Study: Most American Adults Flunk Basic Science

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ckthecerealkiller

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[citation][nom]tenor77[/nom] How many HS grads can pass the GED? Not many.You know what happens in some countries if you're not in the top of the class? You work in camps and factories. Not saying it's right, but if there were consequences like that, these stats wouldn't be like this.[/citation]

Well a survey conducted where I live put about 35% of students with a B or a C average pass the GED test. However, I have little faith in our school system. I never took school seriously after about the 7th grade as I found we weren't learning ANYTHING but Math after that. I pretty much failed every class in HS, except math. Then I dropped out my junior year and 6 months later averaged a 93% on the GED test.

This just adds to what Hellwig said:

This is a basic problem with HOW we teach people, not necessarily what we teach them.
We are zombifying our youth by teaching everyone the same thing over and over while just changing how it's taught as we go along. I may just be an anomaly where I live but still, our school system flat out stinks.
 

pharge

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[citation][nom]curnel_d[/nom] Based on some of the most accurately recorded information since the begining of time, The world is roughly 33-34 thousand years old. [citation]
Based on paper published on Nature on March 12, 2009, "Classic Homo erectus (scientists believe it is one of the human ancestors) fossils in Zhoukoudian caves are more than 700,000 years old." these date was determinded by a very new method: "The new dates are based on the effects of cosmic rays on aluminium and beryllium isotopes in miniscule quartz grains" "The aluminium/beryllium technique offers new opportunities for re-dating other palaeoanthropology locations, where ... the age of sites is difficult to determine because of the lack of more easily dateable volcanic ash. The method works for samples up to at least 3 million years old."
I am wondering how old the dinosaurs will be by this new method.
Source: Nature: http://www.nature.com/news/2009/090311/full/news.2009.149.html#B1
Original paper: Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v458/n7235/full/nature07741.html

BTW this issue of Nature also contains the original paper about the "Battery materials for ultrafast charging and discharging": http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v458/n7235/full/nature07853.html
 

pharge

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[citation][nom]Tindytim[/nom]@pharge, you do know he was kidding right?[/citation]

I know...

Just happen to browse through the article... so.. thought that information may be useful. (in case if somebody misunderstand it :p )
 

Tindytim

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[citation][nom]hellwig[/nom]This is a basic problem with HOW we teach people, not necessarily what we teach them. I bet the biggest issue with the Sun-Earth question was that people didn't know what it meant for the Earth to revolve around the Sun. I'm sure most people know roughly how long a year is. People aren't taught to think, just respond. They never understood WHY a year is 365 days (hint: because it takes that long for the earth to revolve around the sun).[/citation]
Apparently you've never been to a Museum. I've remember covering the planet multiple times in school. Hell, one of the things synonymous with school projects is models of the planets. The fact is, most people don't remember that because it doesn't come up often. I remember that, because I have conversations about astrophysics every now and then.
 

falchard

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I don't think science expenditures should be increased at the federal level. Science is the biggest waste of money I can imagine. For the amount of inventions and discoveries that are worth a damn, there are 1000 more that aren't.

By making science a private sectored investment, you would have scientists working on useful applications to produce something of profit rather then curiosity. Why do we need to know what noise was made during the big bang? When it comes to innovation and industrial growth in regards to science, it came from private companies.

Technically, you would get it wrong if you said it takes the Earth 365 days to revolve around the Sun. Its actually around 365.24 days.
 

Kami3k

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Oh I know what the blame! CREATIONISM! But deep in the surface, it's really religion.

My book says the universe 6 days, and we were created in the image of god (even though god is suppose to be immaterial.....), etc. is the problem.

I'm glad I have a love of science, hopefully my generation. I'm 20 btw, will not be like this in the future.
 

Kami3k

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Sigh, it appears there are people on here who are a example of the failing education system, which is the real problem, Take, curnel_d for example.

