34 thoughts on “Miss USA: the math question

  1. The popular youtube atheist ZOMGitscriss did a pretty good spoof as well, if you have a few minutes to check it out. The link is here:

  2. Very funny. Though, you know, I’m probably just as depressed by the fact that the US still *has* a Miss USA competition and that it seems to have some media traction as I am by the dumb answers most of them gave. Hmmm. Maybe the two things are linked?

      1. But is it on TV? Who would know what these people think? It’s the media traction that bemuses me, and *is* different in the two countries.

        1. Yes – if it is on it will be some obscure channel these days. The thing is as I comment the other day, if you look at their profiles there are many grauates & some scientists. I doubt evolution would be considered an issue at all. How strange that a country like the US that professes state neutrality regarding religion is in fact a semi-theocratic state!

    1. There’s nothing official about the Miss USA pageant, nor the Miss America pageant. They’re media inventions, like American Idol or Dancing with the Stars, so of course they get media traction. That’s their whole purpose.

  3. I think the schools should stop pushing government-mandated, so-called “algebraic laws”. I’m tired of eggheaded liberals indoctrinating our children into believing that the product of two negative numbers is positive. Have you ever even seen a negative number of apples? Negative numbers are a scheme made up to get kids used to the idea of deficit spending, and combining two negatives into a positive encourages immoral behavior.

    Students should be free to come to their own conclusions, guided by their parents and their churches, who should be able to teach children the algebra of their choice without having to compete with Big Math.

    1. You let us (i.e. dimwits like me) off the hook with your second paragraph. The first one by itself would have been insanely good satire.


    2. For example, We are always told that

      2 + 2 = 4

      But what happens if 2 is really really big. Then Orwell war right and

      2 + 2 = 5

      So why must we be taught your dogmatic view of the number 2?

    3. Besides, if you teach math in schools, next thing you know the terrorists will be out with their protractors and compasses – the weapons of math instruction.

  4. Briefly off topic : Jerry have you changed the appearance of this website? I so preffered the way it looked, it was elegant. Now with this white backgroung it is too bright.

  5. The Onion has a curiously similar item:

    COGDELL, GA—The Cogdell School Board banned the teaching of the controversial “Theory Of Math” in its schools Monday. “We are simply not confident of this mysterious process by which numbers turn, as if by magic, into other numbers,” board member Gus Reese said. “Those mathematicians are free to believe 3 times 4 equals 12, but that dun [sic] give them the right to force it on our children.” Under the new ruling, all math textbooks will carry a disclaimer noting that math is only one of many valid theories of number-manipulation


  6. Re: “Ms. Indiana”‘s comment.

    If I correctly recall, in 1896 an Indiana legislator submitted a bill to the state House decreeing that the value of Pi be exactly 3. It did not pass.

  7. If ignorance is bliss, these girls are blistered. The one that talked like Mickey Mantle, “Casey Stengle LEARNED me a lot about baseball, just like my dadddy LEARNED ME.” She better get some LARNIN if she expects tour the US but I reckon she will have someone with learning arrange her transportation. No wonder their answers to evolution were ridiculous, they don’t know what TAUGHT means in the question; should evolution be taught?

  8. Come to think of it, why is English taught in US schools? Especially as recent reports show that many people are against the teaching of foreign languages?

  9. The spoofs are funny, but don’t we all know beauty pageants are silly? A few insecure 19-year-olds wearing excessive make-up are a pretty easy target. So, why post these on this site, or PZ’s Pharyngula for that matter?

    Actually, on second thought, I don’t even find it funny, considering your next PRESIDENT and leader of your armed forces might be against teaching evolution, environmental protection, climate science, gun control, public health care, social security, global economic cooperation… and pretty much everything considered decent and self-evident in any other civilized country.

  10. This goes to one of the questions that I’ve always had. How do beliefs about evolution differ by states? I’ve never seen polling on the subject. My guess would be that belief in naturalistic evolution would be highest in the Northeast and Northwest, but I’d love to see actual data.

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