Evolution Icon Evolution
Intelligent Design Icon Intelligent Design

Thanksgiving Day, 1859 — Guess What Happened?

David Klinghoffer

Thanksgiving

What highly significant event do you think occurred on Thanksgiving Day of 1859? I’m taking only a little bit of a liberty in asking. Abraham Lincoln set the date as a national holiday in 1863. But before that, the last Thursday in November was already observed as Thanksgiving in most places in the United States. Lincoln formalized the tradition. 

So, what’s your guess? 

If you said that Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species was published in London on November 24, 1859 — and yes, it was a Thursday, the final Thursday in the month — you are right. In the U.S., a majority of states celebrated that day as Thanksgiving.

Think of the Irony

This week with our families we will enjoy Thanksgiving, as a time to review carefully all we have to be grateful for. Above all, in the spirit that Lincoln expressed in his proclamation, we are grateful to our creator. 

Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution, a purely natural process giving no evidence of purpose or design, was certainly a product of its time. But the idea set out in his epoch-making book also went on to influence the times that were to come, down to today. 

What atheist Daniel Dennett calls the “universal acid,” one that “eats through just about every traditional concept, and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view,” continues to wear away on countless people’s belief in a purpose operating behind the veil of nature. We see the heartbreaking results all around us — the impact on young people, the impact on ourselves — every single day. Therefore, a response must also come every single day.

A Daily Voice

Challenging Darwin’s idea with the best science, and advancing its alternative in the theory of intelligent design, is the mission of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. The daily voice of that effort is Evolution News.

On Thanksgiving we think of all that we have to be grateful for. But we not only think, we act. As the editor of Evolution News, I am grateful for the labors of our scientists and scholars who analyze the evidence in the debate about evolution and share their thoughts with us here. If you too are grateful, won’t you please act now by contributing to help us expand our work and its impact on readers around the world? You can do so right here.

As a reader of Evolution News, you know about the important, illuminating contributions of our writers, including (pictured above, left to right) paleontologist Günter Bechly, biochemist Michael Behe, biologist Ann Gauger, chemist Marcos Eberlin, and biologist Jonathan Wells.

And they are just a few of our scholars. Others who fill the pages of Evolution News include Stephen Meyer, Guillermo Gonzalez, Jay Richards, Paul Nelson, Douglas Axe, John West, David Berlinski, Michael Flannery, and Michael Denton. Some of our writers, in sensitive academic posts, contribute under the generic “staff” byline to protect them from the best efforts of the Darwinist censors to silence and punish them.

Won’t you please join me in saying THANK YOU for their work?

Fake News — No Joke

The “fake news” about evolution is no joke. And fighting it is not free.

Through the media, in schools and colleges, across the Internet, it shapes our culture and erodes the noblest ideas of humankind’s place in the cosmos. Those are ideas that men and women once took confidently as a given. Evolution News exists to challenge that fake news, responsibly and forcefully.

We’re set to reach 1.7 million readers this year. We would love to reach many more than that. But we need your help.

Remember that you are donating not only in recognition of your own enjoyment of our scientists’ writing, but for the many readers unknown to you who search for help as they contemplate the acidic influence evolutionary thinking has on us. 

Somewhere on the Internet as you read this, a student is looking for a counterbalance to what she has heard in her high school or university biology class, on Wikipedia, from countless other misleading sources online. Take a moment. Think of that student, and please join us right now!