At our sciency-est night yet we explored the mysteries of nature and evolution: what Darwin was getting at, exactly, to discussions about the ways nature has managed to get things exquisitely right, beautiful, and masterfully elegant and then those times where, well, not so much.
In her custom-made Queen Mole Rat gown, Danielle Normal Vincent introduced us to her favorite animal: the extraordinary yet still undeniably freaky naked mole rat. These cancer-proof, acid-proof, subterranean hive mind creatures which look uncomfortably like a penis with teeth are, when it comes down to it, total badass survivors of the rodent world.
Chris Carrico delved into the many unusual adaptations and behaviors that have given animals an advantage in nature, from bats using blow jobs to increase fertility to the TERRIFYINGLY GIGANTIC spiders who sometimes win the battle when they eat those bats. We also took a moment to raise a glass to to the creative genius of HR Geiger, and did our best to not mispronounce his name too many times.
Chris Venter explored the idea of “satisficing” and many ways in which natural selection has seemingly somehow missed the mark, and times where nature seems to have declared, “fuck it, close enough.” We also learned about octopus eyeballs, and excellent reasons we are thankful not be either a kiwi bird nor a female hyena.
Chris Reeves brought it all back to sexual selection and the rituals of attraction in nature, from mighty horns and tusks to the OCD nest making of the Bower bird and the sweet dance moves of the peacock spider and the power of plumage.
We are sure there was an excellent, science based reason for this slide.
Thank you to our evening’s guest speakers Danielle Normal Vincent, Chris Carrico, Chris Venter and Chris Reeves.
All the Darwin you seek: EVOLVE Further Reading List>