Supplemental Sunday Sermonette: State fossils
In honour of July 4th, I thought I'd take a moment to praise those states which have adopted official State fossils.
Unfortunately, as you can see below, only of American states have an official fossil:
So, I think we've come up with the perfect wedge issue for 2006 in Arkansas, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Texas--ballot initiatives to give these states their own official fossils. If they're going to rally their base with gay marriage, we've got to throw some red meat to the core atheist constituency.
Now, we just need to come up with a shortlist of official fossils. So, in order to do that, I'm holding an 4th of July "Fossils are Winners" Contest.
Write a blog post (or a comment) endorsing fossils for official-fossilless Sates. Explain why your favorite fossil species embodies the State spirit.
I'll announce the winners on July 4th.
Correction:PZ Myers of Pharyngula points out that, contrary to my earlier assertion, Minnesota does not have an official state fossil. There was a bill to make a giant beaver named after Ohio their state fossil, but for some reason the people didn't go for it. PZ suggests an alternative.
Clarification: Some people say that Hawaii is too young to have land fossils, but there's some disagreement on that score. If Hawaii can't have its own fossils, that's no reason not to consider adoption. Nominate a fossil that you think represents the spirit of Hawaii.