Darwin Day Resolution Reintroduced in Congress by Rep. Jim Himes

US Representative Jim Himes (CT-04) introduced the Darwin Day Resolution, US House Resolution 548, in anticipation of Charles Darwin’s 207th birthday on February 12, 2016.

Rep. Himes stated, “Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking 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 US 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’ 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.

iddf_sq1This is the second consecutive year that Rep. Himes introduced the Darwin Day Resolution. The resolution was introduced by former US Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) in 2013 and 2014. Former US Rep. Pete Stark (CA-13), the only open atheist to serve in the US 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 cosponsors of the Darwin Day Resolution are Representatives Matt Cartwright (PA-17), Alan Grayson (FL-09), Mike Honda (CA-17), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Charlie Rangel (NY-13), 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.

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