Darwin Day Resolution Introduced in Congress

Yesterday, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) submitted a resolution “[e]xpressing support for designation of February 12, 2013, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.”

Rep. Rush Holt being awesome

Whereas the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is further strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics;

Whereas it has been the human curiosity and ingenuity exemplified by Darwin that has promoted new scientific discoveries that have helped humanity solve many problems and improve living conditions;

Whereas the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change;

Whereas the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States education systems;

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–

(1) supports the designation of Darwin Day; and

(2) recognizes Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge.

Creationists (a.k.a. The Republican faction of the House Science Committee) are going to flip out.

The American Humanist Association worked with Holt’s staff to make it happen:

“When President Obama emphasized the importance of science during his inauguration speech this week, he was also voicing support for the scientific discoveries pioneers like Charles Darwin made,” [American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy] Speckhardt explained. “Darwin changed our understanding of life itself by showing the world, through science and reason, how nature shapes our existence.”

Rep. Holt commented, “Only very rarely in human history has someone uncovered a fundamentally new way of thinking about the world — an insight so revolutionary that it has made possible further creative and explanatory thinking. Without Charles Darwin, our modern understandings of biology, ecology, genetics, and medicine would be utterly impossible, and our comprehension of the world around us would be vastly poorer. By recognizing Darwin Day, we can honor the importance of scientific thinking in our lives, and we can celebrate one of our greatest thinkers.

What should hardly be a controversial resolution will inevitably be seen as part of the atheist/liberal/Communist/Socialist agenda… but it wouldn’t hurt to contact your representative and tell him/her to sponsor this bill.

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.

  • Rod

    Rush Holt in 2016!

    • Young Buck

      Not a chance.

  • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/ Ed Darrell

    Why February 13?

    • Question Everything

      Feb 12th, apparently it’s his birthday.

      • http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/ Ed Darrell

        I must have misread. Yes, February 12, is Darwin’s birthday — he and Abraham Lincoln were born no more than hours apart. So I couldn’t figure out why February 13. Probably just misread “February 12, 2013.” Thanks.

  • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

    That’s awesome, but I do wish Holt would come out of the closet as an atheist.

  • ElNerdoLoco

    I won’t be able to fault the republicans when this fails to pass. Creationism, only some of them seem willing to talk about, but GCC? That GCC is not an issue has been a part of their platform for a very long time. They are wrong, and I bet even some of them know they are wrong, but they have to stick to their platform. It will be easy for them to spin this as just a slap to the face for a bit of political theater.

    • Edmond

      Why wouldn’t that merit a fault on the Republicans by you? That kind of heel-digging might be (nearly) inevitable and unavoidable for them, but that doesn’t mean they get a “pass” just for preserving their status quo.

      • ElNerdoLoco

        Because it is their job. It is what they were elected to do. I can fault their platform. I can fault the people who put them in office. I can dislike everything about it. But they are there to promote an ideology (however backwards it may be) and would be doing a disservice to those who elected them as well as their own party to go against it. Just because I dislike all this does not mean I cannot understand why they have to do it.

        • allein

          I’d argue that they’d be doing a service for the people who elected them; those people just don’t realize it.

          • ElNerdoLoco

            And I think I could agree.

  • LutherW

    Unless things have changed, Rush Holt is the only scientist (except medical doctors and dentists) in Congress. Also a great voice for improving the integrity of our election systems.

  • allein

    Well, since Holt is my rep, I guess I don’t have to contact him. Yay for my state! :)

  • rlrose328

    This will never pass… but it’s nice to see someone try. There are just too many of “them” that will freak out and ignore it.

  • roberthughmclean

    Love the caption!

  • Young Buck

    A Black Skeptic dissed this idea because Darwin was not an American and because the Black guy pointed out that Darwin praised his cousin Francis Galton’s work in “The Descent of Man”. (Galton was “the father of Eugenics”, a idea that is still with us albeit under different names.)

  • Gringa123

    I’m so proud to be from NJ and I hope that my baby arrives on Feb 12!

  • Philip Bruce Heywood

    Halt the Rush.The creed according to the fairies at the bottom of the Garden?

    Item

    1) Whereas Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by the mechanism of natural selection, together with the monumental amount of scientific evidence he compiled to support it, provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth;

    ”monumental amount of scientific evidence” exaggeration. Darwin did a job but he relied upon real palaeontologists (such as Sir Richard Owen) for specimen identifications.

