Whoops! (and February Contest)

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted a contest. Elyse and I are very sorry about leaving you all hanging in the contest department and have vowed to make 2009 a great year for contests! We are filled with that can-do spirit (and possibly vodka).

February is a very important, special month for us skeptics, so the theme for the contest is, of course, going to be Darwin-tastic. You remember the Darwinian Pick-up Lines? Or The Darwinian Valentine’s Day cards? Well this contest continues in the same vein (sort of):

Mix Your Darwinian iTunes (or other music player) Playlist!

Here’s the scoop:

Give us a list of your top ten picks of songs you think best represent Darwin.

That’s pretty much the only rule. Simple yet effective!

Entries need to be in by Feb 12th and on Feb 14th, Elyse and I will pick a winner and shower them with candy and love*.

Make your entries in the comment section as usual. Can’t wait to see your playlists!

*love will most likely be in the form of candy.


Jill is forever chained to her art desk, scribbling away.

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  1. Hiya, Jill! Quick question, do you want us to say a little bit about how each song represents Darwin, or should we just let the songs speak for themselves?

  2. 1. Birds and Ships – Billy Bragg and Wilco

    2. You’re No God – Laura Marling

    3. You Crawled Out of the Sea – Laura Marling

    4. The Boy Who Sailed Around the World – Go Sailor

    5. Island of the Honest Man – Hot Hot Heat

    6. The Book of Right-On – Joanna Newsom

    7. We Came Down From the Trees – Kathryn Williams

    8. Homo Erectus – The Merediths

    9. Fruit Tree – Nick Drake

    10. Monkey Man – Toots & The Maytals

  3. 1) Monkey Man- The Specials
    2) Dirty Deeds – AC/DC (For his tretise on worms, and it seems every mix tape has AC/DC on it)
    3) The Smartest Monkey- XTC
    4) Stand by Me- Ben E. King ( Dedicated to Huxley)
    5) It Ain’t Necessarily So- Ella Fitzgerald+ Louie Armstrong
    6) Jocko Homo- Devo (Are we not men?)
    7) Supertheory of Supereverything- Gogol Bordello
    8) Survivalism- Nine Inch Nails
    9) Mr. Knowitall- Primus
    10) Walking in your Footsteps- The Police
    11) Mammal- They might be Giants

  4. Fly me to the Moon — Sinatra. There is no creationist that would believe we could do this anyway.

    Beautiful Day — U2 — clearly about this earth and what we can do for it.

    Lose Yourself — Eminem the ultimate song of street evolution, and a great song to take a date and just dance

    Time to Say Goodbye — Andrea Bocelli — A great song to listen to. The ultimate in evolution between people is when it is time to say goodbye. Sometimes it is for the evening, sometimes it is longer. But, for Valentine’s day this is a great song to have in the background while enjoying a fine Italian meal — topped off with great ice cream and things to come

    God Isn’t Real — Robbie Fulks — First, because he isn’t real. But otherwise, a good song to sit to after a dinner and opens up discussion. There is nothing sexier on a date than finding someone who can provide great discussion — minds are sexy — blind creationists, no matter how pretty tend to add nausea to the date and it quickly ends.

    Lady – Lenny Kravitz — “Never knew there was such a lady to straighten out my life….” — now if that isn’t evolution, who knows what is. Personal evolution to be certain – but often we men need a bit of straightening, and if we do not get it – -we don’t survive.

    To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before — Willie Nelson. Ok — this is ultimate evolution, but it is not a song that is great on a date, unless you are an old dude like me, where they seem to understand that life and relationships go on, and it is not a bad thing. Social Darwinism

    You don’t mess around with Jim — Jim Croce. This is street evolution and since I spent time at The University of Chicago — the South side of 47th street inspires conversation about University of Chicago — street evolution, and the real thing

  5. I think I ran out of steam at the end, but…

    The Minnow and the Trout – A Fine Frenzy (the chorus is blatantly pro-evolution)
    Big Bang Theory Theme – Barenaked Ladies (duh)
    Survival – Yes
    Apeman – The Kinks
    Dear God – XTC (veering a little away from evolution, but you can’t deny this song’s stance and power)
    Shock the Monkey – Peter Gabriel
    What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
    Also Sprach Zarathustra – Richard Strauss (mostly because of where it was used, but also it’s backstory)
    Why Does The Sun Shine? – They Might Be Giants
    Think For Yourself – The Beatles

  6. @Imrryr:
    Hey Imrryr, you can definitely provide a little explanation on each song if you want to. No one has to, but if you feel a song deserves one, that’s totally cool.

