Texas State Board of Education member Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, is crowing about the state’s new science standards in her April edition of The Cargill Connection (an e-mail newsletter). Ms. Cargill is thrilled that the standards require that students learn “all sides” of scientific evidence regarding evolution. She and other creationists on the board have made it clear they will use that standard to pressure publishers to include phony, long-discredited arguments against evolution in new science textbooks up for adoption in Texas in 2011.
Then Ms. Cargill notes a series of her amendments to the standards that the board approved:
I labored for months seeking input from science educators and experts before offering over twenty amendments for the elementary TEKS. All of these passed! Our young students will study the planets (they had been omitted), experiment with simple machines like pulleys, and make predictions using weather maps.
What?!? Those evil, liberal, education-establishment heathens! Why, they were even trying to HIDE THE EXISTENCE OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM’S PLANETS FROM OUR KIDS!
Good grief. Did Ms. Cargill honestly think students wouldn’t be learning about the planets in their science classrooms? Really? Yes, we can almost hear the publishers: “Teaching about the planets is just sooo boring. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. A lot of them are just gassy blobs anyway. What else is there to say? So we figured science teachers wouldn’t notice or particularly care if we left them out of the textbooks.”
Thankfully, Ms. Cargill rode to the rescue. Of course, she also succeeded in eliminating from the standards the scientific consensus that the universe is nearly 14 billion years old. So kids will learn about the planets but better not ask how old they are.