A recent survey in Texas showed that over half of the respondents believe in creationism. Lets get this straight, more than half of the people would rather accept an inconsistent, often barbaric tale from a bunch of misogynistic, bigoted, bronze-age Palestinian goat-herders then the findings of 2000 years of scientific endeavor. The same scientific endeavor that has quadrupled life expectancy, cured many of the world's worst diseases, brought prosperity and comfort to a vast numbers of people, brought advances in agriculture that have allowed the population to double five times in that period and generally advanced mankind immensely. And what would have happened if we had "put our faith in god"? We would still be living in tents in the desert and stoning our women folk. Depressing isn't it.
Perhaps even more depressing is the the fact that the situation is not much better in the UK.
The problem is that we have forgotten how good we have it. In the western world we are obsessed with media and celebrity and a large majority do not value learning and scientific achievement, its not cool to be a scientist - ignorance is easy and instantaneous. The masses aspire to get on Big Brother, or be a football WAG. Our students go to college to study for degrees in pop-music and business studies, and the good scientists we produce waste their time locked in battles with religious zealots who manipulate the stupid and lazy for their own gain. Many of our brighter people are lured into jobs in finance where their intellegence is wasted feeding the greed machine, dreaming up more complex derivatives that will ultimatley wreck the economy.
Meanwhile in China there are 300 million people learning English (that’s more than the population of the USA) and in China and India combined there are more than 50 million "grade-A" students studying things like maths, physics, chemistry and "extra maths".
The west is fucked!