I recently read that The National Science Foundation had done a study which found that 1 in 4 Americans did not know that the Earth revolves around the sun! Instead they thought that the opposite was true and that the sun revolves around the Earth. I admit, it was a little shocking at first. But after I had allowed enough time to pass, I was finally able to somewhat come to terms with this oddly alarming little “factoid”. OK, so maybe it was really the half bottle of red wine that allowed this information to go down a little easier. But whatever the case, I knew that this was something that I wasn’t going to simply ignore. How could I? The gauntlet had been thrown down at my feet. I knew I now had a new challenge in my life that wasn’t related to farming oranges. A secret mission (if you will), to make sure that everyone I know wasn’t a part of this 25% group, who didn’t know what the rest of us did about that whole “Earth-sun relationship”.
Like you, I have seen the “reporter on the street” type segment on the late night talk shows, where the reporter has a picture of someone, for example, The Vice President of the United States, and shows it to people walking by and asks them to identify the face. The big laughs of course come when the person on the street either misidentifies the person on the picture or has no clue who it is at all! Before, I would simply just shake my head and say…”wow, that’s pretty sad.” I also used to just make myself believe that these people just weren’t interested in things they probably should…like who the top people are that are running this country. But now with this whole “1 in 4 people” statistic, I can no longer just “let it go”. I believe that for us to survive as a species, we have to at least have a few basic principles about the world around us be understood by everyone (or at least more than 75%) in this “classroom of life”. I know some of you might just be thinking that this is rather silly to rant or even blog about, but in all seriousness, we need to start somewhere with a “back to basics” approach. I am almost afraid of what the statistics would be if The National Science Foundation were to ask people what direction the sun rises and sets. And NO, pointing in the general direction with your finger does not qualify as a legit answer. I guess the part that bothers me the most, is that these are not “Jeopardy level” questions we’re dealing with, but instead basic information that was known to people for hundreds, if not thousands of years (depending on who you believe had the knowledge first), without the benefit of today’s technology and education. I guess my hope was that even though we are living in 2014, and we still don’t have the flying cars that the cartoons of my childhood promised we would have by now, that at least all of us would be smart enough to "outwit", I don’t know... a caveman perhaps? Or maybe even someone living in the early 1500’s, before Copernicus revived the idea of the Earth revolving around the sun?
Well, for you “25%ers” out there, here is where you can take full advantage of a farmer’s good will who is eager here to help. I have outlined a few answers to some general questions that would be good to know for your own working knowledge. And as a bonus, the next time The National Science Foundation “comes a callin’”, you can dazzle them with your worldly knowledge. So if you’re ready, here we go...
1. The moon is not made of cheese.
2. Fire is hot and can burn you under the right conditions.
3. Water is generally wet and can be found in the ocean, lakes and rivers.
4. Money still doesn’t grow on trees.
5. Buffalo wings aren’t made with real buffalo.
6. The Kardashians will always be annoying.
And the bonus question…
7. The War of 1812 actually began in… 1812.
So there you are, some additional information that is sure to come in handy for those 1 in 4 people in America who didn’t know that the Earth goes around the sun. Too harsh? I don’t think so. Imagine what the world would look like if we just hit the ol reset button and started everyone off with some good, solid, basic knowledge of the world and began to work our way forward. Who knows, maybe if we did, there would have never have been any need for answer #6 above. Just a thought anyway.
As always, thank you for reading, and keep praying for California rain!
I’ll see you in the groves,