IS AMERICA, THE DIMMEST NATION IN THE 1ST WORLD?

The creation/evolution discussion, which encompasses so many of the social and scientific dsiplines that contribute to the accumulated knowledge about ourselves and the planet we live on - is perhaps the most comprehensive single criteria for measuring the depth and quality of national education systems
Depsite all the evidence presents by the genetic sciences, a recent survey has revealed that only 40% of Americans acccept that humans are the result of evolutionary factors. Turkey is the only other “developed” nation lower than us. Iceland with more than 80% of the population refuting the creation argument, seems to be the most enlightened society on the planet.
The idea that the world is being led by its dimmest nation bothers me sorely.

There are so many dubious assumptions and poor leaps of logic in this argument that I don’t know where to begin.

I know, I’ll start with an easy one - how does someone not believing that humans are the result of evolutionary factors (or, that they are not solely the result of evolutionary factors) equate to them being Dim? Might it not be more accurate, given your obvious belief in evolutionary theory, to call them ignorant?

Put it this way, at least two of the smartest people on this board are Americans, so you’ve a long way to go to convince me your stated argument isn’t just a steaming pile…

A better argument would be comparing American school performance to school performance in other countries. Until you get to college (university), America lags well behind.

I think that America has a similar distribution of inteliigence that it does of wealth. It is a very wide gaussian curve. Much wider than other countries.

Ok the word is not dummest it would be dumbest. Freedom of belief is not dumb. I think that to stick with only science when science can answer only a limited amount of questions would be dumb and dim. You have faith that science will eventually answer all questions. So far, that is not going so well.

Dim means needing more light. Ignorant means un-informed or worse still, unwilling to be informed. We have been increasingly informed for the past century and a half. The DNA evidence is clear. We are definately primates. Refuting it is simply rediculous.

Believing in evolution does not necessarily make one not believe in a Supreme Consciousness. Most “enlightened” people I know accept that as an equable position to operate from for this moment in our evolution.

Iron Age national religious dogmas, which originally arose as a methodology to over-throw clanish totemism, tried to give the larger national consciousness a more equable position in the cosmic scheme of things. (But were still forced to stick to the atavistic impulse to claim for their congregations a higher position on that larger cosmic totem pole than other nations.) With the development of a scientific view of life, based on empirical investigations, all of those early Scriptures explaining our genesis are now as naively redundant as Bronze Age totemism was when we moved onward from that primitive position - and so too with animism before that.

The revelations of science over the past two millennia have made it increasingly obvious that there has to come a time to move onwards and upwards yet again. America needs to let go of out-dated Iron-Age customs and traditions and join the rest of the more enlightened World, who, according to the survey have decided, in the majority, to make that mass shift of consciousness.

Out of curiosity I would like to hear more precisely what else it is that you consider presumptive in my OP. It seems to me you are ducking the main thrust of the issue by trying to blow smoke on my intelligence.

Now that is a dubious assumption if I ever heard one.
What in your presumptive view makes them smarter? I’ll buy into someone being an acknowledged expert on a given subject or even a few - or specially gifted in any art - but generally smarter than the average?? No such animal. (Presumably they are in the 40% that accept evolution as an established fact.) :wink:

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So according you you the overall knolledge and ability of everyone is the same ?

You would argue that i am not smarter than an ant or a new born baby ?

So who is the other smartest American on here besides myself?

I am a Americano too. :evilfun:

More light? America has a problem with its street lighting? Actually, that could lead us into the whole Enron/Rolling Blackouts conspiracy, so would probably make for a more fruitful discussion than this one.

Well, we’ve been telling ourselves that a lot. Whether or not we’re actually more informed is another story. Collecting and naming lots of data doesn’t necessarily lead us closer to truth, unless one takes the fundamental philosophy of science for granted.

But we behave quite differently to primates. I couldn’t give a toss about DNA compared to actual behaviour.

Also, as a scientific theory, it must be falsifiable in order to qualify as scientific. So denying it must be part and parcel of the scientific exploration.

The question was about whether believing in evolution automatically made someone dim.

Science contains the same logic of ritual that exists in practically every religion on earth. By your measure, in time, we will view science as just as primitive and naive as the other beliefs that you mentioned.

You mean the revelations science has laid claim to? All identification of cause happens after the effect. That should tell you something.

By believing in a theory less than two centuries old that has already radically changed itself twice? Seems to me like just another step in the ongoing flux of beliefs and their systems. Dress up our age as being of particular importance if you like, after all, every prior age has done that, but if you use it as an excuse to blast America and Americans then it just looks racist (or nationalist, or whatever).

