And the US wonders why lots of people don’t trust them..

The USA  has been a cornacopia of invention and culture.

its research into science has not only given us the atom bomb but also put men on the moon, helped map the human genome, created the internet and built some of the best and some of the worst examples of architecture. When you talk of technological brilliance, american uni’s such as Berkley and MIT stand proud.

And yet we have reports like this…

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/us-scientists-defend-darwin-from-attacks-on-evolution-20090213-86u7.html

It makes me laugh as JerseyDemocrat had a go at Dirk after we all slammed a website that Dirk found that was pretty much filed with racist and sexist diatribe. it seems that JD felt we had wronged the american people by judging them by that website.

Well JD here’s the fact, in the majority of the world the majority of people believe in evolution. In the US this is not the case and it seems that more people believe in creationism than evolution. Me? i’d be embarassed.

*EDIT* On a similarish sort of tangentm, anyone else see the game for sale on ebay that basically is set around raping girls?

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2009/02/13/1234028271469.html

Apparently it’s not offensive in Japan..along with butchering cetaceans i suppose.

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40 Responses to “And the US wonders why lots of people don’t trust them..”

  1. Nautilus Says:

    Hey Chaz, check out Dr Yobbo’s discussion of the same topic.

    http://dryobbo.blogspot.com/

    As I said over there, I used to be a creationist until I remembered I am God and I am too fuckin’ lazy to create anything.

  2. chazfh Says:

    Thats what i like about you mate so modest, just like H!!

  3. BigBadAl Says:

    He’s not God… Just a very naughty boy!

  4. havock21 Says:

    OH YOU have got to fucking Kidding me, Hang on, I gotta take another dose of pills, I’ll be back

  5. LERMONTOV Says:

    It is a funny old world! As Naut mentions, Dr Y has an excellent post on the subject. I’d agree that the majority of the developed world believes in evolution – I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say that it is believed by the majority of the world. But, that is neither here nor there.

    The US is certainly an amazing country. And as much as they can be ridiculed (as can we all), I would have to say that the highest concentration of highly educated people in all the coutries that I’ve travelled in (and I’ve been to a few) was in the North Eastern United States. Nowhere else comes close IMHO.

  6. Flinthart Says:

    Eh. The Yanks really, really don’t like it when you notice their country isn’t perfect. Reason is simple, and I speak here as a born-and-bred Yank who got some perspective by moving away. America is the most propaganda-driven country I’ve ever been to.

    Admittedly, I’ve never been through Soviet Russia, but I’ve gone through Indonesia and Malaysia, and honestly, the degree of indoctrination is nothing compared to what you grow up with in the US.

    To this day, US schoolkids begin the day with the Pledge:

    “I pledge allegiance to the flag
    Of the United States of America
    And to the republic for which it stands
    One nation under God, indivisible
    With liberty and justice for all.”

    I can still remember it, thirty-six years after the event. Every fucking morning at school, facing that flag, hand over your heart.

    You don’t learn history. You learn American history. You learn about the Founding Fathers, and the Revolutionary War, and you learn how America has basically saved the world a dozen times over. You learn that TV was invented by Philo T Farnsworth (no mention of Logie or Zworykin), you lean that Henry Ford brought cars to the world, that Thomas Edison invented pretty much everything else (and who the hell is this Tesla guy?).

    You learn that America is the biggest, the best, the brightest, the onliest country in all the world. And so when some cheeky bastard from the opposite side of the planet dares to suggest there’s a possibility that the US of A might have room for improvement — why, you don’t consider his heathenish thoughts for a moment. Instead, you go on the attack to defend the Red White and Blue exactly as you’ve been taught to do every day of your life.

    Forgive them, Chaz. It’s not easy to think your way past that kind of upbringing. Slow and gentle is the way…

  7. Therbs Says:

    The U.S. is a wonderfullly contrasted country. Brilliance and boneheadedness walk side by side.
    But remember that in times of doubt the best religion ever to come out of America is there to see us through. The Flying Spaghetti Monster.
    http://www.venganza.org

  8. Jennicki Says:

    Ouch, FH.

