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On Friday I took a trip to my local cinema with a good friend to see a new film called The Bee Movie. I’m sure you have heard of it. Aside from it being highly amusing with the comedic genius of Jerry Seinfeld as Barry B. Benson the premise for the film was surprisingly relevant to the current bee situation that is currently in the media in the USA. I could get caught up in discussing this with you all but that’s not the reason I mentioned this film.

It was after the film that my friend and I walked into the foyer of the cinema that she said something quite interesting. Here is what she said to me.

“Hm, it’s pretty interesting actually, that film really made me see that everything is invented for a reason.”

Now I’m sure that you can see the issue with this statement. My friend isn’t a scientist and I’m fairly positive that she doesn’t take time to see things critically but this sentence worried me quite a bit and reinforced my views that the youth of Australia are not scientifically literate. I asked her what she ment.

“Invented? What do you mean? Bee’s evolved from a common ancestor of all insects 10’s of millions of years ago.”

She responded.

“Oh…Evolved? But WE were invented right?”

I stopped walking and stood their stunned for a moment. What part of high school science did she miss? Or did she erase it from her mind completely during the years after? I am assuming she is religious to some degree and believes in creation from her cultural background but I am not sure. Either way there is something wrong here.

The reason I bring this incident up is because over the past year as I have got more involved with the skeptical scene I have noticed more and more of these sort of statements, not just from people I don’t know, but my close friends. What did these people miss that I didn’t? Is it because they go to a “Christian values” school or is it something else?

This is scary. These people are our future. This is the immediate future. These people are 18 – 22 years of age. I don’t know about you guys but I’m hoping that the new government we recently voted in does something about this complete lack of scientific education (likely?).

Skelliot.

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11 Comments

    • Steph
    • Posted December 9, 2007 at 10:08 am
    • Permalink

    Indeed it is scary that these people are our future! However, it is slightly more frightening that we know these people, even consider them friends. It seems to be times like these that we question what exactly we see in them.

    The fact that she questioned if We were “invented” would show her lack of education in any sort of institution, and her lack of a vital skill, thinking for herself. Maybe she is influenced too easily, causing her to not really know anything certain.

    Ok, bye bye =]

    P.s.
    To have an “intellectual” realisation after seeing that is actually a bit sad. No offense to your friend of course.

    • Skyle (Get it)
    • Posted December 9, 2007 at 10:36 am
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    I hope that the Labour government keeps the youth of today more informed, politically and on a world scale. The introduction of the ADSL plan to all working families will be a great asset I believe.

    Connecting like minded people together so they can learn that there are other people out there that care about the same issues that they do.

    Think.

  1. okay… i’m just a simply gal but is it really up to the government to inform the youth of today? Shouldn’t the youth be asking, challenging, probing etc and not just lapping up what it served? just a thought 🙂

    • Skyle (Get it)
    • Posted December 10, 2007 at 4:21 am
    • Permalink

    They should inform the youth of today, as the youth are the future. I only recently bothered with politics because I saw my vote as something that was just there to be thrown away, but a contribution to the future. For instance, how many people do you think voted for Kevin Rudd because John Howard has had his fair share?

    It makes me wonder if voters actually sat down and looked at what he was offering or what John Howard has done for our overall economy.

    I just believe that people shouldn’t have to find the answers they need but should have them laid out infront of them. As much of a fantasy as that sounds.

    Rant, Rant, Rant.

    I hate politics.

    • skelliot
    • Posted December 10, 2007 at 4:31 am
    • Permalink

    Interesting point renicle. I agree with you there. The only problem is a lot of youth do not know how to “ask, challenge and probe”. It seems to me that most youth believe what they are told to believe…even if they won’t admit it to your face.

    • Marius vanderLubbe
    • Posted December 12, 2007 at 5:51 am
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    This chick has to go. There are plenty more a lot smarter out there, and at 20, its just about as good as it gets, my man. As for the government doing any thing positive, well, don’t hold your breath. Even if they increased education spending 200%, it would still not be enough to undo the damage of the past 20 years. If they fucked off the Higher Education Coercion Scheme (Hecs) that would be a good start. The assholes that inflicted this fucked up system had the benefit of a FREE education system. I am a product of that era, and the students of today have my sympathy. Sorry, where was I?
    Education, and more of it, for less money.Perhaps then attractive young people will be able to understand basic evolutionary principals.

    • skelliot
    • Posted December 12, 2007 at 11:45 am
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    Marius,

    If education was free I don’t think I would ever leave higher education :). I don’t think that we should give up hope though. There are many young people like me out there who are dedicated to finding out the truth and keeping an open (not so open that your brain falls out) and skeptical mind.

    Skelliot.

    • Daniel
    • Posted January 8, 2008 at 6:33 pm
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    How can you believe in creation when there is no God?

