Friday, October 17, 2008

Icons of evolution: McCain as missing link

My first thought when I saw the image at the top of this entry, which is in all the papers and all over the Internet is just how reminiscent it is of the "March of Progress", the famous drawing that shows a sequence of primates walking from left to right, starting with a small knuckle-walking ape on the left, progressing through a series of apemen, and finishing with a modern human male on the right (which according to the conventions of our racist culture inevitably has to be a full-bloodied white European male).

The original version was drawn by Rudy Zallinger and published in the Time-Life book Early Man in 1970. Carl Zimmer and others have gone looking for it on the web, but apparently it is nowhere to be found. However given that has spawned many humorous variants and even a tattoo.

Plus it was misused by Jonathan Wells in his book Icons of Evolution (see discussion here on Talk.Origins) 

Well, here is another humorous variant to add to the list, and for a change, this time the white European male does not feature as the pinnacle of evolution, but as a decidedly dodgy missing link!


Michael D. Barton, FCD said...

Hi Mark - Two other blog posts which discuss the "March of Progress," one with video versions of it, the other with other versions of the image, plus the original (I think)!

Mark Pallen said...

Michael, thanks for that. I should also stress that I endorse the sentiments of these other postings, in that this image does not provide an accurate representation of evolution. The image at the end of
this page
sums up best why it is wrong!

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