A little something for the weekend…..
Those of us that work with the general public know that while people are probably perfectly lucid, there also are some that are clearly utter blocks of wood above the neck. Case in point:
“Customer: “So, they eat special food just for guinea pigs?”
Me: “Yeah, there is a food that we sell that is specially customized to their needs, but you can also feed them rabbit food.”
Customer: “A guinea pig is a reptile, right?”
This is from the Website “The Customer is Not Always Right” which is funny, addictive, and often appalling. It’s similar to the Overheard sites. (This one, BTW, is from Michigan. And this one is for my sister the librarian.)
I meet people like this every day. BTW, Michigan State is now home to this guy, who studies scientific knowledge and society. From that profile:
“Dr. Miller’s data reveal some yawning gaps in basic knowledge. American adults in general do not understand what molecules are (other than that they are really small). Fewer than a third can identify DNA as a key to heredity. Only about 10 percent know what radiation is. One adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth, an idea science had abandoned by the 17th century.” [emphasis mine]
I was amazed when I first started teaching introductory biology at the college level at how many students could not explain correctly why we had seasons. Or night and day.