August 29, 2005 | David F. Coppedge

Do You Belong in the Zoo?

People are gawking at people in the London Zoo, each probably wondering what side of the cage they belong on.  In one of the primate exhibits, eight scantily clad white people are on display, reports AP (see MSNBC and Yahoo).  Wearing fig leaves pinned onto their swimsuits, they play, they scratch, they groom each other, they wave to the onlookers.  The idea is to show that humans are nothing special, but just like other animals.  Unlike the apes and chimpanzees in the other primate cages, however, the humans get to go home at night.
    The stunt is drawing visitors who had never visited the zoo.  Some viewers were disappointed to find the humans wearing clothes; didn’t fig leaves come from the Genesis tradition? they wondered.  Children, confused by the message of the display, have been overheard asking, “Why are there people in there?” An apocryphal story has one of the chimpanzees asking, “Am I my keeper’s brother?”

At least they’re using white people this time (see articles by Carl Wieland and Jerry Bergman).  Mark Looy at Answers in Genesis couldn’t keep silence any longer, especially when he had a Londoner on staff, Dr. Monty White, to interpret the zoo’s actions in light of Darwinian theory.
    The Darwin Party leaders need to give the rest of us a demonstration.  They should get into the cage and show us how to act like a primate – where to scratch, how to shriek and club each other, how to draw figures of prey on the wall, and how to make rock music.  After we lock the door and take the key, we’ll promise to take good care of them (feed them all the bananas they want, etc.) as we laugh all the way to the school board meeting.

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Categories: Dumb Ideas

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