Thursday, April 07, 2011

Mathematics And Science - A "Waste Of Time"

Trent Lott, former US Senate Majority Leader (and, a Republican, but you can draw your own conclusion there), proudly declare that, for an lawyer-to-be, studying mathematics, science, and especially physics, is a ".... waste of my time, waste of my teacher's time and a waste of space... "

Which, of course, didn't preclude him from deciding if something is worth funding or not. That then calls into question on how he would decide such a thing if it is a science/technical field. Did he simply delegated it to his minions? Or did he not based on scientific/technical merits, but rather purely on political issues? This type of attitudes, and lack of knowledge, explains why there were really astoundingly silly actions that have taken place.

It is one thing to be ignorant of what you don't know. It is another to actually be PROUD of such ignorance. I am not surprised if a large percentage of current crop of politicians (Tea Party, anyone?) have equal view on science.



El Charro said...

In the country where I come from, the high school system consists of a total of 3 years. The first two, everyone takes the same classes, which include the foundations of math, physics and chemistry. The last year though, you go into a "major" oriented class (there are 4 categories: humanities, socioeconomic sciences, biological sciences and math/physics/chemistry/engineering) the aim of this being to prepare you for college. The guys in humanities share some courses with socioeconomics, socioeconomics shares some with MPCE, and MPCE shares some with the bio group. But each one of the groups takes certain classes that are unique to that area (for example, MPCE students are the only ones that take a technical drawing, anatomy is unique to bio, etc).

Once you get to college, if you are not a Science or Engineering major, you will not have to take any science courses at all. And if you are a Science or Engineering major, you do not have to take any history classes.

You might disagree with that education model, but from everything I've seen, when I compare graduates from my country to those in the US (by major that is), the ones from my country are significantly more prepared for either grad school or a job in their major/area.

Based on my experience, I have to agree with Lott in that 4 years of science and math, for someone who will not go into that field, is a waste of time, teacher's time and space (I am not saying not taking science classes at all is a good thing, just that 4 years is not needed).

And in college, unless you're majoring in a STEM major, you should not have to take science or engineering classes.

El Charro said...

I just put up a post on my blog on related to the last paragraph on my previous comment, in case you're interested.

Berserk Dad said...

What an idiot. I guess he is completely ignorant of the LSAT scores of hard science majors compared to liberal arts majors. You can see some of the numbers here:

Physics and Math are at the top (they were oddly lumped together). Where does the standard Pre-Law major sit? Yeah, second to last.