Saturday, February 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

Two-hundred and two years ago today, Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. Fifty years later, he published "On the Origin of Species," a work proposing and outlining his theory of natural selection. Like Galileo and Newton, Darwin figured out a piece of knowledge that allowed us to truly understand of the workings of the natural world. Though the religious community still tries to paint Darwin as a divisive figure, the scientific community has expanded on his work in myriad ways.  One could even argue that we've learned more about biology and natural history in the last 150 years since the publication of "On the Origin of Species" than in the previous millennium.

Some dedicated Darwin fans have come together in an attempt to establish International Darwin Day. Democratic representative Pete Stark of California has even introduced House Res. 81 to establish Feb. 12 as Darwin Day. The idea of Darwin Day is not only to celebrate Darwin's birthday, but also to remember "the importance of science in the betterment of humanity." That's something I can get behind. Read the text of Stark's beautifully crafted resolution here.

Check out the International Darwin Day website see what the movement is all about.

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