  9. bangarrr Says:

    Of course evolution doesn’t exist the world isn’t old enough, only 6,000 years or so 😉

  10. Dr Yobbo Says:

    Twice as many Seppos (threw that in for PNB in case he’s lurking) believe in angels than believe in evolution.

    Fact.

    Now, not to state the bleeding haemorraghing convulsing obvious, but which of those do you think we might be able to provide scientific evidence in support of?

  11. Dr Yobbo Says:

    Actually I did like the comment in the SMH story from Eugenie Scott, pointing out the sheer persistence of the Creationist/ID virus is basically a case of biological adaptation in a social evolution context.

  12. chazfh Says:

    jen, don’t worry we still love you.

    Lerm believe me evolution is recognised almost everywhere..except in Alabama..

    I just can’t my head around the fact that the country that has the most advanced military in the world has a huge amount of it’s inhabitants believing in creationism and the literal truth of the bible.. that just scares me.

  13. havock21 Says:

    does anybody know what percentage of the US population has been overseas, and not in a military capacity.

    Flints, hell the whole thing has me thinking. Its almost isolationist type mindset, but we know that not try of all the population.

    What you are alluding to chaz, when coupled with perhaps a shortcoming of external events, history and behaviour, mean that when they are required to reaction or deal with external events, their view and hence reaction is out of step.????????. I think.

  14. maggsworld Says:

    I reckon we should make jenn an honorary aussie sheila?? That old chestnut has been doing the rounds… and I didn;t know that Naut was a dog. …wait he DID say Dog – didn;t he??? *perks** did I read naughty boy ? All right, who is up for a bit of punishment??

  15. Flinthart Says:

    Look – individually, I’ve met tons of Usanians who command my highest respect. But as a culture and society, there’s no way to be really diplomatic about it: Usanians are taught from the ground up that USA is the center of all things.

    Jen: the average Australian is lucky if he or she can actually sing all the words of the first (short) verse of our anthem. And the Brits, now — they can usually sing their anthem, but since it consists largely of a short request to God to preserve the monarch, it’s hardly a challenge.

    But I have to admit: “Aussie Aussie Aussie! Oi oi oi!” at the sports gets pretty boring.

  16. chazfh Says:

    Maggs only if you’ve got a latex suit :))

  17. chazfh Says:

    always got waltzing matlilda!!

  18. afrankangle Says:

    Chazfh … please remember not all Americans are conservative/fundamental Christians … Although they are a vocal group and one believing they speak for everyone, they realy don’t.

  19. Jennicki Says:

    I would love to be an honorary sheila. ;D

  20. jennicki Says:

    I realize we have crazy extremists living here in the States. Of course creationism is a laughably stupid concept.

    I just get tired of people picking the craziest of the bunch as the perspective in which to view American citizens. It’s not fair to judge as a whole by our weakest point, is it? And if it is, then it’s only fair all countries should be judged that way, right?

  21. afrankangle Says:

    Given that kangaroos are best associated with Australia, I’d like some Aussie views on my post … hope you visit.
    http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2009/02/13/on-supersonic-kangaroos/

  22. Cartguyforever Says:

    I must say, as an American I find this post rather disappointing. I’m sorry to hear you say that most people in America believe in creationism. That isn’t true. Yes, there are religious fundamentalists and the like in America but they’re everywhere. And while I firmly believe evolution is nothing short of scientific fact, I don’t begrudge someone in America endorsing creationism if they so choose. And that is the point, ultimately, of democratic countries, right? The right to choose?

    Someone on here alluded to Americans and how much they travel. While I don’t know the numbers off hand, I have read them before and Americans travel far less than, at the very least, Europeans.

    America has made many mistakes in its past and will definitely make more in the future. This past decade we abused and used a lot of the world, and for that I am truly sorry. So, while I see your post as not constructive criticism of America (more like taking shots), I can say we deserve them. We have fallen short, though I think the election of Obama speaks volumes to where we are headed.

