International Darwin Day is celebrated annually on February 12. International Darwin Day celebrates the birth of Charles Darwin on February 12, 1809, and it is a day to celebrate science and humanity. Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, changed the field of natural history by proposing the theory of evolution by natural selection. In his book The Origin of Species published in 1859, it was stated that all life forms today on Earth descended from a single ancestor and that diversity in the animal and plant kingdoms accompanied by natural selection, extinction, migration and inheritance of mutations.
History of International Darwin Day
Darwin's theories were absolutely fundamental to our understanding of life and species in the world as we know it today. Charles Robert Darwin was born in 1809 in Shrewsbury, England and attended the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He grew up to be a naturalist and geologist who would eventually influence the thinking of people all over the world.
Darwin was intrigued by the number and variety of fossils from all over the planet, as well as the species in their great diversity. So he embarked on a five-year voyage on the Beagle to circumnavigate the world and study life in all its unique and varied forms, making particularly important discoveries in the Galapagos Islands. .
Darwin's theories presented the idea that some species descended from other species and that even humans themselves shared a common ancestor with primates. Although his theories were initially rejected by the scientists of the time, they were gradually accepted as more and more data were collected and more species were discovered. DNA research seemed to push his theory even further, as scientists began to see connections between species in the genes that make them up.
People have been celebrating Darwin's birthday (on February 12) for years, but it came back as a real date in the 1990s. The founders are meant to not only celebrate Mr. Darwin, however, there are many other scientific achievements of mankind.
How to Celebrate International Darwin Day
Enjoying International Darwin Day can be done in any way, small or large, alone or with a group, depending on personal preference. Let consider some below ideas to celebrate Darwin Day:
Go to a Museum
Learning is fun, especially when it's practiced! Whether visiting the local Museum of Natural History or the Science Museum, cultivating a love of science is a great way to give Darwin a nod and his scientific pursuits.
Organize a discussion group
As part of Darwin Day, it can be fun to have some friends come together to discuss or intelligently debate the theory of evolution (and vice versa, creation). Make it a book group by discussing some of Darwin's actual works or books about Darwin's ideas, like this: On the Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin, Descent of Man by Charles Darwin, Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne…
Create Darwinian-Inspired Art
Unleash your creativity through poetry, painting, drawing, and sculpting activities. Host a Darwin-inspired art competition at work or with friends. The only rule could be that the topic is somehow related to evolution, the origins of humans, animals, or how the planet continues to move forward. Be creative and have fun.
And be sure to honor the title winner: "Survivor of the fittest"!
Watch a movie about Darwin
For those who are not interested (or do not have the time) to read books about Darwin and his theories, watching a movie can be less time consuming! Watch these movies alone or with a group of friends such as Creation (2009), Galapagos: Beyond Darwin (1996), Inherit the Wind (1960), The Genius of Charles Darwin (2008).
Learn about Darwin's theories
Some people may find that the best way to celebrate International Darwin Day is to really study evolution and become familiar with the concept of 'Natural Selection'. It's an often misunderstood concept, with people confusing "Survival of the Fittest" with "Survival of the Best" and not understanding that "fittest" is for certain situations. Its focus is that, if a member of a species survives to pass on its genes, those genes are the ones that survive to form the new species. Eventually, with enough beneficial mutations, it can become an entirely new species that fits its environment. Read up! It's just the ancestor of everything you have to learn!
ObservedInternational Darwin Day has been observed annually on February 12th.
Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
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Dr. Robert Stephens