    “logical and intellectually compelling” even its greatest proponent, T.Huxley, initially could not grasp it – and never did! –his Darwinism was a saltationary process in which nature makes leaps – perhaps in response to environmental demands. No explanation other than, ‘it just happens – obvious – and the main foundation is, Nature does the creating and Nature is the big operator!” As intellectually compelling as dust transmuting into lice and disease equalling bad blood which needs to be ‘let’! The majority of Darwin’s peers and research superiors from Owen to Kelvin and even including the statesman, D’Israeli, were confused, politely sceptical, or outright damning of the whole notion, as being fantastical and fabulous.

    2)Whereas the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is further strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics;

    “modern understanding of the science of genetics” Crick, of Watson & Crick (DNA) fame, abandoned Darwinism and went over to panspermia. He could at least recognize an information device when he saw one! Modern genetics has to do with information, information, and information. Darwin had no grounding either in the systematic scientific method, nor in even what was ‘modern’ genetics in his day! Official ‘modern genetics’ has been in denial and cover-up mode for a century – what people will do to cling to their religion! Owen, Darwin’s superior and advisor, was talking up information driven transformers and mastercodes before Darwin got published but of course information implies a source of information and only fairies are allowed by modern geneticists. Can fairies write computer codes? Ask certain modern geneticists.

    3)Whereas it has been the human curiosity and ingenuity exemplified by Darwin that has promoted new scientific discoveries that have helped humanity solve many problems and improve living conditions

    “ingenuity exemplified by Darwin that has promoted new scientific discoveries” such as his re-statement of the old impossibilities in a novel manner – dust transmutation into lice, electricity the force of life, time the balm, the sinecure, the explanation for all impossibilities, wishing upon a star the source of everything.

    4)Whereas the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change;

    “science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming” by implication only those who are concerned about global warming are capable of contributing to science. Is this sciento-religious ethnic cleansing? This wipes modern mainstream science off the map! Modern geophysics is making major discoveries relating to climate (including the now proven link between Earth’s magnetic field and climate) and geologists are uncovering corroborating evidence. Global warming is probably happening for whatever reason but unless totalitarianism and Nature worship are to be the big winners, the facts are to be the big loser. Bring on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Communist Manifesto.

    Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France, France

    Received 11 July 2006; received in revised form 19 October 2006; accepted 19 October 2006

    Editor: R.D. van der Hilst

    Available online 20 December 2006

    Abstract

    Understanding climate change is an active topic of research. Much of the observed increase in global surface temperature over the past 150 years occurred prior to the 1940s and after the 1980s. The main causes invoked are solar variability, changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas content or sulfur due to natural or anthropogenic action, or internal variability of the coupled ocean–atmosphere system. Magnetism has seldom been invoked, and evidence for connections between climate and magnetic field variations have received little attention. We review evidence for correlations which could suggest such (causal or non-causal) connections at various time scales (recent secular variation ~10–100 yr, historical and archeomagnetic change ~100–5000 yr, and excursions and reversals……..and attempt to suggest mechanisms. Evidence for correlations, which invoke Milankovic forcing in the core, either directly or through changes in ice distribution and moments of inertia of the Earth, is still tenuous. Correlation between decadal changes in amplitude of geomagnetic variations of external origin, solar irradiance and global temperature is stronger. It suggests that solar irradiance could have been a major forcing function of climate until the mid-1980s, when “anomalous” warming becomes apparent. The most intriguing feature may be the recently proposed archeomagnetic jerks, i.e. fairly abrupt (~100 yr long) geomagnetic field variations found at irregular intervals over the past few millennia, using the archeological record from Europe to theMiddle East. These seem to correlate with significant climatic events in the eastern North Atlantic region. A proposed mechanism involves variations in the geometry of the geomagnetic field (f.i. tilt of the dipole to lower latitudes), resulting in enhanced cosmic-ray induced nucleation of clouds. No forcing factor, be it changes in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere or changes in cosmic ray flux modulated by solar activity and geomagnetism, or possibly other factors, can at present be neglected or shown to be the overwhelming single driver of climate change in past centuries. Intensive data acquisition is required to further probe indications that the Earth’s and Sun’s magnetic fields may have significant bearing on climate change at certain time scales.

    For more information, feel free to Google search and have a glance at my (mainstream) geology publications. Terms such as, Climate Moderation Magnetic Field Sun Earth; Questions Arising Species Origin; Evolution Owen Darwin Quantum Computer Horse Sequence, may be useful. Darwin was an incidental aside and science has left him in antiquity. Some people can’t leave him alone for various mysterious reasons. Could it be because of his religion –whatever that was?

    • RobMcCune

      Well you certainly seem to have a crank degree in just about every field.


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