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Rep. Jim Himes Reintroduces Resolution in Support of Charles Darwin, Science Education

For Immediate Release

Contact:

Merrill Miller, 202-238-9088 ext. 105, merrillmiller@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC, Dec. 3, 2015)—U.S. Representative Jim Himes (CT-04) introduced the Darwin Day Resolution, U.S. House Resolution 548, in anticipation of Charles Darwin’s 207th birthday on February 12, 2016.

Rep. Himes stated, “Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking and world-changing work has left an indelible mark on the way human beings view the world and our relationship with it. Through his tireless observations and unique perspective on the world, Darwin made incredible breakthroughs toward revealing the origins of life and the fundamental genetic structures that make up every organism. Scientists are still building upon his legacy today, enhancing the fields of medicine, biology, environmental studies and the social sciences. The world owes a debt of gratitude to this pioneer, and today we celebrate his life and contributions.” 

Darwin Day commemorates Charles Darwin and promotes science and the teaching of evolution. According to Science magazine, one-third of high school biology teachers in the U.S. are advocates of creationism. A Slate study found that over 300 schools across the country use taxpayer dollars to fund schools that teach creationism in science classes, and Louisiana and Tennessee have passed laws that permit teachers to include intelligent design in their science classes.

"With creation and intelligent design continuing to be unconstitutionally taught in schools funded by the taxpayers, Congress's support of Darwin Day provides a necessary emphasis on the need for sound science education and the teaching of evolution in our public schools," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.

This is the second consecutive year that Rep. Himes introduced the Darwin Day Resolution. The resolution was introduced by former U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) in 2013 and 2014. Former U.S. Rep. Pete Stark (CA-13), the only open atheist to serve in the U.S. Congress, introduced the Darwin Day Resolution in 2011. The American Humanist Association worked closely with Rep. Himes, his staff and other members of Congress on this legislation. Other co-sponsors of the Darwin Day Resolution are Representatives Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Elizabeth Etsy (CT-05), Alan Grayson (FL-09), Mike Honda (CA-17), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Charlie Rangel (NY-13), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Louise Slaughter (NY-25) and Jackie Speier (CA-14).

Darwin Day, a project of the American Humanist Association, was founded by Dr. Robert Stephens in 1993. The American Humanist Association maintains the Darwin Day website, DarwinDay.org, a resource about Charles Darwin that showcases Darwin Day celebrations around the country as well as state and local resolutions and proclamations.

The Darwin Day Resolution can be viewed here.

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The International Darwin Day Foundation, founded by Dr. Robert Stephens in 1993, 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.

Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., 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.