The History Channel is doing a series on human evolution. I wish I could find a picture of the ads they’ve been running on buses in my neighborhood. The art is a parody of a famous detail from the Sistine Chapel ceiling ? in the ad the hand of God has been replaced by a monkey’s arm. The headline says something like “Has evolution made a monkey out of you?”
For me, the ad sparked a mixture of respect and visceral irritation. As a copywriter, I enjoyed the visual pun and admired the ad’s stopping power. As a defender of evolutionary biology, I was irritated to see the conjunction of two such misleading and inflammatory memes: evolution is usurping religion, and humans descended from monkeys. Both of these ideas can be elaborated and qualified into interesting points, but neither is true as it stands.
Luckily, DarkSyde has a powerful contextualizing antidote to the “men from monkeys” meme.