Let’s deface more walls this way

You’ll need to scroll from side to side to appreciate this scientifically inaccurate but very cool act of vandalism.


  1. #1 daenku32
    April 27, 2007

    Looks like maybe an specially licensed artwork. Hmm.

    On the bright side, here is also a good letter from a science teacher regarding the Creation Museum in Indiana and how it hinders effective education in sciences.

  2. #2 Tina
    April 27, 2007

    That is very cool, very well done. I like the idea of it, I guess it’s supposed be about the idea rather than accuracy.

  3. #3 jufulu
    April 27, 2007

    Evolution and social comment, who would have thunk.

  4. #4 Pygmy Loris
    April 27, 2007

    I love the social commentary! It’s cool enough to forgive the scientific inaccuracy. 🙂

  5. #5 dorid
    April 27, 2007

    it IS cool, although even I was disturbed by the transition between dinos and elephants. I doubt it was a mere act of vandalism, though. AND I agree, there is enough social commentary to make me believe the piece was contracted.

  6. #6 MarkH
    April 27, 2007

    Cool art, but don’t try and find out about the site by truncating the address to Definitely not work safe!

  7. #7 Christian Burnham
    April 27, 2007

    That is sooooo cool.

    This is how the famous graffiti artist Banksy answers the art/vandalism question.

    Is graffiti art or vandalism?

    That word has a lot of negative connotations and it alienates people, so no, I don’t like to use the word ‘art’ at all.

  8. #8 Woodwose
    April 27, 2007

    I am forever amazed at all of the skills exhibited by graffiti artists. In the babble of the job market they “conceptualize new projects”, “marshal limiteed amounts of manpower and materials in a time sensitive manner”, “comunicate difficult concepts in a manner which can be understood by a wide range of clients”. Any high flying organization should be happy to hire them.

  9. #9 Morrea
    April 27, 2007

    In Elgin, IL there is a water treatment facility with an unfinished mural of life from the Cambrian to (I think) the Carboniferous. Very cool, more scientifically accurate than this, though without the social commentary. We definitely need more stuff like this.

    […back to lurking now…]

  10. #10 Hank Fox
    April 27, 2007

    I was sure I was gonna see Homer Simpson on the wall!

  11. #11 notthedroids
    April 27, 2007

    Do you know for a fact that it is “vandalism”?

  12. #12 AL
    April 27, 2007

    I can already hear the Creationists saying “see, this proves that the message of evolution is for man to kill one another.”

  13. #13 Mike Mason
    April 27, 2007

    Very cute artwork. You might add a warning about the X-rated ad banner that can show up on the site. It is in spanish, but I think I got to see a very graphic ad for an interesting combination of flashlight and masturbation aid. The wife would not have been amused to see that on my computer.

  14. #14 craig
    April 27, 2007

    “but I think I got to see a very graphic ad for an interesting combination of flashlight and masturbation aid. ”

    Man, I can’t believe there are still people on the net who haven’t been exposed to the “Fleshlight.”

    I must have hung out on too long.

  15. #15 Rosie Redfield
    April 27, 2007

    Hmmm… Men with guns = the pinnacle of evolution

  16. #16 Keanus
    April 27, 2007

    I think PZ likes because a squid (or squid like creature) was featured as one of our descendants

  17. #17 Ick of the East
    April 27, 2007

    In Elgin, IL there is a water treatment facility with an unfinished mural of life from the Cambrian to (I think) the Carboniferous.

    Well I hope I’m not represented in that mural. I was born in Elgin in what almost feels to be the Cambrian.

  18. #18 The quantum pancake
    April 27, 2007

    The only graffiti where I live is swear words and crudely drawn stick figures with ridiculously large genitals.

  19. #19 Fernando Magyar
    April 27, 2007

    Re #’s 2 and 4,
    You guys really need to get out of your labs a bit more often, who knows maybe even spend some time visiting a few art museums and galleries 😉
    Naive art requires no forgiveness from anybody.

  20. #20 Carrie
    April 27, 2007

    I was disturbed by the transition between dinos and elephants

    Doubtless it was painted by fans of America’s Next Top Model

  21. #21 Keith Douglas
    April 27, 2007

    That’s one wide picture. And an interesting piece of art. Here they have commissioned some art for buildings by local artists so graffiti won’t get on them … maybe this was similar.

  22. #22 Niobe
    April 28, 2007

    @#7: Isn’t Banksy the one that made art by cleaning selective parts of a wall? There was a UK artist that went in tunnels and on squares with a brush and a bucket of soap and “drew” paintings by removing grime. The actually wanted to bust him for vandalism…

  23. #23 Thr secret government rhubarb experiment
    April 28, 2007

    A weed is a plant in the wrong plce, vandalism is art in the wrong place.

