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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Paging Nancy Pearcey: Evolution in Pop Culture

By Rick Pearcey • October 9, 2013, 12:51 PM

Excerpt from Saving Leonardo

In our own day, the evolutionary worldview has filtered down through all levels of society. In 2005 the London Zoo offered a provocative exhibit with a sign that read: “Warning: Humans in their Natural Environment.” The exhibit featured men and women dressed in bathing suits with green fig leaves attached.

The humans cavorted, posed on the rocks, and pretended to groom like baboons, picking parasites out of one another’s hair. Several children were heard asking, “Why are there people in there?” That’s exactly the question the zoo was hoping to spark, a spokeswoman replied: “Seeing people in a different environment, among other animals . . . teaches members of the public that the human is just another primate.”

What are the implications of seeing humans as “just another primate”? Even Hollywood actresses know the answer to that question. In an interview, Scarlett Johansson was once asked to respond to rumors that she had a reputation for being sexually promiscuous.

Her reply was unfiltered naturalism: Humans are merely biological organisms and therefore the practice of monogamy -- being sexually faithful to one person -- is just not natural. “I do think on some basic level we are animals,” Johansson said, “and by instinct we kind of breed accordingly.”

Actress Sienna Miller was more caustic. “Monogamy is . . . an overrated virtue,” she told Rolling Stone, “because, let’s face it, we’re f------ animals.”

Obviously, Darwinian evolution is not just a scientific theory. It has worldview implications that percolate from classic literature down to Hollywood and into our living rooms.

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