Darwin Day

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Reverend Blair
Darwin Day

 

Reverend Blair

It's February 12, kids. You know what that means? It is Charles Darwin's birthday. He would have been 196 today.

So I was thinking...we all agree that Canada needs a national holiday in February. A day when we can all take a break...a little rest between New Year's and whenever the Pope decides Easter will be. The only people who are against a national holiday in February are the money nazis who are deathly afraid they might miss out on yet another day of abusing their workers.

Some people have suggested St. Valentines day would be a good February holiday, but there are secular people who don't like that because of it's religious origins and religious people who don't like it because of its sexual connotations.

Other people have suggested Groundhog Day, but the way those little mammals get manhandled into being weather forecasters is ridiculous. Besides, the groundhogs hardly ever get it right. We have enough inaccuracy in this country, we don't need to make it official.

Some have said that we should have a Prime Minister's Day to coincide with the USA's Presidents' Day. That's just silly though...it's derivative and will become nothing but an excuse to sell sheets, just like it has in the US. If we want to honour our Prime Ministers, we should do it in a month when Ottawa is pretty, instead of being dull and dreary.

So let's make Darwin Day our national holiday. It's perfect. In many ways Darwin is the father of modern science. His theory of evolution changed not only the way we look at ourselves and the world around us, but had implications for all areas of science.

It would also send a clear message that we are a nation that bases decisions on scientific fact, not peculiar religious traditions. That is an important message to send in an age when the country below us seems to have been taken over by rabid religious fantasists.

The anti-evolutionists might yell and scream a bit, but they are going to do that anyway. They won't be happy until we teach every school child that Adam and Eve started the race six thousand years ago. If they really can't abide a day celebrating Darwin, then let them move to a state where science takes a back seat to superstition and greed.

Darwin Day can also become an international day off. Most developed nations have national holidays. Most developed nations base their decisions on science and fact. Darwin is a natural to become the first international holiday not based on religion.

So send a letter to your MPs, send an e-mail to the PMO. 2009 will be Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of his theory of evolution. Four years should be just enough time to whip our politicians into understanding that not only do we need a national day off, but we need a day that honours scientific achievement.

You can find out more about Darwin and the day honouring him at

[url=http://http://www.darwinday.org/home/index.html]the Darwin Day web site.[/url]

Surferosad

I'm in!

nonsuch

I've suggested this as the official holiday of atheits. Seems only fair.
(If Darwin is in any position to object, the ahteists are wrong and will find out in due course.)

maestro

I am totally in favour of Darwin Day.

It should be celebrated because Darwin made the most significant contribution to biology ever.

In addition, the theory of evolution stands as one of the greatest contributions to science generally, right up there with Einstein's relativity.

Yay, Darwin Day.

Edited to add:

Also, Darwin faced an opposition to his theory that Einstein didn't. Even though Einstein's theory was completely counterintuitive, no religion had ever posited a on 'time'.

If they had, we'd still be fighting over whether gravity was a natural phenomenon or God's will.

[ 13 February 2005: Message edited by: maestro ]

Reverend Blair

quote:


no religion had ever posited a on 'time'.

Apparently you didn't suffer through 13 years of Catholic education. I swear that nuns can make time stand still. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I love the idea of Darwin Day! I'll sign up.

BTW, the link in the first post did not work for me; this one works fine:

[url=http://www.darwinday.org/home/index.html]http://www.darwinday.org/home/i...

[ 13 February 2005: Message edited by: Boom Boom ]

Fidel

Darwin's dead a long time. And besides, everybody knows that we're the result of an alien genetic experiment that began 300 thousand years ago. [img]wink.gif" border="0[/img]

How many cultures around the world have a flood story and mythicizes who our ancestors were, and that the time before that was when "gods" lived among us?.

"Indeed, Earth itself is suspended in space, so any way we look at it life comes from space." — Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan.

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." ...Albert Einstein

Ok Reverend, prepair to be attacked from all sides by the atheist fundies. They'll wanna tell you that tossing a bomb into a print shop should, by all their hand calculations, produce a full volume set of encyclopaedias. ha ha [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

[ 13 February 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]

Tommy_Paine

As respectful as you know I am of Darwin and his accomplishments, he is an Englishman and I think we have enough nomenclature and holidays devoted to non Canadians as it is.

