The College Board announced last week that this years SAT reading scores were the “lowest on record.” In fact, their scores in math and writing also went down. E. D. Hirsch, Jr. pointed out that the problem is that, instead of having students actually, like, read, they are being taught how to do well on tests, with the ironic result that they are doing worse on tests. Pretty soon, people will be so brain dead, they will all become education majors, where grade inflation is apparently worse than in every other academic discipline. Then they will then proceed on into the intellectual wasteland called the “education establishment” where they will implement stupid ideas–like teaching kids how to take reading tests instead of actually having them read.

But the systematic dumbing down of a whole generation of children will have one good result: they won’t be able to read the Old Testament, which, unlike university education departments, says David Berlinski, “is the greatest repository of human knowledge and wisdom in the history of civilization, any time, any place.” Fortunately, nobody is testing for knowledge and wisdom anymore, so there’s no need to worry about it.

And if they could read, then they might venture to read the Times Atlas, where they would be told that that 15 percent of Greenland’s permanent ice cover has melted, a figure, the Times says, it got from the NSIDC (which stands for “None Such Is Da Case”), which says that “While mass loss in Greenland is significant, and accelerating, the loss of ice from Greenland is far less than the Times Atlas indicates,” giving us another instance of people who overstate the extent of global warming.

And then there’s people who won’t read. When literary critic Terry Eagleton accused atheist Richard Dawkin’s of concocting “vulgar caricatures of religious faith that would make a first-year theology student wince,” to which Dawkins responded that he didn’t need to read theologians. “To suggest he study theology seems akin to suggesting he study fairies,” says the New York Times. “I’ve had perfectly wonderful conversations with Anglican bishops, and I rather suspect if you asked in a candid moment, they’d say they don’t believe in the virgin birth,” he says.

I rather suspect that if you asked in a candid moment, many prominent atheists would say they do believe in the Virgin Birth. You didn’t read it here first.

originally published September 2011

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