Charles Darwin was one of the greatest scientists in the history of well, science. Unfortunately, he has been attacked and demonized by the Christian right-wing (which doesn't represent Christians as a whole of course) because of his description of natural selection and evolution. A common misconception is that Charles Darwin was the first person who understood that species have a common ancestor. No, that was well known even before he was born, by early biologists.
Indeed, Charles Darwin's grandfather had known about it. What Charles Darwin did was document through decades of studies, natural selection. Natural selection (along with genetic mutations) is the chief mechanism behind evolutionary change. Simply, a faster antelope is more likely to escape from a cheetah than a slower antelope.
Well, Charles Darwin Day is coming up in a few weeks. It's February 12th. It honors the man who was born on the same exact day, February 12, 1809, as the greatest president of the 19th Century, Abraham Lincoln. So, along with me, I urge you to petition Congress to honor the great Charles Darwin though a congressional resolution in his honor. By the way go to the official Charles Darwin Day website to learn more about it.
By the way, this is the text of the resolution:
Expressing support for designation of February 12, 2013,
as Darwin Day and recognizing the importance of science
in the betterment of humanity.
Whereas Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by the mechanism
of natural selection, together with the monumental
amount of scientific evidence he compiled to support it,
provides humanity with a logical and intellectually compelling
explanation for the diversity of life on Earth;
Whereas the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural
selection is further strongly supported by the modern
understanding of the science of genetics;
Whereas it has been the human curiosity and ingenuity exemplified
by Darwin that has promoted new scientific discoveries
that have helped humanity solve many problems
and improve living conditions;
Whereas the advancement of science must be protected from
those unconcerned with the adverse impacts of global
warming and climate change;
Whereas the teaching of creationism in some public schools
compromises the scientific and academic integrity of the
United States education systems;
Whereas Charles Darwin is a worthy symbol of scientific advancement
on which to focus and around which to build
a global celebration of science and humanity intended to
promote a common bond among all of Earth’s peoples;
Whereas February 12, 2013, is the anniversary of the birth
of Charles Darwin in 1809 and would be an appropriate
date to designate as Darwin Day: Now, therefore, be it
1 Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
2 (1) supports the designation of Darwin Day;
4 (2) recognizes Charles Darwin as a worthy sym5
bol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason,
6 science, and the advancement of human knowledge.