WASHINGTON — Two Democratic congressmen have again introduced “Darwin Day” resolutions in the House and Senate in an effort to commemorate the birthday of the controversial “father of evolution.”
Rep. James Himes and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, both of Connecticut, submitted the resolutions, which would recognize Feb. 12 as a day to celebrate the life of Charles Darwin.
“Charles Darwin developed the theory of evolution by the mechanism of natural selection, which, together with the monumental amount of scientific evidence Charles Darwin compiled to support the theory, provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth,” the resolution reads in part.
It also claims that “the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the education systems of the United States,” and that the advancement of science must be protected against those who doubt global warming warnings.
“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 the people of the Earth,” the resolution further asserts.
The bill is co-sponsored by a number of other Democratic lawmakers, including Reps. Judy Chu of California, Bill Foster of Illinois, Derek Kilmer of Washington, Jim McGovern of Maryland and Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington, D.C., as well as Sens. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
“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,” Himes said in a statement. “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.”
Read the resolution in full here. “Darwin Day” resolutions have been submitted in Congress for the past five years.
However, some find the proposal to be more than just an effort to recognize Darwin, but to declare evolution as fact and to stamp out disagreement with liberal beliefs.
“At face value, the recognition of a noted scientist’s birthday is an issue of minor importance, one that politicians are free to debate. However, the bill’s language goes far beyond simply recognizing the indelible stamp that Darwin left on Western civilization,” Nathaniel Jeanson, research biologist with Answers in Genesis, told Christian News Network.
He pointed to language in the resolution that asserts that the theory of evolution provides a “logical and intellectually compelling explanation for the diversity of life on Earth” and that it is “strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics,” as well as its claim that teaching Creation in public schools is harmful to the education of students.
“[T]his bill wants to codify evolution as fact—as if scientific facts needed the help of politicians to become reality,” Jeanson lamented. “And if this topic weren’t sufficient for ambitious political agendas, the bill also claims that ‘the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change.’ In other words, ‘Darwin’s birthday’ is a thinly-veiled disguise for an elaborate liberal agenda.”
He said that he found such contentions disconcerting as they are erroneous.
“For example, as I document in my book ‘Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of Species,’ the advances in science over the last 150 years have not only rebutted Darwin’s claims, they have replaced them entirely,” Jeanson noted. “Furthermore, it’s the field of genetics that provides the strongest confirmation of the scientific claims laid out in Scripture.”
“Creation science doesn’t compromise the scientific and academic integrity of education; it advances it,” he also outlined.
As previously reported, not all of those who accompanied Darwin on his journeys supported his theories. 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.
Reports state that FitzRoy walked to the front of the room during the debate, “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.”