Sad But True
Saturday, June 20, 2009 | Author: eventer79
If it seems so obvious that surely EVERYONE would know it...

They probably don't.

Facts don't really seem to factor in to many people's arguments. At all. I am constantly flabbergasted (isn't that a great word?) by the lack of excruciatingly basic biological literacy. I mean that stuff that 4th graders know. I used to teach university undergraduate biology labs and on a quiz, as a "gimme" question, I asked "What is a tadpole?" Not exactly rocket science. Answers included "A fish that hatches out of a frog egg and turns back into a frog later" and my very favourite, "A baby lizard."

*beats head against desk*

Why why why does this occur? How are adults so disconnected from the world? When glazed-over eyes fix on "Britney's Beach Cellulite Captured on Film" and the new primetime series "24 Hours Until The CSI Team Breaks Out Of Prison On A Lost Island", is all useful knowledge sucked out and vaporized???

True story: I was at the Kansas City Zoo (which contains some appallingly poor animal keeping practices by the way, never go there) watching a sea lion show. A sea lion was up on a rock, walking around and catching frisbees in its mouth (apparently zoo staff felt that sea lions were simply aquatic Border Collies?). Let me emphasize: walking around on a rock. A kid and mom walk up behind me and the kid says, "Wow, mom, what is that?" Mom says, "Dolphins, honey." *sound of my palm hitting my face* DOLPHINS CAN'T WALK, YOU IDIOT. God only knows how that poor child is going to get through life with an educational example like that.

Once again, Patrick McDonnell captures the phenomenon with his usual mix of laughter and poignant truth:

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2 comments:

On June 20, 2009 at 12:15 PM , Rose said...

My favorite zoo comment was at the New Orleans zoo where we were behind a mom with a stroller and her daughter, who was about 4. They clearly came often and the mom was leaning over a railing to look at the capybara. The daughter was whining and the mom said, "Sweetie, I just want to see the capybara for a minute. They're the world's largest rodents, you know." And the daughter gave a huuuuge sigh and said, "I know that, but I HATE CAPYBARA!" That was the best smart interaction I think I've ever seen and I think I HATE CAPYBARA all the time.

(I do read here every time you post, FYI. Thanks for linking to it on FB.)

 
On June 21, 2009 at 2:53 PM , eventer79 said...

AHAHAHAH -- the capybara never gets any love!