(Washington, DC—Jan. 29, 2014)—In anticipation of the 205th birthday of Charles Darwin, celebrated around the world on February 12th as Darwin Day, U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ) re-introduced a resolution today “expressing support for the designation of February 12 as Darwin Day.” 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.
"Charles Darwin is even more than the author of the theory of evolution, as great as that is,” Rep. Holt said. “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.”
“We’re pleased to join Rep. Holt again in support of a Congressional resolution honoring Darwin’s contributions to science and humanity,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “Too many people are being influenced by the dangerous creationism and so-called ‘intelligent design’ movements, and it’s time for others in Congress to stand up for true science.”
Darwin Day is a project of the American Humanist Association and founded by Dr. Robert Stephens. The American Humanist Association maintains the official Darwin Day website at darwinday.org, where people can find Darwin Day events in their local area, educational resources on Charles Darwin and evolution, and learn about efforts to get Darwin Day recognized by local and state governments. The Secular Student Alliance, an allied organization, recently updated the Darwin Day Celebration booklet for distribution to college campuses.
The Darwin Day resolution was first introduced in the House of Representatives in 2011 by former Rep. Pete Stark of California, the first and only open atheist to serve in Congress. It was reintroduced by Rep. Holt in 2013.
In an article published on The Huffington Post, Speckhardt wrote, “We need leadership from our elected representatives on this issue if America is finally to join the rest of the world in accepting the true origin of our species.”
Charles Darwin’s evolutionary discovery of natural selection as the basis for biological transformations responsible for the diversity of life on earth is the foundation of modern biology, genetics, and medicine. Other areas of science and the humanities can also trace advancements to Darwin’s ideas. Since his publication On the Origin of Species in 1859, additional advances in knowledge have fine-tuned and repeatedly verified his insights.
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The International Darwin Day Foundation (darwinday.org), founded by Dr. Robert Stephens in 1993, is a project of the American Humanist Association. Its mission is to promote the public education of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and to encourage the celebration of science and humanity.
Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other non-religious Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming philosophy of humanism, which—without beliefs in any gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.