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.

About Colin Purrington

PhD in evolutionary biology • twitterinstagram

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One Response to Trigger warning for creationist visitors to National Zoo

  1. Ken says:

    I would give them the benefit of the doubt. They know that they can’t change some peoples minds but hope that they still will read to the end and some will change their mind. In some ways it is amusing that in one way hat we have evolved from apes is that we keep a level of curiosity and adaptability found in young apes. Creationists don’t seem to have this.

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