  7. 1. Evolve – Ani DiFranco
    2. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – Daft Punk
    (Survival of the fittest)
    3. Ornithology – Charlie Parker
    (Study of birds)
    4. Changes – David Bowie
    (I’ve never realized that this song was about evolution before! ;-) After all what is evolution if not changes in gene frequency.)
    5. I Will Survive – Aretha Franklin
    (Obvious survival of the fittest reference)
    6. Organic Coast – Hawksley Workman
    (On the Galapagos)
    7. The Adoration of Earth – Igor Stravinsky
    (If there is one thing that Darwin has taught me, it is to have an adoration of the Earth and everything on it.)
    8. Pithecanthropus Erectus – Charles Mingus
    (One of the first known specimens of Homo erectus. “Upright ape-man”)
    9. I Could Write a Book – Rodgers/Hart
    (And boy did he ever)
    10. Respect – Aretha Franklin
    (Darwin should be given the utmost of this song title. “Cdesign propentists” upset me.)

  8. Some awesome song choices here. It Ain’t Necessarily So – I’m ashamed that that song, one of my all-time faves, didn’t come to mind. Big Bang Theory Theme would just have to be there, too. Changes is an inspired choice.
    What about Chumbawamba’s Charlie? Only trouble is, I think they may have only performed it in concert. Not sure it’s on any album.

  9. Well, “Dance Like A Monkey” nat’.

    “Stigmata Martyr” by Abney Park

    “Within You Without You” -Beatles

    “And When I Die” – Blood Sweat and Tears

    Jill named one in the title of this post: “Whoops” by Blues Traveler

    Also “Trina Magna” by Blues Traveler

    “Wond’ring Again” and “Wind Up” by Jethro Tull

    “Astronomy Domine” -Pink Floyd

    “Too Much Rope”-Roger Waters

  10. 1.) Science And Honor by The Phenomenauts
    2.) Monkey To Man by Elvis Costello
    3.) Mammals by They Might Be Giants
    4.) Homo Erectus by Kinky Friedman
    5.) Do The Evolution by Pearl Jam
    6.) Evolution by Self
    7.) That Spells DNA by Jonathan Coulton
    8.) Jocko Homo by Devo
    9.) Unbeliever by Steve Burns
    10.) Dance Like A Monkey by New York Dolls

  11. Kinks: _Apeman_
    – Obvious, yes, but I don’t remember extra points for cleverness

    Steely Dan: _Only a Fool Would Say That_
    – Crazy like a fox

    Fountains of Wayne: _All Kinds of Time_
    – One of Darwin’s key insights

    KT Tunstall: _The Beauty of Uncertainty_
    – The best science asks more questions than it answers

    Tonio K. _Life in the Foodchain_
    – Right on point

    Boston: _More Than a Feeling_
    – Reason is more than a feeling

    Edie Brickell: _What I Am_
    – What we all are

    Jethro Tull: _Steel Monkey_
    – More obviousness

    Pete Townshend: _I Am an Animal_
    – Even more obviousness

    Talking Heads: _The Facts of Life_
    – Yup

    Dan Hicks: _I’ll Tell You Why That Is_
    – About a know-it-all, and I couldn’t bear a play list without Tom Waits

    Pretty Girls Make Graves: _Chemical, Chemical_
    – No divine spark required

    Save Ferris: _The World is New_
    – Ironic and because I needed something to lighten the mood

    Michael Franks: _I Love Lucy_
    – Okay, not that Lucy, but not Lucille Ball either

    Marshall Crenshaw: _Cynical Girl_
    – Next best thing to a Skeptical Chick

  12. Why do I have a feeling this exchange is going to go on in my house:

    Mr. Elyse: Hey, did you spend $800 at iTunes last week?

    me: Oh, um yeah… I meant to tell you about that.

    Mr. Elyse: What the?!

    me: It’s a Skepchick thing.

  13. Gee, thanks, Jill. You’ve successfully distracted me from paying work.
    My choices include some already on other lists.

