August 03, 2005
The Growing Obsolescence of My Education
Posted by Christine Hurt

I suppose it is to be expected in a world of new discoveries, but half the things I learned in high school are proving to be wrong.  This whole "Pluto is not a planet" thing has inspired me to start a list.  "Things That Were Facts But Are Now Not."  As I take my children to museums and read the plaques on the exhibits, I seem more and more ignorant. 

1.  Our solar system had nine planets, including Pluto.

Enough said.

2.  We don't know why the dinosaurs disappeared, but it may have been due to climatological change, the smallness of their brains, or some other crackpot theory like a giant asteroid.

Apparently, the asteroid theory that was presented with such disdain twenty years ago has won, according to the Milwaukee Public Museum.

3.  The Rosenbergs were innocent people who were executed wrongly.

Apparently, according to the International Spy Museum, they were proven as spies sometime in the 1990s.

4.  Alger Hiss was framed.

OK, that probably wasn't considered a fact then, but my extremely liberal U.S. history teacher sort of made it sound like that.  Or, it could have been that in the movie she showed us, Whitaker Chambers was sweating all the time.  He looked like he was lying to me.  Again, the Spy Museum people say he was a spy.

Does anyone else have any examples so that I can catch up to the 12th grade level?

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