A Congressman Proposes National Darwin Day

Hood Mockingbird


 

An official resolution to commemorate the birth date of Charles Darwin has been proffered by Democratic Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) in concert with the American Humanists Association. Citing the British naturalist’s momentous contributions to human knowledge and the untold advances rushed in by his ideas, Rep. Holt has asked Congress to dedicate February 12, 2013 to the timeless icon.

Holt, only the second research physicist to hold Congressional office, commented in yesterday’s press release, “Only very rarely in human history has someone uncovered a fundamentally new way of thinking about the world – an insight so revolutionary that it has made possible further creative and explanatory thinking. Without Charles Darwin, our modern understandings of biology, ecology, genetics, and medicine would be utterly impossible, and our comprehension of the world around us would be vastly poorer. By recognizing Darwin Day, we can honor the importance of scientific thinking in our lives, and we can celebrate one of our greatest thinkers.”

Similar resolutions have appeared before Congress over the past decade, yet none has escaped the cutting room floor of the House. Pete Stark, another Democratic representative, lobbied for the same concession back in 2011, where it then lay dormant before a GOP-controlled House committee.

From a political vantage point, Holt’s overture might have more opportunistically been seized by the party beset with the graver image problem. The GOP have long regarded evolution science as their bête noire, and virtually all of this past election’s candidates held dissenting views on established science. A similar gesture originating from a member on the right could possibly have kickstarted a partisan-wide reformation, one focused on ensuring voters that it is more in touch with reality in contrast with the past election cycle.

For the moment, however, a GOP rebranding appears far from imminent, and Holt’s resolution, once again, seems dead on arrival. It now lies in the hands of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, occupied by Paul Broun (R-Ga.), who last October decried evolution and the big bang as “lies straight from the pit of Hell”. Moreover, the committee’s senior chair, Ralph Smith, rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, stating: “I’m really more fearful of freezing. And I don’t have any science to prove that. But we have a lot of science that tells us they’re not basing it on real scientific facts.” The views of the other GOP members on the committee are not well-advertised, which is itself a troubling sign.

One can scarcely hold back a chuckle, or perhaps a frightful shriek, upon making contact with the roller coaster of contradiction described here. To the outsider, such statements might seem to connote some warped version of reality or a rather low attempt at humor. Indeed, science denialists lining our science and intelligence committees sounds more like linguistic staccato than a faithful description of America’s leadership environment. Were Jefferson and his contemporaries alive at this moment, they might describe such a paradigm as symptomatic of collective psychosis.

And while all this political posturing and heel-digging prevails on Capitol Hill, America’s reputation continues to fall behind in the scientific arena. A greater percentage of its population rejects evolution compared with most other developed nations.

 

Evolution acceptance by country

Image via National Geographic

 

Darwin Day may seem like a trivial measure, but it could be a good step in lifting the mephitic stain of antiscience and scientific illiteracy long-effused by America. If you’d like to get involved, contact your representatives and urge them to cast their support for this resolution.


 

External link: HR-41: Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2013, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity

Feature image courtesy of kT LindSAy, a hood mockingbird indigenous to the famed Galapagos Islands.


 