  24. #24 bernarda
    April 28, 2007

    A little OT comment on the paranoia in the U.S. today. Punished, not for tagging walls, but for doing his homework assignment.

    “A high school senior was arrested after writing that “it would be funny” to dream about opening fire in a building and having sex with the dead victims, authorities said.

    Another passage in the essay advised his teacher at Cary-Grove High School: “don’t be surprised on inspiring the first CG shooting,” according to a criminal complaint filed this week.

    Allen Lee, 18, faces two disorderly conduct charges over the creative-writing assignment, which he was given on Monday in English class at the northern Illinois school.”

    “A conviction could bring up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $1,500 fine.” Going to school, doing the work, and being a straight-A student can be expensive.

  25. #25 Matthew
    April 28, 2007

    It’s interesting that people are debating whether it’s vandalism or not, and apparently assume that if you have permission, it’s not vandalism, but if you don’t, it is.

    I like to consider whether anything was damaged, and the intent of the work. Here, nothing was damaged (unless you are a fan of grimy, grey featureless cement walls) and the intent was clearly artistic.

    I think the tags near the mural were neither art nor vandalism; they didn’t destroy or cover up anything, but they didn’t have a lot of originality. Just local kids marking their territory.

  26. #26 Matt
    April 28, 2007

    That’s cool. In instances like that, I think that it’s okay to sacrifice accuracy in favor of art. The symbolism is obvious and it looks so cool.

  27. #27 Christophe Thill
    April 28, 2007

    Funny how, in the old-fashioned popular pictures of “the parade of evolution”, as well as in this one, as soon as man-like creatures appear, they are shown becoming more human, yes, but also using always better weapons: from the club to the spear, to the sword, to the bow, to the crossbow, to the rifle…

  28. #28 Godless McHeathenpants
    April 28, 2007

    Wow. Not vandalism. Vandalism detracts from something’s value. This mural is made of Win and Awesome. If I had a shred of talent this would adorn a bridge in my town.

  29. #29 lobsterlily
    April 28, 2007

    Is it really real? Looks like the trees and other “art” repeat….
    Where is it supposed to be?

  30. #30 Jon H
    April 29, 2007

    It looks like a Photoshop or similar.

    There are areas where the image above the mural overlaps or repeats, while the mural itself does not.

    (I suppose the effect could be caused by the photographer stitching the series of photos together and putting more effort into getting the mural right, and letting the other bits stay raw.)

  31. #31 Owlmirror
    April 29, 2007

    It looks like it was not only autostitched together, but also mirror-reversed.

    Since I was curious, I hit flickr, and searched on “evolution mural” and “evolution graffiti”. There were quite a few interesting hits, including the mural in question. It looks like it is in Prato, Tuscany, Italy.

  32. #32 Arnosium Upinarum
    April 29, 2007

    Re: #19:

    “Naive art requires no forgiveness from anybody.”

    Yeah, well, naive is naive. In art museums and galleries or anywhere else.

    Not many here, if any, are unimpressed with the effort, or in its demonstration of an inkling of the concept on the part of the artist.

    Re: #31:

    There is no “auto” in the stitching together of what is obviously a very wide-angle scene. Its simply a mosaic of lots of photos to produce a single panoramic one (easily accomplished in a program such as “photoshop”). Also, it is manifestly NOT “mirror-reversed”. The right half, if appreciated in sequence from right to left, is actually a significantly, though marginally, more accurate depiction of an evolutionary sequence than the left half appreciated from left-to-right. This suggests that more than one artist was involved in its conception (Like, “You take the right side, I’ll do the left side”.

  33. #33 Owlmirror
    April 29, 2007


    There is no “auto” in the stitching together of what is obviously a very wide-angle scene. Its simply a mosaic of lots of photos to produce a single panoramic one (easily accomplished in a program such as “photoshop”).

    It might have been done manually in Photoshop, or some other software. Or it might have been done with this: , or some other automated edge-matching image-stitching software. Do you know for sure?


    Also, it is manifestly NOT “mirror-reversed”.

    The image manifestly IS mirror-reversed. Look at the text on the back of the bus shelter. Note that the capital “P” and “R” are facing to the left. Also, the first Flickr image I linked to shows the bus shelter as well, on the right side of the mural, rather than on the left as in the wide panorama.

  34. #34 Ernie D
    April 30, 2007

    Reminds me of the wonderful Guinness ad “Good things come to those who wait”, featruing sammy avis Jr.’s rendition of The Rhythm of Life.

    Check it out at

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