Darwin Day or International Darwin is celebrated annually to honor the contribution of the great English naturalist, biologist, and geologist Charles Robert Darwin, popularly known as Charles Darwin.
Darwin was best known for his contribution to evolutionary biology and he also gave the theory of evolution that states that evolution happens through natural selection.
He was the first person who brought the idea of Natural Selection into the limelight. It is the process through which a living organism adapts and changes over the generation.
Darwin’s contribution to the world is exceptional, earlier his theories of evolution and modern biology were rejected but over the years, he proved that all the theories he had given were genuine and true.
Darwin Day History
Darwin day is celebrated on Feb 12, every year to celebrate the birth anniversary of the legendary scientist of the 19th century Charles Darwin.
Darwin taught us to see life or a living being from a different perception. He made us believe that, in some way, we had been connected, however distantly.
Darwin was born on Feb 12, 1809, in Shrewsbury town in London at his family home called The Mount. He was the 5th one among the six children of doctor Robert Darwin and his wife Susannah Darwin.
He did his school education at a boarding school named Shrewsbury School. Then he went to Scotland to take admission to the University of Edinburgh Medical School, the best medical college in the United Kingdom of that time.
He wanted to become a naturalist and geologist to impact the thinking of the people around the world towards nature, evolution and became successful in doing so.
Darwin was fascinated by the diversity in the various species of nature and wanted to study and gain more knowledge about the various varieties and large numbers of fossils around the planet.
To do so, in 1832, at the age of 22, Darwin left for a 5-year long voyage across South America as the crew’s naturalist, on HMS Beagle, one of the ships of the Royal Navy.
During his trip, he was exposed to different varieties of various species and collected samples of various fossils, bugs, and plants to bring back to England.
His studies and research state that some species originated from other species and even a human himself had a shared ancestor with the primates.
After returning from the trip, he wrote journals about his research and analysis of various species, to gain a better understanding of things.
Finally, on November 24, 1859, he published a book called On the Origin of Species that is considered to be a foundation of evolutionary biology. His book gave the idea that populations evolve over the course of generation through a process.
To honor his legacy on Feb 12, 1909, the 100th birth anniversary of Darwin and the 50th anniversary of his book On the Origin of Species were celebrated at the New York Academy of Sciences at the American Museum of Natural History.
Although after the death of Darwin, a sporadic celebration of Darwin Day was organized in the past by various humanist groups, schools, and universities, in the USA, Darwin Day became an official holiday in 2015.
Darwin Day Significance
Darwin Day has a lot of significance in today’s world as it also inspires people throughout the globe to reflect and act on the principles of intellectual bravery and scientific thinking.
It is also celebrated to raise awareness regarding the importance and contribution of science in the development of society and humankind.
To celebrate the day, various events are organized around the world every year on 12th February which includes lectures, debates, essay and art competitions, concerts, poetry, readings, plays, artworks, comedy routines, dinner parties, etc.
Apart from that, people visit natural history museums, attend exhibitions. One of the best ways to give Darwin a tribute on his day is to read his book The Origin of Species and understand his deep analysis on various species around the planet.
What is Darwin’s Theory of Evolution??
According to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, evolution in species happens by natural selection, the process through which the population of living organisms adapts and changes.
We witness variation in individuals’ physical characteristics, this is because of differences in their genes.
The individuals whose characteristics are best suited to the environment are more likely to grow, survive and resist disease than individuals that are poorly adapted to their environment.
They are more likely to reproduce and pass their genes on to their children. It means the change does happen in the characteristics of the heritable trait over the generation.
The idea of descent modification that means species changes over time, new species come into existence, and share common ancestors is called evolution.