This new short video, including several of my colleagues at Chicago’s Field Museum, shows scientists at the Museum standing up for the facts about ecology and evolution. I like that, and I also like the absence of anything overtly political. But of course we all know why this was made: it is a political video made in reaction to the Trump administration’s disdain for truth and, in particular, Kellyanne Conway’s statement about “alternative facts”—which now has its own Wikipedia page.
I like the emphasis on facts and the uncompromising statements about evolution, which need to be made to a public that’s largely creationist. In the main, then, I see this as a positive statement. But my feelings are a wee bit mixed, for the video wouldn’t have been made without Trump, so it’s also politically-motivated statement that could have been (but wasn’t) made without political motivation. Nevertheless, it can stand on its own as a commitment of scientists to the truth.
Another political bit: the poster at 32 seconds in saying “ALL humans are immigrants from Africa.” Now if that’s not a reaction to Trump’s misguided executive orders on immigration, I’ll eat my Stetson. It is true that the ancestors of all modern humans originated in Africa, but, for instance, all indigenous New World humans were more recent immigrants from Siberia. The poster might have been a bit more accurate.