The Chronicle of Higher Education writes about the decline of science education, which has wussed out and become too interested in its own cultural propriety to adequately teach the nuts and bolts. We just don’t challenge kids with hard stuff like trig anymore, preferring that they have self-esteem, which qualifies them to have just gotten laid off by Starbucks.
The intellectual lassitude we breed in students, their unearned and inflated self-confidence, undercuts both the self-discipline and the intellectual modesty that is needed for the apprentice years in the sciences. … The science “problems” we now ask students to think about aren’t really science problems at all. Instead we have the National Science Foundation vexed about the need for more women and minorities in the sciences.
Now, bringing women and minorities into all this marks the writer as an old fart. I bet a dollar he’s the type that weasel-words like a champ in the evolution debate, because The Left is science’s real enemy. But he’s right about how soft science education’s getting. Identifying something more fundamental than merely “creationists” or “postmodernists” is not without utility.
After all, science’s organized enemies all more or less openly proclaim their agendas. But the shallow pool of talent that results from a culture of entitlement isn’t something we can nail down, as it were, quite so easily.
Relevance: science is where the iPhones come from.