    It’s a shame some of you Australians, a nation full of people I have nothing but respect for, are willing to brush America into one broad stroke and generalize. The average American is kind, considerate, and peaceful. Yes, there are Americans who don’t fit this description but that can be said for any nation.

    It’s unfair to say most Americans believe in creationism and that they think America can do no wrong. I wouldn’t claim – upon reading a mayor of one Australian town called for ugly women to invade the town due to lack of females – most Australians to be misogynists because I know it’s not true.

    I’m sad to see that courtesy hasn’t been extended in return.

  23. abefrellman Says:

    We have our fair share of whackjobs here too, Chazman.

  24. NowhereBob Says:

    You’re not doubting the existance of angels are you?

  25. LERMONTOV Says:

    @ Cartguy – don’t look at the SMH as anything more than left wing drivel. It is certainly not a reflection of how most literate Australians view the USA. You mention that your nation has made mistakes – so have all. Yet, if one was forced to choose a global hegemon from between any of the great powers of today – I and nearly every other Australian would choose the USA. It certainly wouldn’t be China, Russia, India or the EU.

    Chaz – as for most of the world’s population believing in Evolution. The majority of Hindu’s, the majority of Muslims and a fair smattering of Christians all reject it. I reckon you’d get pretty close to half the world there.

  26. chazfh Says:

    Cartguy: my point is that it’s worrying that over 40% of americans allegeldy believe creationism to be the truth. Thats a very significant part of the population. I’ve never said that all americans were like this. But can you see why many political groups around the world worry esp as almost all presidents wrap themselves in religious clothes (despite an official seperation of church and state)

    Abe:point taken but they don’t form nearly 50% of our population.

    Lerm:Okay..as evolution is accepted by the catholic church, and by the vast majority of chinese, russians ( both thanks to scientific socialism) and europeans. probably many people from SE Asia. i recoken we’re looking at a minimum of 60% of the earth pop whio have received more than rudimentary education. Statistically speaking thats most of the world!! Shouldn’t you be ursing either a black eye or a hangover?

    NB the only angels i belive in are the ones I see after my third glass of absinthe

  27. maggsworld Says:

    Hey Jenn, I am all for you being an honorary and in truth arseholes are not limited to one country, race, religion etc…( have you notieced I am avoiding the evolution versus creation debate? Too many dinner parties where I started arguments with that one…and the other good one was public versus private education..*w*

  28. Domesitc Daze Says:

    I am more concerned with how one treats another over their personal beliefs. As long as I am treated the way I treat others, with respect, then really what is the problem.

    Australian, American, or Englishman. I may not agree with your opinion. But I will defend your right to an opinion to the death.

  29. afrankangle Says:

    Lerm & Chaz …. hold on there.
    1) I recently saw a poll where 40% in the UK don’t believe evolution.

    2) Just the Catholics? I think not … most Christianity demoninations DO accept evolution.

    3) I’m not sold on your comments about Muslims/Islam either … as I think they do.

    http://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/on-darwins-200th-birthday/

  30. Cartguyforever Says:

    Among England’s youth, 47% believe Richard the Lionheart was fictional. One-in-five believe Winston Churchill never existed. Sixty-five percent believe King Arthur was real. Fifty-eight percent believe Sherlock Holmes was real. Fifty-one percent believe Robin Hood existed, and 47% believe Eleanor Rigby, a Beatle’s lyrics, to be real. Seventy-seven percent admitted they don’t read historical books.

  31. maggsworld Says:

    If we lump all the animists, hindus, buddhists and muslims (some are more scientific in their way of structuring belief so you may lose some percentage points there….together who decidedly don’t believe in evolution I think and suspect it is greater than 60%.

  32. JerseyDemocrat Says:

    I don’t have any problem with people criticizing the US. I happen to do it myself all the time. I do have a problem when it’s done in an arrogant, dishonest, hypocritical fashion like that DickFlinthart guy did. For example, I find it laughable that any australian would lecture anyone about race relations. Your country’s treatment of it’s indigenous people is/was no different than the US’s histroy, you restricted non-white immigration for decades and you currently herd immigrants into concentration camps. I’ll also note that while Australians have a derogatory term for Americans (Seppo), we don’t have one for them. But *Americans* are the arrogant ones, right? Right. Get a grip and pull your head out of your ass – slowly.

