Spanking the Monkey
Upon looking back at 2003, Americans believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, we were in Afghanistan helping women's rights, and also, when rating between the likelihood that the Virgin Birth of Jesus or evolution is fact, we favored the Immaculate Conception 3 to 1.
So really I shouldn't be surprised, but I am frequently astounded. For instance, I know that it isn't quite the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Science, but ever since November of 2006 when National Geographic printed stories like "the Origin of Childhood" and "From Fins to Wings,” they have received a barrage of hate mail questioning scientific competence and declaring war on intellect. They still get mail about it, even today.
It too is no secret that, in America today, over 50 percent of people believe in Creationism over Evolution --which puts us in our own special category of ignorance that is impossible to find anywhere else in the western world. So really I shouldn't be surprised, but I am.
I am surprised when the Czech Republic, formerly of the "Iron Curtain," ranks five places higher (15th) than the United States (20th) in the table of child well being.
I am surprised when, despite the pleas of many in the international community and several former detainees, a military investigation "finds" no evidence of abuse at Guantanamo bay, and an American appeals court upholds an "anti-terrorism provision" that violates both the habeas corpus and the human rights of the inmates.
I am surprised when politics and religion bleed into our education system, distorting the very beliefs held as fact. I am surprised, but perhaps I shouldn't be.