Good News Inside the Bad

I know these threats [pandemics, population, climate change, etc.] sound like science fiction, but they are real and my generation will have to address them. The way to overcome these challenges and ensure the continued long-term existence of our species is through investment in rapid scientific innovation.

To make this second giant leap possible, the culture surrounding science in America must change. Too many have rejected evidence-based science. Nearly 60 percent of American public school biology teachers are not teaching evolution properly and another 13 percent admit to teaching creationism. Almost half of Americans believe that the Earth was formed in the last 10,000 years. Taxpayer funded schools in my home state of Louisiana are teaching that scientists and their scientific work are “sinful.” At least 300 taxpayer funded voucher schools nationwide are teaching creationism. Teachers in public schools in Louisiana and Tennessee are teaching unscientific “alternatives” to evolution, the origin of the Earth, and climate change, and this is allowed by state law. Other states may soon follow suit.

President Obama, Please Call for a Second Giant Leap for Mankind,” Zack Kopplin

I should be a little embarrassed to admit it but I had not heard of Zack Kopplin before I saw an interview with him on Moyers and Company. (It aired a few days ago but I watched the tape at lunch today.) I won’t say much about Mr. Kopplin– his ideas speak for themselves– except to say that he’s a wonderful breath of fresh air. Not only is he anti-creationist, he sees the connections between the right’s anti-evolution ideology and their fight against public schools. Kopplin shows that critical thinking and resistance is alive and well.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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