Vancouver Mayor Issues Darwin Day Proclamation

Gregor Robertson, the mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia, just issued a proclamation declaring February 12th, 2013 International Darwin Day:

WHEREAS The anniversary of Darwin’s birthday is an appropriate period on which to reflect and celebrate the importance of scientific advancement to all people;

WHEREAS The City of Vancouver is rightfully proud of its commitment to scientifically-based environmental awareness, appropriate technology, and progressive education.

Canada: America’s smarter younger sister.

(via Canadian Atheist)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Separationist

    I hope someone sues over this attempt by the state to promote atheism. Spare your denails, you know what its all about.
    Thats why you all are so excited by it.

    • A3Kr0n

      I looked again and didn’t see the word “atheism” anywhere in the proclamation. I didn’t see any off-hand reference to it either. You might be getting the two topics mixed up.

      • Ask Iggy

        It doesn’t have to use the “word” atheism to promote the concept.
        Who ya kiddin?
        Atheists repeatedly use Darwin. You might be getting things mixed up.

        • Ask Iggy

          I might add that it refers to Darwins Theory as providing for advances in “philosophy”. Now do you get it?

          • JD929

            Because “philosophy”, complete with sarcastic quotes, is the gateway to everything not specifically mentioned in the proclamation.

          • RobMcCune

            Atheist philosophies have been around since at least the 4th century BCE, so no I still don’t get how honoring a scientist promotes atheism

          • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

            For a while, I was under the impression that @Separationist and Ask Iggy were poes. Apparently not. they are both real.

            For the record, Canada doesn’t have an equivalent to our “Establishment Clause”. There is a poorly worded Charter allowing ‘freedom of conscience and religion’, but it is structured in a way that would let any government branch rescind that freedom in specific cases.

            That means that sa nutcase fundamentalist there can do things that here would be illegal. It also means that if the Mayor of Vancouver wanted to specifically mention “Atheism” in his declaration, he could have easily done so without breaking any laws.But he didn’t.

            Had he been a fundamentalist Christian, would he have shown the same restraint? Somehow, I doubt it.

            So, quoting “advances in philosophy” is not code for “burn the churches”. It just means that Darwin discoveries changed the fundamental way we as humans have come to understand where we come from.
            That, incidentally, it’s a fact. Whether you believe in evolution or not, you cannot negate the fact that Darwin’s work has affected the way we perceive our origins.

            Now you get it?

        • Question Everything

          As opposed to Jesus Day, which directly mentions Christians, bringing up Darwin is just bringing up Darwin. Lots of people, including the vast majority of biologists, find that evolution is the most likely explanation of how life works. Lots of those are quite religious as well, since one doesn’t need to be an atheist or skeptic to look at the theory as the best idea we have right now.

        • Edmond

          Atheists recognize the learning process of science, rather than the “learning process” of ancient myths. It’s not OUR fault that some myth-believers are bizarrely offended by Darwin’s discovery that we did NOT come from clay and ribs, contending with talking snakes in a garden full of magic fruit trees. HE is not the one who advanced that idea.

        • guest

          I am asssuming you are being cheeky. well done, people get all riled up. But as a former Christian (not from the US), I was never taught to take the bible literally but that evolution is a fact.

    • Neeroc

      Funny thing about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it actually ‘does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability’

    • Canadian Atheist, eh!

      Canadian law is not the same as American law on this matter. Why would you assume it is?

      • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

        Because most of these imbeciles are unable to conceive of people wanting to live anywhere that’s not The Best Nation Created By God On The Face Of The Earth™

    • C Peterson

      For most of his life, Darwin was a Christian. He fully developed his theory while a Christian.

    • Carmelita Spats

      De-nails are lovely…I just had a manicure.

  • Separationist

    But of course it is Canada, and they can restrict free speech there, so why not this?

    But Darwins Theory…as they call it…provides the basis for advance in PHILOSOPHY? WTF?
    Like survival of the fittest per Comte and Spencer, elimination of the unfit, Eugencis as developed by Darwins cousin Francis Galton? (And Darwin praised Galton’s work, notably in The Descent of Man.)
    Yep…thats what I always said, but atheists deny it. But here it is in the Proclamation Mehta is praising.

    • JD929

      You don’t think you’re stretching your reasoning a bit too far?

