For the past few years, a member of Congress has introduced a resolution in the House to honor Charles Darwin on his birthday. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) did it in 2011, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) did it in 2013 and 2014, and Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) did it last year.
Yesterday, Himes once again introduced the resolution, officially known as House Resolution 548. It designates “February 12, 2016, as ‘Darwin Day’ and [recognizes] the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.”
Rep. Himes stated, “Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking and world-changing work has left an indelible mark on the way human beings view the world and our relationship with it. Through his tireless observations and unique perspective on the world, Darwin made incredible breakthroughs toward revealing the origins of life and the fundamental genetic structures that make up every organism. Scientists are still building upon his legacy today, enhancing the fields of medicine, biology, environmental studies and the social sciences. The world owes a debt of gratitude to this pioneer, and today we celebrate his life and contributions.”
“With creation and intelligent design continuing to be unconstitutionally taught in schools funded by the taxpayers, Congress’s support of Darwin Day provides a necessary emphasis on the need for sound science education and the teaching of evolution in our public schools,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.
As before, it’s nice to see a member of Congress honoring science instead of denying it.
The text of the resolution, which is identical to last year’s (except for the year). is as follows:
Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2016, 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, 2016, 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
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.
You can help by contacting your local representative and asking him or her to support the resolution by becoming a co-sponsor. It takes just a few seconds to do!
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