Your first claim, that evolution is ‘perhaps the most comprehensive single criteria for measuring the depth and quality of national education systems’ when it is nothing more than a popular scientific theory (which must be able to be refuted in order to be scientific, and in time will probably mutate into some other set of beliefs based on roughly the same data, since a theory is an interpretation of data, not the data itself) seems to me less than dubious.

I could go through your whole post pointing out these things, but I can’t really be bothered.

Wider knowledge of a variety of subjects, better ability to summarise complex things in simple language, directness of argument, ability to adapt intelligence to a wide range of discussions, ability to change their mind on a given topic on the basis of new evidence, etc. etc.

Substantively untrue. Some people simply are smarter than others. The problem is that unlike being able to run fast or shoot accurately, intelligence is still a sort of taboo subject whereby we pander to the intellectually very limited with this ‘everyone is smart in different ways’ bit. Now, being stupid doesn’t make someone morally less worthy (quite the opposite in a lot of cases) or less of a human, it is simply a virtue which they happen to manifest less than other people.

Ironically, neither of them would accept that. Nor do I, for that matter.

The opposit in fact. It is an enlightening experience.

What creationsits seem to dismiss entirely in this argument is how important the evoluton theory has been in accelerating the development of human consciousness. Together with the discoveries of Gallileo and Newton, it marked the end of the Iron Age of dogmatic religious instruction and introduced the human psyche to a Steel Age of scientific empiricism and ever-increasing technological innovations. It widened our horizons and took us further down the road towards a broader sense of cosmic consciousness.

From a purely self-realization perspective, prior to Darwin’s revelation, the Hebrew Testments together with the genesis mythologies of other cultures, remained the only sources that tried to explain the mysterious origins of human creatiion to the budding scientific consciousness. All of the earlier mythologies essentially disconnected mankind from Nature and our atomic origins. Darwin delayed publication because he knew full well how his discoveries would initially undermine and confuse the religioulsy indoctrinated collective psyche. The theory of evolution has gradually opened the flood-gates of the modern scientific search into self-realization and the ultimate meaning of existence.

The fact that we are one of 255 species of primates, has given us a firm base on which to study and understand the basic instincts that determine our behavior and the subsequent development of our consciousness - and from that factual base, help to analyse and give us a more reasonable explaination as to why we are so different from all other animals.

Rather than subtract from our Love for an Almighty Creator, the acceptrance of our evolutionary origins should make the process of self-realization. which is at the every core of the meaning and purpose of our education, all that more mystical. Why should one single specie, out of all the 3 billion on the planet, evolve in consciousness to become witness to the whole of creation???

Of course. Newtonian physics sees only the clockwork precision of the universe. Science has no way of measuring it’s metaphysical potentials. Consciousness not only exists but it is charismatic as well. In Ages to come we will transcend the limitations imposed by science and become far more aware of our magical nature than we do now.

It tells me that the majority of the educated world has come to accept that we are and have always been part and parcel of the evoluitonary process, and that, as the supposed leader and encourager of world democracy, America should also accept the decision of that majorty and thereby help us all to move towards a more homegeneous global society.

It is hard to think of a better one. I introduced it into this thread as a far more comprehensive international system for measuring just how backward or foreward-looking a society is than merely using literacy as the criteria.

My apologies, I meant ‘not believing in evolution’.

This is all just argument by assertion, and is contradictory to your central thesis (that evolutionary theory is accurate and that we’re just gene-replicating machines). If our motivations are just the same in origin as that of an ape then it makes no difference whatsoever what we believe since all of our beliefs are merely abstract reactions to biochemical states.

Firstly, the notion of atoms vastly precedes Darwin (by about 2000 years, i.e. much longer that modern science has existed for), secondly, our origins are not atomic, or at least, it depends who you ask. Atoms are in fact poorly named, since they can be divided into subatomic particles and ultimately to just a series of waves in the space-time continuum. If you ask certain physicists, that is. This set of processes is more fundamental than those governed by strands of DNA, so in alleging or implying evolution as an explanation of origins you are stepping way over the boundaries of the theory’s authority.

Firstly, I thought he delayed because there were all sorts of things his theory couldn’t explain but should be able to (and still are) and because he himself was a religious man. Secondly, you are making Dawkins’ mistake - either humans always have been just apes, in which case religion isn’t to blame for anything, biochemistry is, or they aren’t, in which case you can blame religion for anything you like. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t be both an ardent biochemical empiricist and a German idealist at the same time, or at least, not without entailing massive contradictions.

