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'Darwin Day' Would Celebrate Father of Evolution

Darwin head shot
This is one of the last photographs taken of Charles Darwin, who developed the theory of evolution whereby changes in species are driven, over time, by natural and sexual selection. (Image credit: Richard Milner Archive)

United States Representative Rush Holt (D-N.J.) wants to designate Feb. 12 as "Darwin Day," to honor Charles Darwin's contributions to science and humanity.

Holt re-introduced a Darwin Day resolution on Wednesday (Jan. 29) that former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) first brought to the House of Representatives in 2011.

"Charles Darwin represents much more than just a theory of evolution. He represents a way of thinking; a philosophy; a methodology," Holt said in a statement. “It was his thirst for knowledge, and his scientific approach to discovering new truths that first enabled him to uncover the theory of evolution."

Darwin's discovery of evolution by natural selection, detailed in the book "On the Origin of Species" in 1859, explains the biological changes that brought about the diversity of life on Earth, and lies at the heart of modern biology.

This year is the 205th anniversary of Darwin's birth on Feb. 12, 1809. The American Humanist Association and cell and molecular Robert Stephens started the Darwin Day project as a global celebration of Darwin's life and science.

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Tanya Lewis
Tanya was a staff writer for Live Science from 2013 to 2015, covering a wide array of topics, ranging from neuroscience to robotics to strange/cute animals. She received a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from Brown University. She has previously written for Science News, Wired, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, the radio show Big Picture Science and other places. Tanya has lived on a tropical island, witnessed volcanic eruptions and flown in zero gravity (without losing her lunch!). To find out what her latest project is, you can visit her website.