Darwin Day 2023: 12th February | History, Significance, Quotes & Theme
Feb 16 2023
Darwin Day is celebrated on 12th February every year to commemorate the birthday of Charles Darwin. This day is observed to commemorate the contribution of Charles Darwin in the field of evolutionary and plant science. International Darwin Day on February 12th will inspire people throughout the globe to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and hunger for truth as embodied in Charles Darwin. It will be a day of celebration, activism, and international cooperation for the advancement of science, education, and human well-being. Local and state governments will close in commemoration of the Day, and organizations and businesses will celebrate by engaging in community outreach centered around science as a tool for the betterment of humanity. Darwin Day will be observed by the United Nations and its members as an opportunity for international partnerships through the common language of science for the common good of all.
The mission of International Darwin Day is to inspire people throughout the globe to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery, perpetual curiosity, scientific thinking, and hunger for truth as embodied in Charles Darwin. Some celebrants combine Darwin Day with a celebration of Abraham Lincoln, who was also born on February 12, 1809. Still, others like to celebrate the many noted individuals that influenced or were influenced by Darwin's work, such as Thomas H. Huxley, Charles Lyell, Alfred Russel Wallace, Carl Sagan, and Ernst Mayr. That moment was when Charles Darwin brought the idea of the Law of Natural Selection into the limelight of the scientific world, and we began to see with clear eyes how everything, absolutely everything, was connected.
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Darwin Day History
- Charles Darwin, the man who would come to be known as the father of natural selection, was born on February 12, 1809, the fifth of six children in a wealthy English family. His father was a doctor, and his grandfathers were naturalists who laid the groundwork for the discoveries that Charles would go on to make.
- In 1825, Charles, who had been helping his father to care for the poor and sick in Shropshire, left for medical school. He found it dull and his studies lacked effort. It wasn’t long until his father sent him to Christ’s College in Cambridge to become an Anglican parson.
- Though he was on a religious course of study, Darwin found himself drawn to natural sciences. A friend at the time got him interested in beetle collecting and he became acquainted with other parson naturalists who spurred his interest even more. He positioned himself to join his professor on a trip to the tropics to study natural history.
- After his return, Darwin received an offer to serve as a naturalist on an expedition that headed down the coast of South America. The ship was the HMS Beagle, of which the captain was Robert FitzRoy. Darwin set out on his voyage in 1931 and spent five years aboard this ship. Across South America, Darwin was exposed to a wealth of new geology, anthropology, zoology, and botany.
- He carefully collected samples of fossils, rocks, plants, and bugs to bring back to England. Darwin and FitzRoy both kept journals of the trip, which are impactful documents, today.
- Darwin’s theories of evolution were already percolating as the HMS Beagle returned to England. It was especially the finches in the Galapagos Islands that illustrated his theories.
- He madly rewrote his journals from the trip to gain a better understanding, read the work of Malthus, and conducted experiments with plants to test his theories. During this time of overworking, he got married but also developed a chronic illness.
- Finally, Darwin published “On the Origin of Species,” a book that described the case for natural selection, in 1859. While the book was unexpectedly popular, there was pushback from the church, which taught divine creation as the source of life.
- He continued to work and publish on evolution and selection for the next 22 years of his life. He would eventually die of heart disease in 1882, which likely originated from the chronic Chagas’ disease he suffered from.
Darwin Day 2023 Theme
The Darwin Day 2023 theme "is to highlight ultimate contributions of Darwin to science and to promote science in general". Students preparing for the exam should read this Darwin Day 2023 theme page to know the complete details.
Darwin Day 2023 Significance
Some people might find that the best way to celebrate Darwin Day is to really study evolution and familiarize themselves with the concept of ‘Natural Selection’. It’s an often misunderstood concept, with people mistaking ‘Survival of the Fittest’ for ‘Survival of the Best’, and failing to grasp that ‘fittest’ is for a certain set of circumstances. The heart of it is, if a member of a species survives to pass on its genes, then those genes are the ones that survive to shape the new species. Eventually, with enough beneficial mutations, it can go on to become an entirely new species suited for its environment. Evolution is the theory that something gradually develops and makes changes over time. Darwin introduced the idea that all different species have evolved from simple forms, including the theory that humans evolved from apes. These small adaptations happen over the space of a long, long time over each new generation.
Abraham Lincoln's Birthday - 12th February
Darwin Day 2023 Quotes
- “Nature eliminates the unfit and preserves the fit. It is man, not Nature, who has caused all the trouble. He has put his whole soul to saving the unfit.” -EDWARD EAST, HARVARD UNIVERSITY.
- “It has taken Mother Nature long, long ages to turn fierce greedy hairy ape-like beasts into such people as we are. It will take us but two or three close-linked generations to make human beings far more superior.” -CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN.
- “Defective human beings survive in modern societies because they are preserved by charity, and are allowed to reproduce. Thus natural selection, the great law of evolution and progress, is set at naught.”- EDWIN CONKLIN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY.
We hope this article provides you with details you should know about Darwin Day 2023. The history, Darwin Day 2023 Theme, Significance are discussed here. In general, everyone should be aware of Darwin Day’s importance and the operations performed. Also, aspirants preparing for competitive exams can read this article and get to know the details related to the important days in February 2023.
Darwin Day 2023: FAQ
Q. What is the theme of Darwin Day 2023?
A. In 2023, Darwin Day is celebrated under the following theme “virtual Darwin Day”.
Q. When was Darwin Day 2023 celebrated?
A. Darwin Day 2023 is celebrated on 12th February every year.
Q. What is the quote for Darwin Day?
A. “Defective human beings survive in modern societies because they are preserved by charity, and are allowed to reproduce. Thus natural selection, the great law of evolution and progress, is set at naught.”
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