News Item from The Connecticut Coalition of Reason
Congressman Jim Himes was honored on May 15 for his intellectual integrity and political courage in co-sponsoring House Bill 467: Expressing support for the designation of February 12, 2014 as "Darwin Day" and recognizing the importance of science in the betterment of humanity. Representatives of the Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County (HFFC) presented him with a plaque of the broader Connecticut Coalition of Reason's (CTCoR) resolution recognizing and applauding his efforts.
Noting that over 12,000 American Christian clergy have signed "the Clergy Letter" stating "We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth," HFFC notes that appreciation of science is not the restricted domain of any subgroup of Americans.
Believing that, as humans in community, we are responsible for helping others with all the knowledge and tools available, humanists feel it important to recognize and honor those who promote understanding of our world.
House Bill 467, had it passed, would have the United States House of Representatives support the designation of Darwin Day to acknowledge the momentous contribution of Charles Darwin to reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge.
The Connecticut Coalition of Reason is a coalition of nontheist and secular organizations in Connecticut. Its members are the Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County, Congregation for Humanistic Judaism of Fairfield County, Atheist Humanist Society of CT & RI, Camp Quest New England, Connecticut Valley Atheists, Hartford Area Humanists, the Humanist Association of Connecticut, the Secular Coalition for Connecticut, and the Yale Humanist Community.
The basic ideas of evolution are straightforward and understandable. As every parent knows, offspring are not identical to parents; that they also vary in the number of viable offspring that they in turn produce, and that consequently over many generations, the general characteristics of a population may change. This understanding has enabled us to use selective breeding to develop new plants and livestock, and to predict, and then fight, the generation of new viruses and bacteria.
We pointed out that Congressman Rush Holt is retiring from Congress, and we didn't know who would re-introduce and present the bill in the next Congress.
Jim Himes immediately replied, without hesitation, "If you are asking 'will I do it' pending the results of the November election, the answer is 'Yes. I will happily do that.'"
All of us sitting with him were exceedingly pleased, and felt that the sentiment of our resolution was confirmed.