Retire Darwin Day?


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #1

http://peacefulscience.org/darwin-day-2019/strong text

In the journey toward a more gracious and inclusive origins dialogue, perhaps retiring Darwin Day could be a small but worthwhile step that we are all willing to take.

Great article by @J.E.S, though clearly there is going to be disagreement about it.


Introducing Bruce Fast
Darwin Devolves: The End of Evolution?
#2

Also, Darwin was not solely responsible for the religious and social problems fueled by evolutionary theory. In fact, Darwin had neglected to publish his research for many years due to concerns over evolution’s sociological and theological implications. It is important to note that the destruction of Christianity was not Darwin’s motive or goal when formulating his theories.

It should be noted that Darwin, in response to a fan letter (that’s something that was used before e-mails by the way), explicitly denied that theory of evolution ends religious faith. He considered it idiocy to even think so.


(Mikkel R.) #3

Are some people really so butthurt over evolution they want a celebration of one of it’s chief founders canceled? How many religious holidays are celebrated we can start retiring? I vote we end this Christmas nonsense. It’s become a grotesque exercise in consumerism and gluttony anyway.


(Nathan H. Lents) #4

I don’t fully agree. We celebrate Darwin Day, and not others, because none of them are vilified with the same level of vitriol that Darwin is. We celebrate him because his image and his honor still needs defending, as do his ideas. Here is my take:


(Curtis Henderson) #5

Dangit, Nathan beat me to it. I agree - there is no other figure in history that has had such an influential scientific insight, but has still been distrusted for so long.


(Nathan H. Lents) #6

Great minds!


(Neil Rickert) #7

I’m neutral on that.

We don’t have a Newton day, nor an Einstein day nor an Archimedes day. I don’t see any special reason to have a Darwin day. But, given that we have it, I also don’t see any special reason to end it.


(Jordan Mantha) #8

Two thoughts, one pro, one con:

  • Con: It is a bit weird to see how often biologists say “don’t call it Darwinism, no one believes in Darwinism, Darwinism is dead!” and then go off and celebrate Darwin Day as an expression of solidarity with evolution.
  • Pro: As long as it doesn’t just become “Triumph of Science over Religion Day” then I don’t personally don’t see the harm in it. I agree with @nwrickert , I don’t see the need for it in the first place, but I don’t see a particular “win” by getting rid of it.

(S. Joshua Swamidass) #9

Is Darwin Day like Christmas for atheists? If so, is see why they don’t want to let it go.


#10

Well, I’m not qualified to talk about all atheists but from that Dawkins book you quoted, it sure seems to be his Christmas. :joy:


#11

We shall replace it with Wallace Day. :wink:


#12

We atheists already have Festivus. We’re good.

Darwin Day is a day for theists and atheists to celebrate the stunning scientific progress we have made, and specifically how we have discovered part of the profound answer of our place in the universe.


#13

I would say that Newton, Einstein, and Archimedes did not stumble upon a discovery that went to the foundation of how we view ourselves and our place in the universe. If I were looking for someone comparable I would nominate Hubble for helping us discover just how huge the universe was, and the first glimpses into the other big massive philosophical question of where the universe came from.

Added in edit:

An interesting possibility for the PS crowd is Lemaitre Day.


(Mikkel R.) #14

Does it have to be “like Christmas for atheists” to reject demands it should be retired? Is it possible it is worth celebrating without it being “like Christmas”? In Denmark we celebrate the emancipation from Nazi occupation during WWII every year. That’s not a religious festival, but it’s still worth celebrating.

Perhaps it is time we recognize the privileged position Christianity has had in the west now for centuries, and allow some space for secular celebrations too, and Christians should get their envy and hyper-sensibilities in check and realize they’re just one demographic among many other, growing ones.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #15

Um, no demands are being made. It is just a suggestion to consider it, as we are now. @Rumraket, you really got triggered on this one didn’t you?

I see that too. In the end, Darwin Day will most likely go on.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #16

And to warn everyone, I have another aticle posting today that may be even more controversial, titled “I Agree With Behe.”


(Nathan H. Lents) #17

But hopefully not about polar bears… @Art and I just published a close look at his opening example. I can’t believe how careless he was… I’ll start a new thread.


#18

I, personally, agree with @nwrickert . I don’t see the reason for having a Darwin’s Day and I don’t see a reason to abolish it.


(Mikkel R.) #19

I see in this expression of the same absurd calls for “inclusivity” and “respect” bullshit we’ve been fed since the dawn of religion.

Why is it that a secular celebration is being “suggested” for removal in the interest of “gracious and inclusive” dialogue? Why isn’t one of the countless Christian holidays and celebrations put on the table in the same fashion?

There’s one secular celebration, of a scientific theory, which you and many others insist don’t even have any religious significance(what could more thoroughly undermine that claim than this suggestion?). And we’re being asked if we pretty please with sugar on top can’t stop celebrating it one day out of the year by having a few headlines on a few websites mention it stop doing so, and I’m the one being triggered?

Sorry, calling bullshit. Take a step back and see the big picture.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #20

You are misreading me @Rumraket. Cleary you really care about Darwin Day. You can have it. I’m okay with you celebrating this day however you like.