The GOP vs the seahorse

News stories about the GOP wanting to ban books on sea horses would be hilarious if it was not so sad, ignorant, and outright attack on human knowledge. The far-right group Moms For Liberty in Williamson County, Tennessee, is demanding schools censor books and subjects. The organization is offering to pay $500 for anyone who can catch teachers in New Hampshire discussing racism or sexism in school. And, they want to ban the book Sea Horse: The Shyest Fish in the Sea to be banned from being used in schools in Williamson County, Tennessee.

After seeing this story it occurred to me to think about how they will they react to books about fish that are sequential hermaphrodites (they can switch sex permanently at a specific point in their lives) or triploid salamanders, parthenogenic whiptail lizards, that are all female species.

The silliness of their views seem to be based on outdated ideas predicated on fundamentalist religious beliefs. The idea that humans knowing about nature is somehow offensive is itself offensive.

The male seahorse has evolved a brood pouch on the ventral side of its body. When mating, the female seahorse deposits her eggs in the male’s pouch. The male carries the eggs for 9 to 45 days until the hatchling seahorses emerge fully developed, but very small. The young are then released into the water.

Vertebrates species that have a high death rate in their young may evolve a reproductive strategy that allows the male to care for the young or eggs while the female uses her time to produce another clutch of eggs – increasing her chances of getting her genetic material and the genetic material of the male into the next generation.

My guess as to why the GOP/Christian fundamentalists find this offense is because of the role of the male in taking care of the young.

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