Darwin Day – When is it?
February 12 marks Darwin Day, when humanists around the globe celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, the pioneer of the modern form of the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, in 1809 in Shrewsbury. While evolution was not an original idea with Darwin (the ancient Greeks believed in a form of evolution and even Darwin’s grandfather had formulated his own view of naturalistic evolution), Darwin is widely regarded as the key populariser of ‘molecules-to-man’ evolution. November 22 marks the anniversary of the publication of his book, The Origin, in 1859.
Various events are conducted on Darwin Day around the world. They have included dinner parties with special recipes for primordial soup, protests with school boards, workshops, and literature distribution by people in ape costumes. Darwin’s birthplace, Shrewsbury, began a ‘Darwin Festival’ in 2003 which now lasts the full month of February.
Darwin Day – The agenda
An examination of the ‘Darwin Day’ website reveals that the people behind the international celebration are far more interested in promoting a naturalistic worldview than they are a scientifically feasible model of origins.
While the humanists make the claim that "the Celebration itself…does not promote religion or non-religion and especially not anti-religion", and as wikipedia notes, "The day is used to highlight Darwin’s contribution to science and to promote science in general," a couple of points are somewhat revealing. There exists no Einstein day, nor a Newton day, nor a Copernicus Day, nor a Galileo Day. All of these men were brilliant scientists, whose contribution to our understanding of reality is invaluable. Yet if Darwin Day is about promoting science as opposed to a materialistic ideology or dogma, why is he the only scientist for whom we have a yearly commemoration? Moreover, the sponsors for the movement include secular humanistic organisations such as the Skeptic Society and the Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Darwin Day – Tribute to a failed paradigm
The important prediction that Darwin’s theory makes is that organisms will become more complex through an incremental modification. This ought to be discernable in the fossil record, but Darwin at the time admitted that it did not show the intermediates that his theory required. Moreover, many of his contemporaries pointed out that the overall and consistent pattern of the fossil record is that new groups of animal appear abruptly. This has been confirmed by the numerous fossils unearthed since then.
Darwin also recognized that his theory implied not only the gradual development of organisms, but also of their organs. In chapter 6 of his book The Origin, he provided this test of his theory, as a ground on which it could be falsified: