Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the most famous and outspoken scientists in the United States, told a sold out crowd in North Carolina that the lack of emphasis on the sciences, as well as the political assault on science, is creating a dangerous epidemic in the U.S. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.
Transcript of the above video:
Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson spoke to a sold out crowd in North Carolina earlier this week, where he told the assembled people that the United States’ attack on science from the political spectrum, and the overall lack of emphasis on the sciences in our school systems is going to end up being the death of the United States, both with innovation and economically, and climate. Here is what deGrasse Tyson is telling us.
We have too many kids in this country who are not being shown or taught responsibly sciences. Biological sciences, life sciences, mathematics. The basic things that we took for granted when we were in middle and high school, wondering, “When am I ever going to use this?” How many times have you heard somebody say that about math?
We put such little emphasis on it that we have allowed that to become a talking point. That’s a failure of the school systems, but any failure of the school system ultimately goes back to the government because the government runs the school systems. When you have a government like we have in the United States, like we’ve had in the United States for over 20 years, that is hostile towards science, that’s always going to be a problem.
We have a government and have had, again, for several decades where half of the people there don’t believe in the science behind climate change. They look at the data and they still choose to say, “Nope. This is wrong.” They defend it by saying, “I’m not a scientist,” but then they don’t listen to the actual scientists. That’s just on the issue of climate change.
Think about what’s still happening in the United States, and has been happening for 100 years, with evolution. We still have school districts in this United States where teachers are not allowed to teach the theory of evolution. We have school districts that say, “If you teach evolution, you have to teach creationism,” something not based at all in any science. Something that can’t be proven or defended with any logic or reason or statistics or fossil evidence.
We have people alive in the United States right now, people who vote for President, people who vote for our leaders, that believe that the world is 6,000 years old. They don’t believe scientists when they find a fossil and say, “This is a couple million years old.”
Tyson is absolutely right. We are a country that is hostile towards science. More importantly, we’re a country that is hostile towards education and knowledge in general. Being smart in the United States is a bad thing, according to most people. That’s what George W. Bush ran on in the 2000 and 2004 elections. That’s what Fox News attacked President Obama for in the 2008 election. They were too smart. They’re elitist. They don’t have anything in common with you.
That’s the problem with the United States. We want everybody to be just like us, and nobody, or too few people, I should say, are willing to stand up and say, “I want people better than me. I want my President to be smarter than me. I want my Representatives and Senators to be smarter than me. Everyone should be smarter than me, because that’s going to help the world.”
But when we start thinking that everybody needs to be on our level, just as dumb as we are, that creates problems. According to deGrasse Tyson, if we continue to fall behind in innovation and sciences and reaction to climate change, it is going to destroy the United States financially. All of the great ideas of the future will come from other countries. They’ll be made in other countries. The United States will continue to fall behind because somehow, along the way, we were taught that being smart was a bad thing.