Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Not All Texans

Want to pick and choose their reality. As a result, they are able to discover some really neat things...From The Star-Telegram,
Amateur paleontologist Kris Howe, 34, was just doing what he learned as a 5-year-old from his father, a fossil collector. But his recent discovery is being hailed as one of the most significant in years.

On a fossil hunt near the dam spillway at Lake Grapevine, Howe happened upon four bones that two Dallas scientists say are the oldest bird fossils found in North America.
Painting all members of a group with the same brush is bigotry no matter how you cut it, whether it's positive (all fashion models are rich) or negative (all Texans are intellectual Neanderthals), and it pleases me to be able to point out an exciting scholarly achievement in that state.

That said, Texas, what the hail is your school board thinking? From The Onion,

Because of a belief that academia skews too far to the left, the Texas Board of Education voted 10 to 5 in favor of buying history and social studies textbooks that adhere to a more conservative ideology. Here are some of the changes they are mandating:

  • More focus on civic issues, particularly the separation of church and infidel
  • Discussion of the debate between liberal and conservative geologists about what constitutes an "igneous" rock
  • Expanded section on Latino contribution to American landscaping
  • Dividing number of Vietnamese civilian casualties by two due to their small stature
As you might guess, I'm particularly fond of the second point. But wait! There's more! If you click on the link above you can see the full list, not just the ones that cracked me up. Again, This shouldn't be taken as an indictment of Texas broadly, just the 2/3 of the Board of Education that voted in favor of cherry-picking reality (or imagination, as the case may be). Sorry, it doesn't work that way.


Bill Parker said...

The bird model is really cool. It's carved wood with brass claws. Looks totally real even from very close. It was made by a man who builds hunting decoys.

Mule Breath said...

Reference your commentary on Texas SBOE, Novella is a bit over the top (Neurologica), but not by much. We here in Texas have the BOE that we do because we keep voting that kind of politician into office. Not all Texans are so backwater, but certainly enough to guarantee an election win for neanderthal pols.

Steve does forward an excellent idea - create continuously updated school textbooks online and for free. Unfortunately, no matter how good the idea, it won't help Texas. By law all Texas public schools are required to use only SBOE approved texts.