AHA News |  

Congressman Rush Holt Announces Darwin Day Resolution on House Floor

Humanists around the globe to celebrate science and humanity on the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brian Magee, bmagee@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 ext. 105

Update: Video of Rep. Rush Holt's announcement on the floor of the U.S. House is now available.

(Washington, DC—Feb 12, 2013)—Today supporters of science and reason are marking the 204th birthday of Charles Darwin as part of International Darwin Day, a project of the American Humanist Association, with hundreds of events around the world. In the United States, Congressman Rush Holt (NJ) is scheduled to announce House Resolution 41 “expressing support for the designation of February 12, 2013 as Darwin Day” on the House floor.

“The passage of Rep. Rush Holt’s proposed resolution in Congress would send a strong message to the world that the United States supports science education,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “Charles Darwin’s significant contributions to the advancement of science and our understanding of the world deserve recognition.”

The American Humanist Association worked with Rep. Holt and his staff on the bill and lobbied support from fellow House members. To date, the effort has garnered the support of seven co-sponsors: Rep. Michael Capuano (MA), Rep. Mike Honda (CA), Rep. Ed Markey (MA), Del. Eleanor Norton (DC), Rep. Jared Polis (CO), Rep. Charles Rangel (NY), and Rep. Louise Slaughter (NY) and was referred to the House Science, Space and Technology committee.

The first attempt at getting recognition for Darwin Day in the U.S. Congress occurred in 2011 and was submitted by former Rep. Pete Stark of California.

“There is no valid excuse for failing to recognize the person behind one of the top scientific discoveries of all time. This worldwide annual event was developed to make sure Charles Darwin and his contributions to science are honored,” Speckhardt continued.

The Canadian cities of Vancouver and Regina have issued Darwin Day proclamations, and Asheville, North Carolina City Council Member Cecil Bothwell will be introducing one at the council’s regular meeting this evening.

Charles Darwin’s evolutionary discovery of natural selection as the basis for biological transformations responsible for the diversity of life on earth is the foundation of modern biology, genetics, and medicine. Other areas of science and the humanities can also trace advancements to Darwin’s ideas. Since his publication On the Origin of Species in 1859, additional advances in knowledge have fine-tuned and repeatedly verified his insights.

# # #

The International Darwin Day Foundation (www.darwinday.org) is a project of the American Humanist Association. Its mission is to promote the public education of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and to encourage the celebration of science and humanity.

The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., 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.