Meat Makes the Man

How can you turn a monkey into a man? By feeding it “Rex” Brand Extract of beef, of course!

I might just have to throw in a bid on this Victorian promotional card. In bizarre fashion it combines several mythical elements common to popular depictions of human origins; that we evolved in a straight-line fashion, that consumption of meat made all the difference in our transformation, and that men “led the way” in the evolution of our species. Each of these misconceptions has been cast out of the scientific arena in turn, but they still pop up from time to time, especially in advertising. Indeed, the iconic “March of Progress” will live on and I have no doubt that sweeping “theories of everything” for human evolution will continue to be proposed for some time to come. I can only imagine how depictions of human evolution we are creating now will be judged a century hence.

[Hat-tip to the Michael Barton for passing this along.]

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