Recently, Dr Pepper posted a picture to its Facebook page showing a mock evolution graphic — a “pre-Pepper” chimp morphing into an upright “post-Pepper” human. There are many such humorous adaptations of this classic monkey-to-man “march of progress” graphic, and the Mad Men working for Dr Pepper probably had no reason to think that their ad would elicit unusual controversy.
Wrong. Immediately after its posting, enraged commenters descended upon the site, ranting against Dr Pepper’s tacit endorsement of well-established science taught in every high school biology classroom. Some of their proclamations:
“Well, there goes my support for this company.”
“I ain’t no freaking chimp. No more Dr Pepper for my household.”
“This is showing the theory of men evolving from apes. I have lost all respect for Dr Pepper and if Dr Pepper wants business from thousands of people they will need to apologize.”
And this ominous observation: “Dr. Pepper wasn’t served until 1885… 3 years AFTER the death of Darwin! Sounds like a conspiracy if you asked me!”
Evolution should not — in the year 2012, after a century and a half of scientific verification from multiple independent lines of evidence — be the subject of controversy. Historians of science note that among the community of practicing scientists, serious doubts about evolution faded by the 1870s.
And yet in the United States and a handful of other countries, the topic of evolution provokes a fierce, emotional response from some sectors. This social (not scientific) controversy is especially true when human evolution is taught in public schools. For example, the 1925 Butler Act — the law under which John Scopes was tried and convicted — did not technically ban evolution wholesale but criminalized teaching “that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” The Tennessee legislature of the 1920s simply was unwilling to accept the reality of common descent with modification for all organisms, including humans, from earlier ancestors.
And there hasn’t been a lot of progress since. Science communicator Bill Nye, the “Science Guy,” recently found out just how controversial talking about evolution can be.
Written By: Steven Newtoncontinue to source article at huffingtonpost.com