The Revisionaries is a 2012 documentary film about the Texas State Board of Education and its recent battles over science and U.S. history curricula. Director Scott Thurman explores the intersection of politics, religion and science as seen through the school board debates, spending considerable time with school board member, full-time dentist and conservative Christian Don McLeroy.
Thurman gives fair time to all sides of the debate and presents a largely impartial account of the issues. Although I wished he would have provided a more in-depth examination of the issues themselves, that wasn’t the focus of the film. This movie isn’t about evolution, it’s about the politics of educating our children. Who decides what makes it into textbooks? And more importantly, what reasons do they have for making those decisions?
If you’re at all interested in the current debate regarding teaching evolution in public schools, then you should see this film. If you’re not interested in the debate, then you must see this film. What is decided by a handful of individuals on the Texas school board has repercussions for the educational system of the entire United States that will reverberate for years to come.
Part of me was enormously saddened and disturbed by the discussions that take place over the teaching of the “theory” of evolution. Why can’t we move past this? Will we ever be able to come to an agreement on what should be a straightforward, uncontroversial topic? We don’t still debate the flatness of the earth or geocentrism or the “theory” of gravity, so maybe there is hope. For now, however, the state of the “debate” regarding the teaching of evolution remains bleak. But don’t take my word for it, watch the film.