How scientifically challenged is the average person?
Do you understand that it takes one year for the earth to orbit the sun? According to a poll, 19% of British people think it takes one month.
Do you understand why we have seasons? Some people think that in summer the sun is closer to the Earth than in winter.
Do you understand why the tide goes in and the tide goes out? Despite what you may have heard, this can be explained.
Do you believe that humans existed at the same time as dinosaurs? Please say no.
Imagine how much misunderstanding could be cured if everyone took some time to read Richard Dawkins' latest book The Magic of Reality. This book is for “young people” but let’s face it, the folks who haven’t been in science class for 20 years could use some brushing up too.
The great thing about ignorance is that it can be cured. But the only way to cure it is to recognize it’s there. Like alcoholism, the first step in getting better is to recognize that we have a problem. Inquiry breeds discovery, complacency breeds ignorance. A book should be in progress at all times.
When formal education has been completed, informal education begins. This is the time when we are free. We can seek what we are passionate about. Education is far more enjoyable when it’s under our own terms. It allows us to escape to ancient Egypt or marvel at our very existence.
All you need to do is read, listen to books or courses on CD or watch educational videos. Through reading, in a matter of hours you can gain the greatest discoveries of someone who had spent a lifetime in a particular field of study. The Greatest Show on Earth is a fantastic example of just that. Dawkins’ The Magic of Reality supplements the knowledge of evolution with an engaging thought experiment and expands into other areas of modern science.
No one wants to be part of an embarrassing statistic for their country. Help turn the scales by continued learning in science and other academia. Use that knowledge to teach others.
“Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” -- Thomas H. Huxley
“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.” – John F. Kennedy
“Education is the progressive realization of our ignorance.” -- Albert Einstein
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