Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Evolution Sunday

Feb. 12, 1809 was the day on which both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born. Though we now celebrate Lincoln’s birthday on President’s Day, Feb. 12th is still referred to as Darwin Day and celebrated around the world. This Sunday, it will be celebrated in churches as well. The same folks who put together the Clergy Letter Project, a letter supporting evolution signed by over 10,000 clergy, have organized over 400 churches to celebrate Darwin Day by teaching on the subject in church this Sunday. This is a very valuable project for reaching out to people who have been taught all their lives that evolution equals atheism. For information on Evolution Sunday, go here.


  1. #1 Martin Striz
    February 6, 2006

    I oppose this whole Darwin Day meme. Darwin was merely one figure, whose ideas have been superceded by the synthesis of genetics and now developmental biology. Celebrating his birthday makes it look like we’re worshipping him, and makes evolution look religious. THAT is not what we want.

    There are many other scientific and intellectual figures who have changed our view of the world, but we don’t celebrate the birth of Galileo, Newton, Einstein or Bohr. Singling out Darwin makes it look like religious veneration, particularly to the people that we’re trying to convince it’s not religion.

  2. #2 archmeg
    February 6, 2006

    I like the idea because Darwin is a figure that many people are familiar with – we have photos of him, diaries of his explorations, there’s enough information about him to make him real to people, which is moreso than some other scientists. And he’s more of a recognized cultural icon than someone like Bohr. I think his theortical development is a great example of how the scientific method should work, and how one frames a good argument. I love Einstein too (and would love an Einstein Day!), but his ideas are more complicated, and as such more difficult for the public to connect to, I suspect.

    I’m an archaeologist, and most states now have an archaeology month or week, in which they host all sorts of events focusing on the discipline. Maybe we should start developing science months? I think that would be fun.


  3. #3 Chance
    February 6, 2006

    I have no problem recognizing Darwin and his accomplishments. It also keeps science in the news. what I find interesting is the churches that continually claim their is no conflict with science and religion.

    It smacks of an ostrich with it’s head in the sand.

  4. #4 archmeg
    February 6, 2006

    Well I don’t see a conflict either. Science explains how and religious helps us to understand why. There’s been a lot of discussion of this on Chris Mooney’s blogin the past. http://scienceg8.com/science-and-religion-take-three

  5. #5 Chance
    February 6, 2006

    Well I don’t see a conflict either.

    Well thats fine. But one is evidence based, the other isn’t. If you believe dead people get up, walk around, and then fly away I support your right to do so. BUT make no mistake that belief is in conflict with all known science.

    Not to mention the fact that the process of science makes such beliefs unlikely.

    Nor do I think religion helps to explain the ‘why’ of anything. There are 10000 branches of Christianity alone and countless other sects and religions. How do they explain anything?

  6. #6 Chance
    February 6, 2006

    I should also mention that Mooney piece you listed was on the topic of faith in a ‘God’ not in the tenets or claims of a religion. On the former I agre with him and you, I imagine on the latter I do also.

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