Image: Colin Purrington
I missed posting yesterday about Darwin Day, which honors the most important figure in the history of Biology. Darwin took a discipline which was more like coin collecting than science and gave it an analytical framework that made coherent sense out of a multitude of observations.
Our society is experiencing evolution in ways that many of us haven't considered. For instance, the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria is exactly what one would expect from the perspective of evolutionary biology.
Yet, Christian religious extremists still refuse to accept the fact evolution has happened and continues to happen to this very day. The anti intellectualism and hostility towards science among these people is only matched by the right's unwillingness to accept scientific fact about Global Warming. People think that they can just form opinions contrary to facts, and that will make those facts go away. People who wouldn't accept the scientific verdict on cigarette smoking far too often paid with their lives. Will people ever learn?
Here's a description of Darwin Day from the official site:
A Global Celebration
Darwin Day is an international celebration of science and humanity held on or around February 12, the day that Charles Darwin was born on in 1809. Specifically, it celebrates the discoveries and life of Charles Darwin -- the man who first described biological evolution via natural selection with scientific rigor. More generally, Darwin Day expresses gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity.
The International Darwin Day Foundation website provides resources and publicity for individuals and institutions across the world to celebrate science and humanity every year, on, or near, February 12, Darwin's birthday. In addition to information about the life and legacy of Charles Darwin, this website provides practical examples, advice and templates for organizing and publicizing Darwin Day events. It also provides a directory of events where you can find celebrations taking place near you or register your own event for others to find.
Recognizing science as an international language accessible to all individuals and societies, the International Darwin Day Foundation provides a new global holiday that transcends separate nationalities and cultures. Darwin Day can be celebrated in many different ways: civic ceremonies with official proclamations, educational symposia, birthday parties, art shows, book discussions, lobby days, games, protests, and dinner parties. Organizers may include: academic societies, science organizations, freethought groups, religious congregations, libraries, museums, galleries, teachers and students, families and friends. In Darwin Day, we are able to recognize the diversity among us, while celebrating our common humanity and the universal understanding we share.