    1. Charlie by Chumbawamba. An actual tribute song to Darwin.
    2. Big Bang Theory theme by the BNL.
    3. It Ain’t Necessarily So, as performed by Louis and Ella.
    4. What a Wonderful World by Armstrong.
    5. Northern Star by Molly Johnson. As a Canuck I choose this partly for Canadian content. The navigating reference harkens Darwin’s seafaring days.
    6. The Art of Living by another lesser-known Canadian jazz artist, Denzal Sinclaire.
    7. Girl Watcher by Big Sugar. Nothing “Darwin” about it, unless you count observation of life forms. :-)
    8. Water by Blue King Brown. A song of liberation, included in recognition of Darwin’s social conscience.
    9. Ornithology by Parker. Such a gorgeous piece of music.
    10. Evolve by Difranco. One of my new faves. (Thanks, zbfelt.)

    Not the “best” list here, but the most suited to my tastes.

  14. Limiting myself to what hasn’t yet been posted:

    “Origin of the Species” by U2

    “Natural Science” and “The Way the Wind Blows” by Rush (actually you could do a whole playlist just with Rush songs: “Roll the Bones”, “Alien Shore”, “The Trees”, and the entire Snakes & Arrows album)

    “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen (Everybody knows about the bird”

    “The Bad Touch” by The Bloodhound Gang

    “Imagine” by John Lennon

    And echoing others:
    Do The Evolution
    What I Am
    What a Wonderful World

  15. By song title only:
    1. Charlie – Split Enz
    2. Apply Some Pressure – Maximo Park (selective pressure, that is)
    3. Breed – Nirvana
    4. The Geeks Were Right – The Faint
    5. Six Months In a Leaky Boat – Split Enz (more like 5 years)
    6. Blasphemy – Yves Klein Blue
    7. Evidence – Marilyn Manson
    8. I Won’t Survive – The Grates
    9. Jigsaw Falling Into Place – Radiohead
    10. Highly Evolved – The Vines

  16. Some nice ones here, but a lot of them seem rather obscure. It takes a lot to make a 19thC Naturalist get up and dance, so I hope this will get his groove on.

    The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Hugh Montenegro
    I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
    Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees
    Take a chance on me – ABBA
    The Scientist – Coldplay
    The Beast in me – Nick Lowe
    I’m Like a bird – Nelly Furtado
    Things can only get better – D:Ream
    Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters
    Spread your love – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

  17. And here I was content to lurk forever…

    This list is the result of a night of debate between the musically inclined but science-blind hubby and myself (reverse adjectives). Bottles of wine were emptied, liner notes were consulted, points were assessed using banana stickers, and someone may have slept on the couch following an unfortunate Devo joke.

    1. Gourds – Fossil Contender

    “Well, I got a knuckle, honey, and you got the fin
    But we don’t even know if this thing used to walk or swim.”

    2. Dirty Dozen Brass Band – The Monkey

    “Now, three monkeys sat in a coconut tree
    Discussing things that are said to be
    Said one to the other, ‘Now listen you two
    There’s a sick rumor that can’t be true
    That man descended from our noble race
    Why the very idea is a big disgrace
    Why no monkey ever deserted his wife
    Starved her baby and ruined her life.'”

    –Later covered by Elvis Costello & The Imposters as “Monkey To Man”

    3. New York Dolls – Dance Like A Monkey

    “Your design’s so intelligent
    Ain’t no way that was an accident
    Come on shake your monkey hips
    My pretty little creationist …
    Evolution is so obsolete
    Gotta stomp your hands and clap your feet
    You gotta dance like a monkey, dance like a monkey!”

    4. Pearl Jam – Do The Evolution

    “I’m ahead, I’m a man
    I’m the first mammal to wear pants, yeah
    I’m at peace with my lust
    I can kill ’cause in God I trust, yeah
    It’s evolution, baby.”

    5a. Bad Religion – The World Won’t Stop

    “You’re only as elegant as your actions let you be
    A piece of chaos related phylogenetically
    To every living organ system, we’re siblings, don’t you see?
    The world rotates and will revolve without you constantly
    Two billion years thus far, now mister here you are
    An element in a sea of enthalpic organic compounds
    The world won’t stop without you.”

    5b. Bad Religion – Part IV (The Index Fossil)

    “When the human clock stops and the world stops ticking
    We’ll be an index fossil buried in our own debris.”

    5c. Bad Religion – Modern Man

    “Modern man, evolutionary betrayer
    Modern man, ecosystem destroyer
    Modern man, destroy yourself in shame
    Modern man, pathetic example of earth’s organic heritage
    Just a sample of carbon-based wastage
    Just a fucking tragic epic of you and I.”

    –Combining the 3 songs into 1 slot since none of the songs are specifically about evolution, but all reference evolution in some way.

