Oklahoma, Dawkins and book learnin' an' such

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Snuckles
Oklahoma, Dawkins and book learnin' an' such

According to the [url=http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2009/03/oklahoma_hates_richard_dawkins.php]T... from Kansas blog[/url], Oklahoma legislator Todd Thomsen has introduced [url=http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2009-10bills/HB/HR1015_hflr.rtf]a resolution[/url] condemning the University of Oklahoma for inviting Richard Dawkins to speak on campus.  Below is the text of the resolution:

 

Quote:
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.

Snuckles

Apparently there was [url=http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/2009-10HB/HR1014_int.rtf]a draft version[/url] of the resolution:

 

Quote:
1st Session of the 52nd Legislature (2009)

HOUSE
RESOLUTION 1014 By: Thomsen

AS INTRODUCED

A Resolution expressing disapproval of the actions of the University of Oklahoma to indoctrinate students in the theory of evolution; opposing the invitation to Richard Dawkins to speak on campus; and directing distribution.

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, not indoctrinate students in one-sided study and thinking; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma has, as evidenced on the departmental homepage, been framing the Darwinian theory of evolution as doctrinal dogmatism rather than a hypothetical construction within the disciplines of the sciences; and

WHEREAS, not only has the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma been engaged in one-sided indoctrination of an unproven and unpopular theory but has made an effort to brand all thinking in dissent of this theory as anti-intellectual and backward rather than nurturing such free thinking and allowing a free discussion of all ideas which is the primary purpose of a university; 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 controversial 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 further the indoctrination engaged in by the Department of Zoology at the University of Oklahoma by presenting 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 Representatives hereby expresses its disapproval of the current indoctrination of the Darwinian theory of evolution at the University of Oklahoma and further requests that an open, dignified, and fair discussion of this idea and all other ideas be engaged in on campus 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 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 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.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

There's some discussion of this idiocy over at RichardDawkins.net.  Check it out ...  http://richarddawkins.net/article,3641,n,n

 

And  yes, Oklahoma has regular people too. See "Oklahomans for Excellence in Science Education" ...  http://oklascience.org/

Sven Sven's picture

Well, any nutcase can introduce resolutions like that.  The question is: Did the resolution actually pass?

Of course, even one person wanting to introduce a resolution like that is discouraging.  But, if there are a majority of legislators wanting it, then it's a disouragement of a much different magnitude.

I saw Dawkins speak here two nights ago.  It was excellent.  The lecture was sponsored by an on-campus student group called "Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists".  They mentioned before the lecture (to a packed auditorium of about 4,000 people) that the event was the largest student-sponsored event of the school year.  Now, that was encouraging!

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:

America is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether, a survey published Monday found....

Seventy-five percent of Americans call themselves Christian, according to the American Religious Identification Survey from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1990, the figure was 86 percent.

William Donohue, president of the Catholic League said he thinks a radical shift towards individualism over the last quarter-century has a lot to do it....

At the same time there has been an increase in the number of people expressing no religious affiliation.

[url=CNN[/url]">http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/wayoflife/03/09/us.religion.less.christia...

Sven Sven's picture

We can pop open a bottle of champagne when that percentage dips below 50%, M. Spector.  But, alas, I will probably not live long enough to see that happen.  Nevertheless, I'm confident it will eventually happen.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

George Victor

Illinois legislators (not to be outdone in their down home chauvinism) have passed a bill that states, the designation of "planet" will be restored to Pluto each moment it passes directrly above Illinoian air space, a billion or two kilometres out there.

Oh, yes, the reason...it was someone from Illinois who first identified Pluto out there in space in (1930?), and whose work should not be diminished by those in the scientific community who say it isn't big enough for planetary status.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

George Victor wrote:

..it was someone from Illinois who first identified Pluto out there in space in (1930?)....

That would be [url=Clyde">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clyde_Tombaugh][u]Clyde Tombaugh[/url].

The real kicker here is that Pluto never passes directly over Illinois airspace! 

George Victor

"The real kicker here is that Pluto never passes directly over Illinois airspace! "

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But, but..you realize what this does for the credibility of Illinois'  legislators!

Do you think that American lawmakers are showing signs of desperation in a search for safe subjects to debate, are trying to mollify voters concerns, with a public shaken by the recent failures of both god and mammon?