Darwin Day is a yearly celebration that, not only seeks to highlight Darwin’s contribution to science, but also to promote science in general. The day commemorates the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, who was born on February 12, 1809. He died on April 19, 1882. He was 73 years old.
Charles Darwin created a revolution in the field of biology with his theory of evolution by natural selection. Today the theory has stood the test of time, being confirmed by modern genetics. It is not “just a theory,” it is a scientific fact.
We are still learning just how revolutionary Darwin’s theory is. Evolutionary psychology is beginning to unlock the secrets of how our brains developed, and why we think the way we do.
Given my great admiration for Charles Darwin, I was happy to hear that the American Humanist Association had worked with Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) to introduce the “Darwin Day Resolution,” H. Res. 44, in the House of Representatives for the sixth time since 2011. I wrote to my representative encouraging her to pass the resolution.
So how do you celebrate Darwin Day? The Center for Inquiry suggests throwing Darwin a birthday party with hats, cake, and even “pin the tail on the finch.” They also suggest a Darwin birthday card. Other ideas include going to a zoo or museum and studying evolutionary adaptations in animals. You could also read a book or watch a movie on evolution. I bought my son the book Evolution by Daniel Loxton. I highly recommend it. Others dress up like Darwin, with the white beard.
So Sunday, February 12, 2016, will be a day to remember a genius of biological science, and promote a better understanding of science and its importance in the future of our species. If we are to survive, we must learn to adapt to the reality of global warming, overpopulation, and the growing wealth disparity. We can’t do this without scientific and rational thinking, based on evidence.
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• Center for Inquiry. “Darwin Day.” (Accessed February 01, 2017).
• International Darwin Day Foundation. 2017. “Events.” (Accessed February 01, 2017).. http://darwinday.org/events/.
• Loxton, Daniel. 2010. Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be. Tonawanda, NY: Kids Can Press.
• Speckhardt, Roy. “Tell Congress to Support the Darwin Day Resolution!” American Humanist Association. (Accessed February 01, 2017).
2 thoughts on “Darwin Day – February 12th”
Our UU Humanists group (UU Congregation of Annapolis, MD), has for about five years celebrated by “Raising a pint to Charlie” at the Middleton Pub in Annapolis, which has been in operation since well before Darwin was born. Folks often stay for dinner and it’s a stimulating discussion every year. We have a facebook page if you’d like to check in with us.