Will you celebrate Darwin Day?
Hallmark may not have caught on yet, but the scientific community is hyping Darwin Day, a recently instituted celebration intended to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on February 12, 1809. The day is used to highlight Darwin's contribution to science and to promote science in general.
As you can imagine, there's also a political message behind the effort. The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center is trying an experiment this year by sending out scientists to small towns and communities (places that wouldn’t otherwise have Darwin Day celebrations) around the country to share their research and talk to students about what evolution is and what it means to be an evolutionary biologist. Scientists complain that the public has become illiterate on the subject of science and they are fighting back.
Here in the Tampa Bay area, there are Darwin-releated events, including three different talks by biologist/philosopher Massimo Pigliucci, author of several books, including Denying Evolution: Creation, Scientism, and the Nature of Science (Sinauer 2002) and Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk The Humanist Families of Tampa Bay are planning a group outing Saturday, Darwin Day at Dinosaur World in Plant City. And down the road, you can take the family to a kid-friendly theatrical dance at Ruth Eckerd Hall called Darwin The Dinosaur: A Glow-in-the-Dark Adventure on May 21.
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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