Science Media Studies

Sunday, June 10, 2007
Britain continues it's decline into socialist stupidity, where slogans and propaganda replace thought and knowledge. The latest victim: physics.

The thing that attracts pupils to physics is its precision. Here, at last, is a discipline that gives real answers that apply to the physical world. But that precision is now gone. Calculations — the very soul of physics — are absent from the new GCSE. Physics is a subject unpolluted by a torrent of malleable words, but now everything must be described in words.

In this course, pupils debate topics like global warming and nuclear power. Debate drives science, but pupils do not learn meaningful information about the topics they debate. Scientific argument is based on quantifiable evidence. The person with the better evidence, not the better rhetoric or talking points, wins. But my pupils now discuss the benefits and drawbacks of nuclear power plants, without any real understanding of how they work or what radiation is.


Pupils are taught to poke holes in scientific experiments, to constantly find what is wrong. However, never are the pupils given ways to determine when an experiment is reliable, to know when an experiment yields information about the world that we can trust. This encourages the belief that all quantitative data is unreliable and untrustworthy. Some of my pupils, after a year of the course, have gone from scientifically minded individuals to thinking, “It’s not possible to know anything, so why bother?” Combining distrust of scientific evidence with debates won on style and presentation alone is an unnerving trend that will lead society astray.

Note this bit, "Scientific argument is based on quantifiable evidence. The person with the better evidence, not the better rhetoric or talking points, wins." That is precisely why I went into science and mathematics in high school, it was a concious decision because I was empowered, I could compete with the teachers. In the humanities it was always a matter of opinion, and teachers often have silly opinions. Now the humanities seem to have won in England. So the scribes will have their permanent positions while the peasants labor to support them in the manner to which they have become accustomed. It is progress that any of the pharaonic priesthoods would have appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Is this how they teach physics in Chinese universities, I wonder?

chuck said...


I wondered that too. Perhaps the heart of the scientific and technological revolution will move to the Pacific Rim while Europe founders, the best manning the life boats to America, Japan, China, and India. It hasn't come to that yet, but 400 years of dominance is pretty long in historical terms and Europe has just about run out its allotted years.

Anonymous said...

Probably. The more extreme the Western PC multi-culti relativism, the more I think that this will be seen in the future as a type of cultish and highly damaging behavior by elites, like in the years immediately following the French Revolution.

chuck said... in the years immediately following the French Revolution.

You mean folks like Danton, Marat, Saint-Just, Robespierre, Talleyrand... I think that is to be expected, though, the elites fight for power and influence and the peasants and workers serve as foot soldiers. I think something of the sort also takes place in the US: the Kennedys, the Rockefellers, the Bushes, Gore, Dean, Kerry, Oliver Stone, Sulzberger... all ambitious sons of privilege.

Did you know Tallyrand spent time in the US from 1794-1796?

He was the house guest of Senator Aaron Burr of New York. Talleyrand years later refused the same generosity to Burr because Talleyrand had been friends with Alexander Hamilton.

Anonymous said...

The internecine fights for power too, of course, though when I wrote that I was thinking more of the post-Revolutionary craziness like renaming the months of the year - in an attempt to erase all that came before and then replacing it with something new and entirely of their own designs. There is much of that same mentality at work here.

Interesting about Talleyrand.

Grey said...

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Doug said...

"peasants labor to support them in the manner to which they have become accustomed"
Recently saw the figure of $180,000/yr for some universities.
This for getting to a few hours of class each week, and now, evidently, writing drivel.
Never in Marx's wildest dreams.
Deconstructionism comes to Physics!

Karridine said...

"For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction, IF the Peoples' Steering Party doesn't find the reactionary element first, and reduce his argument to an irreducible state!"

excerpted from: "The NEW Physics", by Perfessor Ima Gargoil, MTV, Ph.T.