We already have winter festivals that celebrate the astronomical mid winter. Why not just make it "Mid Winter Festival", and celebrate it on the first Friday in February?

Reverend Blair

quote:


Ok Reverend, prepair to be attacked from all sides by the atheist fundies.

I actually put this up at several sites and there have been very few fundies coming after me for it. It's making me nervous...usually all you have to do is say "evolution" and they come out of the woodwork.

quote:

As respectful as you know I am of Darwin and his accomplishments, he is an Englishman and I think we have enough nomenclature and holidays devoted to non Canadians as it is.

We already have winter festivals that celebrate the astronomical mid winter. Why not just make it "Mid Winter Festival", and celebrate it on the first Friday in February?


Part of the reason I like the idea of Darwin Day being a Canadian national holiday is because of the inroads being made by the creationists and intelligent (heh heh) design folks south of our border. Combine that with the definite Christian-right bent of our official opposition and it's likely a good idea to send a message that we base our policies on science, not religious dogma.

kegbot

quote:


Originally posted by Reverend Blair:
[b]

Part of the reason I like the idea of Darwin Day being a Canadian national holiday is because of the inroads being made by the creationists and intelligent (heh heh) design folks south of our border. Combine that with the definite Christian-right bent of our official opposition and it's likely a good idea to send a message that we base our policies on science, not religious dogma.[/b]


Amen to that. I'm currently working on a front page for next week on intelligent design. We have one Christian school here that has a strong dislike for ID - says it lets God in "through the back door" rather than acknowledging straight away that God created every diddly thing as Ned Flanders might say. I didn't ask if they taught Bishop Ussher in their biology courses (I'm supposed to keep them happy with us) but I wonder if they do.

This morning in the paper I work for was an amazingly long guest editorial from some wacko who created a lucrative string of dentists offices across our part of Iowa.

This is part of what he wrote:

quote:

The problem that brings religious leaders into the fray is that evolution declares life sprang from minerals - an accidcent, purposeless and meaningless. Religious beliefs say the exact opposite: Life was formed on purpose with meaning. And there's the rub.

Today, our schools teach that the theory of evolution is a vitually proven fact when the facts do not support it. In doing so, they affirm an atheistic world view. While religion is kicked out the front door of the schoolhouse atheism - a belief system in its own right - slips in the back door under Darwin's cloak.


Dover Pa. public schools are now invested in teaching ID and other public systems (esp. Kansas) are watching the ACLU lawsuit in Pa. very closely.

No matter what lives you lead up there folks, every day thank whoever you want to thank you live in Canada. In the US, the clock of progress in science and knowledge is about to start marching backward.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

quote:


Rev. Blair:...usually all you have to do is say "evolution" and they come out of the woodwork.

I think Fundies are more sophisticated than that. Evolution [b]by natural selection[/b] is what enrages them. When "God" isn't necessary either to keep the watch going or to start it in the first place.

The place to check out for fighting the good secular fight, is, of course [url=http://www.infidels.org/index.shtml]The Secular Web (Internet Infidels)[/url]

The Internet Infidel quotation of the moment today is quite good:

quote:

If there were an afterlife, Isaac Asimov would have written a book about it by now.

Right phucking on. The Internet Infidels also have a discussion board, with, unfortunately, far too many Rand-like Objectivists, where atheists, agnostics, free-thinkers and the like have a welcoming place. I, N.Beltov, go by the pseudonym of Georgi Plekhanov over there, though, to be truthful, I've not posted much at all.

[url=http://www.iidb.org/vbb/index.php]Internet Infidels Discussion Board[/url]

[ 13 February 2005: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]

Mandos

Actually, I thought that Christian fundamentalists at least were also very concerned about maintaining a 6K age of the universe, and requiring six literal days, under the belief, among other things, that a metaphor is a lie and God wouldn't lie.

There are some Muslim creationists. I'm giving to understand that they dislike evolution because they feel it's not compatible with their particular take on predestination (which is to say, they reject cause and effect).

Surferosad

Sorry, wrong thread.

Can the moderator delete this, please?

