Washington, DC – A New Jersey Congressman has proposed a bill in the House of Representatives to designate February 12th as national Darwin Day.
Representative Rush Holt, a Democrat and a professing Quaker, recently submitted the proposal to Congress as a way to honor Darwin, who he calls “an amazingly creative man.”
“Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by the mechanism of natural selection, together with the monumental amount of scientific evidence he compiled to support it, provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth,” he wrote in the text of the bill. “[T]he validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is further strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics.”
“[I]t has been the human curiosity and ingenuity exemplified by Darwin that has promoted new scientific discoveries that have helped humanity solve many problems and improve living conditions,” he continued. “[T]he advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change.”
Holt then takes aim at Biblical creation as he outlines his belief that “the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States education systems.”
“Charles Darwin is a worthy symbol of scientific advancement on which to focus and around which to build a global celebration of science and humanity intended to promote a common bond among all of Earth’s peoples,” he said. “Whereas February 12, 2013, is the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 1809 and would be an appropriate date to designate as Darwin Day, now, therefore, be it resolved that the House of Representatives (1) supports the designation of Darwin Day; and (2) recognizes Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge.”
The bill was referred to the Congressional Committee on Science, Space and Technology for consideration.
In speaking with the New York Times about the matter, Holt stated that he would like for evolution to play a greater role in Congress.
“I hope we can hold hearings,” Holt told the publication, “where people can hear about Darwin and science and the jobs it creates, the lives it saves–everything.”
Holt takes a very different stance than that of United States Representative Paul Broun of Georgia, a medical doctor and member of the federal Science and Technology Committee, who, as previously reported, called evolution and the big bang theory “lies straight from the pit of Hell.”
“God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the big bang theory–all of that is lies straight from the pit of Hell,” Broun stated at a sportsman’s event held at a local church last year. “And it’s lies to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a Savior. You see, there’s a lot of scientific data that I’ve found as a scientist that this really is a young earth. I don’t believe that the earth is but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was made in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible tells us.”
According to historical documentation, during the 1860 Oxford evolution debate, Admiral Robert FitzRoy, who had once served as the captain for Darwin’s voyage to the Galapagos Islands and played a significant role in the development of the Origin of Species, repented of his participation. He walked to the front of the room, “lifting an immense Bible, first with both and afterwards with one hand over his head, [and] solemnly implored the audience to believe God rather than man.”