02/02/2015 03:05 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2015

Congressman Urges His Colleagues To Recognize Darwin Day

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Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) has introduced a resolution to nationally recognize British naturalist Charles Darwin's Feb. 12 birthday as "Darwin Day."

"Charles Darwin's discoveries gave humankind a new, revolutionary way of thinking about the natural world and our place in it. His insatiable quest for knowledge and decades of meticulous observation and analysis opened new pathways for advancements in biology, medicine, genetics and ecology," Himes said in a statement. "Without Darwin's contributions to science, philosophy and reason, our understanding of the world's complexity and grandeur would be significantly diminished."

The proposal is co-sponsored by eleven House Democrats, including Reps. Mike Honda (Calif.), Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) and Rosa DeLauro (Conn.).

This marks the fourth attempt at passing a Darwin Day resolution, a largely symbolic effort in the GOP-controlled House. Former Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) introduced similar bills in 2013 and 2014, while former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) proposed the measure in 2011.

Himes, who was elected to a fourth term in Congress in November, previously threw his support behind those earlier efforts.

"There is a realm for science and facts and there is a realm for faith and those are separate realms," Himes said in 2014. "I will be on the side of science."

A Gallup poll released last June found that about half of Americans believe in some form of evolution, while 42 percent believed God created humans in their present form.



Charles Darwin's Life