The ‘ultimate’ meaning of existence? Religious proselytising in the name of evolutionary theory and claiming this as justification for naming evolution a massive improvement on ‘Iron Age’ religious beliefs is a roundabout form of argument by assertion. And like I said before, Evolution cannot be the explanation of the ultimate meaning of existence, as it’s a falsifiable (some would say falsified) scientific theory.

And is also the cause of our religious behaviour, so you can’t blame religion in the manner that you have. Or at least, not without your argument becoming self-contradictory.

It isn’t an either/or question. Francis Crick believed in directed panspermia and evolution combined. I seem to remember he was a respected biologist.

And so evolution is not the ultimate meaning to existence?

Even though:

  1. You’ve admitted that we will one day move beyond the current religion of scientific belief
  2. You blame religion as if it were something outside of this apparently fundamental process but also claim the process accounts for all of our behaviour.

You think this self-contradictory balls-up is going to help us move towards a more homogenous society? How, exactly, when it contains all the old mistakes, just with different names in certain places?

You are an evolutionary fundamentalist. The sooner you confront this, the sooner you’ll be able to conceive of better criteria for assessing a nation’s intelligence.

I never understood why change was seen as a sign of weakness rather than strength.

But that’s me.

That is just your opinion. I am sure that the majority of thinkers (outside of America) will agree with the fact that the evolutionary theory excited us out of a narrow religious mindset and broadened our cosmic perspective.

When you take the sublime to the rediculous you are making it difficult for one to repond to an incoherent rationale. You know and I know that humans are unique in Nature. We are in fact super-natural.
I was refering to our basic primate motivations’ Gregarious social interactions, mate selection, procreation, territorial protecttion etc.

Atoms as the smallets possible particle was first mentioned in the Upanishads roughly four thousand years ago. Three thousand five hundred years later Shanker realized that they were pure energy.Those realizations came from the intuitive half of the human pyche. It took the analytical half until now to prove it.

I find everything in this statement incomprehensible.

Prior to Darwin everybody was religious to some degree. Since mankind was so obviously different to all other animnals, they had no concrete evidence to believe otherwise.

I am not blaming religion for anything. It was a vital stage of our evolution. The scriptures trained us in universal literacy - withiout which base of mass communication, scientific exploration and explanation could never have evolved. What I am blaming are the religious fundamentalists who cannot get beyond its dogma and recognize the obvious advances in self realization science has given us.

Science is our modern religion of Belief - fully equiped with professors of its dogma and its labs crowded with its congregations. And in that process it has emptied most of our churches. Its solemn duty, just like that of earlier scriptures is to continue adding knowledge in our evolutionary journey towards ever highere states of consciousness so that we can all realize the ultimate meaning of existence.
Evolution is one of its primal gospels.

I repeat. I am not blaming religion per se for the argument over evolution.
The reason is mainly because we have not presented a universally acceptible criteria for resolving the argument. And it will remain unresolved while we continue to use literacy as a universal standard for measuring civilized development. Though literacy as a standard of measurement may have been logical during the period humanity gradually moved from instructional reliance in an oral-based agricultural milieu, by counting how may farmer’s sons and daughters had learned to read and write, that standard is now far too ambiguous. Though Gallileo’s and Newton’s revelations challenged relgious ideas on creation and helped to lift that standard, I believe Darwin’s theory put the nails in the coffin. And because it encompasses so many scientific disciples, I think it should be used to set a new standard iof civilized measurement.

One can learn to read and become fluent in scripture, but that does not mean as much to us anymore as does becoming fluent in sciemtifc theory as well - and in trying to grasp the phsycholcogical impact the revelations of science has had in lifting civilizations to new levels of self-awareness.

I have not the pleasure of reading him. Merging God with evolution is what the New Age movement is all about. I am thankful to be a part of it.

The evolution of human consciousness is the journey towards it.

Firstly, that’s appeal the majority opinion (which is again fallacious), and since most people are still religious, that might just indicate that they aren’t as smitten with scientific progress as you are.

We are unique in nature - well, yes, but so is every creature. Where is your evidence that we’re supernatural?

Tell me, do you consider the human psyche capable of anything other than intuition and analysis?

That physics trumps biology.

More or less everyone still is religious to some degree. So where’s the great change you attribute to evolution?

You blamed ‘creationists’…

I see no advance. You’ve yet to show an advance.

In this country church attendances are increasing.

And advances a tremendously limited notion of human existence…

Where there remain things unexplained by evolutionary theory, there exists a reason to entertain other beliefs, religious or otherwise.