400 years ago we thought the world was flat? Um... NO. Even the Ancient Greeks knew it wasn't, and one,Eratosthenes, figured the circumference to 1% of it's actual size. And I really hope you are joking about the worlds age, and the global flood....
 

pharge

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[citation][nom]falchard[/nom]I don't think science expenditures should be increased at the federal level. Science is the biggest waste of money I can imagine. For the amount of inventions and discoveries that are worth a damn, there are 1000 more that aren't.By making science a private sectored investment, you would have scientists working on useful applications to produce something of profit rather then curiosity. Why do we need to know what noise was made during the big bang? When it comes to innovation and industrial growth in regards to science, it came from private companies. [/citation]

I am very sorry to hear that. I can understand your point of view. However that fact is that a lot of major break tough in the history are base on something which NO USEFUL or USELESS at that time. E=MC^2 may not mean anything to most of people at that time (actually even now), but without it we may not have our neuclear power plant. With out that oops from Dr. Alexander Fleming we won't have any antibiots these days. People may think studying NO (Nitric oxide)is stupid, but it is that stupid study lead to cration of vigara which save million of man on this earth. ;) People may think studying bacteria in hot spring is useless, but the heat stable enzyme (Taq) discovered from those bacteria is now the fundation of most (if not all) DNA/RNA study, and most of drug discovery. Just name a few.
There is a reason why US is great and powerful because we own a great protion of advanced technology which are based on those great "not so useful) science discovery.
I am not supporting of unlimited budget and just shooting in the dark kind of experiments, but if there is a question to ask and there is a retionale to support it, it may worth our effort to spend time and money on it.
By the way, putting science to private company only is not going to do anybody good. Because we will never find a way to "cure" disease, since from a business point of view keeping people alive without curing it will bring much more money to the company...;) Think about it, if they cure all the disease... where are they going to sell the drug to..;)
Another point, most of private companies do not fund any research which last more than 5 years and unfortunately a lot of basic science research require more than 10 years to make some break through.
Unless you prefer US to be the follower in science and technology instead of the leader in the world, otherwise this is the price we have to pay for being the No. 1 for now and for the next 20 30 years.

 

JAYDEEJOHN

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And thus, our leap years. OK, Im old, ancient. As my father used to say, when he was in the navy, it was the days of iron men and wooden ships. Anyways, these tests have been conducted every year for years, and the results have shown great declines over the years. Back when I was a kid, those no good fundys etc ruled the day, and the science numbers were way up. Im thinking of 2 things here. One was already said, its how we think, or whether we do, and 2, were soooo open minded today, its as if out brains fell out on the way.
 

Kami3k

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Wow falchard is utterly retarded. "Why do we need to know what noise was made during the big bang?" Uh what? Ignore that fact that sound would not have been created as there was no matter yet, only energy after the big bang.

Oh and jaydeejohn, no just no. Fundies did not rule the day, unless you were 10 around the scopes trial? Only today is what science says a issue, instead of teaching, the education system is being tied down by fundies. They are the idiots running the show. Then we have bad parenting, partly can be blamed on the fundies.

Countries like Japan are not bogged down by such issues, this is why they are racing past the USA in terms of education.
 

TheCapulet

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[citation][nom]kami3k[/nom]Sigh, it appears there are people on here who are a example of the failing education system, which is the real problem, Take, curnel_d for example. 400 years ago we thought the world was flat? Um... NO. Even the Ancient Greeks knew it wasn't, and one,Eratosthenes, figured the circumference to 1% of it's actual size. And I really hope you are joking about the worlds age, and the global flood....[/citation]
Yes, I was exagerating about the date that the theory was submitted about a round world, and I was/wasnt kidding about age. (It's up to interperatation, but I know their are flaws with the theory. But it's fun to think about.)
But a flood on a world-wide scale has been proven and documented. Look it up, hot-lips.
But according to your first post, I would really think your comment about me is the opposite in fact. It's apparent that you're not interested in the persuit of knowledge and theology, but more in knowing that you're right and blinding yourself to the rest of the world.
 

kato128

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[citation][nom]falchard[/nom]I don't think science expenditures should be increased at the federal level. Science is the biggest waste of money I can imagine. For the amount of inventions and discoveries that are worth a damn, there are 1000 more that aren't.By making science a private sectored investment, you would have scientists working on useful applications to produce something of profit rather then curiosity. Why do we need to know what noise was made during the big bang? When it comes to innovation and industrial growth in regards to science, it came from private companies.Technically, you would get it wrong if you said it takes the Earth 365 days to revolve around the Sun. Its actually around 365.24 days.[/citation]

