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Darwin Day Meta-Packet

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Darwin Day
  • Introduction
  • Your Event
  • Past Events
  • Links & Resources

Introduction - Why is this Scientist Different from All Other Scientists?

Darwin Day is an international celebration of science and humanity held on or around February 12, the day that Charles Darwin was born on in 1809. Specifically, it celebrates the discoveries and life of Charles Darwin -- the man who first described biological evolution via natural selection. It is a day to express gratitude for the enormous benefits that scientific knowledge, acquired through human curiosity and ingenuity, has contributed to the advancement of humanity. It has been celebrated in many different ways: civic ceremonies with official proclamations, educational symposia, birthday parties, art shows, book discussions, lobby days, games, protests, and dinner parties. In Darwin Day, we are able to recognize the diversity among us, while celebrating our common humanity and the universal understanding we share.

(This introduction has been adapted from the Darwin Day Celebration website, a program administered by the American Humanist Association.)

Your Event - How Can I Put on the Best Darwin Day Ever?

The events you can hold for Darwin Day are practically unlimited. From this list of common activities you can mix and match, or create your own!
  • Hosting a speaker(s) to discuss evolution, the origins of humankind, the evolution of life in your area, the life of Darwin, how evolutionary theory has evolved, why intelligent design isn't science, and any other topic in freethought or science.
  • Holding a debate between a creationist or religious leader and a scientist or atheist. A similar, less controversial possibility is a panel discussion wherein a scientist, a religious leader, a non-religious leader, a philosopher or others to discuss evolution's impact on religion, society, and humanity's place in the world.
  • Any sort of party, wild bash or madcap romp is acceptable. Consider dressing up like Darwin, or in a gorilla suit.
  • An ice cream social for freethinkers, life scientists, and anyone else interested in Darwiniana. (With options for vegans and the lactose-intolerant, or course).
  • Urge your mayor or local council to issue a proclamation on the importance of Darwin's scientific discoveries, the value of evolutionary theory for all sciences, and the importance of scientific literacy in education and public life.
  • Hold a Humanist Advocacy Day, wherein your members can directly lobby legislators and public officials to promote science education, state/church separation, and other freethought issues.
  • Conduct a letter-writing campaign to get campus members to promote public science and freethought issues.
  • A tabling event with a birthday cake that you can give out, as well as information about your group, evolutionary theory, and science education.
  • Conduct a reading from the Origin of Species and freethinking writers, such as Mark Twain and Robert Ingersoll.
  • Screen an evolution-related movie; some possibilities include Inherit the Wind, and Flock of Dodos. Students DO NOT need public screening rights to show any of the videos on Richard Dawkins' website. If you're daring, screen Expelled with callbacks.
Whatever event you have, you should be sure to register your event with the international Darwin Day Celebration!

Past Events & Proclamations

Here are some past event notices from the SSA's eMpirical:
Links & Resources
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