On the Hill: AHA Gets Darwin Day Resolutions Introduced

While many progressives are still running around like headless chickens, overwhelmed by the excesses and daily indignities of the Trump administration, not everything on Capitol Hill has been so dramatically terrible. In fact, H. Res. 699 and S. Res. 374, the Darwin Day Resolutions, have just been re-introduced in the US House and Senate. We were proud to work with Representative Jim Himes (D-CT) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to re-introduce these resolutions, which:

  • State that evolution “provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth.”
  • Demand that the “advancement of science be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change.”
  • Confirm that the “teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States’ education systems.”

Darwin Day is an international celebration of science and humanity held annually on or near February 12, the day Charles Darwin was born in 1809. The observance celebrates the discoveries and life of Darwin and expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge has contributed to the advancement of humanity. The Darwin Day Resolution has been continuously introduced since 2011 in both the House and the Senate, and signifies that members of Congress are dedicated to promoting science and are opposed to the growing influence of creationism in our public schools.

These resolutions are important signs that some members of Congress still approach public policy from a rational mindset and support both scientific research and scientific education in our public schools. The House bill is currently co-sponsored by Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Bill Foster (D-IL), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Jim McGovern (D-MD), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jamie Raskin (D-MDD), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Jackie Speier (D-CA). The Senate bill is co-sponsored by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

Speaking in support of these resolutions, the bill’s sponsors had this to say:

In our modern political climate, when the very facts and truths revealed by science are under attack, honoring the efforts of scientists, the true heroes of human history, is vitally important. By celebrating and commemorating the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, we not only acknowledge his enormous contributions to our better understanding of the origins of life, but send a message that we value education, knowledge, and science as our guiding principles.
—Rep. Jim Himes

I am proud to champion and celebrate Charles Darwin’s achievements and those of every scientist and explorer who followed in his footsteps. Darwin Day recognizes the invaluable contributions of Darwin, without whom our understanding of this world would be fundamentally altered. Today, we reflect and remember that the advancements of science and human knowledge are profoundly important to the progress of humankind.
—Sen. Richard Blumenthal

So while it still may feel like American politics are upside down at the moment, it’s important to realize that some elected officials have retained their rationality, and are working harder than ever to support Darwin and protect the teaching of evolution in public schools.