[ 13 February 2005: Message edited by: Surferosad ]

beluga2

What the hell. If these twichy-eyed fundie fanatics want to cede the entire field of biological sciences to other countries which haven't turned their backs on the 21st century, let 'em. Just as long as they don't complain when all the great scientific discoveries of the future are made by those damn foreigners.

That's why I can't see this idiocy going too far -- the American corporate sector likes science, needs science, and is wholly dependent on government-funded research in order to invent new products and profit-making opportunities. I suspect that somewhere down the line there'll be a showdown between Wall Street and the Bible-thumping knuckle-draggers out in the Red-State heartlands.

kegbot

quote:


Originally posted by beluga2:
[b]That's why I can't see this idiocy going too far -- the American corporate sector likes science, needs science, and is wholly dependent on government-funded research in order to invent new products and profit-making opportunities. I suspect that somewhere down the line there'll be a showdown between Wall Street and the Bible-thumping knuckle-draggers out in the Red-State heartlands.[/b]

Remember Beluga there's the education the chosen US elite get: Exeter, Groton, etc.; and the public education system for the proles. Wall Street gets their cadre from thems that know the real deal. What the little people believe about religion, morality and science, as long as they consume and produce and obey, is not a big issue.

This whole issue is a distraction ploy from the real issues that matter to the elite - the allocations of the world's resources. Let the little folk expend their energies arguing endlessly about trivialities. Meanwhile, their pockets are being picked and their children are being sent to die in wars of conquest.

Religion and national chauvanism -- what greater means of societal control have ever been developed?

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

You gotta think that the most terrifyingly and blindly irrationalist fundamentalist thinking these days is this end-time apocalyptic visions of "the elect". They're happy to take us all down with them and gloat over the suffering of others that are "less deserving". It spiritually prepares them to be indifferent to the suffering of others in the world today, just as they are seemingly indifferent to the harm being done to the world itself.

Perhaps there really is no better evidence that capitalism as a social system is so spiritually out of gas, coughing and sputtering along, as by this offering of nothing more than "happy oblivion" to its most faithful servants. Bin Laden has his own version of this. The real future belongs to those who can, as William Blake so presciently wrote two centuries ago, "see a universe in a grain of sand" by absorbing the rich loamy soil of scientific wisdom and culture.

[ 13 February 2005: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]

Michelle

[img]http://jackbaty.com/files/2006/04/files/darwinfish.png[/img]

(P.S. It's also my mom's birthday. And Abe's!)

[ 12 February 2007: Message edited by: Michelle ]

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Today is Darwin Day -- a kind of Christmas for the science-minded.

Instead of observing a religious holiday, today is a celebration of Charles Darwin's birthday and mankind's crowning achievement -- science.

Now in its fourth year, Darwin Day is the brainchild of a group of British and American scientists.

"Our long-term goal is to establish a new international tradition ... an annual secular celebration of Darwin, science and humanity," said Robert Stephens, one of the event's organizers, to MSNBC.


[url=http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,72703-0.html?tw=wn_technology_1]S...

quart o' homomilk

quote:


Originally posted by Egalitarian American:
[b]No matter what lives you lead up there folks, every day thank whoever you want to thank you live in Canada. [/b]

Although anti-evolutionists here have probably not made the same inroads politically as they have in the US, all the research on evolution education suggests that one third of science teachers in Canada report having experienced pressure from parents or administrators to de-emphasize evolution in their classes - the same rate as in the US.
Almost 50% of (grownups) reject evolution in Canada, the same rate as in the US.

[ 16 February 2007: Message edited by: quart o' homomilk ]

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

quote:


Almost 50% of (grownups) reject evolution in Canada, the same rate as in the US.

That stat sounds a touch dubious to me. Where did it come from?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

According to [url=http://www.compas.ca/data/001124-NPostHotButtonFederalElection-EP.pdf]this Compas Inc. document from 2000[/url] (.pdf), 43% of Canadians believe in the theory of evolution to explain the origins of life, whereas 38% believe in a Biblical understanding of creation, and 19% have no opinion or refused to answer the poll question.

