From now on, Ascension Day should be called Evolution Day! This is the target of a campaign launched by the Giordano Bruno Stiftung on Ash Wednesday. The Darwin Year 2009 offers an excellent opportunity to establish the enormous gain in knowledge through the theory of evolution more firmly in society, explained gbs spokesman Michael Schmidt-Salomon at the foundation's headquarters in Mastershausen.
A good possibility for this would be the institution of an official holiday: "On Evolution Day we should celebrate that we have finally overcome the childlike narcissism that led us to consider our species the 'Crown of Creation'."
Since we can not expect the legislative states to introduce "Evolution Day" as an additional holiday, the official renaming of an already existing Christian holiday would be a viable option, according to the petition text written by Schmidt-Salomon. The most suitable candidate for this would be "Ascension Day", one of the nine national holidays. Ascension is recommended for the sole reason that many families make trips into nature on that very day. "An 'Evolution Day' can barely be celebrated more appropriately," said the gbs spokesman, who published one of the most provocative contributions to the Darwin Year with the recently released children's book "Susi Neunmalklug erklärt die Evolution" ("Susie Smartypants explains the evolution").
As Schmidt-Salomon points out, renaming Ascension Day to Evolution Day is supported by the fact that the majority of Christians living in Germany no longer "believe in the dogma of Jesus' bodily ascension to heaven". In addition, the denomination-free one-third of society, which is entitled to one-third of public holidays for reasons of fairness, must finally also be taken into account. "We're still miles away from that," Schmidt-Salomon criticized. "Renaming Ascension Day to Evolution Day would be a first sign that this nation respects not only believing Christians in its celebratory culture, but also the many millions of Germans who hold a decidedly secular worldview."
The petition to rename Ascension Day to Evolution Day can be signed on the internet portal for the Darwin Year (www.darwin-jahr.de/e-day). To support the campaign, the Giordano Bruno Stiftung today summoned Charles Darwin himself. In the music video "Children of Evolution" published on YouTube, the jubilarian explains in a cheerful rock star pose why it's no shame to be a "naked ape".
Direct link to the petition "Evolution Day instead of Ascension Day!
Link to the video: "Darwin & The Naked Apes / Children of Evolution"