A friend of mine in the Guild of Extras, Leslie Crystal, linked to an article where Bill Nye implores parents to not teach children about Creationism. This got me to thinking about the whole evolution vs Creationism argument again, which of course has gone ’round and ’round for quite some time now. Go read that article, actually, I think it’s a good one.
Anyway, I again got discouraged about the fact that so many parents in this country willfully teach their children things that very sound scientific evidence is not to be believed. Being a software engineer, I am firmly rooted in solid scientific evidence, in terms of how I live my life. This is sometimes in conflict to the fact that I am a Catholic – yes, I believe there’s a bearded man in the sky that can control whatever the hell he pleases. But being Catholic doesn’t have to put me at odds with proven science.
Let’s not get hung up on that possible discussion. That’s for another day. No, this one is about patriotism. See, when I realized that I was focusing on what other people believe and don’t believe, I started to try to figure out why. Usually I’m all for parents teaching their kids whatever the hell they want. Religion, whatever – your kids are your business. I pretty much want people to be able to live their lives as they see fit, within reason. But for some reason, when it comes to science and fact, I get a bit more hard-line about people being taught (at least what I perceive to be) the truth.
So why? Why do I get this way? I realized that I was only really feeling this way about my country. Not about China, Japan, Australia, Congo or wherever else. Just ‘Merica. And an interesting concept dawned on me – does this make me a patriot for intelligence in America?
That’s how I’m going to spin this. The whole concept of patriotism is being a big proponent of one’s country. Supporting it, etc. And the whole “patriotic” argument only generally gets used in a militaristic concept. And it gets thrown around a lot by Republicans when they’re trying to act like Democrats aren’t patriotic. I’ve usually stayed away from discussions about patriotism because they can get very heated and end up in political rhetoric. But here, I make an exception. I am a patriot of the United States of America.
Why? Because I want us to be the most goddamn smartest country on this rock hurtling around in space. A smarter, intelligence and science-rooted America, in my opinion, would help us regain some of our lost ground in the world. If we willfully ignore scientific advances and stay in the “Dark Ages” (or even — eep! — regress) then we’ll continue to lose our standing in this world because we’ll be falling behind. Bad science and technology could very well lead us to innovate less, which could lead to a poorer economic situation and a general disdain for American intelligence in the world. Although we may have already achieved the latter.
I want this country to at least compete with the rest of the world, intellectually. Ideally we’d be leading the charge in terms of science and technology. A fully-educated, logic-based society could go really, really far these days. So I’m a patriot, because I want the rest of this country to pull themselves out of their ignorance and accept scientific fact for what it is – fact.