Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Science and mysticism in the U.S.A.
Great stuff on the Bob Edwards show this morning:
Americans built the bomb, walked on the moon, decoded the human genome, and created the internet. Yet only half of American adults know the earth orbits the sun once per year. What happened to scientific literacy in America and who is to blame for its decline? Journalist Chris Mooney and scientist Sheril Kirshenbaum (check their blog, the Intersection) examine these questions in their book, Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future. Then, writer Mitch Horowitz, editor-in-chief of Tarcher/Penguin Press, is a well-known scholar and expert on the occult. His new book Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation explains how the esoteric movement spread throughout America and what its impact is on our nation today.
Much of this superstitious, supernatural, pre-scientific folderol can actually be traced to a couple of teenage sisters and some quick-buck schemers in the 19th century, Horowitz reports.
Time for a re-valuation of values here, no?