Sunday, August 24, 2008

In China, It's About More Then Sports

As the 2008 Olympics draws to a close, I believe that something important has been accomplished, and it has little to do with sports. Thanks to the extensive TV coverage, average Americans have been given their first in-depth look at the country that will pass the U.S. to be the dominant nation in the 21st century. The Chinese people are willing to work, both smart and hard, to make this happen, and this applies most of all to the young Chinese people.

Those tiny little Chinese female gymnasts do much more than lie about their age and win gold medals. They also study biology, chemistry and physics. These studies are mandatory for 100% of the high school students in China, while in the U.S. 18% of our high schoolers are willing to tackle the sciences. The young Chinese idolize Bill Gates. The young Americans idolize Miley Cyrus. Educated predictions say that by 2020, 90% of the world’s scientists and engineers will be working at their trade in China and India. The prestigious American scientific universities such as MIT have been heavily attended by Chinese and Indian students for decades now, but in the past, most of those students stayed on and built their careers in the United States. But now, most all of them go back to Asia.

You might ask why everyone in high school needs to study the sciences. After all, not everyone can go on to be a scientist. I believe, and this is just my personal opinion, that such a curriculum is necessary for a person who wants to be truly intelligent about the modern world. We live in a scientific world, and scientific ignorance is a recipe for failure in such a world. If you want an example of this, look no farther than the millions of people who listen to Rush Limbaugh tell them that oil doesn’t necessarily come from decayed prehistoric plants, and they believe it “because Rush said it.” With Limbaugh working on our side, the Chinese have a huge advantage given to them in their quest to be number one. But that’s just my opinion.

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