The real content of this horse
What a quandary. The U.S. has a shortage of students attaining education in
science. Ah, but the military is stepping to the forefront. According to an
article in The Guardian of August 5, 2005, titled
"U.S. Military Sends Scientists to Film School:"
The U.S. military is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to send
scientists on a screenwriting course in Los Angeles, with the aim of producing
movies and television shows that portray scientists in a flattering light.
It is being billed as a radical solution to one of America’s
most vexing long-term security problems: the drastic decline in the number of
U.S. students pursuing science and engineering.
For once, it may appear that the U.S. military is attempting to help humankind,
instead of destroying it. Forget it. There are absolutely no altruistic motives
here. The article added:
While the decline in interest in science is a problem for U.S. industry
as a whole, it is particularly acute for defense laboratories, which, because
of security concerns, cannot use immigrants to take up the slack.
See, it’s those damn foreigners. We can’t trust them to work with
defense projects. Xenophobia strikes deep.
It is no secret that scientific pursuits by students have been on the decline.
Coincidentally, fundamentalist Christianity during this time has risen dramatically
in popularity. And, the fundamentalists have declared science as the enemy.
For the past few years, we have heard fundamentalist-after-fundamentalist Christian
denigrate scientists. They have been called "ignorant," "immoral,"
"narrow-minded," and many other niceties by the Christians. No wonder
today’s youth who have a fundamentalist Christian background hold science
And, most scientists are … holy shit … atheists. How can anyone
pursuing a decent career want to put him/herself in the company of the godless
Other issues are at play that make this problem a quagmire. The commander-in-chief
of the same military people who want to make scientists more palatable to our
society, is against scientific advancement. Just look at his views on stem-cell
research. Just a couple of months after he took office in 2001, Bush openly
stated he was against this method of improving the plight of human beings.
Let’s get recent. According to an August 2, 2005 article in the Boston
President Bush waded into the debate over evolution and "intelligent
design" yesterday, saying schools should teach both theories on the creation
and complexity of life
First of all, intelligent design is not a theory. Evolution is. A theory is
a step below a scientific law. Evolution has been tested jillions of times by
virtually ever practicing scientist over the past century. Intelligent design
is just a paragraph put forward by its proponents with absolutely no scientific
data. It is a half-baked opinion, not a theory.
Here’s a great Bushism from the article:
I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools
of thought. You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed
to different ideas, the answer is "yes."
Illogic is the order of the day. Bush says that different views should be addressed,
but he does not say that one view has been tested for almost a century and a
half, while the other view is a recent invention of fundamentalist Christianity.
According to Bush’s illogic, we should also teach anecdotes about the
"tooth fairy" alongside evolution. And, while we’re at it, let’s
give the Flat Earth Society its chance in the classroom.
The scientific community is united on the subject of intelligent design: it
is a smokescreen for creationism. In other words, it is a Trojan Horse. Once
it is let out of its package, everyone will see that it is blatant creationism.
If someone asks a scientist to explain evolution, tens of thousands of pages
of research will come forth. Ask a proponent of intelligent design to explain
the process, and all you get is, "life is so complex that it must have
been created by a higher power." No data. No research. No reports. Just
the statement of doubt.
It is sad that a heated debate is now occurring nationwide on this issue. Many
schools have taken basic science (biology, chemistry, etc.) out of the curriculum
because of fear of future lawsuits from creationists and intelligent designists.
Millions of kids in the U.S. today can not tell you what oxygen is or its function,
or hydrogen or carbon. The Dark Ages are making a comeback.
We see the problem, yet we still are trying to work around the real issue.
The military, for selfish reasons, is attempting to make scientists look good.
However, their commander-in-chief is speaking against science.
For decades, the U.S. produced the finest scientific programs in the world.
Today, that has all changed. Other countries are surpassing the U.S. in scientific
There are two reasons for the ascent of foreign scientists. In their countries,
religion is aloof from science and government. Secondly, many countries, justifiably
so, treat their scientists like the U.S. populace does rock stars or athletes
or movie stars. They do not need a crash course in improving the image of scientists.
And, they don’t have George Bush as a president.
From the Guardian - http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1542985,00.html
Jamie Wilson in Washington
Friday August 5, 2005
He will have the body of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the brain of Stephen Hawking.
Step forward the Pentagon's perfect Hollywood hero, possibly coming soon to
a screen near you.
According to the New York Times, the US military is paying hundreds of thousands
of dollars to send scientists on a screenwriting course in Los Angeles, with
the aim of producing movies and television shows that portray scientists in
a flattering light.
It is being billed as a radical solution to one of America's most vexing long-term
national security problems: the drastic decline in the number of US students
pursuing science and engineering.
The students at a five-day course at the American Film Institute included experts
in rocket science, nanotechnology and genetics.
They agreed that films such as Deep Impact, the 1998 blockbuster starring Robert
Duvall and Morgan Freeman, were the sort that should be emulated.
While the decline in interest in science is a problem for US industry as a
whole, it is particularly acute for defence laboratories, which, because of
security concerns, cannot use immigrants to take up the slack.
The idea of teaching screenwriting to scientists was that of Martin Gunderson,
a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California
and a technical adviser to Hollywood.
"My thought was, since scientists have to write so much, for technical
journals and papers, why not consider them as a creative source?" he told
the New York Times.