings clean water to the tap today, which designs and constructs safe highways, which designs and constructs the nuclear furnaces that heat hundreds of thousands of home, which has decrypted the genetic code and made possible therapies for congenital illnesses, which fuels the communications revolution ... on and on. And we will need more of that intelligence, not less, in the future. From the moment we arise in the morning to the time we go to sleep in the evening, there is scarcely an instant of the day that is unaffected by the work of an immense and mostly anonymous army of scientists and engineers.

Meantime, thanks to the inane conceit that America can remain an island of high-salaries, stupendous benefits and ignorant citizens in an ocean of cheap labor — good engineering jobs are steadily trickling to other countries.

What is more, foreign countries are poaching our best talent. Singapore, of all places, is luring some our best scientists with big salaries and well-equipped laboratories, determined to stake a claim in the miracle business of bioengineering.

In this country ... fundamentalist yahoos subject kindergarten-aged children — more than 2000 at a time — to lectures by Ken Ham, who instructs them that science is a satanic conspiracy against God, and equally insane Lefties teach children that the really, really important thing is to feel good about themselves and never mind worrying about being an ignoramus.

This is nuts; it's national suicide. Reality always gets the last word, and we need desperately to face reality, confront the fact that American education is a ruinous disaster, and start turning-out engineers and scientists. If there still is time, that is.

Bob Felton
The Intersection of Religion, Law, and Politics

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posted by Bob Felton at 9:17 AM  


peddler8111 said...

This is very helpful. Point out a real problem and then add to with this nonsense.
To say Ken Ham is teaching children that science is a satanic conspiracy is ludicrous. Give me an example? Look at the scientist who support him.
Dr. John Baumgardner { }
is a staunch creationist and the worlds leading expert on computer modeling for plate tectonics.
Many of the worlds weather satellites use his software.
Dr. Ray Damadian -the inventor of the M.R.I. supports him. I could fill the page with examples of world-class scientists who are not faithful followers of your Messiah Charlie Darwin.
The science that fuels our economy by growing better crops, improving healthcare, transportation etc. has nothing to do with the general theory of evolution.
Claiming the dogma of secular humanism _The General Theory of Evolution_ is science does not make it so.
Saying that anyone who does not believe in the G.T.E. is not a scientist does not make it so either.
Objective reality is unaffected by your personal opinion.
We need to improve science is reality. Proclaiming that following the teachings of Epicrius ,Lucretius and other Greek philosophers like Darwin did will only hurt the cause.
Read up on Ed Blyth the scientist who first wrote about natural selection.

5:25 PM  
Bob Felton said...

Follow the link, where you will find a detailed account of what Ken Ham tells children.

7:47 AM  

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