There aren’t many things I can think of uglier than ignorance. Scientific ignorance, especially. I heard today that 10% of Britain thinks that it takes the Earth a month to go around the Sun. (Don’t quote me on that percentage, I may remember it wrong, but its something like that) That’s a very disappointing lack of knowledge, but it isn’t ignorance. Scientific ignorance is when you try to get our public schools to “teach the controversy:” evolution and intelligent design. I won’t go into my beef with creationism right now, it is fine-ish as an idea– but it is not science. Evolution has been peer-reviewed, using observations and experiments (usually observations, I’m sure) dealing with DNA and fossils and other things which are above my pay grade to explain. Intelligent design is just a bunch of people like “ya know, I think this is what happened.” Which is fine and dandy–but it is not science and it does not belong in my science classroom.
A lot of people don’t seem to like evolution because it is “just a theory,” failing to understand that a theory in science is very different from a theory in everyday conversation. Which, again, is only a lack of knowledge, not ignorance– until you try to argue that to people who do know what they’re talking about.
But, I can talk at more length about this later; this is about silver linings. While there is no doubt that ignorance at its current level is bad; I feel that it results in higher esteem being placed on those of intelligence. Such as myself. Just kidding. Like, say, Carl Sagan. I mean, of course people like him would be held in high esteem anyway, but I feel like they’re held higher as a result of the “escape from the ignorance of your peers” factor.
Or maybe not, who knows.