Archive for 19, July 2008


Posted in politcs, rankers with tags , , on 19, July 2008 by chockblock

I have an extensive science background. New Mexico Tech’s psychology department has several requirements for a degree that ground students int he hard sciences. We had to take several biology courses (general, cell bio, zoology, physiology) some killer chemistry and physics. The math nearly killed me. Calculus and statistics killed my brain. Years back students had to take REAL stats, instead of just using formulas they had to derive the formulas, then use them. Stats humble you, when you realize what goes into saying “a 20% chance of this” or “30% likelihood of that”.

The physiology course was set up as pre-med. The instructor was the department head of the school’s pre-med program. Sympathy? Us non-med wannabe’s got none. The labs had us doing dissections on live rats, turtles and frogs, Rat surgery and chemically testing our own urine. Yes we analyzed our own urine after drinking 5, 10, 15 and 20 percent salt solutions. I got the 15. It was no fun, but I learning how good the human kidneys are at filtering the blood. 🙂 We had many dropouts due to objections over dissection or GPA.

The point was not to drive students crazy, but to make sure that future doctors, psychologists and medical professionals would be held to the highest standards. My ad visor did pioneering work on vision during the 1950’s. His labs did not use high tech equipment, but the optical illusion lab was so cool that people would come in from other classes to see the illusions.

I have noticed an anti-science trend in the media and public discourse. Given my background that is heartbreaking. Evolution is attacked over and over again. As if teaching Central Dogma of Biology
would cause world decay. In the New York Times, Olivia Judson writes:
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