November Editor's Note
By brad kava
I’m really afraid the Flat Earthers are winning.
You look around social media and at certain websites and you see people who have no clue about science. Some of them throw out 200 years of vaccine study as fake news. Others don’t believe we went to the moon, because of fake YouTube videos. Still more deny climate change, ignoring the fact that we only have 62 miles of atmosphere and claiming that humans can’t affect that limited space.
And yes, some are unabashedly saying they think the Earth is flat.
Not to mention those– a much larger number than a rational person could possibly expect–think the last presidential election was fraudulent and the violent attack on the Capitol was just a bunch of tourists.
You have to wonder, what’s going on in our once respected political system that is letting these people not only survive, but thrive? Back in saner days, they would have been laughed off for the joke they are.
We watch them cheer what they say is a work slowdown by pilots, when in fact the pilots’ union says no such thing happened. We watch them fight not to take preventive measures to sustain our environment.
One can’t help but ask oneself, what’s going on that allows people to believe the craziest conspiracy theories and to come to the wrong conclusions based on no evidence or false conspiracy claims?
We’ve talked to a number of people of all ages who say they think it’s a failure of the education system. People are graduating from schools with little to no understanding of American or world governments, no comprehension of the Constitution and no understanding of the history of evidence-based experimental science.
Why are we allowing ourselves to fall back on an age of un-enlightenment that brings to mind the dark-age thinkers who locked up Galileo for stating that the Earth revolved around the Sun instead of the other way around?
We beg our schools to please focus on serious science (which we think most of them do), critical thinking and on how government works (which we are afraid they don’t do). Are schools too afraid to be controversial or offensive to parents and kids of different views? Government, ethics and politics need to be taught from middle school on, we think, not stalled until senior year.
We’ve got two suggestions this month in our calendar to help get your kids educated. One is the youth-version of TED X sponsored by Merit Academy on Nov. 7 which focuses on climate change and youth innovation. Teens and adults will discuss climate change, medical solutions, and health care education. It’s 1-3 p.m. at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz. You can get more information and $20 tickets at www.tedxmeritacademy.com
Our second recommendation is for schools to put as much energy into Nov. 8th’s STEM and STEAM Day, which is a national day to focus on serious study of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and add the arts for STEAM. If schools take this as seriously as they do sports, maybe we can shine some more light on the impinging darkness around us.