The historian of the first Chinese Emperor, Shi Huangdi, Sima Qian left behind many memorable quotes. One of them involved the time Shi attempted to silence voices of dissent, those that contradicted the official government view propagated across the land: The First Emperor collected up and got rid of the songs, the documents, and the sayings of the Hundred Schools in order to make the people ignorant. This was done so that no one could use the past to criticize the present.”
“[It] represented a brazen attempt to obliterate the past and restart it beginning with the Qin.” –Gregory S. Aldrete, ###, via Lecture 22 on the Great Courses, The Teaching Company.
What is it with the attempt of conservative, religious right politicians with their attempt to obliterate science and replace it with their atheological, albeit ideological, stances on science?
“The purpose of this bill is to allow people to question and challenge certain ideas rather than saying ‘This is the way it is,'” Baxley said. “We pursue all kinds of diversity but then we are like, ‘Don’t dare question anything that is set science,’ and the whole pursuit of science, for example, is pursue everything. There was a time in science that the world was flat.”
Senator Baxley is not alone in what he is trying to do. Before calling him out, let’s take a look at his background.
His Form 6 disclosures over his years in the Florida House and Senate state that he is another millionaire whose years of public service are accompanied by a falling net worth. You can see the first one here and work the link to see the rest.
While his net worth falls across six years of financial disclosures, after a couple years, he reports owning a second home in addition to a vacation residence. That second home is in Dunnellon–a long way from Tallahassee but not too far from his primary residence in Ocala.
His reported income in the Hiers-Baxley Funeral Home disappears after two filings. Did he sell his ownership stake? Pass it on to family? Or was he only drawing income from a family business owned by others? We cannot assume, but it does give an insight into his background.
Beyond the strange inclusion of a pronunciation guide to compound last names that he included in his latest Form 6, GOT also sees several forms mentioning his inclusion on a Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys. GOT presumes his appointment to the Council is because the law establishing it requires two members of the senate and house to be on it–one from each political party.
GOT would like to pursue this angle to the story, it is February, but let’s get back to the purpose of this post.
Why do the members of the Florida legislature try to micromanage curriculum in our public schools?!
Conservatives pushing a particular viewpoint, flattering themselves it is spiritual, religious, and theological when in reality it is only ideological, are trying to shut down anything they think challenges their ideas or worse their status in society.
Why mandate foolishness, Dennis Baxley? Climate change is real. We can debate the causes and how much each cause is contributing to the change in earth’s climate, but only a fool denies the evidence. The polar ice is melting, the oceans are warming as they absorb the heat, and we are experiencing more extremes in weather as the years move along.
No one can obliterate science despite the attempts to silence scholars, journalists, and scientists. Shi Huangdi failed in his attempt to silence those whose historical viewpoints were a counterpoint to his rule.
So too will the arguments of climate change denial fail. Legislate away, Senator Baxley, but when Florida is covered by the sea, neither of your two homes will be of use unless you can breathe underwater.