My company has been very generous in providing me with all kinds of training in highly sophisticated computational technologies. I’ve attended numerous training seminars, primarily in the areas of finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics.

These three- to five-day courses are universally incredibly intensive, and it is assumed that the attendee has a thorough background in mathematics (integral and differential calculus, and differential equations), a complete understanding of basic physics (e.g., F=ma, so that the mathematical engine of the FEA or CFD solver can process the input), and experience with command-line Unix or Linux operating systems.

In my experience attending these training courses I am struck by the fact that I am almost always among the very few who are American-born scientists and engineers.

The explanation is clear to me: Science standards in the U.S. have been dumbed down.

Here’s the kicker: Two of the most obvious dumbing-down engines of “science” education are Darwinian orthodoxy and political correctness, which place unsubstantiated speculation ahead of evidence and reasonable skeptical inquiry.

This places indoctrination ahead of critical thought and academic rigor, and when polluted with unearned and undeserved self-esteem (another disastrous politically correct notion), produces a vast majority of students who will never be able to attend an FEA or CFD course and have the slightest idea what is going on.