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Interesting Facts about International Darwin Day to Honor Charles Darwin’s Birthday



Interesting Facts about International Darwin Day to Honor Charles Darwin Birthday

Darwin Day is celebrated annually on February 12 to honor Charles Darwin’s birthday. The scientific theory of evolution by natural selection, developed by English naturalist Charles Darwin, served as the foundation of modern evolutionary studies. On February 12, 1809, he was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England. International Darwin Day is another name for Darwin Day. The purpose of the day is to honor Charles Darwin’s contributions to science and to promote science in general.

On February 12, International Darwin Day will encourage people all over the world to consider and take action based on Charles Darwin’s teachings of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and a hunger for truth. It’s going to be a day of joy, action, and global collaboration for the progress of human welfare, science, and education.

In observance of the Day, businesses and organizations will engage in community outreach focused on science as a tool for the betterment of humanity. Local and state governments will close on this day.

The United Nations and its members will observe Darwin Day as a chance for global collaborations using science as a common language for everyone’s benefit.

International Darwin Day aims to encourage people all over the world to consider and put into practice Charles Darwin’s values of intellectual bravery, unending curiosity, scientific thinking, and a hunger for truth.

Every year, Darwin Day is a celebration of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, and his life and contributions. Darwin’s birthday is February 12th, and this holiday honors his contributions to the study of biology and evolution. Darwin outlined the scientific theory of evolution by natural selection in his 1859 book “On the Origin of Species,” which also offered a thorough explanation for the diversity of life on Earth. Darwin Day is celebrated to raise public awareness of the value of science in society and of the scientific principles underlying evolution. In several countries across the world, scientists, educators, and the general public celebrate it. To learn more about Charles Darwin Day, continue reading below.

Quick Look

Observed by: Various groups and individuals
Significance: The day celebrates Darwin’s life and work
Celebrations: Various
Date: 12 February
Frequency: Annual

25 Interesting Facts about Charles Darwin Day

  1. Darwin Day is a celebration on February 12, 1809, Charles Darwin’s birthday. The purpose of the day is to honor Darwin’s contributions to science and to further science in general. All across the world, people celebrate Darwin Day.
  2. Since Darwin’s death on April 19, 1882, at the age of 73, there have been intermittent celebrations of his work and tributes to his life.
  3. Events took place at Down House, where Darwin and his family resided from 1842 until his wife Emma Darwin’s death in 1896. Downe is located on the southern outskirts of London.
  4. More than 400 scientists and dignitaries from 167 different countries gathered in Cambridge in 1909 to honor Darwin’s contributions and engage in a spirited debate about the latest findings and related theories that were vying for acceptance. This was a public interest story that was extensively covered.
  5. The New York Academy of Sciences celebrated Darwin’s 100th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the publication of On The Origin of Species on February 12, 1909, at the American Museum of Natural History. Darwin’s bronze bust was unveiled.
  6. The Royal Society of New Zealand hosted a “Darwin Celebration” on June 2, 1909. “There was a very large attendance.”
  7. The University of Chicago hosted the biggest Darwin Centennial Celebration, a grand celebration of Darwin and the release of On the Origin of Species, on November 24–28, 1959.
  8. As early as 1972, 1974, and 1989 in Canada, scientists and scholars would occasionally commemorate February 12 with “Phylum Feast” events, a meal consisting of foods from as many different phyla as they could manage.
  9. The “Darwin Festival” has been an annual event at Salem State College in Massachusetts since 1980. The US Patent and Trademark Office registered the name as a service mark in 2005.
  10. Dr. Robert Stephens inspired the Humanist Community of Palo Alto, California, to start organizing an annual Darwin Day celebration in late 1993. The Stanford Humanists student organization and the Humanist Community sponsored a lecture by Dr. Donald Johanson, the man who discovered “Lucy,” on April 22, 1995, which was the first Darwin Day event open to the public. The annual celebration is still being held by the Humanist Community.
  11. At the University of Tennessee, Professors Massimo Pigliucci and Mitch Cruzan independently started an annual Darwin Day celebration in 1997. Along with public talks and activities, the event featured a teachers’ workshop designed to help elementary and secondary school educators better understand evolution, how to explain it to their students, and how to handle the pressures that the creationist movement often places on them.
  12. 2009 commemorated two milestones: the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the release of On the Origin of Species. There were planned celebrations, the most notable of which were held at the Natural History Museum in London, the University of Cambridge, and Shrewsbury.
  13. A life-size bronze statue of the Young Darwin, created by Christ’s College, Cambridge, a former student of Darwin’s, was unveiled to mark the bicentennial. The statue was unveiled by Prince Philip, the University’s then-chancellor, and was subsequently shortlisted for the 2009 Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture.
  14. A commemorative 1-ounce silver legal tender coin featuring Darwin at all ages, HMS Beagle, and Darwin’s signature was introduced by the Perth Mint in Australia in 2009.
  15. Introducing H. Res 81 to Congress on February 9, 2011, California Representative Pete Stark declared February 12, 2011, to be Darwin Day. He described Darwin as “a worthy symbol of scientific advancement… and around which to build a global celebration of science and humanity.”
  16. Representative Rush D. Holt, Jr., a nuclear physicist and Quaker Christian from New Jersey, introduced a resolution to the US Congress on January 22, 2013, honoring “the importance of sciences in the betterment of humanity” by declaring February 12, 2013, the 204th birthday of Charles Darwin, as “Darwin Day.”
  17. Delaware was the first state in America to formally observe February 12 as “Charles Darwin Day” when its governor, Jack Markell, did so in 2015.
  18. In the US House of Representatives, Representative Jim Himes introduced House Resolution 67 on February 2, 2015, which would proclaim February 12, 2015, as National Darwin Day. Under it, Darwin would be acknowledged as “a worthy symbol on which to focus…a global celebration of science and humanity.”
  19. Darwin enthusiasts Amanda Chesworth and Robert Stephens co-founded an unofficial campaign to promote Darwin Day in the late 1990s. Chesworth established the “Darwin Day Program” after relocating to New Mexico in 2001. The goals of the organization were outlined by Stephens in an article titled “Darwin Day An International Celebration.”
  20. Darwin Day Collection One: the Single Best Idea, Ever is a large book that Chesworth edited and put together in 2002. The book sought to combine academic research with popular culture while demonstrating Charles Darwin’s interdisciplinary reach.
  21. The website for the Darwin Day Celebration was redesigned to combine education about Darwin and the organization behind the celebration. It also featured automated registration and publication of past and planned celebratory events, as well as the ability to register individuals who wanted to receive emails or publicly express their support for Darwin Day. These days, the International Darwin Day Foundation, a stand-alone initiative of the American Humanist Association, manages the website.
  22. The University of Georgia observes Darwin Day as well.
  23. Since 2006, when it began with a speech by Tim Berra, Darwin Day and Darwin Week have also been observed at Southern Illinois University.
  24. On Darwin Day, various activities are held all over the world. All Darwin Day events are displayed and free registration is available on the Darwin Day Celebration website.
  25. Some people also celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 1809, on the same day as Darwin Day.
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