Darwin Day resolution in Congress

Jim HimesJim Himes

House Resolution 548 (PDF), introduced in the United States House of Representatives on December 3, 2015, would, if passed, express the House's support of designating February 12, 2016, as Darwin Day, and its recognition of "Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge."

Jim Himes (D-Connecticut), the lead sponsor of the bill, explained in a December 3, 2015, press release from the American Humanist Association, "Charles Darwin's ground-breaking and world-changing work has left an indelible mark on the way human beings view the world and our relationship with it," adding, "The world owes a debt of gratitude to this pioneer."

Cosponsors of the measure are Elizabeth Esty (D-Connecticut), Charles Rangel (D-New York), Adam Schiff (D-California), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-District of Columbia), Alan Grayson (D-Florida), Louise Slaughter (D-New York), Alan Lowenthal (D-California), Jackie Speier (D-California), Matt Cartwright (D-Pennsylvania), and Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin).

Now with the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, H. Res. 548 is the latest in a string of similar Darwin Day bills in Congress: H. Res. 67 (also introduced by Himes) and S. Res. 66 in 2015, H. Res. 467 in 2014 and H. Res. 41 in 2013, and H. Res. 81 in 2011. All five of the previous resolutions eventually died in committee. 

"It's wonderful, as always, to see a resolution about how important evolution is to understanding the world around us," commented NCSE's executive director Ann Reid. "I encourage members and friends of NCSE to urge their representatives to support H. Res. 548. And don't overlook the many ways to encourage the teaching of evolution locally."