TAGS:
  • Halt the Rush.The creed according to the fairies at the bottom of the Garden?
    Item
    1) 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;
    ”monumental amount of scientific evidence” exaggeration. Darwin did a job but he relied upon real palaeontologists (such as Sir Richard Owen) for specimen identifications.
    “logical and intellectually compelling” even its greatest proponent, T.Huxley, initially could not grasp it – and never did! –his Darwinism was a saltationary process in which nature makes leaps – perhaps in response to environmental demands. No explanation other than, ‘it just happens – obvious – and the main foundation is, Nature does the creating and Nature is the big operator!” As intellectually compelling as dust transmuting into lice and disease equalling bad blood which needs to be ‘let’! The majority of Darwin’s peers and research superiors from Owen to Kelvin and even including the statesman, D’Israeli, were confused, politely sceptical, or outright damning of the whole notion, as being fantastical and fabulous.
    2)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;
    “modern understanding of the science of genetics” Crick, of Watson & Crick (DNA) fame, abandoned Darwinism and went over to panspermia. He could at least recognize an information device when he saw one! Modern genetics has to do with information, information, and information. Darwin had no grounding either in the systematic scientific method, nor in even what was ‘modern’ genetics in his day! Official ‘modern genetics’ has been in denial and cover-up mode for a century – what people will do to cling to their religion! Owen, Darwin’s superior and advisor, was talking up information driven transformers and mastercodes before Darwin got published but of course information implies a source of information and only fairies are allowed by modern geneticists. Can fairies write computer codes? Ask certain modern geneticists.
    3)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
    “ingenuity exemplified by Darwin that has promoted new scientific discoveries” such as his re-statement of the old impossibilities in a novel manner – dust transmutation into lice, electricity the force of life, time the balm, the sinecure, the explanation for all impossibilities, wishing upon a star the source of everything.
    4)Whereas the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change;
    “science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming” by implication only those who are concerned about global warming are capable of contributing to science. Is this sciento-religious ethnic cleansing? This wipes modern mainstream science off the map! Modern geophysics is making major discoveries relating to climate (including the now proven link between Earth’s magnetic field and climate) and geologists are uncovering corroborating evidence. Global warming is probably happening for whatever reason but unless totalitarianism and Nature worship are to be the big winners, the facts are to be the big loser. Bring on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Communist Manifesto.
    Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, France
    Received 11 July 2006; received in revised form 19 October 2006; accepted 19 October 2006
    Editor: R.D. van der Hilst
    Available online 20 December 2006
    Abstract
    Understanding climate change is an active topic of research. Much of the observed increase in global surface temperature over the past 150 years occurred prior to the 1940s and after the 1980s. The main causes invoked are solar variability, changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas content or sulfur due to natural or anthropogenic action, or internal variability of the coupled ocean–atmosphere system. Magnetism has seldom been invoked, and evidence for connections between climate and magnetic field variations have received little attention. We review evidence for correlations which could suggest such (causal or non-causal) connections at various time scales (recent secular variation ~10–100 yr, historical and archeomagnetic change ~100–5000 yr, and excursions and reversals……..and attempt to suggest mechanisms. Evidence for correlations, which invoke Milankovic forcing in the core, either directly or through changes in ice distribution and moments of inertia of the Earth, is still tenuous. Correlation between decadal changes in amplitude of geomagnetic variations of external origin, solar irradiance and global temperature is stronger. It suggests that solar irradiance could have been a major forcing function of climate until the mid-1980s, when “anomalous” warming becomes apparent. The most intriguing feature may be the recently proposed archeomagnetic jerks, i.e. fairly abrupt (~100 yr long) geomagnetic field variations found at irregular intervals over the past few millennia, using the archeological record from Europe to theMiddle East. These seem to correlate with significant climatic events in the eastern North Atlantic region. A proposed mechanism involves variations in the geometry of the geomagnetic field (f.i. tilt of the dipole to lower latitudes), resulting in enhanced cosmic-ray induced nucleation of clouds. No forcing factor, be it changes in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere or changes in cosmic ray flux modulated by solar activity and geomagnetism, or possibly other factors, can at present be neglected or shown to be the overwhelming single driver of climate change in past centuries. Intensive data acquisition is required to further probe indications that the Earth’s and Sun’s magnetic fields may have significant bearing on climate change at certain time scales.

    For more information, feel free to Google search and have a glance at my (mainstream) geology publications. Terms such as, Climate Moderation Magnetic Field Sun Earth; Questions Arising Species Origin; Evolution Owen Darwin Quantum Computer Horse Sequence, may be useful. Darwin was an incidental aside and science has left him in antiquity. Some people can’t leave him alone for various mysterious reasons. Could it be because of his religion –whatever that was?

  • Philip Jan

    I cannot see myself ever supporting the Republican Party while they continue to pander to the religious and ignorant.