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New York Times: “A Nationwide Day for Honoring Charles Darwin, but Handled with Caution” It seems Darwin is celebrated more widely with each passing year, with popular annual events including Evolution Sunday and Darwin Day. The New York Times examines how a celebration of the latter went off in a few fragments of small-town America.
Darwin Day, which marks the anniversary of Darwin’s birth on February 12, 1809, and celebrates both Darwin’s research and evolutionary theory in general, may not compare with Christmas—yet. But evolutionists hope the event will spread.
This year, the federally funded National Evolutionary Synthesis Center sent some of its researchers on the road for Darwin Day, coordinating special events at schools and museums in four “rural” states. The center’s education director, Jory P. Weintraub, reportedly started the idea by suggesting, “Maybe this year, we should try to go to places that wouldn’t otherwise have a Darwin Day.”
Apparently not all of the center’s researchers were enthusiastic, with some expecting backlash and hostility in small-town venues. But the center proceeded to arrange events in Virginia, Nebraska, Montana, and Iowa, none of which had any Darwin Day events planned.
The Times interviewed teenage blogger Shae Carter, an Iowa high school student who said the visiting scientists “told it like it is” and that the event wasn’t “cold and boring,” as expected. Whether those comments are typical is uncertain.
Until recent years, most evolutionary scientists seem to have stayed out of the culture wars, but we are increasingly seeing a direct effort by these scientists to change attitudes about origins, even at the grade-school level.
What is more certain is that evolutionists are working harder and harder to “sell” evolution in the culture, no longer content with survey data indicating that only a minority of the U.S. population accepts mainstream evolutionary theory. Until recent years, most evolutionary scientists seem to have stayed out of the culture wars, but we are increasingly seeing a direct effort by these scientists to change attitudes about origins, even at the grade-school level. Consequently, the war of the worldviews is likely to grow hotter still.
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