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Quinta-feira, 22 de Dezembro de 2005


«All over the world there are enormous numbers of smart, even gifted, people who harbor a passion for science. But that passion is unrequited. Surveys suggest that some 95 percent of Americans are "scientifically illiterate." (...)
Every generation worries that educational standards are decaying. (..) Twenty-four hundred years ago, the aging and grumpy Plato, in Book VII of the Laws, gave his definition of scientific illiteracy:
Who is unable to count one, two, three, or to distinguish odd from even numbers, or is unable to count at all, or reckon night and day, and who is totally unacquainted with the revolution of the Sun and Moon, and the other stars... All freemen, I conceive, should learn as much of these branches of knowledge as every child in Egypt is taught when he learns the alphabet. In that country arithmetical games have been invented or the use of mere children, which they learn as pleasure and amusement... I ... have late in life heard with amazement of our ignorance in these matters; to me we appear to be more like pigs than men, and I am quite ashamed, not only of myself, but of all Greeks.
I don't know to what extent ignorance of science and mathematics contributed to the decline of ancient Athens, but I know that the consequences of scientific illiteracy are far more dangerous in our time than in any that has come before. (...)
How can we affect national policy—or even make intelligent decisions in our own lives —if we don't grasp the underlying issues?»

The Demon-Haunted World
Science as a Candle in the Dark
Carl Sagan, 1997

publicado por Ana Teresa Fernandes às 09:44

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