American Anti-Intellectualism

My wife found an article on line and sent it to my computer via email. It took me a few days to get around to reading it, but when I did, it made a big impression on me.  It discusses a rather interesting facet of our American culture in which we have a tendency to denigrate the  knowledge and intellectual achievement of others rather than lifting them up as role models for young people to emulate.  For example we idolize the football heroes while calling intellectual high achievers geeks and nerds.

Two interesting statistics in the article :  40% of American adults believe that that man was created fully formed less than 10,000 years ago and that 25% of our biology teachers (our biology teachers for heavens sake) believe that dinosaurs and humans occupied the earth at the same time.  That’s absolutely mind boggling to me.  Also many of the graduates of our universities are foreigners who leave after completing their education and return to their home countries.

More importantly the article points out that this mind set is somewhat unique to our nation among the first world countries.  Asians worship knowledge and intellectual achievement and  the European certainly put a lot more emphasis on intellectual pursuits than we than we do. The author makes a case that as we move into a world which requires our citizens to become more educated in order to remain profitably employed, our backward attitudes will act like a boat anchor impeding our progress as a nation.

Here is the link to the article, I hope it is as eyeopening for you as it was for me.  Anti-Intellectualism and the “Dumbing Down” of America

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