Am I partisan? When I’m forced to be.

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
July 18 2006 10:29 PM

Am I partisan? When I’m forced to be.

I have been accused in the comments of various posts here and in some emails of being partisan; in this case, anti-Republican. I can understand why some would think so of me, but it's a narrow view. The people in power in this government have made it quite clear they want to devastate if not outright destroy science in this country; their record is crystal clear on such topics as environmentalism, stem-cell research, medicine, and of course evolution. And the vast majority of these people in our government are Republicans.

Because I support science (you may read that as "reality" as you see fit), I am against a large portion of the Republican Congress' and the White House's stance on these and other issues. Is this partisan? Not necessarily. I do not take these stands because I am anti-Republican, I take them because I am against what's going on. The Republicans are doing it now, but if Democrats wish to make fools of themselves on the science issues I will take them on with gusto as well (as I have demonstrated).

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  


But then something like this comes along, and it's harder to defend my stance that I am non-partisan. The South Dakota Republican Party put together their resolutions for 2006, and when they opened their collective traps they issued forth this noisome proclamation:

Resolution 16:
WHEREAS, education on species origin is a vital aspect in the understanding of nature and the purpose of human life; and,
WHEREAS, evolution is a theory that is taught in public schools as fact and at the exclusion of all other theories; and
WHEREAS, the South Dakota Republican Party believes there are other plausible theories, including creationism;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the South Dakota Republican Party supports efforts to expand beyond evolution the knowledge, scope, and debate in public education on the theories of species origin.

You read that right: the South Dakota Republican party is officially endorsing creationism. Ignoring the obvious and profound violation of the Constitution this invokes, let me make something as clear as I can:

Science is not partisan. Science is reality. Evolution is science. Evolution is reality.

I can be even more clear.

Creationism is garbage. It's wrong, and is not reality. It is not science, and should not be treated as such.

I shake my head in shame that these things even need to be said, let alone spelled out clearly.

Want to accuse me of being partisan? Read that quoted passage again and give it a try. If I were a South Dakota Republican I'd be mighty embarrassed right about now that my party would say something as incredibly stupid as this. Hell, as a human being I'm embarrassed.

If you look at the URL for that proclamation ( you'll see that, ironically, the folder in which that proclamation sits is "gopfacts". Again, it's hard not to be partisan when a party makes creationism part of its official platform.

This should be a wake-up call not just to South Dakotans, but to all Republicans who watch aghast as their party is ripped apart by antiscience demagogues. You might want to consider getting your party back. The direction it's going in now is straight toward disaster.

Thanks to The Angry Astronomer for the tip. He has more detail about this fundamental stupidity on his blog.



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