COLLEGE STUDENTS LACK SCIENTIFIC LITERACY


Last week was one of lows and highs.  I went back to South Dakota to say my goodbyes to my sister. She passed away some 7 hours after I got to the hospital. The highs were the young people that gathered for the funeral.  Mainly grandchildren and other kin of my sister. The children ranged from grade school to Grad school to graduated and off to work.   After spending time with them, it seems clear that we will be putting our nation into good hands.

Some probably do not share my political philosophy, However, I am hopeful that Winston Churchill’s view of the stages of life will play out when he said,  “If you are young and not a liberal, you have no heart.  If you are growing old and are not a conservative, you have no brain.”

But brains they do have no mater their political philosophy.   And those that have thought about Climate Change have open minds.

After reading the result of a recent Michigan State study, which concluded that College Students lack scientific literacy, I wondered if there are college students or grads, unlike my Sister’s kin, that do not have open minds and need a little background to begin formulating their own opinion about climate change.

Quoting the MSU researchers:

The researchers assessed the fundamental science knowledge of more than 500 students at 13 U.S. colleges in courses ranging from introductory biology to advanced ecology.

Most students did not truly understand the processes that transform carbon. They failed to apply principles such as the conservation of matter, which holds that when something changes chemically or physically, the amount of matter at the end of the process needs to equal the amount at the beginning. (Matter doesn’t magically appear or disappear.)

Students trying to explain weight loss, for example, could not trace matter once it leaves the body; instead they used informal reasoning based on their personal experiences (such as the fat “melted away” or was “burned off”). In reality, the atoms in fat molecules leave the body (mostly through breathing) and enter the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and water.

Most students also incorrectly believe plants obtain their mass from the soil rather than primarily from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. “When you see a tree growing,” Anderson said, “it’s a lot easier to believe that tree is somehow coming out of the soil rather than the scientific reality that it’s coming out of the air.”

The oxygen we breathe is primarily released from plants when photosynthesis takes place breaking the CO2 molecule, recombining it with water to produce a sugar.  The excess oxygen from the photosynthesis reaction is now a waste product and expelled to the atmosphere.

The above Graph is a product of  Onimoto.com

Without atmospheric CO2, there would be no plants.  Without plants there would be no life on this planet.   It offends me when I read media articles that call CO2 a POLLUTANT.

Because the Researcher’s objective for this work is to gain acolytes to the Church of Man Made Global Warming, my next posting will be to show that CO2 is not a big factor in the Greenhouse effect.

To read the MSU press release click here.

cbdakota

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One response to “COLLEGE STUDENTS LACK SCIENTIFIC LITERACY

  1. Pingback: COLLEGE STUDENTS LACK SCIENTIFIC LITERACY?-Part2 | Climate Change Sanity

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