Darwin has his day in Mesa CountyDarwin has his day in Mesa County

A billboard honoring the memory of Charles Darwin, the father of evolutionary science, has been erected by the Freedom From Religion Foundation along Highway 50 on Orchard Mesa above the Colorado River.

The same day the Mesa County Commission read into the record a proclamation honoring Charles Darwin, a billboard portraying Darwin, and advertising the Freedom
From Religion Foundation, went up at 1713 U.S. Highway 50.

Earle Mullen, an avowed atheist, president of the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers and a believer in evolution, asked the commission to read the
proclamation in honor of Darwin at Monday’s commission hearing. Mullen said a few words after the proclamation was read into the record by Commissioner Steve Acquafresca.

“By honoring this great man, you also honor yourselves,” Mullen said.

Thursday is the bicentennial of Darwin’s birthdate. This year also is the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s seminal “Origin of Species.”

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent an e-mail to local media notifying them of the billboard and the commission’s adoption of a Darwin proclamation.

“The foundation has also placed billboards ‘praising Darwin’ this month in Dayton, Tenn., and Dover, Penn., homes of the most notorious classroom battles over the teaching of evolution,” according to the e-mail.

Grand Junction was chosen for the billboard, “in part because Western Colorado
Atheists and Freethinkers president Dr. Earle Mullen’s proposal to proclaim a day to honor Darwin was not adopted by the city,” according to the e-mail.

Another billboard will be placed in Whitehall, Ohio, “where the mayor has said America is a ‘Christian nation,’ has refused to remove a nativity display from the city hall entrance in December, and has also opposed a Darwin Day resolution,” according to the e-mail.


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