So, it's fair to say the population is split about evenly on the subject of evolution.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Actually, that Compas poll is in no way equivalent to the U.S. poll cited, and should not be used for comparison. In the U.S. poll, only 15% unequivocally supported scientific evolution, while nearly half unequivocally supported the literal reading of biblical creation - all very different than the 50/50 split seen in the Canadian poll, which asks only for a 'leaning'.

That said, I certainly support Darwin Day as far more meaningful than [url=http://www.ndp.ca/page/4896]Flag Day[/url]

head

So what do you do on Darwin's day? Take your kids to the zoo to meet the extended family, put them back in the basement and watch the new Vision channel, National Geographic?
You know, somehow it sounds like religion. It's there, you've been told, it's scientific dogma that you should believe, you are ostracized if you don't, and the media will no doubt jump on board with annual documentaries that we will all know off by heart within a few years.
Maybe Hasbro will also jump on the bandwagon and make some cool action figures, or maybe we'll have Transformers that can change from a goldfish into opinionated, pushy, hubristic full grown human-beings. It will all fit rather well with our reality shows and our conception of survival of the fittest.
Perhaps we should go a little further and celebrate other scientific breakthroughs that have changed our world as well. How about the steam engine? Think about it, a momentous occassion. It led to the rapid industrialization that resulted in the death of countless people around the globe (scientifically considered inferior by the ruling circles), the beginning of so-called liberal economic policies that devastated the globe and left us with all this shit to contend with today, it brought us closer together so to speak.
I can see how this is all a step up from celebrating Christmas or Easter as we used to, I mean who needs imagination when you have fossils?
Who needs the religious texts that have inspired countless millions for both good and bad, when it can all be easily replaced by scientific, factual texts where the value of an idea is solely vindicated by the evidence put forward to support it?
Science, the new sacred cow.

[ 19 February 2007: Message edited by: head ]

jeff house

quote:


Who needs the religious texts that have inspired countless millions for both good and bad, when it can all be easily replaced by scientific, factual texts where the value of an idea is solely vindicated by the evidence put forward to support it?
Science, the new sacred cow.

This idea is so terribly sad. Here is someone using the INTERNET of all things, to claim that science is no more reliable than religion!

So, if it says in some old book that the sun turns around the earth, well, that's JUST AS RELIABLE as the idea that the earth orbits the sun! Because SOMEONE told us that book is like, "sacred."

So, the world MUST be only 4000 years old, even if the carbon 14 test tells us otherwise. I mean, that test depends on radioactivity! And how do we know THAT is real? Next thing, those scientists will be telling us that you could create an EXPLOSION using radioactivity!

Much better to believe in Noah's ark, and life after death, and virgin birth, and the Garden of Eden. It's so much cosier.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

I'm in for Darwin Day. Chocolate beagles for everyone.

Your link was not working so I found this one: [url=http://www.darwinday.org/]http://www.darwinday.org/[/url]

[ 19 February 2007: Message edited by: Frustrated Mess ]

jeff house

Here's an actual creationist stumbling through the "proof" that the world is only 3,500 years old!

[url=http://leftytube.blogspot.com/2007/02/creationism-explained.html]http://...

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by M. Spector:
[b]

So, it's fair to say the population is split about evenly on the subject of evolution.[/b]


It's further empirical evidence of why we need to ditch the two old line colonial administrative parties. They've [i]created[/i] a nation of idiots.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Happy [url=http://www.darwinday.org/englishL/home/2007.php]Darwin Day[/url], all!

Quote:

At this juncture in history, the world has become so small and interdependent that we need a Global Celebration to promote a common bond among all people. The Darwin Day Celebration was founded on the premise that science, like music, is an international language that speaks to all people in very similar ways. While music is both intellectual and entertaining, science is our most reliable knowledge system, and it has been and continues to be acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity. Moreover, evolution via genetic variation and natural selection, introduced by Darwin, has become the central organizing principle in biology. In addition, evolution also plays a central role in astronomy and cosmology, where it refers to the way that stars, galaxies and the entire universe 'change over time.' To study biology while neglecting evolution would be like studying physics without Newton's laws that govern the universe or chemistry without the periodic table. Clearly, Darwin himself has become an internationally acclaimed figure, whose influence on progressive modern thought continues to be both profound and pervasive.

(Ernst Mayr, Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought, Scientific American, July 2000).