Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Morrie Ferkel was a Genius

I know that the Science is all wrong because Morrie Ferkel said it was. Morrie Ferkel was one of the Five Geniuses who ruled over Honors Algebra the year that Kennedy was assassinated. It was a wretched class. It gave me nightmares. I was lucky to 'C' the thing. (I learned 25 years later that our Algebra teacher had 'D'd' math himself, all through college. His degree was in something else.)

But Morrie and the Five Geniuses had a leg up on everybody else. They'd been privileged to special summer courses in advanced math...therefore they ruled the roost. Morrie, whose dad was a physician, is now a successful doctor of internal medicine, himself. We had lunch together some years ago, and one tale that he told me has stuck in my craw ever since.

Morrie and his wife had two daughters in junior high, at the time. But as of fifth grade, the girls had been yanked from school by their father, and Mom had been homeschooling them ever since. The reason: The schools were teaching them math that was, in Morrie's words, "just WRONG. Its BASIS is wrong."

It was scary. It was scary because Morrie Ferkel the Math Genius is also the reverse of a rebel. If there had been any way for him to remain within the conventions of respectability without harming his daughters, Morrie Ferkel would have found it before anybody else could.

My own daughter Amy is another case in point. The child throve on the sciences in high school; and she opted to major in Anatomy once she got to college. Yet after her first year at university level, she switched to Psych. Why? Whenever I asked what was wrong with the Science program, she
would invariably retort, "Oh Momm, they're just so...atheist!" She didn't mean it in a religious sense. What she meant was that her profs and fellow science majors were about as warm and wonderful as cold spaghetti for breakfast. CLAMMY terrain for a vibrant human with red blood running through its very healthy veins.

And so the American science community lost yet another bright star because that community was too emotionally underdeveloped to support full-blown human specimens. (It was the larger community's g
ain in the end, as the little brat's degree got her a post doing what she loves most, as Director of Dance Programs for a large urban non-profit.)

There are too many bloodless little noodles steering what we call 'modern science,' folks. This is NOT a comforting prospect for the fate of Life on Earth. Therefore I shall commence today with a most excellent weblog, one whose sole purpose is to heal all persons struggling to cope with a world ruled by Wrong Science.

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