Thursday, September 20, 2007

That would depend on your definition of the word "round" - UPDATED

How many people are actually this dumb? Will there be anyone able to operate the utility grids a generation from now, or will we all be intelligently designed flat-earthers?

UPDATE - Enlightening commentary from Bad Astronomy Blog here and here. It's even worth quoting:
Anyway, when Whoopi Goldberg (who is actually pretty smart) presses her on this, Ms. Shepherd demurs, saying that it’s more important for her to know how to care for her son. This is almost legitimate. Almost. But it misses. If this were a thousand years ago, and she were toiling in a cave someplace with no access to information and spending 20 hours a day trying to keep her family fed, then sure, some knowledge may simply be too esoteric to be useful and, worse, distract from the actual task of survival.

But that isn’t the case. Here we have an actress and singer who is living, if I read my calendar and atlas correctly, in the 21st Century in the United States. Has she never seen a picture of the Earth from space? As it happens, a vast majority of people in the U.S. can hold a job, care for their family, and also know that the Earth is, y’know, round. Some people (though sadly, not enough) also know it takes the Earth a year to go around the Sun, that gravity makes things fall, and that DNA is a big molecule in which genetic information is coded. None of this is needed to feed your family (unless you are a science writer), yet humans are in general capable of handling a vast amount of information not directly pertaining to immediate survival.

1 comment:

Omedian said...

Think about it twice, if our eyes weren't "round", would we see the world with the same shape as it seems now ?

The truth is the world has no shape, or every shape we're able to give it.

In comment to that woman lack of knowledge, I wish I could be like her, we're getting into trouble for knowing more than we should. For every life saved by knowledge, there's one death due to knowledge, we aren't improving our way of living, we're only modifying natural selection except that these days, it's not the stronger one who is the one to survive...