Sunday, July 08, 2007

We've Advanced, We Really Have

Just finished Walter Isaacson's biography of Einstein. I'd recommend it. But what was interesting was the discussion of the understanding of science in 1920's America, as shown by polls testing the average person's knowledge. As a footnote, Isaacson provides this, on page 299:

Governor Channing Cox had been thrust a version of the test earlier that week, and his first three responses were: "Where does shellac come from?" "From a can". "What is a monsoon?" "A funny-sounding word." "Where do we get prunes?" "Breakfast."
I think our current crop of politicians, even our President, is more knowledgeable.

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