Study Guide for CMN 142 Exam 2

Study Guide for CMN 142 Exam 2 - Study Guide for CMN 142...

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Study Guide for CMN 142 Exam 2 Duncan [Part 1] How many Americans cannot read a simple science story? About the 200 million Americans out there who cannot read a simple story in, say, Technology Review or the New York Times science section and understand even the basics of DNA or microchips or global warming. Note the numbers on evolution and earth orbiting the sun. This level of science illiteracy may explain why over 40 percent of Americans do not believe in evolution and about 20 percent, when asked if the earth orbits the sun or vice versa. . say it’s the sun that does the orbiting—placing these people in the same camp as the Inquisition that punished Galieo almost 400 years go. Why is scientific ignorance dangerous? - It also explains the extraordinary disconnect between scientists and much of the public over issues the scientists think were settled long ago—never mind newer discoveries and research. As Carl Sagan eloquently wrote in The Demon-Haunted World, ignorance reigns in our society at a moment when science is on the cusp of doing amazing and wonderful things, but also dangerous things. Ignorance, said Saga, is not an option. - Given that we live in a culture based on science and technology, this situation is dangerous. It conjures the specter of a society in which a cadre of elites knows and understands the essentials of the science that underpins out civilization, while everyone else uses and depends on that science without having a clue. This scenario is troubling in a democracy that assumes a baseline of citizen knowledge. The outcome could be that the illiterates become so fearful of science and technology, so resentful of the exalted position of the elites, that they try to slow down the progress so science, or stop it altogether. Or the opposite could happen: the scientifically elite may grow frustrated with the illiterates and try to co-opt or even control them. Note the author’s historical examples. From the mob in ancient Alexandria, which chased the astronomer Aristarchus out of town for suggesting that the earthed moved around the sun, to the resent restriction on federal funding for embryonic-stem-cell research. Do Europeans and Japanese know more than we do? -One of Miller’s findings that may surprise many Americans is that Europeans and Japanese actually rate s lightly lower in science literacy. - These same populations also have a much higher percentage of people who accept evolution and other basic scientific theories. America’s large population of conservative religious believers maybe one reason for this discrepancy. What campaign does the author propose? We should launch a scientific literacy campaign like the mid-20 th -century drive that nearly tripled the rate of basic literacy worldwide. [Part 2]
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course COM 142 taught by Professor Theobald during the Spring '11 term at UC Davis.

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Study Guide for CMN 142 Exam 2 - Study Guide for CMN 142...

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