  33. Damian Says:

    JerseyDemocrat, it’s somewhat that you appear to be trying to counter criticism of the USA with hollow stereotypical generalisations that themselves have far less foundation, and are far less considerate of their target than the criticisms you dislike. You appear to have missed that most folks here, Flinthart included, make quite nuanced statements that try to take into account that not all Americans are like the extreme examples. You make no such effort yourself, and rely on information you clearly haven’t been in a position to examine in great detail to make your case.

    In a way this goes to show that a “facts and dates” approach to history teaching is inadequate. The points you make here really need to be placed in context:

    1) Most western countries, including the USA, had laws substantially similar to what we called the White Australia Policy, and over a similar period. Perhaps we make a bigger deal over having that in our history than others, but in any case it certainly wasn’t unique. As an example, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Act_of_1924.

    2) As a small European outpost, early 20th century Australia had a very real fear of losing its cultural identity under mass immigration from its geographical neighbors that, while misguided, was certainly informed by other than simply racist motives.

    3) European settlement has been an as yet unmitigated disaster for Australian aboriginal people, that’s quite true. America’s was perhaps a bloodier experience since larger populations were involved, but you’re right in that the current situation is appalling in both countries. I think at the moment we’re slightly ahead on reconciliation however.

    4) Australia takes more immigrants than the USA as a proportion of its population, though not as many as Canada. It’s only illegals and asylum seekers that we lock up, and I agree that their treatment is appalling. However, this also isn’t unique to Australia – most western countries including the USA detain people in those categories. The USA has a much larger population of illegal immigrants in the general population, but also no shortage of detention facilities for them – there is a list at http://www.ice.gov/pi/dro/facilities.htm

    5) Australia takes roughly the same number of refugees in proportion to its population as the USA. My view is that we could and should take a lot more, but there isn’t any special laxity on our part there either. If you like you can check the figures on the UNHCR’s website.

    6) You probably won’t understand this, but “Seppo” isn’t actually derogatory. Most Australians learned that apparently Australians are into rhyming slang from Americans – I can think of one series of children’s books where I first encountered this proposition. This means that when it is being deployed, there is already at least one layer of irony at work, and choosing the most unlikely examples adds another. There’s a third layer in the glib appropriateness of picking an object that is full of shit, since accusing your protagonist of having this property is a popular debating tactic here. If anything, a term with so much irony can only be used affectionately, much as words like “bastard” and “bugger” (as a noun) are used. But you probably won’t get that without rather deeper cultural immersion. Anyway if you stand this sort of thing up against the sort of blithe hostility you’ve shown, I can say pretty confidently which is uglier.

    7) You appear to be saying that discussing US culture and criticising aspects of it is something that we here have no right to do both because we aren’t Americans, and especially because we’re Australian and we Aussies are all racists or something. Hard to top that for arrogance, but thinking things through I do think most Australians do look down a little on the USA. My post-WWII-refugee mother in law often talks about how grateful she is to have ended up here rather than there, and in fact many who did subsequently moved here. It is unquestionably the nicer place to live, but that doesn’t belittle what the USA has achieved. It’s hard from this distance to communicate how central to Australian culture US culture actually is, and that when we criticise it it’s partly because to that extent it’s also our own.

  34. Cartguyforever Says:

    Damian, well thought out post but I have to disagree with some of it. While JerseyDemocrat’s post was out of line, I feel yours involves some of the same pride as his but spelled out in a polite manner.

    “It (Australia) is unquestionably the nicer place to live.”

    Really? I’d say that’s a matter of opinion, and while I have never been to Australia I have no doubt it’s a fantastic place. I would say that living in America and living in Australia both have pros and cons, and both are very nice places to live. And I think that can be backed up by the immigration rates of both countries.

    This isn’t a pissing match. I’m pretty dismayed at the pro-USA, pro-Australia comments on both sides.

