Delaware Governor Announces ‘Charles Darwin Day’

Feb 5, 2015

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

By Jesse Rifkin

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) has declared Feb. 12 as “Charles Darwin Day” in the state.

Praising Darwin’s theory of evolution as “the foundation of modern biology, an essential tool in understanding the development of life on earth,” Markell’s proclamation says Feb. 12 — Darwin’s birthday — “is a time to reflect and celebrate the importance of his scientific achievements.”

As Patheos notes, the proclamation was issued at the request of Chuck Dyke, a member of the Delaware Atheist Meetup group. (According to the governor’s website, any organization based in or connected to Delaware may request special recognition for a day, week or month.)

Darwin Day has been celebrated by groups in the U.S., Europe and Canada on the British naturalist’s birthday since 1980. In 2013 and 2014, then-Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) introduced legislation to designate a national Darwin Day. Despite support from some House Democrats, the proposal never got off the ground. Former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) made a similar attempt in 2011.

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12 comments on “Delaware Governor Announces ‘Charles Darwin Day’

  • I can’t help feeling anything but admiration for Charles Darwin as a person. Upstanding honest and earnest. The fact that he overthrew his Christian belief because of his discoveries in the natural world speaks of his honesty. The fact that his discoveries would result in a revolution in scientific knowledge of the natural world, and having a devout Christian as a wife, seemed to have delayed the publication of The Origin….. by some 20 years or so, speaks of his position as a “respectable” Englishman, not wanting to put anyone’s back up, especially his wife’s, but that still,- with the young Wallace encouraging him, he went ahead and published. And yes during those 20 years or so he had been meticulous in further investigating corroborating evidence for his theory.

    No wonder the man has been on the back of the English 10 pound note for years. An unwilling revolutionary !

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  • I remembered that in later printings he toned down the atheistic overtones in deference to his wife’s feelings. Whaddayathink.

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  • He is surely the acme of the successful scientist. An assiduous and compulsive collector of evidence. Deeply cautious and self questioning, finding the flaws in his hypotheses and noting where they still stood. And producing a great wealth of dependent hypotheses for future researchers.

    He was also a great dad too, a tradition his grandfather started. Theirs were households to grow up in…

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  • 11
    Brandie says:

    US money has things like “Independence Hall, the White House, the Great Seal of the US, etc” on it. But they all have one thing in common, every bill has “In God We Trust”. I do believe we have been fighting for a while to have it removed,to no avail.

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