To celebrate and call attention to the Year of Darwin, the national Freedom From Religion Foundation is unveiling a new billboard message: "Praise Darwin: Evolve Beyond Belief."
The message is debuting near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Billboards will also be going up in time for Darwin's Feb. 12 birthday bicentennial in two significant locations: Dayton, Tenn. and Dover, Penn.
Dayton was the site of the infamous 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial," and Dover was the Pennsylvania hamlet where an attempt to promote "intelligent design" by the local school board was quashed by a federal judge in an historic 2005 decision.
"And 2009 also marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, so it's a blockbuster year for science," said Dan Barker, Foundation co-president.
The phrase "Evolve Beyond Belief" is directed at the 50 percent of Americans who still reject evolution and accept creationism: the Genesis myth that the earth was created out of nothing by a god less than 10,000 years ago.
"We want to 'Praise Darwin,' to give credit to human intelligence, not the supernatural, for answering the question, 'Where do we come from?' And who greater than Charles Darwin?" asked Annie Laurie Gaylor, Foundation co-president.
"America's willful ignorance over evolution and the scientific method is an embarrassment and impediment. It's time our nation and its public schools enter the 21st century and embrace this keystone of biology," added Foundation co-president Dan Barker.
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