Tag Archives: darwin

Trigger warning for creationist visitors to National Zoo

Here’s a photograph I took several years ago at the National Zoo’s “Think Tank” exhibit on primate cognition. Darwin Day is one week so I thought I’d share.

Colin Purrington Photography: Evolution graphics &emdash; Think Tank warning for creationists

The text is a little hard to read so here’s transcription:

“This exhibit is about animal thinking. It contains some things you may agree with, some you may disagree with, and others that may even trouble you. Come explore and see what you think.” 

The warning sign was crafted by Smithsonian staff to cater to snowflake creationists who complained about the “Changes over millions of years have resulted in today’s humans” panel that covered the age of the earth, human evolution, and how natural selection works. 

The “see what you think” part suggests to visitors that the facts presented within are up for debate and thus shouldn’t undermine somebody’s alternative views about human origins or the age of the earth. But, of course, the warning signage undermines the experience for all visitors. I.e., a curious but uninformed visit might assume that the exhibits are just wild guesses about what might have happened. A shameful use of tax dollars, in my opinion.

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Tree of life tattoo for evolution fans

For giggles, I modified Charles Darwin’s tree of life sketch and sent it to a company that manufactures temporary tattoos. If you happen to be model quality and would like to help promote science, drop me a line and I can send you one. I think it’s good to have images like these show up during searches for “evolution” and “survival of the fittest” so that the public doesn’t just associate evolution with just old academics with questionable grooming (sadly, true).

Girl with pink Victoria's Secret panties and a Charles Darwin tree of life tattoo on stomach

I also dropped the image into Redbubble if you need a sticker or laptop case (for example). Here’s the original sketch, if you’re curious:

Charles Darwin's tree of life sketch

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Collar bone evolution

Photograph of a tree-of-life tattoo on a woman’s neck.  Taken on Darwin Day, February 12th. Neck is actually a Brit, so fitting. And she likes beetles!

Tree of life tattoo on girl's neck
Photograph copyright Libby Livermore. Click on photograph to visit her Flickr site.

Want to see more?  Here you go.  Or did you click on this darn post thinking you’d get information on the evolution of the clavicle??!  Well, it’s one of the bones that was involved with pectoral fins, back when our ancestors lived in water.  There you go!  Everyone happy, now?

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