When I am on Twitter, every now and then a witty or funny tweet catches my attention. I laugh, and sometimes re-tweet. More often, however, I read tweets that cause anxiety and make me frown at my computer screen with the countenance of a distraught fish. I am talking about tweets like this one (Fig. 1):
Here is what Mr. Allen most likely imagines when he thinks about evolution: At some point in the past, this monkey-like creature with long limbs that you can see at the zoo – what Mr. Allen calls an “ape” – had a baby that looked less “ape-ish” and more “human-ish”. Over many generations, this process culminated in us (Fig. 2). The small-scale equivalent (if you “zoomed in”) would be the linear genealogical chain from grandparent to grandchild.
Mr. Allen’s question could be a publicity stunt, or maybe he is just a provocateur, but many of the 50,000 “likes” his tweet has at the moment are probably genuine. This gives me cold sweats. Why? (more…)