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Politics

Our Legislature Needs to Evolve…

8:07 AM EST on March 6, 2009

homo_erectus1

We have our fair share of problems in Oklahoma.  Here are a few of them:

"¢ Poor Roads and Bridges

"¢ Poverty

"¢ Revenue shortfall

"¢ High teenage pregnancy rate

"¢ Lots and lots of people without health insurance

Knowing all that, I find it odd that the agenda of our Republican controlled legislature seems to be making sure that college students can bring guns to class and that corporations and insurance companies can get off the hook with some form of Corporate Immunity (aka "tort reform").  I also find it odd that they spend so much time trying to pass resolutions like this one that opposes a respected scientist from speaking about evolution:

STATE OF OKLAHOMA
1st Session of the 52nd Legislature (2009)
HOUSE RESOLUTION 1015
By: Thomsen todd.thomsen@okhouse.gov

AS INTRODUCED

< StartFT >A Resolution opposing the invitation to Richard Dawkins to speak on campus; encouraging the University of Oklahoma to engage in a certain discussion of certain scientific theories; and directing distribution.< EndFT >

WHEREAS, the University of Oklahoma is a publicly funded institution which should be open to all ideas and should train students in all disciplines of study and research and to use independent thinking and free inquiry; and

WHEREAS, the University of Oklahoma has planned a year-long celebration of the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of Darwin's theory of evolution, called the "Darwin 2009 Project", which includes a series of lectures, public speakers, and a course on the history of evolution; and

WHEREAS, the University of Oklahoma, as a part of the Darwin 2009 Project, has invited as a public speaker on campus, Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published opinions, as represented in his 2006 book "The God Delusion", and public statements on the theory of evolution demonstrate an intolerance for cultural diversity and diversity of thinking and are views that are not shared and are not representative of the thinking of a majority of the citizens of Oklahoma; and

WHEREAS, the invitation for Richard Dawkins to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma on Friday, March 6, 2009, will only serve to present a biased philosophy on the theory of evolution to the exclusion of all other divergent considerations rather than teaching a scientific concept.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 1ST SESSION OF THE 52ND OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE:

THAT the Oklahoma House of Representative strongly opposes the invitation to speak on the campus of the University of Oklahoma to Richard Dawkins of Oxford University, whose published statements on the theory of evolution and opinion about those who do not believe in the theory are contrary and offensive to the views and opinions of most citizens of Oklahoma.

THAT the Oklahoma House of Representatives encourages the University of Oklahoma to engage in an open, dignified, and fair discussion of the Darwinian theory of evolution and all other scientific theories which is the approach that a public institution should be engaged in and which represents the desire and interest of the citizens of Oklahoma.

THAT a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the University of Oklahoma, the Dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Oklahoma, and the Chair of the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma.

52-1-7275 < KB > < 03/03/09 >

Maybe I'm not the average Oklahoman, but I kind of like science.  I like that science has led to things like air conditioning, telescopes and even the internet.  I also like, and accept, that science has provided us insight into the origins of species and life through the theory of evolution.  I like it because it's good and fun to know about our history, and the biological history, of the world around us.  I also like how it's led to advancements in medical science, and protecting life around us.

What I don't like is that we live in a state where people only choose to accept or believe the parts of science that is convenient for them.  For example, they'll believe in the flu vaccine or sentencing someone to death based upon DNA evidence, but something like the theory of evolution, which is the basis of those and so many other scientific advancements, is considered irrelevant.  I also don't like it when they pass (or attempt to pass) resolutions condemning that science...especially when there are so many other things wrong with our state that they could be fixing.

Anyway, they guy who I guess lead the resolution above is Todd Thomsen, some fool from Ada.  If you want, send him an email (todd.thomsen@okhouse.gov) about his resolution.  Unless, of course, you don't believe in evolution because you lack opposable thumbs.

(Via RichardDawkins.net)

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