Perhaps a day in honor of Darwin would help the cause of science, if only a little.

“I hope we can hold hearings,” Mr. Holt said, “where people can hear about Darwin and science and the jobs it creates, the lives it saves, everything.”

Mr. Holt, a nuclear physicist by training, would probably not have the support of his colleague Paul Broun, a Republican from Georgia’s 10th Congressional District. Representative Broun, a doctor, is famous among science lovers for having told the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet last fall that “all that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang theory, all that is lies, straight from the pit of hell.”

Evolution, he added, is one of those “lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”