House Resolution 44, introduced in the United States House of Representatives on January 11, 2017, would, if passed, express the House's support of designating February 12, 2017, as Darwin Day, and its recognition of Charles Darwin as "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." The bill was referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, where similar bills, such as H. Res. 548 in 2016, have failed to receive a hearing.
Jim Himes (D-Connecticut), the lead sponsor of the bill, explained in a January 12, 2017, press release from the American Humanist Association, "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." He added, "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."
"2017 has already seen its first state bill targeting evolution [South Dakota's Senate Bill 55], so it's wonderful to see a resolution that recognizes the importance of teaching evolution," commented NCSE's executive director Ann Reid. "I encourage members and friends of NCSE to urge their representatives to support H. Res. 44. The problem is real: one of eight U.S. public high school biology teachers are explicitly presenting creationism, and six of ten are reluctant to teach evolution properly. So, yes, support H. Res 44, but don't overlook the many ways to defend the teaching of evolution locally."
Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2017, as "Darwin Day" and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity.
Whereas 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;
Whereas the validity of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection is further strongly supported by the modern understanding of the science of genetics;
Whereas it 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;
Whereas the advancement of science must be protected from those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change;
Whereas the teaching of creationism in some public schools compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the United States education systems;
Whereas 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; and
Whereas, February 12, 2017, 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.