…and why evolution keeps getting booted from U.S. classrooms:
I was just listening to a radio chat show in a major metropolitan area featuring a public intellectual, a mayoral candidate, and a supposedly well-educated host, all middle-aged women involved in policy and public life and old enough to have been around the block a few times.
They were talking about the recent announcement by McDonald’s that their fries contain approximately a third more trans-fats than previously realized, and the conversation went something like this:
“So I suppose McDonald’s is willing to release this information now that it’s known that fat doesn’t matter.”
“What? Fat doesn’t matter? I was just watching the movie ‘SuperSize Me’ with my kids last night and we’d resolved not to go out for fast food so much anymore.”
“Oh yeah, didn’t you hear about the new study? Scientists were wrong in the past, fat doesn’t matter in health after all.”
“Even lots of it, in deep-fried foods?”
“It kind of makes you wonder about so-called science and scientists, doesn’t it? All these years and all these big government agencies have invested all this time and money into doing research and telling us to eat our fruits and vegetables and get lots of fiber, and now they turn around and say ‘Nevermind, we were wrong, eat as much fat as you like.'”
“It’s true, the study said that no matter how much or how little fat you eat, it doesn’t statistically affect you, you still have the same chance of dying. It makes you wonder about other science issues right now, like evolution in the classroom or stem cell research. If they’ve been wrong about this for so many years, what else might they be wrong about?”
“And all those poor overweight people and people with diabetes who have been told for years that it’s their fault, and now we find out that it must be something else causing their problem. How must they feel, to have been blamed for all this time for a problem that they just didn’t cause, and that they have no control over?”
“It just makes me want to get teary-eyed. But first I want a Quarter Pounder and a supersized fries.”
Laughter all around before moving on to the wiretapping scandal.
Now, the study they were talking about is this one, which:
1. Only studied the caloric reduction in fat consumption from 40% of a diet to 30% of a diet (not to the 10-20% that most doctors recommend), certainly not “as much or as little” dietary fat as anyone wants.
2. Found that while the total fat quantity that you consume is not important in diets between 30-40% fat, previous research still demonstrates that the types of fats that you consume remain extraordinarily important (trans-fats and saturated fats, i.e. McDonald’s frieds, still being desperately bad for you).
3. Made no claims whatsoever about a high-fat not causing obesity, which remains a considerable risk factor for heart disease and cancer in and of itself. In fact, it did the opposite (in light of the popularity of the Atkins diet), saying that a low-fat diet did not contribute to obesity, an obvious conclusion given that the caloric density of fat is twice that of non-fat dietary foods.
The fact that three women got this so f*cking wrong and did it on a widely heard talk show, especially when they are considered by the listening public to be a part of the illuminati, is very troubling. Things that I note:
1. Americans want to be told what they want to hear, i.e. that you might as well have as many fries and hamburgers as you want, then blame someone else or some other power when you’re 800 pounds and dying of heart disease and colon cancer.
2. Americans have a fundamental misunderstanding of, and suspicion about all things scientific and technical, even when sitting in front of computers and radios, with life expectancies in the mid-70s instead of the 30s, having driven to work in a motorcar in the morning. After a hundred years of Hollywood, they simply believe that science is fake and that it is magic and “belief in your heart” that make the universe, and things like can openers and pencil sharpeners, function.
2a. American’s don’t even know what a scientist is or who the scientists really are. This study isn’t coming out of a research institution manned by scientists, it’s a f*cking public policy think tank conducting what amounts to a statistical survey on correlation having little to do with causation. Anyone who makes any sort of claim at all is now a “scientist,” which explains why so many think so-called Intelligent Design to be “scientific.”
3. Even our illuminati are dumb as rocks, lacking in critical thinking skills and reading/listening comprehension. We are a fundamentally undereducated population. It is not possible for Americans to work or vote in an informed manner, they are all retards who are so far behind the cultural, historical, and scientific literacy curve that they are essentially unsalvageable as people.
4. The press has a lot to answer for, since they’re the ones that ran the God damn study under headlines that tempted people to hear “Scientists find that fat doesn’t matter! Eat as much as you want! Woohoo!” despite the fact that the study says nothing of the sort. They should realize that Americans read nothing but the headline, and that if you bury information in the actual story, they’re never gonna know. It’s set back Americans’ understanding of dietary health by decades. Twenty years from now our pitiful college students will be sitting in classes debating each other and saying (as they always do, without details or attributions or any hint of a clue-stick-mark on their skull), “but you’re wrong because all the research says that fat has no relationship to death, you can eat as many fries as you want and it won’t make you die.”
4a. Of course, given the quality of the press these days and the fact that it’s filled with these same idiots who have graduated without grammatical or critical thinking skills and are now in charge of informing the public, it’s likely that they didn’t understand the information enough to report accurately on it anyway.
5. Americans have no relationship with mortality or the human life-cycle. The fact that people still talk in tropes like “it doesn’t reduce your risk of dying” without qualifying it with a “from cause xyz” shows that people do not understand that THEY WILL DIE. Everyone has a death-probability of 1.0, 100%, certituuuude-duuude. Not only that, but every single health risk gets rolled into “your chance of dying.” Cancer = heart disease = appendicitis = bird flu = “things that might make me die,” and people get lost in any deeper details than that, i.e. “Scientists say that consuming too much fat leads to heart disease, so I’d better not eat much fat if I don’t want to get bird flu or appendicitis.” They’re unable to differentiate between them, since all are simply cultural synonyms for dying in a nation full of people lacking in any understanding at all of what these things actually are or what causes them on the mundane physical level.
This is why Bush got elected, why evolution is getting booted out of classrooms, why companies prefer to outsource to India rather than hiring American graduates, why politicians lose thousands of people in hurricanes, and why Ford is going out of business due to cars that suck.
It’s because **Americans are stupid, woefully undereducated/miseducated (or is that ‘misundereducated’), and willfully ignorant.**