      • Phil Cleaver

        Don’t you think you’re giving him too much credit by calling it reasoning?

    • Canadian Atheist, eh!

      There are conditions under which Canadian law allows the state to restrict free speech, such as when it seems to constitute hate speech or defamation or certain kinds of pornography. It’s usually not a problem, unless you expect to be able to shout, you know, “Fire!” in a crowded room.

    • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

      Can I have some Italian Dressing with that word salad please?

  • Phil Cleaver

    Interesting point of fact: 41% of people in Vancouver have no religious affiliation making the “nones” the largest group here. It is considered quite tacky to discuss your religion in polite company here.

    As well, we’ve had marriage equality here for nearly a decade and abortion on demand in the first trimester is paid for by our universal health care.

    In His anger at our lack of faith, God curses us with a temperate climate and a healthy economy.

    • Winston

      “nones” does not equal “atheist”.

      • WildRumpus67

        But “nones” does equal “not anti-science Bible literalists” and “not bigoted Catholics” and “not jihadist Muslims”… it does probably mean a lot of “spiritual but not religious”… but I can deal with that better than what goes on in Pakistan and the southern US.

    • Librepensadora

      Mr. Cleaver: Thank you for sharing how civilized and fair you Canadians and your government are. Happy Darwin Day to all of you!!!

    • http://profiles.google.com/conticreative Marco Conti

      You must be a nazi-social-communist and anti-american then! Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves with your health care that actually works and doesn’t ruin families for the crime of getting sick, your trampling over of christian marriages and your lack of incessant daily god praising?
      Why do you hate god? What did Jesus do to you?

      By the way, my wife is Canadian, from Nelson, but she lived in Vancouver for many years. I am Italian and we both live in California, but many times we are tempted to move to Vancouver. It’s a lovely city with great people.
      And now I have one more reason to like it.

      • Phil Cleaver

        Oh yes, we’re all happy nazi communist socialist godless anti-Americans up here in Vancouver and we’re terribly embarrassed about our universal health care.

        Did I mention that we also have very restrictive gun laws so no one has guns except the police and gangsters (who just shoot other gangsters) ?

    • guest

      the curse here is 8 month of rain. proud Vancouverites call it “Temperate climate” ;). From my experience it’s not tacky to discuss non-religion. It’s assumed that you are non religious or moderate. unless you are from the lower mainland bible-belt.

  • Phil Cleaver

    Also – to Separationist and Ask Iggy, there are many, many Christians who believe in Jesus and Evolution. They are only exclusive if you are of the small minority of Bible literalists, but then you guys don’t shave or wear mixed fabrics, right?

    Mayor Robertson is promoting Science, not Atheism.

  • Bad_homonym

    Makes me proud to live in the area!

  • IPAddressHunter

    Separationalist and Ask Iggy for the win! Just added him to the list of the troll handles he used to go (still goes by ) on the Net. His style is uncanny. The droppings he leaves are easy to spot in his writing style.

    Not Friendly Anymore, JCB, JBC, James Christensen, Jimmy Blair, Goldstein, Goldstein Squad and various other variations on the Goldstein theme, Morrison, Rocky Morrison, Randall Morrison, Rocky.Morrison.90, Uncle Bobolink, ActualFreethinker.

    If anyone come across any other incarnations of the troll for Jesus, please, e-mail any links to the blog posts to IPAddressHunter at gmail dot com “

    • Goldstein Squad Member

      And Jimmy Hoffa quotes for us? Bahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!

      OH, and uncle says Hi!

    • Goldstein Squad Member

      WE know who you are, your style is also uncanny.
      It has apparently not occured to you that several people can post here.
      If you plan on dropping by, its best to call first.
      See ya old buddy! You are always good for a gag…daddy loved the wrist trick!!!

  • http://twitter.com/CyningDom King ♔ Dominic

    Isn’t Canada older than the USA?

    • guest

      no. And to top it of, we still have the Queen of England as official monarch.

      • http://twitter.com/CyningDom King ♔ Dominic

        Hmm, 1867. I stand corrected… Although to me that just looks like a constitutional change (given Canada existed as a colony during revolution)

        • TheBlackCat13

          The U.S. was a colony back then too.

  • guest

    Vancouver may be in Canada but it’s not typical for Canada (just like Seattle is not typical for the US) And Canada has its issues as well, fear not, we are not better than you..not really.


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