We’ve learned from our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) that there’s a Darwin Day resolution in Congress.
It’s House Resolution 81, introduced into the House by Representative Pete Stark of California. Here’s the text of his resolution, with a bit of bold font added by us for emphasis:
Whereas Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by the mechanism of natural selection, together with the monumental amount of scientific evidence he compiled to support it, provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth;
Whereas the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is further strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics;
Whereas it has been the human curiosity and ingenuity exemplified by Darwin that has promoted new scientific discoveries that have helped humanity solve many problems and improve living conditions;
Whereas the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change;
Whereas the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States’ education systems;
Whereas Charles Darwin is a worthy symbol of scientific advancement on which to focus and around which to build a global celebration of science and humanity intended to promote a common bond among all of Earth’s peoples; and
Whereas, February 12, 2011, is the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 1809 and would be an appropriate date to designate as Darwin Day: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) supports the designation of Darwin Day; and
(2) recognizes Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge.
NCSE’s post is very informative. It refers to an article in the San Jose Mercury News, but we won’t go there. That newspaper is owned by MediaNews, a client of Righthaven LLC. That’s the outfit that sues bloggers for excerpting their precious content.
This is a link to information about the status and progress of Stark’s resolution: Bill Summary & Status: H. Res. 81. Nothing’s happened since it was introduced on 09 February and referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Besides Stark, the matter has one cosponsor, Representative Ed Markey. Both Stark and Markey are Democrats. After those two, 16 more signed on as cosponsors; they’re listed here, but without party designations. The only names we recognize are Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Maxine Waters.
Perhaps your Curmudgeon has grown too cynical in your service, dear reader, but from the wording of Stark’s Resolution, it looks more like a ploy to annoy the Republicans than a serious attempt to honor Darwin. If so, it’s despicable to exploit Darwin in such a fashion, but maybe we’re wrong.
The House is controlled by Republicans, and if that party is sensitive to the lunacy of its creationist faction, the Resolution may die in committee. That would be embarrassing; and that’s what we suspect is the real purpose of this resolution. If it gets to the floor of the House for a vote, the results will be very interesting. If the Republicans go for the bait and end up looking like idiots, it will be their own fault.
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