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Texas Rejects Science Books With Too Much Science In Them
They have an obligation to keep children from annoying fossil fuel companies in the future.
After a week of heated debate, the Texas Board of Education has made its decisions on what science textbooks it will recommend for eighth graders in the coming school year. Given that it is Texas, a state with a vibrant history of textbook censorship and revisionism, it went about as well as expected.
Several books only received board approval on the condition that they make changes to their content involving “energy, fossil fuels, and evolution.” Specifically, one textbook was required to remove a picture showing humans and monkeys as having a common ancestor.
Of course, we do have a common ancestor, many of them in fact — the most recent one likely being the extremely adorable Pliobates cataloniae, which lived about 11 million years ago.
Alas, this does not go over too well with people who think the earth is only 6,000 years old and that the first humans were a pair of fully evolved, fig-leaf clad, evil apple eaters.
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Another book was banned because it included an exercise in which kids were supposed to write a story warning their friends and family members about climate change.
Republicans on the board specifically wanted books to be more warm and fuzzy about fossil fuels.
Some Republicans on the 15-member board this week waved off current textbook options as too negative toward fossil fuels and failing to include alternatives to evolution. One of Texas’ regulators of the oil and gas industry, Republican Wayne Christian, had urged the board to choose books promoting the importance of fossil fuels for energy promotion.
“America’s future generations don’t need a leftist agenda brainwashing them in the classroom to hate oil and natural gas,” Christian said in a statement following the vote.
Aaron Kinsey, a Republican board member and executive of an oil field services company in West Texas, voted to reject a personal finance textbook because of how it depicted the oil market. He also called a line describing energy conservation as necessary to achieve energy independence a “half truth.”
Yes, let’s definitely murder the planet and make children stupid so that these adult men don’t get their feelings hurt.
Here’s what I keep going back to with all of these idiotic bans — we no longer live in a world where people have to go out of their way, even remotely, to access information. They don’t have to go to a library, they don’t have to encounter a genius scientist on the street. They just have to look at their phones. These kids are going to find out about climate change eventually if they don’t know already, and they’ll also (probably) find out about how their schools purposely tried to hide that information from them. Heck! They might even hear about it now, while it’s happening, because it’s on the damned internet.
And do you know what people do when you tell them they are not allowed to know something, especially kids and teenagers? They look it up. They want to know everything. That is human nature. People are curious. That is why idiots like Bari Weiss try to frame their regular old bigotry as “forbidden knowledge” or whatever.
Sure, there’s a chance that some of those who are sheltered from the knowledge will never care and will grow up being the climate change deniers of the future. But the rest will be extra pissed off about having been lied to. They will have the fire of the converted and are much more likely to be a “problem” for fossil fuel companies and weird evangelicals who want to murder the planet for God in the future than people who were bored by the stuff in science class. (I’m sorry, totally #believescience but I will take waterboarding over ever having to sit through someone talk to me about rocks for three hours ever again. I can’t take it.)
I’d love to say that this means it’s a win for us, but it’s not. Because people who find out about things all at once and do have that fire of the converted are also liabilities because they don’t know what to believe and are therefore prone to believing misinformation. People who know for a fact they’ve been lied to about climate change, a real thing, are more vulnerable to believing they’ve been lied to about fluoride and chemtrails.
And kids who figure out they’ve been lied to about evolution are in danger of becoming the kind of atheists I have to apologize for all of the time.
I actually do understand that these people feel that pretending oil and fossil fuels are not going to murder the planet and that we plopped to the earth from the heavens fully formed will make the current world one they will personally enjoy more. But at some point they have to realize that this is a very hard thing to pull off in the information age, and that they can’t really stop kids or adults from finding out that climate change exists or that evolution happened. Or not. We’ll probably be sinking into the sea while they cry out “this has nothing to do with oil, stop being mean to oil!” as loud as they can manage without getting a mouthful of saltwater. America!