An official Darwin Day? Yes, please

Rep. Pete Stark of Fremont, California has put forth a fantastic bill that is destined to die.

Stark, D-Fremont, introduced H. Res. 81 on Wednesday. It praises Darwin’s theory of evolution and the “monumental amount of scientific evidence he compiled to support it,” which “provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on earth.”

The resolution goes on to state that “the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change,” and that “the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States’ education systems.”

The bill would make February 12 an officially recognized day of celebration of Charles Darwin’s birth and life. There should be no doubt that I think this is a wonderful idea. Darwin was one of the greatest scientists of all time. His insight was obviously spectacular, his predictions were amazing, and his humility was admirable. Humanity owes him one.

Stark went on to explain his goals in submitting this bill.

Stark on Thursday explained he’s “just trying to get people to understand that we’re trying to get our kids to be scientists, were pushing for green jobs and green development, and you can’t stick your head in the sand and not recognize that we’re in a modern age. To get there, it seems to me, we have to understand that science is all part of what we’re doing.

“I’m sure there are people out there who’d say I’m the devil’s advocate, but I’ll give the devil as much chance as any god that people choose to deal with,” he said. “To say some unknown god up there in the stratosphere directs all of our lives and our development is naive.”

This is naturally irritating to conservatives. But when we’re talking about a bunch of people who almost universally came to their conclusions before they even considered reason, that isn’t surprising. It’s just too bad the anti-science forces in the U.S. are so strong. We’re missing a chance to honor a great person.

Thought of the day

The most common and annoying error I see when people talk about objective morality versus subjective morality is the bald assumption of “objective” in front of the word. Presumably the very topic at hand is to resolve or at least illuminate the differences between these two,distinct ideas of morality. By assuming “objective” in front of “morality”, a classic logical fallacy has been committed.

Happy Darwin Day

It’s the good man’s 202nd birthday.

It’s also Lincoln’s 202nd birthday. And he is an important and impressive figure. But not as important or as impressive as Darwin. Not by a long-shot.