Darwin Day Resolution: An opportunity to celebrate science and reason

Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around Feb. 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.

In anticipation of the 205th birthday of Darwin, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ) introduced H.Res. 467 to the 113th Congress, a resolution “expressing support for the designation of February 12, 2014, as Darwin Day.”

The proposed resolution would be a recognition of Charles Darwin as “a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge,” and a recognition of “the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.”

The American Humanist Association worked with Rep. Holt and his staff on H. Res. 467, also known as the Darwin Day resolution, and will be sending copies of Darwin Day Celebration, a booklet on celebrating Darwin Day and highlighting Darwin’s contributions to science and humanity, to all 535 members of Congress to encourage support of the resolution.

The following is an excerpt from the Resolution:

Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2014, as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.

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;

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;

Whereas Charles Darwin is a worthy symbol of scientific advancement on which to focus and around which to build a global celebration of science and humanity intended to promote a common bond among all of Earth’s peoples; and

Whereas February 12, 2014, is the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 1809 and would be an appropriate date to designate as Darwin Day: Now, therefore, be it

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.

Introducing the resolution, Rep. Holt said:

“Charles Darwin is even more than the author of the theory of evolution, as great as that is, he represents a way of thinking, a philosophy, a methodology. It was his thirst for knowledge and his scientific approach to discovering new truths that enabled him to develop the theory of evolution. This lesson, about the value of scientific thinking, is almost as valuable as the theory he uncovered.”

Stand up for science: Visit www.darwinday.org to learn more about the Darwin Day resolution and join a Darwin Day event in your community.

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