Joined: Nov. 2008
I see the melodrama hasn't changed in four years. There is no battle for science in the US or anywhere else. Science is a tool and it is utilized when it is proven effective. A quick survey of any k-5 Sunday school class would reveal that T-rex died 65 million years ago because of a big damn rock hitting Mexico AND God created the world in 6 six days some 12,000 years ago. This is not an expose of science in the USA. These are children repeating what they've been told, nothing more.
Science is utilized every single day where appropriate and required and these same "misguided" children will someday use science where they need to to be successful and productive. The sad fact that many here miss is the practical application of evolutionary "science" is only relevant to less than 1% of the population and will never be an accurate "biomarker" to measure the health of science knowledge.
If you're looking for a cause of decreasing critical thinking skills among our youth you need look no further than their parents and teachers. The list of ills here is much too long to mention but suffice it to say comparison studies across cultures reveal markedly different pictures. Even considering the conventional wisdom, I've watched my five year old explain picture and video publishing to his Facebook page to his Grandmother and the knowledge gap was astonding. The level of technology exposure that our children receive should not be under-estimated as a better indicator of future potential scientific advances. Then again, I'm an eternal optimist so that cup is always gonna be half full to me.
On a final note, in every class I've ever taught 90% (or more) of the class was there to learn the material to pass the test and then move on. Only those few students really wanted to know more and were blessed with that trait that pushed a strong scientific curiosity. Any teacher will tell you that those are the ones we long for, that reinvigorate the passion for teaching and get us through another year hoping for the next bright soul to come along. I doubt that this dynamic has changed much in the last 200 years and I'm comfortable asserting that it's unlikely to change in the future.