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Advertiser – re Science Survey – published 23.7.13

Scientists and education bureaucrats need to think more seriously about why science is being undermined.  Link to on-line. The “Myths are to blame” letter is No 11 on the Opinion Page — or copy below.

Dear Editor,

 Australian Academy of Science Professor Les Fields is rightly concerned that 30 per cent of respondents to a recent survey believed humans coexisted with dinosaurs (Science fails history test, The Advertiser 17/7/13).

 He deftly avoids any controversy by laying the blame on movies like Jurassic Park and TV series on dinosaurs.  But it’s made clear in all of these productions that dinosaurs died out 65 millions years ago, and modern humans have been around for only the past 100,000 years.

 The core problem for scientists like Les Fields is that 1 in 4 Australians believe in religions which actively undermine science.  They are taught from infancy that God created the earth 6000 years ago and that humans did “in fact” live with dinosaurs, prior to Noah’s flood.

 There is now evidence, in England, that science teachers avoid subjects like evolution.  Parents who follow Islam or evangelical religions are lobbying schools to stop teaching the “hoax” of science and human evolution.

 Until scientists and education bureaucrats climb down from their ivory towers the growing skepticism towards science will continue here.  The influx of evangelical organisations from the USA come with a clear message — the “literal truth” of Genesis and a crusade to make all Aussie kids “disciples of Christ”.

 Regressing young minds back to Bronze Age myths does not auger well for science, or for a modern “secular” Australia.

Brian Morris
President, Atheism SA Inc.