CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN
February 12, 1809 to April 19, 1882
The Evolution of a Global Celebration
Of Science and Humanity
Darwin's 200th Birthday occured on February 12, 2009; it waws also
the 150th Anniversary of the publication of his famous book, On The
Origin of Species. So, together we can evolve a truly international Celebration to express gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity. The objective of Darwin Day Celebration is to encourage existing institutions worldwide, such as municipalities, public and private schools, colleges and universities, libraries, museums,
churches, private organizations and individuals to celebrate Science and
Humanity every year, on, or near, February 12, Darwin's birthday!
Here are ways you can participate:
- Sponsor and produce a annual Darwin Day EVENT and register it.
- Browse these Links to Darwin Day (DDC) related Websites for ideas on how to create an Event.
- Browse our Darwin resources on this site and our current site to learn more about the life of Charles Darwin and his contributions to science.
February 12th, 1809
On this date, two great men were born —
Abraham Lincoln, Emancipator of American Slaves
Charles Darwin, Emancipator of the Human Mind
Their Positive Legacies Still Endure
Let's have some Lincoln-Darwin Celebrations
Click here for more information
Charles Darwin as a Symbol for the
Celebration of Science and Humanity
Celebrations are an important part of
every culture. They provide a tradition and a common bond to
be shared among those who make up their culture, permitting
them to experience a meaningful connection to one another
and to the principles to which they subscribe.
Unfortunately, most celebrations are based on ancient
traditions that are relevant to only a specific country or
culture, and they have often been, and continue to be, the
source of serious conflicts.
At this juncture in history, the world has become so small and
interdependent that we need a Global Celebration to promote a common
bond among all people. The Darwin Day Celebration was founded on
the premise that science, like music, is an international language
that speaks to all people in very similar ways. While music is both
intellectual and entertaining, science is our most reliable knowledge
system, and it has been and continues to be acquired through human
curiosity and ingenuity. Moreover, evolution via genetic variation
and natural selection, introduced by Darwin, has become the central
organizing principle in biology. In addition, evolution also plays a central role in astronomy and cosmology, where it refers to the way
that stars, galaxies and the entire universe 'change over time.'
To study biology while neglecting evolution would be like
studying physics without Newton's laws that govern the universe or
chemistry without the periodic table. Clearly, Darwin himself
has become an internationally acclaimed figure, whose influence on
progressive modern thought continues to be both profound and pervasive
(Ernst Mayr, Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought, Scientific American, July
Current research in the field of
genetics, including that on the human genome, has
conclusively shown that all humans are essentially identical
and that we are genetically related to all other living
things on this planet. Thus an enlightened view of genetics
is one of unity and equality among all humans and also one
that fosters a deeper sense of respect and appreciation for
all life. Today the validity of Darwin's theory of evolution
by natural selection rests in our understanding of the
molecular mechanisms of genetics. Therefore, we conclude
that Charles Darwin is a worthy symbol on which to focus, in
order to build a Global Celebration of Science and Humanity
that is intended to promote a common bond among all people
of the earth.
For statements and essays supporting the celebration of Darwin, Science, and Humanity,
take a look at our Essays Section .
Examples on How to Celebrate Science & Humanity
Additional examples can be seen by going to Darwin Day Related Websites
- Nobel Laureate Roger Kornberg endorses celebration of science
October 3, on the PBS News Hour program:
JEFFREY BROWN: “Well, Roger, on that, finally, I heard you in a press conference today talk about how this award was a nice chance to celebrate the role of science in our society. What did you mean by that?”
ROGER KORNBERG: “I think that we so rarely have the opportunity nowadays, with the news that we all hear and read on a regular basis, to celebrate intellectual activity, to celebrate the rewards of study and achievement in science and in the university, in other aspects. I think it's not only important to do so, but it's more than that: a privilege, a joy to celebrate.”
- Salem College in Massachusetts
For Colleges and Universities, this is an excellent website to browse for ideas on how to Celebrate because Salem College has had a tradition of hosting a Darwin Celebration for over 25 years. This "Darwin Festival" lasts for a full week each year and is open to the public -- it is a wonderful model for all to consider!
- Darwin Day Celebration at UC Berkeley
This Celebration is sponsored by three Bay Area groups; Bay Area Biosystematists, UC Berkeley Entomology Students Organization, and the Essig Museum of Entomology. Browse for some great ideas on how groups or departments can cooperate to insure success!
- Wickliffe Secondary School
Biology teacher Rich Benz has developed ‘linked files’ that will help you celebrate Darwin Day with your biology students in high school. From their website: “Every year the students at Wickliffe High in Ohio forget about old Abe Lincoln for a few minutes and celebrate the birth of one of our greatest scientists – Charles R. Darwin born February 12, 1809.”
