PORTLAND, Ore. — Federal prisoners who identify as humanist can now celebrate Darwin Day and get accommodations typically afforded to those inmates who believe in a deity. The federal Bureau of Prisons agreed in the settlement of a lawsuit to add a section on humanism to its manual on inmate beliefs and practices. Officials in the prison system will also consider requests from humanist inmates for access to study materials, observance of holy days, and time and space for religious activities.

Inmate Jason Michael Holden and the American Humanist Association filed the lawsuit last year, saying Holden and other humanist prisoners were prohibited from forming a study group at a federal prison in Sheridan, Oregon. The settlement was reached earlier this month, and the association announced the settlement in a news release issued Monday.

Humanism is similar to atheism. But rather than simply reject belief in a god, humanists advocate rational thinking.