Episode 702 Knowledge Needed
This is Retirement Talk. I'm Del Lowery.
"Chances that a biology teacher is an advocate for evolution: one out four". How can that be? I can't imagine a biology teacher not being an advocate for evolution. I studied biology in high school over fifty years ago. All these years I thought that biology and life were somehow connected. Evolution had to do with the way life began. My teacher taught evolution. I made it to my retirement years with the thought that evolution, discovered using the scientific method, was rudimentary to all progress. It was an accepted truth that only a few reclusive folks would deny. What happened?
When I was a kid my thoughts roamed on to include ideas that when these old people die off we will be left with only people who have been educated to rely on the scientific method and all that it offers. Now I am one of those older people and I read, hear and see things in the press that seem completely out of sync with science and the belief in reason. Shocking, to say the least. It’s like we are going backwards in time. Drifting back to the dark ages.
We pick up the paper and read about global warming and that over 95% of all scientists agree that it is a major problem that demands our attention. And yet, we debate or even ignore the problem. What's happening? I saw where a biologist who is also a politician was the leading spokesman for anti-climate change in the great state of Minnesota. Then I followed the article to see that his degree in biology came from a noted bible college. I have a feeling he would also be numbered among one of the 5% who deny evolution.
I read about people who claim they have their scientific facts and you have yours. But of course there is only one scientific group of facts. There might be a difference of opinion but there is only one set of scientific facts.
In my darker moments I sometimes wish on these purveyors of anti-science to be denied all scientific advancements. They would not be able to get vaccination, operations, sanitary food, medical treatment by MDs or magical little pills from drug companies. Then they would be denied flights in airplanes, driving a car or using their iPhone. Maybe this condition could be applied for only a short duration. Just enough to teach someone a lesson.
It isn't easy making it through life. We see things and hear things that seem absurd to us. The rejection of selective scientific thought and the reliance on selective religious faith is one with which I have a hard time.
Then there is the perversion of language that seems to accompany the rejection of the science and reason. We use words to distort and confuse. "Fair and balanced" to describe a news network that doesn't even pretend to be fair and balanced serves as the perfect example today. Then there is the argument between those that would allow women to have and abortion and those that are opposed. We could talk about them as those that favor allowing abortion, or, opposed to abortion but we don't. We have invented the "free to choose" and "right to life". Now what is that all about? Who could be opposed to allowing people the right to choose or allowing people the right to life. The phrases hide the issue. Confusion is intended and achieved.
Today we see the same battle over the words "Medicare", or "social security, or "raising taxes", “death panels", or what is “news and what is fake news”. We see people reformulating the meanings of words to suit themselves. They twist the language. They disguise their intentions.
One of my "favorite" perversions of the language has to do with the use of the phrase, "declaring war". Is it war or isn't it? How can people bomb cities, kill people by the thousands, send soldiers into other countries and not admit that war is what they are doing? How does that work? Then there is the battle over the word, "torture". We all know what torture is - especially when it comes to water boarding - yet people had nerve enough to dispute it. How can we talk to one another?
Then there is the acceptance by the Supreme Court that corporations have the same rights as people. How can corporations be considered people? This perversion of the language and law was inserted by a law clerk over a hundred years ago and it is still held as valid. How does that work?
I've been pushed over the edge. Just when I thought we were coming together in our trust of the scientific method and a life based on reason we drifted. Drifted? Sometimes I think we changed course completely.
Maybe I need to head back to the classroom but I think that may be taking it a step too far. I think of the three stooges and the practical use of the "dope slap" that always seemed to straighten out the obviously stupid. Hummm....now if I could think of a way.
Here is a project for retired people. Our knowledge of history seems to be needed now more than ever. Maybe I'll have to have more conversation with my grandchildren. I know my children are set.
This is Retirement Talk.
If you have questions, comments or a story to share contact del@ retirement.org