And reducing people to parrots of the religion of evolution. Terrific…

And seem utterly blind to how science has closed off so many avenues of human behaviour.

He is attributed with having discovered the double helix structure of DNA. He’s a central scientist in the history of evolution. It is nothing short of astounding that you haven’t heard of him, given your other beliefs.

Every spiritual person should respect the Faith in the existence of God that most American’s profess, as well as profoundly revere
the love of honesty, hope and the compassion for those that suffer that such faith in God cultivates in a people.
But one cannot at the same time enjoy all the prestige and technological comforts that the Lodge of Science
has brought to the table over the past one hundred generations, and then disrespect one its the foundational tennets.

America must find a way to merge physics and metaphsyics in the national classroom, and allow a new generation of children to grow up more in tune with the rest of the civilized world.

Below is a copy of the public article that is under discussion.
America’s position on the graph is, in the opinion of many, an international disgrace.

Click for full size…

I think that fusing physics and metaphysics in the classroom is a terrible idea.

And I’ve argued for qi as ontological basis for reality before.

Mixing authorities is dangerous stuff. I think that leaving things in their proper authority is probably for the best. When and where the conflict, well, I’ll go with the authority that has a better track record on the issue in terms of results, predictions, and adaptability.

I don’t trust scientific moralism and I don’t trust metaphysics-based physics.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the … of_Nations

USA ranks 22nd according to this study, but it is hardly the dumbest 1st world nation. At first glance that title goes to Turkey.

Must one then assume that you are content that the serious divisions between science and religion, which dangerously bedevil both domestic and international relations, to remain in place?

Perhaps my misunderstanding of your position lies here. Could you explain the distinction between qi as you perceive it, and spirit energy, which I see as one and the same.

I disagree with you entirely. Man is both body and spirit. They are inter-connected. Each one of us is the ultimate authority on this relationship. . In this repect the laws between science and religion or between church and state are directly connected and there should be no separation.

Then what do you trust?

I think maintaining the distinction between science and religion is incredibly useful. If for no other reason than because the degree of consensus in the scientific community is vast whereas the degree of consensus in the religious community is quite small.

I also think it is a matter of focus. While many people have this image of some all-encompassing science, scientists are specialists. People really have a limited-at-best interest in topics outside of their area of research. This is also the cause of consensus, because outside of very specific topics people will gladly accept the wisdom of others. Especially as it doesn’t pertain to their research. If something new was discovered that radically changed physics forever, it wouldn’t affect me in the slightest until it gets applied as a tool some 5-20 years later. Most science works that way.

Religion, on the other time, is about creating an all-encompassing system whereby one can live their lives. This is also why there is so much contention amongst believers.

These are absolutely non-overlapping areas.

As for qi, here is my quick ‘baiter’ thread start on qi:

I think that seeing qi as some form of energy that is divorced from the world is silly when qi is the world. If matter and energy are equivalent, describing reality as either ‘all matter’ or ‘all energy’ falls short of the mark. So, we could either embrace clumsy terminology like matter/energy or use an elegant pre-existing term that encompasses that idea: qi. The fact that qi comes with a variety of baggage that I agree with helps, while also coming with a fair amount of baggage that is intuatively crap which is easier to dismiss. I expounded on the idea a little further when I wrote these responses:

I’ve left those quotes out of context. So, there was a discussion going on that gives them context, but they still form a reasonable narrative, I think.

And what do I trust? Why, specialists in fields that I recongize as being valid.

You speak as though mankind is divided into two different species. Our divisions are artficially manufactured. This was necessary as a social dynamic during our formative Ages. With WMD now available, those divisions have become counter-productive and have no further relevancy in our evolution. The new paradigm is all a matter of introducing a more holistic educational focus. We can be cultivated to see ourselves once again as a single global family, sharing the same family values and having identical intellectual understandings on the relationship between matter and spirit. This will in no way rob us of our individual emotions and artistic expression, in more or less the same way that collective cooperation does not strip ants and bees of their individuality.

Union of spirit and matter in the individual and in the collective psyche allows individual expression to be infinetly magnified via extra-sensory connection and the assurance that comes from a collective consensus. (We all do better when we know everybody is behind us) The mundane can be transcened by an effort of will when linked to this center of power - provided there is no ethical trespass.

Though I take your view in qi as interesting and one can appreciate the unity of thought you are trying to encourage, it fails to excite me. For qi to be vital it must be Divinely conscious That ethical aspect which asks us to obey the natural laws of association and non-trespass, does not come across in your explanation