The national Freedom From Religion Foundation has just erected a billboard celebrating Darwin Day and scientific recommendations during the pandemic in its hometown of Madison, Wis.
The 10-by-22-foot billboard, located at 2741 University Ave. (above Qdoba Mexican Eats) on view to westbound traffic going to campus, depicts an image of Charles Darwin wearing FFRF’s “In Science I Trust” facemask. The billboard message exhorts: “In Science We Trust: Masks On. Sleeves Up. Stay Safe.” The billboard went up yesterday and will be displayed for a month.
Darwin Day, this Friday, is commemorated around the world on the anniversary of Darwin’s Feb. 12, 1809, birth.
“The pandemic has proven the importance of science to the welfare and future of humanity,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “Irrational resistance to the application of science in the pandemic, including by the Jan. 6 insurrectionists and even the Wisconsin Legislature, has shown the dangers of anti-science viewpoints.”
The arresting image on the display is a photograph taken by FFRF Attorney Chris Line of a life-size, silicone mannequin of Darwin that resides in FFRF’s Joel Landon and Wanda Beers Library in Freethought Hall, FFRF’s office in downtown Madison. (See photo below.)
For now, the life-like mannequin, created by artist Csam Wheatley, can only be viewed at a social distance.
“But we look forward to having Mr. Darwin once again greet visitors and staff at our office, as soon as we can put this pandemic behind us,” Gaylor adds. “That will happen more quickly if Americans will ‘Let the science lead,’ as Dr. Anthony Fauci recommends, and continue to follow the best recommendations of science.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, based in Madison, Wis., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charity, is the nation's largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), and has been working since 1978 to keep religion and government separate.