A college-aged male in a monkey suit — a child’s monkey suit  — braved the near-freezing weather to hand out bananas Tuesday.

Tuesday marked Charles Darwin’s 204th birthday, and the Secular Student Society of Texas Tech wanted to celebrate in a unique way.

Jason Landrum, a junior English major from Katy, was the chosen member to wear a monkey costume and pass out bananas in the Free Speech Area.

The society handed out 68 bananas in about 20 minutes.

Alain Arduain, a senior computer science major from Lubbock, said monkeys and bananas usually are associated with evolution.

The bananas featured strips of paper with quotes about evolution and secularism, Arduain said.

“We were just giving them out saying, ‘Have a good day, here’s a banana,’” he said with a laugh.

James Casey-Snyder, secretary of the society, said Darwin is an important name in science.

“He came up with the theory of evolution,” said the electrical engineering graduate student from Cleburne, “and as the founder of such a big thought — that’s a weird way to say it — but it’s important to remember those people. The ideas and what he actually went through when he thought it up. I mean, it was a fringe idea when he came up with it, and now it’s — scientifically, it’s a sound theory. There’s no real debate about it in the science community.”

While most of the members of the society are agnostic or atheist, Arduain said the society wanted to show religion can be a part of evolution.

“We don’t want it to mean you can’t be religious,” he said, “but we’re just saying evolution and religion can work together — or not if you don’t want to be religious or anything. But evolution is kind of a separate thing, and we wanted to show that.”

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