  35. Domesitc Daze Says:

    I agree Cartguy. What stopped me sleeping last night was this. While this little hissy fit is going on, our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, extended family and friends are in another country fighting a war with no real end. Both Australia and USA have people there. I doubt very much they are all standing around having the same type of arguements.

  36. yankeedog Says:

    I’m kind of with some of the folks here. We have our share of whackjobs here. In addition we have expanded the quotas so we have extra whackjobs.

    And while I do respect Mr Flinthart’s views and the way he presents them, I do feel the need at times to gently remind him that some of the same things he points out about us can be found in his adopted land as well. It has been my experience that the reception I get to pointing this out is similar to the reception he gets when we get a shot across the bow. Tells me that Australian and American ethos, history, and culture are more parallel than either side wants to admit.

    I don’t mind having our shortcomings exposed. But don’t act like the US is the only place those shortcomings exist. No worries, though. We explain that concept enough, and it will start to soak in… 🙂

    As for evolution, well, if you want to believe everything came from the hand of God, that’s your right. Most of the evidence would indicate that modern life developed otherwise, but, hey, whatever floats the boat.

    Although if you look at the some of the features humans have (snotty nose right above the mouth, reproductive organs near the waste excretion, or ‘playgrounds near the sewers’, if you prefer), perhaps one could make the case that humans were, in fact, the ‘Friday afternoon right before punch-out’ project.

  37. Damian Says:

    Cartguy: I was juxtaposing Australia’s “livability” with America’s “greatness”. I agree it’s a terrible generalisation, but it’s a reasonably common assumption that there tradeoffs to make between “big and successful” and “comfortable and relaxed”. Perhaps it’s a little cheeky of me slipping that in, but it is in a section where I’m exploring my own assumptions and “Australian arrogance”, and while I haven’t really properly flagged it as such, did mean that to be taken as subjective.

    Immigration isn’t such a reliable indicator here, a place’s attractiveness isn’t the same as livability. Australia’s per capita rate is higher than the US’s but obviously much smaller in absolute terms. There are livability studies performed here and there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World%27s_Most_Livable_Cities

  38. Cartguyforever Says:

    Domestic Daze: I agree with you 100%.

    Damian: Yes, I agree that immigration isn’t the best indicator. It was an example that both countries are places people desire to live, and I’m sure both places are great places to live. For example, as a person living in Michigan, I would rather live in Australia than suffer through Michigan’s terrible winters.

  39. Damian Says:

    Cartguy: totally with you about winters. Moved back to Brisbane after living in Canberra for some years, with a “never again” attitude to cold 🙂

  40. chazfh Says:

    Nice to see you all playing nicely whilst i was studying over the weekend. I think some pretty balanced comments here (with one exception)

    Fortunately I can repsond to the issues about education which afrankangle and Cartguy have raised. The issues with british kids thinking Richard I was fictional is purely down to poor education in aschools andf i have to say a pretty anti-intellectual media bias where dumbing down tends now to be the order of the day.

    there is a world of differance between this and certain churchs and religio-political groups pushing a line that says the bible is the literal truth and the world is only about 6 or 7 thousand years old and wanting this taught as ‘fact’. now we have the same sort of people over here in Oz and in the UK and also i would hasten to say that it is my undertastanding (and I could be wrong here) that this whole literal bible culture is not only limited to backers of the GOP but also certain churches you’d more associate with the Democrats. So we’re not justy talking about right wing christian nut jobs here but left wing ones too.

    Look in the end I’m a diehard secularist. I am also a life scientist by training so to me creationism and Intelligent design is pure fantasy put about by ignorant people. I am ashamed that education in the Uk has been dumbed down so that kids don’t know their own history or can’t read, however I’d be incadescent if i found someone was trying to push this pap in a science class.

    JD just take a pill. No country is pure and innocent. using the old ‘as your country has abused it’s indigenous populations human rights means you can’t talk to us about how we have treated ours’ is just schoolground talk. Adults only here please.

    But thank you all for the comments, whilst not up to JB’s standard this is pretty good for me.

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