Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sign the Petition to Keep Right-Wing Texas Ideologues from putting Debunked Pseudoscience in Science Textbooks

Below is a copy of an email I received this morning about the hard right Texas Board of Education having an influence on science textbooks in Texas.  Don't normally do this as I get a lot of petitions to sign but in this case it is so important I chose to copy the complete email and post it on the blog. We cannot let the hard right affect our children's science education with pseudo science.  Haven't we had enough of the religious right theory that the earth is only 5,000 to 10,000 years old when science proves that to be false.  Where did they come up with all of their crap with no justification just pulling numbers out of thin air.  Guess they don't believe in carbon dating since they believe that man and dinosaurs roamed the earth together - can you say Flintones?

If you haven't heard, please take note that the hard right wants to change their science textbooks to . require the addition of religious pseudoscience when teaching subjects like biology.  That is bunk Many states follow Texas lead on textbooks knowing they have textbook committees in their schools but they have been taken over by the hard right along with the Texas School Board which others states may not realize.  Publisher needs told if Texas hard right get their way with changing science text books, then they will not be bought by their state.

In Oklahoma, the GOP Platform the other year wanted the Bible taught as a course in the public schools.  When the same people who wanted it taught were asked which Bible, there standard reply is "The Bible" -- can look at my bookcases and see several different versions.   We have the Revised Standard, King James, Holy Catholic Bible, New Jerusalem Bible,  Women's Devotional Bible, St Joseph edition of New American Bible and maybe a few more that my Mother had collected over the years.  Holy Catholic Bible was from my in-laws which has more chapters then the Revised Standard I grew up with.  There is no one Bible but the hard right have convinced themselves that there is which is mind boggling.

The same people who refuse to allow their children to go to natural history museums as they might be subjected to actual science, are also the same ones who declare there is only one Bible with every last word being true.  Now they want to put their ideas into science text books with no basis in fact.  These text books are to last for ten years.

My kids had one teacher in Texas who found the new Geometry textbook so bad when she looked at it, she went to the library, and pulled out the old ones to use.  That was brought to Texas students from the three conservatives on the Texas School Board who convinced enough others to buy the new textbook that was junk.  Then there was the classic American History book when we lived in Texas with over 3,000 mistakes and they said they couldn't correct them all, yet other states follow Texas' lead?  At least at that time they went to a different publisher - yet some states bought the bad textbooks and wanted the kids to correct them as they went along.  That is no way to handle textbooks.  That was minor compared to wanting to change science to something that is not proven but hard right and facts are not friends as we see with the Congress.

I signed the petition, will you?

The petition reads:
"Science textbooks should provide our children with the best and most broadly accepted science information — it is unacceptable to cave to right-wing politicians and include religious pseudoscience in your publications."
Dear Sharon,
The right-wing majority on the Texas State Board of Education wants to revise the state's standards for science textbooks to require the addition of religious pseudoscience when teaching subjects like biology. And this isn't just bad news for Texas schoolchildren, because the Texas standards will impact the textbooks used by millions of students nationwide.
The Texas State Board of Education recently invited a small group of people to review the biology textbooks that will be used for the next eight years, starting in 2014. But more than half of the reviewers are right-wing religious ideologues,1 some of whom are even skeptics of Darwin's theory of evolution — considered one of the most reliably established facts in science, and a central tenet of biology.2
The ultimate goal of these sham textbook reviews — and Texas Board of Education curriculum reform — is to enshrine right-wing ideology into Texas textbooks. What's worse, because of the scale of production of these textbooks, the dictates of the Texas State Board of Education will be included in textbooks used by millions of students in other states.
We can't let them get away with replacing long-accepted scientific principles with religious pseudoscience and propaganda.3
The most recent review of biology textbooks was a particularly egregious process considering the people who were invited to participate. Here are just a few of the reviewers who are listed in the Creation Science Hall of Fame as “Darwin Skeptics”4:
• Raymond Bohlin, a research fellow for an organization whose purpose is the promotion of “intelligent design” — a religious idea which seeks to cast doubt on evolution while circumventing the Supreme Court ruling that bars the teaching of “creation science” in public schools.5 
• Walter Bradley, who helped launch the "intelligent design” movement with a book he coauthored, titled The Mystery of Life's Origin. 
• Ide Trotter, a wealthy funder of anti-science organizations who has repeatedly participated in science textbook reviews advocating for the inclusion of scientifically discredited theories about the weaknesses of evolution.
Textbook publishers can refuse to make suggested changes, or pull out of the state's business altogether, just as publisher Holt, Rinehart and Winston did in 1994, when Texas requested over 400 revisions in five health textbooks — including the removal of toll-free phone numbers for teenage suicide prevention groups.6
We're not going to change the minds of some of the theocrats elected to the Texas State Board of Education. But we can pressure publishers not to compromise their science textbooks by caving to the board's unreasonable demands.
The final review of these textbooks won't happen until November, and these textbooks could be in classrooms for a decade. Now's the time to put pressure on textbook publishers to stop accepting this scientifically debunked information.
Tell textbook publishers to stand up to the Texas State Board of Education and only publish books that are based on sound, peer-reviewed science scholarship.
Thank you for standing up for science.

Jordan Krueger, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
1. Dan, "Alarm Bells Are Ringing: Creationists Get Influential Positions in Texas Science Textbook Review." Texas Freedom Network, July 30, 2013.
2. National Research Council. "
2. National Research Council. "
Science, Evolution, and Creationism." Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2008.
3. Gail Collins, "
3. Gail Collins, "
How Texas Inflicts Bad Textbooks on Us." The New York Review of Books, June 21, 2012.
4. Jenny Bergman, "
4. Jenny Bergman, "
Darwin Skeptics." Creation Science Hall of Fame.
5. [PDF] Barbara Forrest, "
5. [PDF] Barbara Forrest, "
Understanding the Intelligent Design Creationist Movement: Its True Nature and Goals." The Center for Inquiry, May, 2007.
6. Gail Collins, "
6. Gail Collins, "
How Texas Inflicts Bad Textbooks on Us." The New York Review of Books, June 21, 2012.

1 comment:

  1. I would sign the petition, but first I need to have the bumps on my head checked to see what my personality is for the day. Yep - that was once science, too.