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For Darwin Day, Political Posturing in Arizona

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Darwin Day, February 12, will soon be here, and in addition to the usual celebrations we also see political posturing by some angling to take the “respectable” position on Darwin’s great contributions to science and humankind. Thus Arizona State Senator Andrew Sherwood (D-26) has introduced a resolution (Senate Resolution 1001) proclaiming “International Darwin Day in Arizona.” The resolution is as follows:

Whereas, February 12, 2016 is the 207th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin; and

Whereas, Charles Darwin is recognized for the discovery of natural selection as the mechanism by which biological evolution occurs; and

Whereas, Darwin’s discovery of natural selection continues to serve as the foundation for ongoing advances in science, health, philosophy, art, education and many other areas of modern life; and

Whereas, Darwin’s strength of character is evident in the great courage, wisdom and honesty required to explore and publish the findings supporting natural selection as the mechanism by which biological evolution occurs; and

Whereas, there is a consensus among the scientific community that Darwin made multigenerational, world‑class contributions to modern thought and that he belongs among the most influential scientific minds in history, including Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton; and

Whereas, the anniversary of Darwin’s birth is an appropriate day to celebrate and to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery and perpetual curiosity and the hunger for truth that contribute to the well‑being of all people; and

Whereas, the State of Arizona is rightfully proud of its commitment to growth in the biotechnology industry, scientific research and education, natural resource-based recreation and tourism, research hospitals, aeronautics and other areas made possible by ongoing innovation in the life sciences.

Therefore

Be it resolved by the Senate of the State of Arizona:

That the Members of the Senate proclaim February 12, 2016 as International Darwin Day in Arizona.

The good Senator seems to think that Darwin’s discovery of natural selection “as the mechanism by which evolution occurs” is just settled science. Well, I suppose among the Darwinist true believers it is, but someone might want to inform Sen. Sherwood that the concept of natural selection as the driving force of evolution has fallen on hard times of late.

Perhaps someone should send him a copy of Michael Denton’s new book Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis and for good measure Susan Mazur’s book The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry which reports on the serious doubts about evolution and natural selection expressed by several prominent evolutionary biologists.

It is encouraging to note that Sen. Sherwood introduced a similar bill last year that died in committee. Perhaps again this year cooler heads will prevail and the good citizens of Arizona won’t have to put up with a host of politically motivated activities promoting an idea that is on its way out.

Image: Arizona State Capitol and State Senate, by Adavyd (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.