Save the Tree Octopus

This article is hilarious and it speaks to the sorry state of education today. The solution is NOT more “science and math” classes (which are talked about as if they’re academic messiahs), but the basics of a liberal education that teach critical thinking. I took one biology course in college, so I’m by no means an expert on octopi and couldn’t tell you about the variety of octopi that might live in the ocean. However, I was a Classics major and we learned to be careful readers of texts and to hunt down sources. If someone were to say that there is such a thing as a “Tree Octopus”, I would of course be skeptical, but I would also realize I have the resources available to find out the truth. This is an absurd example and most people with any sense wouldn’t believe it (I hope), but there are less extreme examples that get passed around on the internet all the time. Consider the “Zeitgeist” film that was produced a few years ago. Have you run into anyone that believes the things said in that movie? I have, plenty of times. Perhaps universities would do well to not rid themselves of programs that teach students to be critical thinkers.

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