Stephen Colbert Skewers Texas GOP's Attack on Critical Thinking

Posted by Liz Dwyer

Stephen Colbert is back from vacation and he's taking on "the large Hadron Collider of denying science": Texas. Earlier this month the state's Republican party caused a dust-up when they stated in the education section of their 2012 platform that they "oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills," as well as "critical thinking skills" because they "focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority."

In his "The Word" segment (starting at about 1:10) Colbert points out that "the minds of our young people are being poisoned by knowledge and the source of this toxic cerebral sludge is our schools." Texas, says Colbert, is the bright spot in the universe, nobly attempting to save our children from gym class and evolution. He then goes on to hilariously blame Galileo's challenging the idea that the sun revolves around the earth for making critical thinking popular.

As for the Texas GOP, a spokesperson later claimed that including the language about critical thinking was a "mistake," but since the platform has already been approved, the language stays until 2014. Given that multiple sets of eyes read the document before it was printed, distributed, and voted on, it's hard to believe that no one caught such an egregious error. It makes you wonder, as Colbert asks, "Do you really think that would have been possible if anyone had been thinking critically?"