As you've probably heard, the Texas Board of Education is in the process of picking new supplemental science materials that will be used to complement the state's outdated science textbooks. The state hopes you understand that it totally would have bought new textbooks, but it blew all the book money bribing companies to move to Texas. And yes, the state realizes that those companies will soon move back to Detroit and Cleveland once their CEOs realize that all the tax breaks in the world can't overcome a borderline illiterate workforce that thinks humans sprung from the earth's unsoiled vagina in 1924. But by the time that happens, Rick will already be president, so what does it matter?
Anyway, the supplemental stuff. A bunch of publishers have submitted prospective science standards, and a committee made recommendations to the board. But since the board has no obligation to adhere to those recommendations -- and since board chairwoman Barbara Cargill is a noted creationist flanked by five other "true conservative Christians" -- advocates of a more scientific approach to teaching science are worried the board could approve lessons that the committee didn't vouch for and that the public hasn't seen. Like, say, the ones from International Database, LLC.
The company has been tied to New Mexico's creationist community, says Joshua Rosenau, Programs and Policy Director for the National Center for Science Education, who will testify at Thursday's board meeting. The lessons submitted by I.D. -- whose initials just happen to also stand for Intelligent Design, as well as Indiscreet Dick-wads -- have the grammar prowess of a fourth-grade book report and the aesthetics of a middle schooler who just learned PowerPoint. And the content is clearly designed to slyly -- and sometimes not so slyly -- inject questions about scientists' findings, not only chipping away at evolution but also raising doubts about the causes of global warming.
But aren't the materials so inept that the board won't give them a second look?
"The creationist board members - there are six of them who are ptetty much straight up creationists -- are likely to do some weird stuff," Rosenau rells Unfair Park.
So, just in case, let's give a few of I.D.'s slides a look. That way, if you see your kids rolling them off the home-office inkjet next semester, you'll be sure to have a lighter handy.