You can't say for sure that the noise the big bang made can't be applied to a useful invention. Remember obscure knowlege can be integral to a lot of useful things. For instance it was people with degrees in pottery that created the heatshields for spacecraft. So not everything is linked in a obvious way and seemingly useless info can become vital very quickly.
 

bardia

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Ironically the fact that they even put the second question in proves that the scientists themselves have a pretty limited understanding of what genuinely counts as science, which leads me to believe that the real problem isn't that we aren't teaching science, it's that we aren't teaching philosophy.

Only with a proper understanding of philosophy and history can you even appreciate science for what it really is.
 

Tindytim

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[citation][nom]eklipz330[/nom]i dont believe this at all.. this doesn't sound realistic at all.. im curious at where they took these 'samples' from...[/citation]
California, with people that were willing to take a phone survey.

Suffice it to say, they certainly hit a couple specific demographics.
 

mdillenbeck

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Although I agree that there is an over-generalization of the population based on how the sampling was done, this is far from new news.

I remember a PBS documentary on the state of US education. While students from the USSR were drawing near complete maps of the globe (including most countries in Africa, North and South America, and Asia), the US example showed two circles with one labeled USA and the other Europe. Almost no in the US could answer what two countries bordered the continental US, and when asked where Nicaragua was located one person answered "I don't know - isn't it off the coast of Vietnam?"

I recommend the documentary "2 Million Minutes", that compares 2 students in the USA's sports obsessed and mandatory education system with 2 students from India and 2 students from China (at the high school level). I also recommend reading Philip K. Howard's "The Collapse of the Common Good: How America's Lawsuit Culture Undermines Our Freedom" to see how a sue-happy culture and unwillingness to do anything not defined in a contract have adversely affected US society.

Just like as we now recognize in agriculture that large mono-crops are detrimental to the long term viability of food, our mono-cropping style of educating all students for college is equally detrimental to the viability of US intellectualism.

I am constantly hearing about program cuts. They get rid of arts, music, and non-athletic after-school activities and focus on No Child Left Behind skills. Schools are now massive preparation courses so the schools to meet federal guidelines.

Are all people created identical? Do all students hold equal ambitions to go grossly into debt and get a college degree, learn by reading textbooks, and have equal aptitude for math and science? No. Personally, I say throw out all those advance math and science courses and teach basic finances (how to balance a checkbook, evaluate loan terms, and make a personal budget) and art/music. Our first duty is to instill in them skills to use in their daily adult life, and the second is to instill a desire to learn - that is why I support maintaining fun courses like art.

Also, lets get rid of mandated high school education. Instead make it a right - if a student and their parents don't want them to attend high school, then there should be no reason to force them to go through all that college prep. Let them go into an apprenticeship program for a trade skill or enter the unskilled labor market. Those that truly wish to be educated will still have the right to an education, and the state will be required to provide that education - but having those who truly do not wish to be there and would be better off gaining real-world skills would no longer be disrupting education.

As for me, I know I am not perfectly educated - especially in comparison to foreign students. I stopped going to high school in mid-sophomore year. Role playing games sparked in me a desire to learn, and with no sleep the night before I got my GED with no less than 95% in any category (and several at 99%). I've worked dead-end jobs, and went back to school in 2004. I graduated with a liberal arts degree from a technical college and transferred to a university where I am in the honors program. Despite all this, I know that many high school students in foreign countries know vastly more than I do, and that my education is poor. My own sense of entitlement was one of the bigger barriers - I felt I was entitled to luxury time, minimum homework loads, and good grades. I ate up that line about 'you can be anything you want'. Its a lie, and one we need to stop teaching.

The point is this: we need to kick everyone - the system that paralyzes teacher, the teachers who are afraid to risk teaching, the parents who say good grades should be given for trying, and the students who think just showing up should give them a diploma. We are all to blame for our rotted brains.

Sorry for the long and ranting post. Thanks for taking the time to read it.
 
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