Glenn Beck drew (more) attention the other day when he declared on his radio program that he didn’t believe in evolution because “I haven’t seen a half-monkey, half-person yet”. Leave aside for the moment the fact that humans descended from, and in fact are, apes, not monkeys. Let’s give Beck the benefit of the doubt and presume what he meant was that he has never met something in between a human and some monkey-like creature, and here I think I can help him. As you can see in the map below, a mere 7 minute drive from Fox News Studios at Rockefeller Center where Beck broadcasts is the American Museum of Natural History. There Glenn can visit the The Hall of Human Origins and see life-sized dioramas of Australopithecus afarensis, Homo ergaster, Neanderthal, and Cro-Magnon. Not only that, but he can also see actual casts of Lucy, the 3.2 million Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, and Turkana boy, the 1.7 million year Homo erectus skeleton.
Now Lucy may not technically be a “half-monkey, half-person”, but as you can see from the picture below of how an Australopithecus afarensis is believed to have looked, that’s not a half bad description of her.
Of course, lover of science that he is, Mr. Beck may have seen these casts and recreations already, and his skepticism can only be appeased by meeting the “real thing”. Well, he should have said something earlier, because from June through October 2009 Lucy was actually on display at the Discovery Times Square Exposition a mere 7 minute walk from Fox News Studios. He could have gone there on his lunch break.
If Beck wants to see a “half-monkey, half-person” all he needs is a little genuine curiosity and about 30 minutes of free time. Given his talent and zeal for digging up convoluted “proof” of far fetched conspiracy theories, you’d think he be a little better at finding evidence for a legitimate theory like evolution; especially since there’s plenty of evidence right in his neighborhood. Maybe someone should tell him that “Van Jones loves Karl Marx” has been scrawled on a bathroom wall at the American Museum of Natural History. Important evidence like that is sure to draw him there.