There is, again, a movement in Congress to pass Darwin Day resolutions — resolutions that would state the support of the U.S. government for an annual day celebrating Darwin’s achievements, and recognizing the value of science. Currently, the resolutions to set aside one day in recognition of Charles Darwin and his accomplishments are facing congressional subcommittees, and if approved, could go on to be voted on in the House and Senate. One of the current resolutions strongly condemns the teaching of creationism in schools, and denial of climate change.
Connecticut’s James Himes submitted House Resolution 67, “Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2015, as ‘Darwin Day’ and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.”
The resolution recognizes Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection “together with the monumental amount of scientific evidence he compiled to support it,” and the further validity demonstrated by modern knowledge of genetics. It holds Darwin as a worthy symbol of scientific curiosity and advancements.
Further, in Darwin’s name, it decries the anti-science mindset that leads to the denial of climate change, to teaching Creationism in schools, and to the false claims that large numbers of scientists are conflicted about either of the two scientific claims.
“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[.]”
Celebration of Darwin Day, as well as education in the principles of Darwin’s theory of natural selection, could serve as some inoculation against the kind of anti-science thinking and teaching that lead celebrities to use their nationally-recognized platforms to make such outlandish claims as, for instance, that belief in evolution led to the Holocaust.
The resolution sets Darwin Day’s celebration on February 12, the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday. There are 13 co-sponsors, all Democrats.
A similar resolution was simultaneously submitted in the Senate, by Senator Richard Blumenthal. The full text of the Senate resolution is not yet online, but the titles are virtually identical, and the resolutions themselves are presumably as similar.
The International Darwin Day website offers a template for such resolutions, though it doesn’t mention Creationism or climate change. The Secular Coalition for America has also developed an Action Alert that lets constituents send representatives a message supporting the Darwin Day resolutions.