2017’s Darwin Day Resolution in US Senate

A month ago we wrote 2017’s Darwin Day Resolution in Congress. That was about House Resolution 44 which was introduced into the US House of Representatives. All its 19 co-sponsors are Democrats.

Now our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) have just posted: Darwin Day resolution in the Senate. Here are some excerpts:

Senate Resolution 59, introduced in the United States Senate on February 10, 2017, would, if passed, express the Senate’s support of designating February 12, 2017, as Darwin Day, and its recognition of “Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge.”

We briefly looked at the text of the Senate resolution. It appears to be identical to the one in the House, which we gave you in our earlier post. NCSE continues:

Sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), S. Res. 59 is the third Darwin Day resolution ever to appear in the Senate.

Blumenthal’s resolution has only one co-sponsor so far, Christopher Murphy of Connecticut, and he too is a Democrat.

Republicans control both chambers of Congress, so neither resolution is likely to pass. But even when that wasn’t so, such resolutions never passed anyway.

We’re hoping for at least one Republican to co-sponsor one of these resolutions, so this isn’t a total embarrassment, but that doesn’t seem likely. The situation is absurd, because not every Republican is a creationist, and not every Democrat is a solid supporter of science — see Is Your Political Party Really Pro-Science?

Politicians in both parties, like the population as a whole, are mostly ignorant of science. They’re driven by ideology, and they support science only when it seems to justify the their party’s position on specific issues — like abortion, environmentalism, national defense, “social justice,” etc. Also, each party opposes the science that challenges its sacred ideology. The sad truth is that science in general has no political friends. All we have are temporarily convenient alliances — and depending on one’s science, we don’t have the same allies.

Unfortunately, many scientists are unaware of the motives of politicians, so they’ll support a party that seems to support their endeavors, while overlooking that party’s anti-scientific positions on other issues. The Darwin Day resolutions make the Republicans look like idiots. That’s their purpose. But tomorrow, when the issue is something like fracking or increasing the number of nuclear power plants, the positions of the parties will be reversed. So don’t be naïve, dear reader. Bear in mind that political parties are driven by ideology, not science.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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7 responses to “2017’s Darwin Day Resolution in US Senate

  1. Our Curmudgeon writes

    political parties are driven by ideology

    Only if “the desire to grab and retain power by any means possible” can be said to constitute an ‘ideology’–which I doubt.

  2. political parties are driven by ideology

    This may be true, but attention to science may be part of that ideology. You might want to think this through a bit.

    Essentially, you’re presenting the hoary old “They all do it, so I’m not going to acknowledge the gross defects among my ideological fellows because you lot are not entirely without blemish” argument.

    The boneheaded denial of climate science, a denial that is likely to cause hundreds of millions of deaths, maybe more, and quite possibly a civilizational collapse, is rooted smack-bang at the heart of the modern US Republican Party.

    Are the Democrats resistant to investment in nuclear power? Not so’s I’ve noticed, although I’m sure you could find examples. Are the Democrats resistant to fracking? Not nearly so much as they should be, bearing in mind the very genuine pollution problems and the fact that the last thing we want is yet more fossil fuel to burn. So where are all these other Democrat anti-science stances at which you vaguely gesticulate?

    I’m actually pretty critical of some of the Democrat attitudes toward science — for example, intimidated by Big Ag, the previous administration did sweet Fanny Adams about the abuse of antibiotics in the food industry — but the real heart and soul of US political antiscientism and science denial falls, alas, on one side of the aisle only.

    And it’s extremely misleading to kid ourselves otherwise.

  3. michaelfugate

    Meanwhile Klinghoffer is having a cow over an article about Betty DeVos in ProPublica. They just won’t believe that ID is not a form of creationism and that the DI doesn’t want ID taught – how could that be?

    The article by Annie Waldman even cites the DI’s own Westie:

    John West, vice president of the Discovery Institute, said that the implication that “critical thinking” is code for intelligent design is “ludicrous.”

    “Critical thinking is a pretty foundational idea supported by lots of people, not just us,” said West in an email, adding that he also thinks “critical thinking should apply to discussions of evolution.”

    Do Westie and Klinghoffer think critical thinking should apply to intelligent design? Maybe intuition should be applied, but not thought and certainly not critical thought. If it doesn’t feel like the earth is moving, then it probably isn’t actually moving.

  4. michaelfugate

    Here is Savvy Sarah on why criticism of evolution is not the same as ID:

    An argument for design requires making a positive case — starting with observations of what human designers create (specified complexity) and examinations of where we find specified complexity in nature.

    Paley is deader, much, much deader than Darwin. Evolution today is no longer the “Origin of Species”, but intelligent design remains just Paley – stumbling over the same metaphorical stones on the same metaphorical paths – and no more. ID is a Georgian anecdote, a feeble reply to Hume’s “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion”, a dead-end idea currently in the hands of philosophical, scientific and theological lightweights.

  5. There is much more wrong about ID than just being a Georgian anecdote. The analogy of a time-piece goes back as far as Cicero, and was a commonplace for 18th century deists.
    There is much more needed than arguing a positive case. There needs to be first of all a positive case to be argued for.
    Human designers are neither necessary nor sufficient for the production of objects. Designers are not sufficient, for there must also be the application of forces of nature on material subject to natural law to produce the result.

  6. ID/creationists get basic science dead wrong in every ID “theory” they have tried to push onto public education over the last 50 years. Is that a confluence of random stupidity, or is by design?

  7. Neither. It’s the inevitable result of a simple law: “Garbage in, garbage out.” Put in only a few “facts,” most of them wrong, and apply bogus reasoning to them, and out comes–well, in this case, ID.