Evolution Day

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Evolution Day
Origin of Species title page.jpg
The title page of the first (1859) edition of
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.
Observed byHumanists and others
SignificanceThe anniversary of the initial publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, which introduced the concepts of evolution and natural selection to the public.
Date24 November
Next time24 November 2019 (2019-11-24)
Related toDarwin Day

Evolution Day is a celebration to commemorate the anniversary of the initial publication of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin on 24 November 1859.[1][2][3][4] Such celebrations have been held for over a century, but the specific term "Evolution Day" for the anniversary appears to be a neologism which was coined prior to 1997.[1] By highlighting Darwin's contributions to science, the day's events are used to educate about evolutionary biology.[5] It is similar to the better-known Darwin Day, held on the anniversary of his birth (12 February 1809).[6] It is unrelated to the secularization campaign by the Giordano Bruno Foundation to have the German public holiday of Ascension Day renamed to "Evolutionstag" (Evolution Day).[7]


1909, the 50th anniversary of the publication of On The Origin of Species and the 100th anniversary of Darwin's birth, saw several major events celebrating both. At Cambridge, more than 400 scientists and dignitaries from 167 countries met in a widely reported event of public interest to honour Darwin's contributions and discuss the latest discoveries and ideas related to evolution,[8] the New York Academy of Sciences held a celebration at the American Museum of Natural History,[9] and the Royal Society of New Zealand held an event with "a very large attendance."[10]

The Darwin Centennial Celebration (1959) had a major, well publicised event from 24–28 November at the University of Chicago.

In 2009, the BBC aired BBC Darwin Season, a series of television and radio programs, to celebrate Darwin's bicentenary and the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Make a special date for assembly - 1997". TES. 6 December 1996. Retrieved 28 November 2014. "Schools trying to link religious, moral and spiritual education into the wider framework of group assemblies will find here a calendar listing the main religious festivals of the six main faiths, the United Nation's designated days of concern, profile-raising days of the main British charities, anniversaries of major figures whose lives embodied important values and days of special interest to those dealing with children [… November] 24 Evolution Day (Humanist - publication of Origin of Species)"
  2. ^ "Dates to remember in 1999". TES (magazine). 1 January 1999. Retrieved 28 November 2014. "Evolution Day: anniversary of publication of "The Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin (1859)"
  3. ^ Elizabeth Bal (24 November 2011). "Evolution Day". BioMed Central. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  4. ^ Jeffrey Kluger (24 November 2014). "On Evolution Day, Remember That Darwin Knew He'd Meet Resistance". Time. Retrieved 28 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Next week at school - 21-27 November 2011". TES (magazine). 18 November 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2014. "THURSDAY [24 November 2011] Evolution Day (1859) Charles Darwin published his controversial book On the Origin of the Species, which has been fiercely debated since. Teach seven and eight- year-olds about Darwin with a resource from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew."
  6. ^ Arik Platzek (13 February 2011). "Darwin-Tag: Kult oder Kultur?". wissenrockt.de (Das Magazin für junge Humanistinnen und Humanisten). Retrieved 1 December 2014. Compared to Darwin Day, "der „Evolution Day“ am 24. November fand bisher nicht solche Aufmerksamkeit."
  7. ^ Daniel Cressey (27 February 2009). "Songs about Science XV: You can't fool the children of evolution". Nature. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  8. ^ John van Wyhe. "1909: The first Darwin centenary". The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  9. ^ "The Darwin Celebration". May 1909. Retrieved 17 September 2007.
  10. ^ "Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868–1961". 1909. Retrieved 17 September 2007.

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