In case you missed it, an Idaho biology teacher was recently under scrutiny for the unforgivable act of saying the word “vagina” in a class on human reproduction. (To add insult to idiocy, or idiocy to insult, the superintendent says “It is highly unlikely it would end with his dismissal. Maybe a letter of reprimand from the school board.” WTF?)
Anyway, Frank Noschese has a physics-related commentary, in the form of a letter about part of the physics curriculum: Dear Parents. It’s not often I file things under both physics and satire. The section on “Giggle-inducing Scientific Terminology” is absolute gold.
I did get a grin, but more than anything, I feel such sadness and anger that the western world, of wealth, of incredible access to education, has large numbers of people wilfully embracing dark age ignorance, in the name of religion. I see what is happening around the world, and I feel despair.
In some ways, to feel a teacher feels he can write this, even lightheartedly, and know his frustration will be read and understood by so many, is really, really sad. Especially as the 70’s seemed to be promising so much openminded, openhearted interest in knowledge.
To not use the word vagina in human reproduction is as insane as not using equals in a maths class, or not allowing the word ‘the’ in English classes.