Some kind folk at Digg sent me “15 Inaccuracies Found In Common Science Illustrations,” advising “Guess what? Science is complicated, and a lot of the stuff you learn in school is either simplified or downright wrong.”
Hey, if you learned from Darwin’s schoolbook, it is both. Meanwhile, Inaccuracy #3 “The March of Progress is a Gross Oversimplification” begins at about 2:14, and a transcript of that portion is below:
… this misleading depiction of human evolution. It is called the march of progress. [presenter Michael Stevens holds up a hard-to-see series of small plastic figurines of animals, dumbasses, a guy, and a seeming Darwin figure]. The illustration was done by Rudolph Salinger. It was commissioned by Time–Life books in 1965 for inclusion in its Life Nature Library series, but this is a gross oversimplification, implying that we humans are the final product of millions of years of directed evolution and that nature is not random. We have to talk about world maps now …
And he does. Talk about world maps.
Overall, Stevens rushes through the explanation at #3, looking very, very nervous, and never spelling out the correct state of affairs that is being portrayed inaccurately or in a simplified way.
Is the inaccuracy that we humans are the final product? Millions of years of directed evolution? Nature is not random?
Actually, directed evolution isn’t an inaccuracy, it is a heresy, plain and simple, in the Temple of Tax-Funded Science. Stevens may well have been frightened even to raise the question, hence the hasty, hard-to-follow performance.
Just think, these folk are the heirs of the Enlightenment.
Note: Zalinger achieved enduring fame as an illustrator of dinosaurs.
– O’Leary for News
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