Is this the part of the forum for rants on bullshit? If not, my bad.

So I'm really sick of watching TV and seeing things on 'oh the Mayans were the greatest astronomers in history...". No, they aren't. We are. Did the Mayans launch satellite telescopes? Chart galaxies? Find redshift? No, that was us. Sorry, TV bullshit, you're doing it wrong.

They get away with this as "some researchers believe" or "it is in dispute". These aren't cutsey ways of weasling out of making a straight up statement. These are out and out lies.

I think what I'm most pissed about is the sorry, SORRY state of science reporting in the modern world. They're so bad that they think a mostly extinct ancient culture has an astronomy program that one-up's Hubble. This is simply NOT TRUE. And there's no WAY a reporter that has then a bachelor's degree in communication believes it. This is simply irresponsible and is bad for science eduction and general technological progress.

This is exactly the same as having a discovery channel special on creationism.


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Having been a professor and research scientist at several large western universities, I have had an opportunity to assess the cognitive ability required for success in the various majors and programs. In my opinion, based on having reviewed several communications curriculum statements, there are few majors at most universities that are less demanding than this major. I suspect that this is one reason it is the major chosen by a large proportion of the college semi-pro "scholar athletes". The intellectual demands on a person majoring in communications are not particularly high; there are bright people in the schools, just not many. The quality of science reporting in our nation (America) reflects this sorry state.
America does have pretty poor science education, but you're not alone. Most of the western world doesn't have education that matches its actual technological level. Canada has pretty much the exact same education system. European reporters were talking about earth-eating disasters from the LHC. Japanese reporters were talking about meltdowns at the experimental fusion reactor. I think this is a world-wide problem and needs a world-wide solution.

Maybe taking education out of the hands of the lowest bidder would be a good start.



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