Members of Congress, Scientists, Educators, and Humanists Celebrate International Darwin Day

For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Couch, 202-238-9088, acouch@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC, Feb. 12, 2018) — The American Humanist Association (AHA), along with tens of thousands of people around the world, celebrates International Darwin Day today, February 12, 2018. Darwin Day is held every year on the famed naturalist’s birthday to recognize the accomplishments of scientists around the world and the importance of science education.

“On this Darwin Day, theists and nontheists alike take time to recognize how the theory of evolution better enables us to combat disease, develop more effective vaccines, and improve the overall quality of human life on this planet,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “The era of discovery ushered in by Darwin and others continues to influence our understanding of genetics, medicine, biology and countless other scientific fields.”

Contests to “evolve a Valentine,” hands-on evolution projects, concerts, lectures, museum trips, dinners and brunches are just a few of the evolution-themed games and activities happening around the world today to celebrate Darwin’s birthday.

The AHA is also encouraging members of Congress to support House Resolution 699 and Senate Resolution 374, also known as the Darwin Day Resolutions, which designate February 12 as Darwin Day and demonstrate legislators’ support for science, reason and critical thinking. The American Humanist Association worked closely with Rep. Himes and Sen. Blumenthal, their staff, and other members of Congress to introduce this legislation.

“I am proud to champion and celebrate Charles Darwin’s achievements and those of every scientist and explorer who followed in his footsteps,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). “Darwin Day recognizes the invaluable contributions of Darwin, without whom our understanding of this world would be fundamentally altered. Today, we reflect and remember that the advancements of science and human knowledge are profoundly important to the progress of humankind.”

“In our modern political climate, when the very facts and truths revealed by science are under attack, honoring the efforts of scientists, the true heroes of human history, is vitally important,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT). “By celebrating and commemorating the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, we not only acknowledge his enormous contributions to our better understanding of the origins of life, but send a message that we value education, knowledge and science as our guiding principles.”

The House bill is currently co-sponsored by Representatives Michael E. Capuano [D-MA-7], Judy Chu [D-CA-27], Rosa L. DeLauro [D-CT-3], Bill Foster [D-IL-11], Colleen Hanabusa [D-HI-1], Jared Huffman [D-CA-2], Pramila Jayapal [D-WA-7], Derek Kilmer [D-WA-6], Zoe Lofgren [D-CA-19], Alan S. Lowenthal [D-CA-47], A. Donald McEachin [D-VA-4], James P. McGovern [D-MA-2], Eleanor Holmes Norton [D-DC-At Large], Mark Pocan [D-WI-2], Mike Quigley [D-IL-5], Jamie Raskin [D-MD-8], Janice D. Schakowsky [D-IL-9], Adam B. Schiff [D-CA-28], Jose E. Serrano [D-NY-15], Adam Smith [D-WA-9], and Jackie Speier [D-CA-14]; the Senate bill is co-sponsored by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

International Darwin Day was founded in 1993 by Dr. Robert Stephens to honor the accomplishments of Charles Darwin, whose theory of evolution continues to inform groundbreaking discoveries in biology, genetics and medicine, among other fields of research. A project of the American Humanist Association, Darwin Day also observes the contributions of scientists across the globe whose findings have advanced human progress and the betterment of our lives on this earth.

The American Humanist Association maintains the official Darwin Day website, which contains further information about local Darwin Day events, Charles Darwin’s life and scientific achievements and efforts at the state and local levels to have Darwin Day officially recognized.

To read Senate Resolution 374, click here.

To read House Resolution 699, click here.

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Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic 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.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

Source: https://americanhumanist.org/featured/members-congress-scientists-educators-humanists-celebrate-international-darwin-day/