Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ten Reasons Why Darwin's Birthday is Better than Christmas

Charles Darwin's 200th birthday is today, and 2009 is also the 150th anniversary of the publication of his most famous work, The Origin of Species. In honor of this event, I've put together the following list of reasons why Darwin's birthday is better than Christmas:

10. There's no pressure to buy anyone a gift on Darwin's birthday.

9. Nobody puts a tacky copy of The Mount in Shrewsbury on their front lawn on Darwin's birthday.

8. Understanding evolution doesn't make you feel morally superior to everyone else.

7. Nobody sings "The Little Drummer Boy" on Darwin's birthday.

6. Darwin wasn't conceived by deity rape.

5. Nobody thinks Darwin was right about everything.

4. Supermarkets stay open on Darwin's birthday.

3. You can actually learn something by reading Darwin's writings.

2. The Pope stays quiet on Darwin's birthday.

And the number one reason why Darwin's birthday is better than Christmas:

1. Charles Darwin actually existed and was born on February 12, 1809.

8 comments:

Barry Cunningham said...

Today is also the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. So not all the blatherers will be quiet here in the US.

Eamon Knight said...

I take qualfied exception to #8: I definitely feel morally superior to the loud-mouth cretins whose only real "understanding" of evolution is that they don't like it. (I know you'll have no trouble thinking of examples).

Takis Konstantopoulos said...

Very good. Happy birthday to Darwin then. I agree with all the reasons given, but don't quite understand reason #9. I know that Down House was the home of Charles Darwin, but...what? Do you get a copy of... Bethlehem at your house in Waterloo?

As for Christmas, I had pointed out (thanks to Schermer's skeptic soc.) that Newton's birthday was on 25 December and, just as you think that Darwin's birthday is better than Christmas, I also think that Newton's birthday is better than Christmas too.

Incidentally, I've met people in the UK who only have a scanty idea of who Newton was (and people in Scotland who've never heard of James Clerk Maxwell).

Jeffrey Shallit said...

You're right, Takis, I should have said "The Mount in Shrewsbury" (where Darwin was born), not Down House.

I've changed it now.

Bayesian Bouffant, FCD said...

I feel morally superior to David Warren.

Mark said...

We used to have a day off from work on Darwin's birthday, but not any more.

Colin said...

Now ten reasons why Isaac Newton's Birthday is Better than Christmas. Er.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Last year on 12th February, I thought "today should be Christmas"... today (24th December) it is odd to see other people have the same idea about Christmas and Darwin. Just a coincidence, an individuality or a general trend?