Delaware Issues Darwin Day Proclamation

Hemant has a cool post about Gov. Jac Markell of Delaware issuing a great proclamation honoring Charles Darwin on the occasion of his birthday for his enormous contributions to modern science. Cue the freakout from the Christian right in 3…2…1. Here’s the proclamation:


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  • lancifer

    Cool. Well done Delaware.

    I’ll have to mark Chuck’s birthday on my calendar as well!

  • cottonnero

    February 12, 1809 was the birthday of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. I have not been able to find a more impressive pair of people born on the same day of the same year.

  • parasiteboy

    But they get it a bit wrong, which will only feed into the public’s misunderstanding of evolution. Chuck D.’s theory of evolution was driven by natural selection, which is a major driver of evolution. But the modern Theory of Evolution has so much more that Darwin’s theory. He should be celebrated as the father of modern evolution, but his theory is just on pillar holding up the modern synthesis.

  • Modusoperandi

    cottonnero “February 12, 1809 was the birthday of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. I have not been able to find a more impressive pair of people born on the same day of the same year.”

    Yes, but only Lincoln was born in a log cabin. Every time he did something bad after that, his mother would remind him of all the splinters she got passing it.

  • Chris Rhetts

    “Cue the freakout from the Christian right in 3…2…1.”

    How right you are. I found an article on this proclamation at “The Blaze”, with 326 comments so far – with a ratio of ignoramuses to intellectuals running at approximately 20 to 1. P.T. Barnum is credited with the observation, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”. I’m pretty sure if he had read comments like these at The Blaze he would have upped the production rate!

  • Kevin Kehres

    @5 … well, I don’t think it’s that bad…The Blaze is where idiots congregate. So, it’s not representative of the entire population.

    But, sadly, I agree with your assessment that Barnum WAY underestimated.

  • a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    On Barnum and the rate of sucker birth: At the time Barnum made his estimate, Earth had only about 1 billion people, whereas we now have 7 billion. The numerical increase in fools probably follows the numerical increase in population, so even if we account for the lower fertility rate, we are probably up to a sucker being born every 10-20 seconds or so. See what you can understand if you apply science?

  • Trebuchet

    About 250 suckers a minute worldwide, according to my math and Google. More than 131 million a year.

    They are, of course, all suckers. That’s how they eat. Unfortunatley some of them remain suckers long after being weaned.

  • Michael Heath

    In 2009, one way that Charles Darwin’s 200 birthday, and 150th anniversary of Origins was celebrated was a plethora of laudable books on evolution being published. I read seven of them; thanks to Amazon’s reader reviews, the ones I picked were all excellent.

    Carl Zimmer’s The Tangled Bank remains one of the books I most value in my library.

    I never had much of a desire to read Darwin’s major publications because I was aware that his findings and explanations were not representative of what we’ve learned since then. That if I wanted to optimize my understanding of the scientific process, where we are with findings related to evolution, and the most popular explanations and confidence amongst the relevant experts, I needed to read books based on the latest findings and papers, and not what Darwin wrote.

    However I was also intrigued by Mr. Darwin personally given that the science writers I respect always wrote so highly about him. I didn’t understand why given that I found natural selection and common descent to be intuitive explanations that didn’t require the type of genius needed by say, Isaac Newton or Albert Einstein.

    So a few months back I started reading Darwin’s The Descent of Man. The accolades Darwin gets are understated, the opposite of what I used to presume. It’s hard to appreciate the enormous amount of mind-numbing drudgery Darwin went through; a price he thought he thought he needed to pay given his knowledge that the ideas that explained his and others’ findings would be met with such animosity by both his generation’s reality deniers and those open to consideration but stuck in a very different perspective.

    Besides his personal sacrifice, the other attribute that rings through is Darwin’s emotional intelligence. I’d say he’s my number 1 on that matter when it comes to individuals I’ve encountered. I don’t recall reading anyone with the wisdom that comes through the pages of his books.

    I find emotional intelligence to be a greatly needed trait while simultaneously being a mostly ignored quality when we judge people. Based on these distinguishing qualities, I now have a far better appreciation of what it took for Darwin to advance the cause of science. Not just his own ideas, but all of his contemporaries who he repeatedly cited where the others weren’t getting the attention they deserved. Darwin’s one of the giant’s whose shoulders we all stand upon, even the YECs who Godwin him are [oblivious] beneficiaries.

  • blf
  •, drl2

    The group that Chuck’s involved with has scheduled an event in Newark to celebrate the proclamation, in case anyone reading is in the vicinity: