An official Darwin Day? Yes, please

Rep. Pete Stark of Fremont, California has put forth a fantastic bill that is destined to die.

Stark, D-Fremont, introduced H. Res. 81 on Wednesday. It praises Darwin’s theory of evolution and the “monumental amount of scientific evidence he compiled to support it,” which “provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on earth.”

The resolution goes on to state that “the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change,” and that “the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States’ education systems.”

The bill would make February 12 an officially recognized day of celebration of Charles Darwin’s birth and life. There should be no doubt that I think this is a wonderful idea. Darwin was one of the greatest scientists of all time. His insight was obviously spectacular, his predictions were amazing, and his humility was admirable. Humanity owes him one.

Stark went on to explain his goals in submitting this bill.

Stark on Thursday explained he’s “just trying to get people to understand that we’re trying to get our kids to be scientists, were pushing for green jobs and green development, and you can’t stick your head in the sand and not recognize that we’re in a modern age. To get there, it seems to me, we have to understand that science is all part of what we’re doing.

“I’m sure there are people out there who’d say I’m the devil’s advocate, but I’ll give the devil as much chance as any god that people choose to deal with,” he said. “To say some unknown god up there in the stratosphere directs all of our lives and our development is naive.”

This is naturally irritating to conservatives. But when we’re talking about a bunch of people who almost universally came to their conclusions before they even considered reason, that isn’t surprising. It’s just too bad the anti-science forces in the U.S. are so strong. We’re missing a chance to honor a great person.

Happy Darwin Day

It’s the good man’s 202nd birthday.

It’s also Lincoln’s 202nd birthday. And he is an important and impressive figure. But not as important or as impressive as Darwin. Not by a long-shot.

Happy Darwin Day

Today is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. The discover of the principles of the most important theory yet formulated, Darwin also wrote his landmark book, On the Origin of Species, 150 years ago this year (though not this day).

As more people are likely to note, it is also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. Certainly a man of high significance, his contributions to humanity have been greatly smaller than those of the aforementioned great scientist. Evolutionary theory is the backbone of life itself. It goes to explain far more important things than Lincoln’s actions affected mankind.

I am tentative in the qualifiers and apologies within these statements because it is abundantly clear Darwin trumps in greatness most men, at least insofar as contributions to his fellow species are concerned. However, this post isn’t intended to tarnish the image of Lincoln. Rather, we recognize Lincoln as one of the great men in history, one of the great contributors. In contrasting and comparing the man with Darwin, the intention is to illuminate the significance of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Lincoln was great. I hope we agree. Darwin was greater.

Let’s not forget, however, that Darwin is great for his discovery, but greater still is the discovery itself. It explains so much.


The Year of Darwin

Happy Year of Darwin! It’s been 200 years since the birth of a genius and 150 years since the landmark publication of said genius. February 12 is Darwin Day. It also happens to be Lincoln’s birthday. While he clearly had a better top hat, he was nowhere near as important (though being one of the greatest presidents of any nation isn’t too shabby).


Expect to see a lot of celebration this year, especially in books such as Dawkins’ upcoming publication.