The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 31, 2013

The future???

The human species is getting dumber by the day. That's according to Gerald Crabtree, a Stanford University geneticist. He believes if the average citizen from Athens, Greece, of 1000 B.C. were to appear today, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of us all. He says humans reached their intellectual peak 2,000 to 6,000 years ago, when life was so harsh that individuals with bad judgment did not survive.

With the event of community living and farming, the hunt for prey and the avoidance of predators no longer culls the slow-witted as they once did. He believes human intelligence started to decline when civilization made life easier and allowed dimmer individuals to survive and pass on their genes.

After years of the unscientific and sometimes anti-scientific policies of the Bush administration, it is a relief the Obama Administration has made a focal point the importance of basic science.

Pat Robertson, recognizing the importance of science to our future, declared in a recent 700 Club show that Christians risk losing young believers by covering up evidence the earth is older than creationist theory indicates. He said, "If you fight revealed science, you're going to lose your children."

The teaching of creationism will cause children to become science illiterates. We need science-literate voters and taxpayers. We need engineers who can build stuff and scientists who can solve problems and come up with new concepts and ideas.

Phillip Longman, with "Foreign Policy," said fertility is highly correlated to political and religious beliefs. The more progressive and secular you are, the less likely you will have a big family, and the more conservative and religious you are, the more likely you will have a big family.

It would appear we are doomed. However, if we can insist on more open education where learning is not stymied by repetition of dogma and myth but where imaginativeness, originality, invention, creativeness and critical thinking skills are encouraged, we just might make it.

Carlyle W. Westlund, Middleburg

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