In defense of a nation

I've visited several forts as I've moved across the country. Indian
wars forts, civil war forts, and now comes the war of 1812 forts, like
the one on Savannah, Georgia.

I've been past so many modern forts (army bases really, but they name
them Fort xxx by convention) and airbases and naval air stations and
navy bases that I've lost count. But after the recent release of the
results of education testing in American schools which suggests that
only 1 in 5 school leavers rates as even 'proficient' in their
understanding of science.

Why? Some are blaming the 'No child left behind' policy of the federal
government here, which emphasizes the teaching English and math, but
not science. But the real question which far fewer are asking is why
science was left off the program.

And the answer, as usual, is religion.

In a country where science is forced to defend itself at it's most
basic level to 'unbelievers', mostly right wing southerners with their
hands on their bibles and heads in the sand about how the natural
world (among other things), science is placed in a position where it
has to prove it's value, method and the truth of it's results.

The problem is not that science is questioned, but rather, that the
standard or proof required by the kind of people who literally believe
that there were dinosaurs on Noah's Ark (no exaggeration) is infinite,
and thus unobtainable. Its hard to use reason to compete with a
ridiculously fictional, if partly apocryphalic text.

This is not an item of small importance. It's the education of a
generation who are left unschooled in science and free to be preyed
upon by fundamentalist religion, the most notable version of which
down here in the south is the frighteningly neo-dark-age cult which is
the southern baptists.

I've seen people fight and die for religion. It's as pathetic as it is
scary. But having seen, first hand, the direction the southern states
are going in, I foresee either another American civil war, a religious
one where the religious south splits away from the (hopefully more)
rational north, or a movement of the US into an even mire
fundamentalist Christian country - an altogether more frightening
thought, and one that I hope not to see in my lifetime.

Partly, that's because I'm not sure that it wouldn't make them our enemy.

Img 1. They're still practicing for the next civil war.
Img 2. An impregnable fort which fell in 2 days during the civil war,
thanks to new tech - rifled artillery and still has the scars to prove
it. All that orange on the right is repair - the US artillery punched
a hole right through the wall.
Img 3. Looking forward to getting home for real food.
Img 4. This fellah visited my campsite.
Img 5. These fellahs did not... At least as far as I noticed.