This article appeared in The Textbook Letter for March-April
1999. It accompanied a review of Sandra Stotsky's book
Losing Our Language: How Multicultural Classroom Instruction Is
Undermining Our Children's Ability to Read, Write, and Reason.
Losing Our Science
William J. Bennetta
In Losing Our Language, Sandra Stotsky makes this comment on
today's basal readers: "Stories about the great achievements in
American science, technology, and political life in the past 200
years are missing -- and they are missing, it seems, simply because
a story about them would call attention to a white male."
Such perversity isn't unique to basal readers. The falsification of
the history of science and technology can be seen in many other
schoolbooks, including multi-culti history books and multi-culti
science books. To the greatest practical extent, the writers shun
any mention of scientific and technological innovations, no matter
how important, if those innovations were achieved by white males.
When such innovations must be mentioned, they typically are
presented not as products of human effort but as things of unknown
origin -- things that simply appeared out of nowhere.
Concomitantly, the writers of multi-culti books contrive phony
material in which great scientific and technological feats are
ascribed to women, to blacks, or to Amerindians. For example:
- The writers of Addison-Wesley Life Science tried to make
a heroine out of a woman who, they claimed, had pioneered the use of
agar in microbiology. The writers presented this mundane matter as
one of the grand events in the history of biological science -- but
they manifestly didn't know what agar was or why it was useful. See
TTL for November-December 1990.
- The writers of Kendall/Hunt's Middle School Life Science
made George Washington Carver into an ecologist, so that they could
show two pictures of him in a unit about "Ecosystems and Ecology."
(Pictures play a major role in the promotion of multi-culti racial
and sexual stereotypes.) The Middle School Life Science
writers never said a word about Darwin, von Humboldt, Warming,
Forel, Lotka or any of the other white scientists who really did
study ecosystems and who made paramount contributions to ecology.
See the review of Middle School Life
Science in TTL for September-October 1992.
- Indeed, the writers of multi-culti textbooks have made George
Washington Carver into a clown -- a sort of minstrel-show Mistah Lab
Coat who regularly turns up in contrived, absurd situations. That's
too bad, because the real Carver was a man of considerable
accomplishment and wasn't ridiculous at all. To read about another
of Mistah Lab Coat's comical appearances, see the second review of
McDougal Littell's America's Past and Promise in TTL for
- Glencoe has dug up a black named Lewis Howard Latimer. You can
find a picture of him on page 683 of Glencoe Pre-Algebra,
along with a paragraph about his monumental contribution to modern
technology: He made the drawings that accompanied Alexander Graham
Bell's application for a patent on the telephone. (There is no
picture of Bell himself, nor any account of his work, nor any
attempt to glorify any draftsman who was white.)
- The writers of D.C. Heath's Physical Science: The Challenge
of Discovery concocted a story in which some Amerindians were
credited with inventing mechanical air-conditioning technology -- or
something like that. One couldn't really tell what the Indians had
allegedly invented, because Heath's story, like so much of the
nonsense contrived by multi-culti racists, was quite
incomprehensible. See "Down in the Mud with Mark A. Carle" in
TTL, July-August 1991.
- The writers of Addison-Wesley Environmental Science tried
to glorify an Indian superstition by declaring that it was "similar"
to scientific findings made by geologists. This was a lie. There
was no similarity at all. See "Addison-Wesley Attacks Again" in
TTL for November-December 1995.
- In all the multi-culti "American history" books, it seems, the
accounts of World War 2 tell how "Navajo code talkers," serving with
the United States Marines in the Pacific theatre, conveyed tactical
messages in their obscure language (which the Japanese could not
understand). Treating the Navajos as the cryptological stars of
the war, the books say nothing about the ingenious white men who
broke Japan's and Germany's military codes and obtained information
of supreme strategic importance, enabling the Allies to fashion
successful strategies in the Pacific and in Europe. Nowhere in
these books will you find an article about William Friedman or an
article about the brilliant cryptanalysts of Bletchley Park. You
won't even find an article on Joseph Rochefort and the breaking of
the Japanese naval code JN-25. (From intercepted JN-25 messages,
Rochefort discovered that the Japanese intended to attack Midway in
1942. This cryptanalytical stroke enabled American forces to
prevail at Midway and to break the back of the Japanese navy,
ensuring that Japan ultimately would be defeated -- but students
won't read about Rochefort's feat in any multi-culti schoolbook.
Rochefort was white.)
- The writers of Glencoe's Merrill Physical Science gave a
whole page to Alma Woodsey Thomas, a black painter. They didn't say
why an article about Thomas should appear in a science book, and
they didn't show examples of Thomas's work, but they displayed a big
picture of Thomas herself. See how black she was!
- "Gerty Theresa Cori (1896-1957)," says the heading on a
biographical article in Glencoe's Merrill Chemistry, and
above the heading there is a picture of the lady herself. Gerty
Cori was one of the winners of a Nobel Prize, awarded in 1947 -- and
the other winner was her husband and collaborator, Carl. Why
doesn't Carl's name appear in the heading? Why is there no picture
of him? Can anyone discern any practical difference between
Glencoe's tawdry trickery and plain lying?
These are only a few examples, but they suffice to show how some
schoolbook-writers, devoted to multi-culti indoctrination,
systematically promote illusory visions of the history of science
and technology. The writers ignore or misrepresent first-rate
scientific and technological achievements, they ignore or
misrepresent first-rate scientists and technologists, they project a
false impression of "science," loaded with glorified trifles and
irrelevant junk, and they contrive "science" that is wholly phony.
William J. Bennetta is a professional editor, a fellow of the
California Academy of Sciences, the president of The Textbook
League, and the editor of The Textbook Letter. He writes
often about the propagation of quackery, false "science" and false
"history" in schoolbooks.
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