The deleted text notes that 45% of Americans in 2008 answered true to the statement, "Human beings, as we know them today, developed from earlier species of animals." The figure is similar to previous years and much lower than in Japan (78%), Europe (70%), China (69%), and South Korea (64%). The same gap exists for the response to a second statement, "The universe began with a big explosion," with which only 33% of Americans agreed. [...]
"Discussing American science literacy without mentioning evolution is intellectual malpractice" that "downplays the controversy" over teaching evolution in schools, says Joshua Rosenau of the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit that has fought to keep creationism out of the science classroom. [...]
Miller, the scientific literacy researcher, believes that removing the entire section was a clumsy attempt to hide a national embarrassment. "Nobody likes our infant death rate," he says by way of comparison, "but it doesn't go away if you quit talking about it."
Suggestions include: "Vagoogle. iVag. Vag-eyes-na. My Eyes Are Down Here. The Brazilian Potato. The Seeing Eye Muffin."
Recently, "Keep Pot Illegal" bumper stickers have been seen on cars around the county. In chat rooms and on blogs, anonymous writers predict that tobacco companies will crush small farmers and take marijuana production to the Central Valley. With legalization, if residents don't act, "we're going to be ruined," said Anna Hamilton, a radio host in southern Humboldt County.
Humboldt State economists guess that marijuana accounts for between $500 million and $700 million of the county's $3.6 billion economy.
Legalization could take many forms. But the conventional wisdom here is that fully legal weed might fetch no more than a few hundred dollars a pound, as more people grow it and police no longer pull up millions of plants a year.
Illegal marijuana "is the government's best agricultural price-support program ever," said Gerald Myers, a retired engineer and former volunteer fire chief who moved to the county in 1970. "If they ever want to help the wheat farmers, make wheat illegal." [...] Talk of legalization raises a question: Is Humboldt's competitive advantage in growing pot, or in growing pot illegally?