Darwin Day resolution in Congress

02.03.2015

Jim HimesJim Himes

House Resolution 67 (PDF), introduced in the United States House of Representatives on February 2, 2015, would, if passed, express the House's support of designating February 12, 2015, as Darwin Day, and its recognition of "Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol 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."

Jim Himes (D-Connecticut), the lead sponsor of the bill, explained in a January 26, 2015, press release from the American Humanist Association, "Charles Darwin's discoveries gave humankind a new, revolutionary way of thinking about the natural world and our place in it. His insatiable quest for knowledge and decades of meticulous observation and analysis opened new pathways for advancements in biology, medicine, genetics and ecology." He added, "Without Darwin's contributions to science, philosophy and reason, our understanding of the world's complexity and grandeur would be significantly diminished.”

H. Res. 67 is the latest in a string of similar bills: H. Res. 467 in 2014 and H. Res. 41 in 2013, introduced by Rush Holt (D-New Jersey) — who, having not run for re-election, is about to become the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science — and H. Res. 81 in 2011, introduced by Pete Stark (D-California.) All three of the previous resolutions eventually died in committee.

"2015 has already seen five states introduce antievolution measures, so it's wonderful to see a resolution that recognizes the importance of teaching evolution," commented NCSE's executive director Ann Reid. "I encourage members and friends of NCSE to urge their representatives to support H. Res. 67. The problem is real: one of eight U.S. public high school biology teachers are explicitly presenting creationism, and six of ten are reluctant to teach evolution properly. So, yes, support H. Res 67, but don't overlook the many ways to defend the teaching of evolution locally."

 



RESOLUTION

Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2015, 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, 2015, 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 it

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.