24 November: Primate Pride Day
For soon-to-be three years now, the Spanish-speaking Atheist community has held the Primate Pride Day, first proposed on Sin Dioses:
Sin Dioses intends to postulate November 24th for that purpose. Why this date? Because it was on November 24 that two key facts to understand our origins and our place in nature happened: the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859 and the discovery of Lucy in 1974. The day that we propose would be called “Primate Pride Day”.
It is our wish that biologists, paleontologists and rationalists in general join in this celebration by making public the following manifesto:
- We are proud members of the primate order. The inclusion in the group of primates is just not only taxonomically but also reveals the evolutionary relatedness we have with other primates.
- We are proud of being “descendants from an ape”. Not an actual ape species, but an extinct ape, but an ape after all. We are not ashamed of our evolutionary origin.
- We want to acknowledge the work of paleontologists who helped decipher our evolutionary origins and wish to further develop the work of paleontologists, and the popularization of their researches.
- We want to acknowledge all biologists and conservationists working to help conserve the actual apes’ species.
- We want to declare that humans are not separate from nature, but we are part of nature, as we relate to it in our ecological interactions and due to our evolutionary origin.
- We state that we are proud to be hominids and that our closest relatives are the African apes. The comparative anatomy and genetics shows this phylogenetic relatedness and that fact does not make us less human beings.
- We want the knowledge of human origins that science tells us to be available in all schools and we call out the blockade religious fundamentalist groups make of it.
- We state that the opposition made by creationists regarding the parentage of humans with other primates and our evolution is scientifically dishonest and responds only to doctrinal concerns. Creationists are entitled to believe what they want but can not pretend to ignore the fossil record, or DNA record, or to disguise their religious beliefs as an explanation at the same level of science
Ok. I had a my reservations concerning this – primarily the fact that you can’t be proud of being a primate, because you had no involvement in how that turned out.
Thinking it further, I think it is awesome for Atheists to have chosen that date, but there’s something odd about it: English-speaking Atheists haven’t been as keen as you would hope about this. I raise this issue, just because Spanish-speaking countries have had more than their fair share of Catholic abuses and indoctrination, but the Catholic Church hasn’t been such an enemy of evolution as their protestant counterparts – who have disseminated their Christian flavor mainly in Anglo-Saxon territories.
Anyway, there’s a big chance you hadn’t heard about this until now, so here’s a proposal for you guys: would you like to take part in this celebration of evolution?
This year, in several Latin-American cities we’ll be having the first Primate Pride Day Rally. I think we could merge it with the International Day of Protest against tsunami executions in Iran.