Congressman Rush Holt Recognizes Darwin Day in the House of Representatives

Earlier today, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced H.Res. 41 on the floor of the House, expressing his support for the recognition of February 12th as Darwin Day:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the birth of Charles Darwin. Only rarely in human history has someone shown a fundamentally new way of thinking about the world and insight so revolutionary that it has made possible further creative and explanatory thinking.

In my previous field of physics, we have Galileo and Newton and Einstein. In biology, at the top of any list, would be Charles Darwin. Without his insights, without his recognition that natural selection enables ever-increasing complexity and functionality, and enables the development of ever more wonderful forms of life, our modern understanding of biology, ecology, genetics, medicine would be impossible. And our comprehension of the world around us would be vastly poorer.

I’ve introduced a resolution to honor February 12th as a ceremonial Darwin Day to recognize the importance of scientific thinking in our lives and to honor one of humankind’s greatest thinkers.

Wow. A politician saying something sensible on the House floor. Add that to your list of things you don’t see very often.

Hats off to the American Humanist Association for working with Holt’s staff to make it happen.

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Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Rich Wilson

    And the co-sponsors

    Honda, Michael “Mike” [D-CA17]
    Markey, Edward “Ed” [D-MA5]
    Norton, Eleanor [D-DC0]
    Polis, Jared [D-CO2]
    Slaughter, Louise [D-NY25]
    Capuano, Michael [D-MA7]
    Rangel, Charles [D-NY13]

  • Michael

    As a scientist, I think this is wonderful. A nice push back to all of the anti-science propaganda that has clogged the news feeds.

  • Tony Kehoe

    How long before the wingnut pushback starts?

  • RobMcCune

    Probably when they read Rich Wilson’s list co-sponsors.

  • Jerome McCollom

    Gee, not one Republican, nor Southern Congressman.

  • Jerome McCollom

    Amazing, Rush Holt is not on the House Science Committee, a trained physcist, but Rep. Broun, a man who said evolution, embrology and the Big Bang are “lies from the pit of hell is a member.

  • David Windhorst

    Anybody know if/when it’s scheduled for a vote?

  • Parth

    Rush Holt is the representative for my district. I heard him talk once at Princeton University. It was depressing to hear he was the only scientist in Congress…still proud to have him as my representative.