    To say there is no God is to say you have enough knowledge to know there is no God. But an atheist can never have enough knowledge to be certain there is no God. He would have to know everything, because if there is something outside his area of knowledge, that something could include God. An atheist would have to be everywhere in and out of the universe all at one time, because if there is anywhere he cannot be, God could be there.

    No atheist can claim total knowledge, therefore atheism is self–refuting, because knowing everything and being everywhere is to be like God. Since no one can prove ‘there is no God’, the question becomes irrelevant and so does atheism. Thus, Creation cannot be ruled out as a potential alternative.

    this is my skepticism for the skeptics?

    • skelliot
    • Posted January 9, 2008 at 7:22 am
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    You obviously have no idea what being a skeptic or being atheist is all about. Atheists do not claim to know everything! We demand evidence of extraordinary claims and extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. So if we were to claim to know everything we would also need to be able to prove it.

    To say that no one can disprove god’s existence is like saying no one can disprove that there are fairies at the bottom of your garden. What we can do however, is compile enough evidence so as to know that the existence of a god is highly unlikely. About as unlikely as a 1 in 1 with 301 zero’s behind it which is about the amount of atoms in the known universe.

    Aside from that creation (lower case C) can be ruled out as a potential alternative because there is so much evidence to support evolution and there is NONE to support creation.

    To sum up your argument. Atheists and skeptics think they know all and the only person to know everything is god, so we think we are gods therefore we contradict our own ideology. This is completely wrong and logically fallacious. Am I also right in thinking that because atheism is “irrelevant” we should abandon our scientific orientated view and accept unreasonable magic?

    This being said, atheism is irrelevant if you want to think that way, just as it is irrelevant to be an “afairyist” or “asantaclausist”. On that note, the fact that a vast majority of the world believes in magic and sky friends shows that there is still a use for the term atheist. Only until all these extreme ideological views have been scrapped can we name the term “atheist” redundant.

    Thank you for your comment

    Skelliot.

    • Christopher
    • Posted January 10, 2008 at 3:06 pm
    • Permalink

    Hey there Skelliot, I’ve had a few of these stunned moments myself in recent times when I’ve gawped at a friend, incredulous to hear their bizarre belief.

    My friends are mostly late 20s/early 30s and university educated.

    I have now had 3 of them mention in passing their “understanding” that stars are small lights – specs – floating not far from Earth, far smaller than the sun or moon. I haven’t checked, but I expect they probably think the Sun is smaller than the Earth.

    I … cannot … remember far enough back into my _infancy_ that I can remember a time where I held this primitive view. When I look out at the night sky I know that I’m riding a tiny spec of dust in a massive ocean. Do they look up and simply see wallpaper? That’s pretty depressing.

    These people don’t know each other, aren’t religious, and didn’t have particularly strange upbringing. When asked about their strange belief, they just shrug and say perhaps astronomy was mentioned in school but didn’t seem interesting at the time.

    I wonder, if I “knew” that all the world contained was the Earth circled by a few decorative lights, whether I’d find it much easier to believe in astrology and Christianity. Probably.

    A month or so before the federal election, one of my co-workers was asked his opinion of Kevin Rudd’s speech in Chinese. My co-worker had never heard of Kevin Rudd – on further questioning, he’d never heard of the Opposition Party / Shadow government and had no idea what such a thing would be, despite living in Australia for 13 years!!

    Times like this – and others – just remind me that amongst us wander people with a radically different understand of the world around us.

    It scares me.

    • skelliot
    • Posted January 10, 2008 at 4:31 pm
    • Permalink

    Wow. Okay, that is fairly strange. Maybe they chose not to listen throughout all of their school years and most of their adult years too? Ear plugs maybe? I didn’t know it was even possible for people in Australia to think that the nights sky is just a wallpaper floating in our upper atmosphere. Have they heard of the moon landing? Do they think the Earth is flat, or that we are riding on an unlimited tower of turtles riding on the back of an elephant?

    To look up and just see an “image” must make them feel very very special and self important inside. To them we really are the center of the universe. No, we are the universe!

    In regards to them not know who Kevin Rudd is. This scares me. Seeing as everyone in Australia HAS to vote by law. These people don’t even know the people they are voting for even EXIST!?

    To them ignorance really must be bliss. How depressing indeed.

    Maybe they are partial to learning? Try introducing them to some books (if they read or can read) and if they don’t read maybe even audio books! Carl Sagans “A Demon Haunted World – Science as a Candle in the Dark” is a great book and is also out in audio form. Another of his works is “Pale Blue Dot“, this would be great for explaining the magnitude of our solar system, galaxy and universe to your friends. Or if they have the cash they could splash out on the Cosmos Series.

    Skelliot.


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