A car company is not something I’d usually criticize for a lack of understanding evolution. But watching television last night, I saw an ad for the Mercedes GLA that made me yell, to no one in particular, “OH PLEASE!” It was just so bad I had to share.
Here’s the first part of the voiceover:
Decay. It’s the opposite of evolution. The absence of improvement and the enemy of perfection. Which is why you can never stop moving forward. Never stop inventing.
Oh, please. Just for completeness sake, let’s review: evolution is not intrinsically progressive, nor does it lead to perfection. Mercedes, you need to send your ad people for some remedial biology STAT, especially since it seems like you really like using evolution in your promotions and campaigns.
Can we fix this, readers? How about:
"Decay. It’s the opposite of construction. The absence of improvement and the enemy of dentists. Which is why you can never stop flossing. Never stop brushing."
But maybe that would be a weird way to try and sell a car. I’m open to other suggestions.
Have an idea for a future Misconception Monday or any other kind of post? See some good or bad examples of science communication lately? Drop me an email or shoot me a tweet <at>keeps3.