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Darwin Day, It's Almost Official

A resolution introduced in the US House of Representatives would designate Feb. 12, 2013, the anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth, as Darwin Day in recognition of Darwin as "a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge."

Introduced on Jan. 22 by Rush Holt (D-NJ), the resolution has been referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Five representatives have signed on as co-sponsors.

The American Humanist Association, which manages the International Darwin Day Foundation, worked with Holt on the bill and is asking its members to contact their representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the legislation, H Res 41.

"Without Charles Darwin, our modern understandings of biology, ecology, genetics, and medicine would be utterly impossible, and our comprehension of the world around us would be vastly poorer," Holt says in an AHA press release. "By recognizing Darwin Day, we can honor the importance of scientific thinking in our lives, and we can celebrate one of our greatest thinkers."

As the National Center for Science Education points out, the language of H. Res. 41 is identical to H. Res. 81, introduced in 2011 by Pete Stark (D-Calif.).

"Like H. Res. 41, H. Res. 81 was referred to the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. From there, it proceeded to the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, where it eventually died," NCSE says.

Even if the new resolution meets a similar fate, that doesn't mean you can't celebrate. The International Darwin Day Foundation offers a comprehensive list of upcoming events in honor of the big day, including the Bake a Cake for Darwin Contest in Vancouver, BC; the Darwin Day Chili Cook Off in Pensacola, Fl.; the Darwin Day Bagel Brunch in Albany, Calif.; and more.