February 12 is celebrated as Darwin Day, and although events are planned in many countries for 2008, the big celebrations are being planned for Darwin Day 2009. Why, you ask? Because 2/19/09 will mark Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species.
Is it a sad state of affairs that I hesitate, even briefly, to say these are days worth celebrating? Yes, it is. If I have any cowardly qualms, and I do, about calling attention to upcoming celebrations of the life and influence of such a major figure in intellectual history, I hope I overcome my own shameful vulnerability to the disapproval of irrational anti-intellectuals with this small act of bloggery.
(And if one can't note the upcoming anniversary of Darwin's birthday on a philosophy of science-related blog, where can one?)