Whilst reading about the sea waves current washing-up of a Sargassum species of seaweed which have ‘carpeted’ some of the isles beaches facing the Atlantic Ocean. I spotted an article inclusive of the Sargassum, but which went on to say that most isles folks were scientifically illiterate. And, shortly afterwards, I was informed that there was renewed scientific interest with regard to the ‘volcanic activity’ in the region – so, are a large percentage of folks in the region scientifically illiterate? Are some folks science explanations of their events within their paradise isles in need of scientific renewal? And who is responsible for this science renewal? Have some folks of the isles showings scientific signs of deficiency by their explanations?
My late grandmother was a planter of her gardens to put food in the pot for her family – hence, she planted a wide variety of crops from seeds or seedlings, and I would say, she had excellent agricultural knowledge in terms of the soil fertility – what was able to explain, what was able or not able to grow in certain parts of the land. I recall her saying, it is too damp or too dry, too much sun for particular crops etc. But, she would not have been able to explain this using scientific concepts such as photosynthesis, glucose etc, because of course, she did not receive any or much formal education. Her education of the land would have been informal, passed-down-word of mouth from her relatives and of course members of the extended community. However, I am sure the expert scientist would have had no qualms comprehending her layperson’s explanations. Although, she handled nutmeg and mace, of course, she would have lacked the chemistry to explain differences between the two crops! And that maybe one of the reasons why folks of the isles are seen as scientific illiterate - but that was my grandmother's era - what about now, the new generation with schooling of all subjects - are they able to converse about nutmeg and mace using scientific concepts?
So,when I was reading about the washed-up seaweed carpeting some beaches, I was able to apply a concept from my formal education - ‘density’, if the seaweed is floating on seawater, then the seaweed is less dense than than seawater, otherwise if it was more dense the seaweed would sink, partially half way down or all the way down to the seabed!
My Grandmother days of gardening or farming are well over, her children and her grandchildren have received varying degrees of formal education based on individual abilities. There was a time when most visitors to the isles reported back on the delight of seeing a galore of ‘well-dressed’ zealous looking schoolchildren on buses from and to school – and I ask the question – were most of them taught in a manner to put them in the ‘scientific illiteracy’ category? On the contrary, was my colonial education up to the age of eight years, geared to ensure that I excelled in the ‘English grammar’ literate category!
So, are most of the isles folk scientifically illiterate, this maybe in some of them inability to explain scientific/ecological matters or phenomenas relating to living on a ‘paradise isle’ – whilst the volcano has renewed its activity – are the isles folks able to explain the basics of this activity, however, maybe and just maybe without isles folks relying on their cultural passed-down ‘science' such as……. ‘people, say its being doing that for years’! And I suppose the scientist is listening, and saying 'doing what' and of course, the word 'bubbling','eruption' may not emerge from some of the isles folks lips.
Despite my scientific illiteracy post, just read online that the underwater volcanic activity has decreased - I wish all folks in the region the very best, knowing that wherever we live, at all times, we are all in the Hands of God!