Neil DeGrasse Tyson says bad education creates Flat-Earthers – CNET
Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.
Real people can frustrate scientists.
Some real people believe that the Earth is a mere 6,000 years old.
Some, including rapper B.O.B., believe that it’s possible to fall off the end of the Earth because it’s flat.
Pointing to a globe doesn’t seem to help.
In a conversation with the Huffington Post, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson knows whom to blame for this parlous situation.
“I blame the education system that can graduate someone into adulthood who cannot tell the difference between what is and is not true about this world,” he said.
He explained that it’s easy to think of education as taking a child’s empty mind and pouring information into it.
“At no time are you actually trained how to think, how to analyze, how to process information, how to judge information” he said.
What depresses him is that kids merely memorize information, regurgitate it for an exam and then forget it all. What that information meant, how factually true it was seems not relevant to them.
Tyson believes that too many kids just don’t know how things work. So some believe the Earth is flat.
It makes sense to them. It’s like, he said, kids watching TV and believing that the people on the TV know them.
“When you are a little child, you think they know you because you are the center of your own universe,” he said. “And to mature out of that is very hard — not only when we grow up as humans, but also as we grow up as a civilization.”
“Ignorance shouldn’t be thought of as a bad word,” said Tyson. The problem is, he said, that if you simply don’t know something and you have the power to influence others (B.O.B. has 2.3 million Twitter followers), this is dangerous.
“I don’t blame B.O.B. I blame the educational system that can graduate someone into adulthood who cannot tell the difference between what is and is not true about this world,” he said.
Some might muse that truth is overrated. As our current presidential candidates prove, truth can be a barrier to success. Whereas peddling nonsense can get you elected.
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