A Democratic representative for the second year in a row urged his congressional colleagues to formally adopt "Darwin Day" to honor evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.
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Darwin Day is a "global celebration of science and reason" held every year on Feb. 12 to mark the anniversary of Darwin's birthday.
Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) on Tuesday introduced his "Darwin Day Resolution" along with 12 co-sponsors.
"Without [Charles Darwin’s] recognition that natural selection enables increasing complexity, our comprehension of our world around us would be vastly poorer," Holt said on the House floor. "To me Charles Darwin represents much more than a discovery or a theory -- he represents a way of thinking, a philosophy."
Holt took up the Darwin Day mantle from former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), who was the only open atheist in Congress until he left office last year.
Watch Holt's comments on the House floor below:
The American Humanist Association, a secular nonprofit group, worked directly with Holt and courted other politicians this year, sending a "Darwin Day Celebration" booklet to every member of Congress in an effort to urge support for the resolution.
The organization also runs the International Darwin Day Foundation, an initiative that supports the commemorative event aimed at praising the biologist for his evolutionary theories.
"Given the anti-science views held by some in Congress, it’s important for our future that scientific advancements -- and the scientists that achieve them -- are appropriately honored," Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, said in a statement.
This year marks the 205th anniversary of Darwin's birth.
Darwin Day is celebrated around the world, including registered events in 27 U.S. states this year and in numerous international countries.
The latest push for Darwin Day comes just one week after the highly publicized debate over creationism and evolution between TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye and Christian leader Ken Ham.
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