"Immigrants, liberals, weirdos, atheists"

It occurred to me this morning that I’ve completely forgotten the whole fatblogging thing. Just as well; not much has happened since it slipped my mind back in November. Stayed pretty much the same, went up around Christmas came back down to about 224 where I’ve been sitting for weeks. The cold this past week hasn’t helped anything. I’m hoping to start running again on Tuesday, maybe.


Watched the remake of 3:10 To Yuma (imdb | rotten tomatoes) today. It was pretty good indeed. I don’t normally care much for Russell Crowe, but I think he was well-suited to this role and Christian Bale was great as always. Funny how a Brit and an Aussie would play two cowboys, no? Anyway, it was a solid film, especially if you like westerns.


This article in the New York Times [via Richard Florida] contains some interesting insights on the threats to science in the U.S.:

Many Americans remain ignorant about much of science, the board said; for example, many are unable to answer correctly when asked if the Earth moves around the Sun (it does). But they are not noticeably more ignorant than people in other developed countries except on two subjects: evolution and the Big Bang. Although these ideas are organizing principles underlying modern biology and physics, many Americans do not accept them.

“These differences probably indicate that many Americans hold religious beliefs that cause them to be skeptical of established scientific ideas,” the report said, “even when they have some basic familiarity with those ideas.”

Florida takes issue with this explanation:

This is not just a question of religion, many Americans are more than skeptical, they dislike, are fearful of and are angered by the institutions which develop science and help provide the broad eco-system of innovation. They view leading universities as places filled with “immigrants, liberals, weirdos, atheists” and so on, who’s views are antithetical to “family values.”

I’m not sure I agree with Dr. Florida’s theory, though I admit I have no data either way. It simply seems easier to accept the religious influence suggested in the article, as I know the that schism exists in the U.S. I cannot, on the other hand, figure out how the opinion described by Dr. Florida could have taken hold. I’m not saying it didn’t; I would just be stunned if it had. Stunned, and even more fearful of what’s happening south of the border.

[tags]fatblogging, 3:10 to yuma, richard florida, new york times, science, evolution, big bang[/tags]

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