AHA News |  

Humanists Work with Rep. Rush Holt to Introduce Darwin Day Resolution

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brian Magee, 202-238-9088, bmagee@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC – Jan. 23, 2013) – American Humanist Association (AHA) leaders commend Rep. Rush Holt (NJ) for yesterday’s introduction of U.S. House Resolution 41 that recognizes Darwin Day, an annual worldwide celebration of science and humanity on February 12, the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. “We were honored to be able to work with Rep. Holt’s staff to help make this happen,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. 

The American Humanist Association is encouraging additional Representatives to sponsor the resolution, which expresses “support for designation of February 12, 2013, as Darwin Day and recognizes the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.” The AHA is asking its membership, as well as members of the public, to contact their Representative and ask them to co-sponsor this resolution.

“When President Obama emphasized the importance of science during his inauguration speech this week, he was also voicing support for the scientific discoveries pioneers like Charles Darwin made,” Speckhardt explained. “Darwin changed our understanding of life itself by showing the world, through science and reason, how nature shapes our existence.”

Rep. Holt commented, “Only very rarely in human history has someone uncovered a fundamentally new way of thinking about the world – an insight so revolutionary that it has made possible further creative and explanatory thinking. Without Charles Darwin, our modern understandings of biology, ecology, genetics, and medicine would be utterly impossible, and our comprehension of the world around us would be vastly poorer. By recognizing Darwin Day, we can honor the importance of scientific thinking in our lives, and we can celebrate one of our greatest thinkers.”

The International Darwin Day Foundation is a project of the American Humanist Association. The website www.darwinday.org provides resources and information on celebrating Darwin Day. Groups from all over the world hold Darwin Day events in the days surrounding February 12.

In 2011, the American Humanist Association worked with former U.S. Rep. Pete Stark (CA) to issue the first resolution recognizing Darwin. “Darwin exemplified the scientific curiosity that has led to new scientific breakthroughs that have helped humanity solve numerous problems and improve our quality of life,” Stark said at the time.

“We are thrilled that Rep. Holt found this resolution worthy of his support and attention,” Speckhardt added. “In today’s political climate, it is important that our elected officials support the knowledge and advancement science can provide all of us.”

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The American Humanist Association (www.AmericanHumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, its work is extended through more than 160 local chapters and affiliates across America. Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

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