Science Information

Feb. 12 is Darwin Day -- Secular Americans Celebrate Bday of Evolution Champ


This Feb. 12 marks the 196th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth!

The day has special significance for America's nearly 30 million nonreligious people. In the humanist community, Feb. 12 is "Darwin Day."

"Darwin has become an all-purpose icon for humanists, who champion reason and science while rejecting superstition and dogma," said Matt Cherry, executive director of the Institute for Humanist Studies in Albany, N.Y. "Darwin is the definitive rebuff to fundamentalism."

In 2004, a Gallup poll found that only one-third of Americans believe Darwin's 19th century theory of evolution is a credible scientific theory. The same poll found that 45 percent of Americans believe God created humans in their present form roughly 10,000 years ago.

Massimo Pigliucci, Ph.D., a professor of evolutionary biology at SUNY-Stony Brook and author of the Web column "Rationally Speaking", is shocked by how few Americans have a basic understanding of evolutionary biology and the nature of science in general. "If people had a better understanding of both we wouldn't be embarrassed in front of the rest of the world by cases such as the one currently going on in Dover, Pa., where administrators are walking around local classrooms talking about 'intelligent design' and other nonsense," he said.

Pigliucci's course on "Evolution, Creationism and the Nature of Science" is available at the Continuum of Humanist Education, the online school of the Institute for Humanist Studies.

Though an unofficial humanist holiday, Darwin Day has been steadily gaining popularity in the humanist community since it first appeared in the early 1990s. Not long after the event took hold, the International Humanist and Ethical Union decided against making Darwin Day an official holiday. Board members at the time argued that humanists should not ape saints days or elevate humanist heroes to the status of secular idols.

Yet many humanists simply see Darwin Day as a way to celebrate scientific thinking and progress. Humanists are quick to note that science has evolved since the time of Darwin. But that, according to humanists, is a tribute to Darwin and to science.

"Science should be celebrated as something that makes our lives better -- just like family, love, nature, civil rights and the many other things we already celebrate," said August E. Brunsman IV, executive director of the Secular Student Alliance.

The Secular Student Alliance is an Ohio-based nonprofit educational organization. This year, the SSA supplied Darwin Day idea packets to more than 50 college campus affiliates. Serious ideas include lectures and debates. Some lighthearted possibilities include hosting an Evolution Banquet with Primordial Soup, or wearing ape costumes and handing out parodies of the disclaimer stickers that have appeared on biology textbooks in some states. The stickers were recently found to be an unconstitutional violation of the first amendment.

Duncan Crary is the editor of the Humanist Network News, a free weekly e-zine published by the Institute for Humanist Studies, http://www.HumanistStudies.org The IHS is a nonprofit think tank that promotes secularism in education and government. The IHS offers online courses in humanism, a philosophy maintaining that science and reason are the best means to promote human welfare. Humanists accept that people can live happy and ethical lives free from religious or supernatural convictions.


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


USA TODAY

'Transgender,' 'fetus,' 'science-based' reportedly on CDC list of banned words
USA TODAY
Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly has seven terms that can't appear in official documents. The Washington Post is reporting the Trump administration is banning the federal health agency from using seven words or phrases in ...
CDC barred from using terms like 'science-based' in budget docsEngadget
CDC banned from using 'evidence-based' and 'science-based' in official documents: reportThe Hill
CDC banned from using 7 words, including “science-based,” in budget documentsVox
Telegraph.co.uk -FOX31 Denver -Voice of America
all 175 news articles »


The Verge

A century after Arthur C. Clarke's birth, science fiction is still following his lead
The Verge
At some point, most science fiction readers come across the “Big Three” authors from its so-called Golden Age: Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke. Over the course of his lifetime, Clarke witnessed the birth of the space age, and ...

and more »


The New York Review of Books

Mark Dion: The Science of Art
The New York Review of Books
It appears to be an artist's work station, but with a naturalist's focus: pencils, markers, and paints are positioned across the desk; a row of books includes such titles as Animal Invaders, Fire Ants, and Snakehead, while watercolors pinned to two ...



Science Magazine

Researchers win some, lose some in final US tax bill
Science Magazine
The release yesterday of the final version of the Republican-backed bill marks the end of a fierce but remarkably brief battle over the biggest rewrite of the U.S. tax code in decades. Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed ...
The GOP tax plan would blow a hole in American scienceVox

all 3,626 news articles »


Science Magazine

Trump team puts controversial 'red team' challenge to climate science 'on hold'
Science Magazine
The effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publicly debate mainstream climate science is on ice. The idea of a "red team, blue team" debate to critique climate science — championed by EPA boss Scott Pruitt — has created divisions ...

and more »


The Verge

This collection features images from one of science's most influential explorers
The Verge
Born in 1769, von Humboldt was a scholar and explorer who traveled the world studying geography and biology. An early advocate for scientific thought and reasoning, his observations were critical in the field of biogeography and helped establish the ...



Forbes

Nicole Marie Stott Bridges Science, Art And Healing
Forbes
For retired astronaut Nicole Marie Stott, a stay on the International Space Station gave her more than the thrill of a lifetime, it re-inspired her love of painting. Stott first joined NASA's Kennedy Space Center in 1988 working in the Orbiter ...



The Hindu

When science textbooks become graphic novels
The Hindu
It doesn't take a lot to make the average science textbook more interesting. One of the many ways in which pure science textbooks are made more user-friendly is by using comic book elements, with characters explaining different concepts. Now a Pune ...



Here's What The Science Says About Why We Get Déjà Vu
ScienceAlert
Here's What The Science Says About Why We Get Déjà Vu. This looks familiar. LINDSAY DODGSON, BUSINESS INSIDER. 16 DEC 2017. It's one of the oddest sensations. That feeling where you are in a new situation, or a completely new environment, but you get ...



Astronomy Magazine

The LSST and big data science
Astronomy Magazine
Data complied into scheduled science releases will get considerable reprocessing to ensure that all contents are consistent, that false detections are filtered and that faint signal sources are confirmed. Reprocessing will also classify objects using ...


Google News

home | site map | Xray Photography
© 2006