13 February 2009

Ashok Kumar MP

marked Darwin Day by tabling an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons:
"That this House notes the extraordinary achievements of Charles Darwin; notes that 2009 marks both the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species; welcomes proposals for the creation of a Darwin Day in recognition of the ground-breaking work of the British scientist responsible for the theory of evolution by natural selection; and calls for Darwin's birthday, 12 February, to be designated a public holiday in honour of one of the fathers of modern science and one of Britain's greatest, if not the greatest, scientific minds."

65 other MPs have signed, go here and check whether yours has and if not give him/her a poke. Congrats Mr Kumar, you are a founding Friend of the Beagle Project.

Nothing from the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown but hell, when you've got President Obama remembering your 200th...6 mins 20 secs in.
H/t Greg Laden.

6 comments:

Karen James said...

O! Ba! Ma!
O! Ba! Ma!
O! Ba! Ma!

rpg said...

"and calls for Darwin's birthday, 12 February, to be designated a public holiday "

That really is very silly, isn't it?

Karen James said...

rpg,

It's not any more silly than designating as public holidays the days that a nice guy 2000 years ago was born, murdered by the state and supposedly came back to life and flew up into space respectively, and let's not forget the silliness that is bank holidays *snort*

So, in a way, as long as we're being silly, why not? In fact, you could take one step further and say designating Darwin's birthday as a national holiday is the first step in the right direction towards ending the silliness.

p.s. I would also have commented above about the fact that the Queen's birthday is a public holiday but that is just so far beyond silly that I don't even know where to begin ridiculing it except to say that Darwin is at least as important as her.

rpg said...

Off the top of my head I could think of five or six scientists who probably were more deserving, and dare I say it, more relevant to most people in the UK (you're talking about the UK here, so I'll limit myself to that). There are countless other people who have done more to ensure—politically and socially—that we can even have this conversation.

I'm all for celebrating achievements and saying nice things about clever people, but I really think people jumped the shark on this one.

Peter Mc said...

Like Padington Bear and The Quen he could have two birthdays, his real one in mizzy February and one on one the four days a year when the sun is out and we have have a party.

The Ameddicans have their Burning Man, we should have our Darwin man festival. Hmmmmm. Rapidly grows beard and scratches it thoughtfully.

Karen James said...

Well I appreciate Peter's efforts to diffuse this little tiff but have to get in another word...

@rpg "Off the top of my head I could think of five or six scientists who probably were more deserving, and dare I say it, more relevant" and "countless other people who have done more to ensure—politically and socially—that we can even have this conversation". Great! You go with that and maybe suggest someone to your soon-to-be-MP. I love that we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday in the US, for example, and would welcome something similar here. I personally think Darwin rocked our world and I would rather celebrate his birthday than three - count 'em - three Jesus holidays and one monarch's birthday.