Darwin Day is a celebration to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on 12 February 1809. The day is used to highlight Darwin’s contribution to science and to promote science in general. Most humanists would agree that one of the greatest and most influential thinkers who ever lived should be commemorated and celebrated. 2009 was the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth (and the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species) and marked the year with a series of events as well as by re-doubling our efforts to have the day recognised as a holiday.
Charles Darwin was not only a great scientific thinker. He was fascinated by the relationship between human beings and other animals. He foresaw the false ideological evils for which natural selection might be used in justification and warned against such misunderstanding. He was also sensitive to the private and social upheaval that the theory of evolution would cause: revealing that human beings all belong to one common family and relating us to all other living things came at the cost of displacing humanity from the central, divine position we had previously occupied. Despite his personal caution, Darwinism radically re-shaped our intuitions about all living things, and today humanists all over the world can celebrate a defining moment in the naturalisation of our understanding of the world.
International Darwin Day will inspire people throughout the globe to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and hunger for truth as embodied in Charles Darwin. It will be a day of celebration, activism, and international cooperation for the advancement of science, education, and human well-being.
Local and state governments will close in commemoration of the Day, and organizations and businesses will celebrate by engaging in community outreach centered around science as a tool for the betterment of humanity.
Darwin Day will be observed by the United Nations and its members as an opportunity for international partnerships through the common language of science for the common good of all.
The mission of International Darwin Day is to inspire people throughout the globe to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and hunger for truth as embodied in Charles Darwin.