What is 2 + 2?

Here’s an amusing video about what happens when we stop caring about giving a fact-based education to kids.

Laugh away. The schools aren’t teaching that “22” is an acceptable answer to the problem of “2+2”, yet. We’ve still got people insisting that evolution is false, though, and trying to expunge it from the curriculum…as they’re succeeding in doing in Turkey.

When children in Turkey head back to school this fall, something will be missing from their textbooks: any mention of evolution.

The Turkish government is phasing in what it calls a values-based curriculum. Critics accuse Turkey’s president of pushing a more conservative, religious ideology — at the expense of young people’s education.

It’s just the start.

“Among scientists, of course, we feel very sorry and very, very worried for the country,” says Ali Alpar, an astrophysicist and president of Turkey’s Science Academy, an independent group that opposes the new curriculum. A Turkish association of biologists and teachers’ unions have also expressed concern about the new textbooks.

“It is not only evolution. Evolution is a test case. It is about rationality — about whether the curriculum should be built on whatever the government chooses to be the proper values,” Alpar says. He also objects to how the government has converted many secular public schools into religious ones — Turkey’s publicly funded Imam Hatip schools — in recent years.

Ha ha. It’s just Turkey, going backwards, right? The levels of creationist ignorance in the US are competitive with those of Turkey, you know, and we have government officials supporting this one ignorant person, Ken Ham, and his flock.

He goes on to say

The fake news is this article stating, “Babylonian tablet that describes the story of Noah and the Ark, widely believed to be the inspiration for the Biblical story.” The real event of the actual global Flood that did occur about 4300 years…ago as totally accurately recorded in the infallible Word of God in Genesis was the inspiration for the perverted (fake news) version now found in Babylonian (and other) records from cultures around the world.

That’s just as bad as trying to tell kids that “2+2=22”.


  1. kingoftown says

    Okay, so Galliformes is a created kind. So Ham can accept an accelerated form of evolution where we get capercaillies and quails from a single pair in (at most) a few thousand years yet finds them being related to ducks absurd…

    At least it’s not as bad as the bacteria kind.

  2. says

    Fortunately for the current Turkish government zombies don’t exist. If they did I suspect Ataturk would rise from the grave and begin to wreak havoc for their erosion of the secular character of Turkey’s government.

  3. DanDare says

    Theocrats getting any leeway in education is a serious step backward for all of us, no matter where in the world it is happening.

  4. nomdeplume says

    I’m always reluctant to use the word “evil”, but Ham and Erdogan are a couple of exceptions where the term is really appropriate.

  5. killyosaur says

    @colinday ya beat me to it

    I’d also add that 2 + ‘2’ = ’22’ in JavaScript but fuck JavaScript :P

  6. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    you know Ohio is now enforcing “religiously motivated” incorrect answers, on science tests, to be marked as correct. To get around requirement to teach evolution.

  7. cvoinescu says

    Loose typing is not very far from the attitude of the parents in that video. Add some more confusion about values and their representation, e.g. by conflating text and its encoding, and you open yourself to even more classes of errors and security holes. Intersperse presentation and functionality and run this server-side for even better results!

  8. zaledalen says

    Not funny at all. I’m tempted to say that this is a silly and paranoid overstatement of the problem, but most teachers would disagree with me.

  9. says

    @3, Yes, they got the ending wrong.
    If 2+2=22, then 2000+2000=20002000. They owe the teacher over $20 million.

    But let’s not get too smug. The way things are going, today’s farce will be tomorrow’s reality. 20 years ago people would have laughed in your face and called you a lunatic if you said that Trump would become president and then appoint a former coal lobbyist to run the EPA, someone with no training in education to run the Department of Education, undercut our allies while befriending dictators, and attempt to shake down a country for his benefit, all while receiving virtually unanimous support from every Republican in the House and Senate.

    We have come to the point where sane people start to think that they’ve been slipped acid on a continuing basis over the last 3 years because almost anything seems possible now, and not in a good way. What’s that? The GOP has been breeding a race of ravenous, giant wolverines that they will be sending to districts that didn’t vote for Trump and Fox News is claiming it’s just a method to help with “redistricting” in keeping with recent court rulings? Yeah. Could be. Then we’ll hear from a great number of media outlets concerning the “opinions on both sides of the aisle” concerning the “wolverine issue”. We’ll probably even hear a segment on NPR about whether or not it’s OK to train wild carnivores to eat certain registered voters. “Arguing in favor of the proposition, we have ….”

  10. kenfabian says

    This made me think of a song a musician friend used to sing called “It’s On” (by Don Henderson) – more a commentary on politics than religion, but –

    “How would it be if intellectuals, came to agreement through Queensbury rules?
    It could easily be argued the square root of four, is fifteen less three, plus a smack on the jaw,
    And It’s On, All reason and logic are gone,
    But winning the fight, won’t prove you are right,
    It’s sad, it’s true … and It’s On!”

  11. Kip Williams says

    Now I’m reminded of something I wrote a couple decades back when GW Bush was selling torture as the magic way of extracting the truth from any foe. I surmised that if this were so, then we should be dragging scientists and mathematicians from their homes and waterboarding them at secret facilities until they revealed to us the secrets of the universe.

    Naturally, there will be those who say we should coddle scientists and such, but the gain to society would be clear and immediate, far outweighing any damage we might be doing to some theoretical “soul” or “conscience” or “society.”

    Worried about falling into the Evil Dictator trap with these methods? Relax! Those guys always almost succeeded, and were only defeated and destroyed because they made one simple mistake. We’ll just avoid that mistake, and the world will be the better for it.