Swarthmore College Professor of Biology, Colin Purrington has created a website with a section entitled the Evolution Outreach Project that contains material that is very useful to science teachers celebrating Darwin, Science and Humanity! Visit his website for ideas and useful materials.
- American Museum of Natural History
The curator of this magnificent exhibit about Darwin’s life and work is Niles Eldredge, whose professional passion is evolution. This historical exhibit opened in New York on November 19, 2005 and will travel to Boston, Toronto and Chicago before going to the Natural History Museum in London in time to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth in 2009!
- Penn Museum
Museums can have fun celebrating Darwin, Science and Humanity -- from Penn’s Website: “The free day features short “teach-in” talks by experts in the galleries, a discussion forum in the “Science Cafe” and a physical anthropologist corner with plaster casts of hominid skulls and other bones. Visitors are invited to sign up and deliver short readings of excerpts from Darwin’s many writings. There will be a birthday cake and the opportunity to play badminton, reputedly a favorite game of Darwin. Darwin himself, or a reasonable likeness, is expected to make an appearance during the day. Penn Museum is delighted to join a growing, international chorus of classroom teachers, museums, universities and other organizations in celebrating the life and achievements of Charles Darwin,” said Richard M. Leventhal, the Museum director. “Darwin’s theory of evolution has dramatically changed the way people study and think about our world.”
- Darwin Week in Charleston
Here is a good example of how professional university scientists; their organizations and publications can develop ways to Celebrate Science and Humanity. The main sponsor for this Darwin week in Charleston is the Charleston Chapter of Sigma Xi but there are a number of other sponsors within the community as well including the College of Charleston, churches, student clubs and the county Hall of Science and Math! From their Website: “The public is invited to the sixth annual Celebration of Darwin Week in Charleston. This year’s events are bigger, and better, and more diverse than ever! All events are free! But arrive early – seats will fill up fast!”
- Tutt Library News
Tutt Library at Colorado College devoted a display case on the second floor to an exhibit of books by and about Darwin, along with information about his life. A picture of their eye-catching display is shown on their website.
- Gumberg Library
Gumberg Library at Duquesne University participates in the Darwin Day Events on campus by preparing a special display of selected Darwin Material.
- Churches: Evolution Sunday 2007
Many churches are joining the celebration of Darwin, Science and Humanity -- you will find excellent examples here -- from their website: “on 11 February 2007 hundreds of congregations from all portions of the country and a host of denominations will come together to discuss the compatibility of religion and science. For far too long, strident voices, in the name of Christianity, have been claiming that people must choose between religion and modern science.”
- Shrewsbury, England: Darwin’s Birthplace: Bicentennial Epicenter in 2009
Bicentennial Celebrations are taking many forms:
Darwin’s birthplace, Shrewsbury, England, plans to be the epicenter of the global anniversary celebrations in 2009. From their Website: “The organisers of Shrewbury 2009 have drawn together the arts and the sciences to create a constantly evolving and wide ranging programme that will expand over the coming years, culminating in 2009 with a calendar of events, which will form the epicentre of the global anniversary celebrations.”
- The Beagle Project 2009
The Beagle will sail again in 2009 and you can assist financially by going to their Website. In their own words:“The Pembrokeshire Beagle will be a working replica of the boat on which the young Charles Darwin sailed between 1831 and 1836…We intend that the replica Beagle will inspire a new generation of scientists and play a crucial role in increasing public understanding of science… the Beagle will sail with crews of young students who will undertake scientific research and environmental monitoring, and will be mentored by science professionals seconded from universities and industry… She will be the focus of worldwide attention during the Darwin 200 celebrations in 2009, which will celebrate and promote the life and work of Charles Darwin.”
- Mukto-Mona – Plans Multi-National Celebrations in 2007, 2008 and 2009
From their website: “Mukto-mona is an Internet Congregation of freethinkers of mainly Bengali and South Asian decent across the globe. With a mission to promote science and human rights, etc.” You will enjoy both the graphics and articles on this attractive website!
- Alliance for Science
The mission of the Alliance for Science is to heighten public understanding and support for science and to preserve the distinctions between science and religion in the public sphere. We bring together scientists, teachers and science-related companies with the many religious bodies that have found no conflict between religion and science. Together we work to reawaken America's love of science, and to restore our competitive edge in science and technology.
The description above is quoted from the first paragraph of our mission statement.
- Defend Science
is “An Urgent Call by Scientists to DEFEND SCIENCE!” From their website: “In the USA Science is under attack as never before”. You are invited to participate by reading and signing the Defend Science Statement on their website where you can also make a financial donation and join the battle!
The following prominent scientists, educators, philosophers, and writers serve on the Darwin Day Advisory Board and Many More support our efforts to celebrate Science and Humanity:
Evolution of the modern horse and its leg bone