    6. Minutemen – History Lesson

    “100,000 years ago
    Homo sapiens stood erect
    Mind empty, mind fresh
    Created love and hate
    Created God and anti-God
    Human slaughtered human for power.”

    7. Louis Prima – I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)
    –from The Jungle Book

    “I wanna be like you
    I wanna walk like you
    Talk like you, too
    You’ll see it’s true
    An ape like me
    Can learn to be human, too.”

    8. Devo – Jocko Homo

    “God made man
    But he used the monkey to do it
    Apes in the plan
    Were all here to prove it
    I can walk like an ape
    Talk like an ape
    I can do what a monkey can do
    God made man
    But a monkey supplied the glue.”

    9. Bruce Springsteen – Part Man, Part Monkey

    “They prosecuted some poor sucker in these United States
    For teaching that man descended from the apes
    They could’ve settled that case without a fuss or fight
    If they’d seen me chasin’ you, sugar, through the jungle last night
    They’d of called in that jury and a 1-2-3 said
    Part man, part monkey, definitely.”

    10. Johnny Clegg & Savuka – Scatterlings Of Africa

    “Ancient bones from Olduvai
    Echoes of the very first cry
    ‘Who made me, here and why?
    Beneath this copper sun.’
    My very first beginnings
    Beneath the copper sky
    Lie deeply buried
    In the dust of Olduvai.”

  18. D’oh! Judging by these other playlists I’m gonna lose, big time! But I’ll give it a try nonetheless. I also provided youtube links for some of the more obscure songs.

    Styx – “Come Sail Away” – For Darwin’s voyage on the Beagle… well, minus the part about the starships at the end.

    Shaman – “Odda Mailbmi” – The title means “The New World” in the Sami language.

    Korpiklaani – “Northern Fall” –
    “The Woods are getting naked
    and the weather is getting colder
    I can feel this fall deep inside my bones
    I hear the call of the birds
    they are going to leave us
    I wonder how they know their destination”

    The Cult – “Rain” – Next time you visit one of Earth’s many diverse ecosystems be sure to tip your hat to the nearest raincloud. This song is actually about making sweet sweet love, but that’s appropriate too.

    Manowar – “Heart of Steel” – Charles Darwin was totally born with a heart of steel, and picturing him singing this song brings a smile to my face. Video is NSFW, unless you work at the studio of an erotic fantasy artist.

    AC/DC – “If You Want Blood” – The Oxford Evolution Debate in 1860 was perhaps the first of many debates over evolution and Chuck Darwin and Robert Fitzroy (captain of the Beagle) had a public falling out. To this day, holding a large bible in the air and shouting very loudly remains creationism’s most popular defense against evolution.

    The Beatles – “With a Little Help From My Friends” – A tribute to Darwin’s defenders, primarily T.H.H. Huxley.

    Ozzy Osbourne – “Don’t Blame Me” – This one is for the folks that blame all the ills of society on Darwin’s theory of evolution.

    Blue Oyster Cult – “Don’t Fear the Reaper”. On his deathbed Darwin said, “I am not the least afraid of death”.

    Glass Tiger – “Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone” – Celebrating the life and accomplishments of Charles Darwin is what Darwin Day is all about. “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds would also be acceptable.

  19. I come from the water – The Toadies

    Not only are the lyrics great but the song is one of the best on the album. Very catchy. Actually one of the only songs on Rubberneck that isn’t representing something dark and/or sexually/spiritually repressed.

    I come from the water
    I come from the water
    That weren’t no easy thing
    It’s more than nature
    It’s like my destiny

    I stood upon these legs
    And held my head up high
    Emerged beneath the sun
    To start a new life


  20. Since I am tardy, I will simply submit the song that first came to mind:

    Crash Test Dummies – In the Days of the Caveman

    “See in the shape of my body
    leftover parts from the apes and monkeys

    In the days of the caveman, mammoths, and glaciers
    Bugs and trees were your food then
    no pajamas or doctors.”

  21. The Grates – Science is Golden
    Rockin’ chicks expounding the power of rational thinking over superstition.

    “What’s the go with all these new set of rules that you live by, afraid you might die?”

    Snout – Cromagnon Man
    A loving tribute to our less highly evolved ancestors.

    The Vines – Highly Evolved
    At least, they thought they were…

    The Dodos – God?
    The question mark says it all. Questioning the existence of and motivation of invisible sky pixies can be a joy when you listen to these guys.

    Fay Boy Slim – Right Here, Right Now
    A film clip that is a testimony to evolution.

    Crowded House – It’s Only Natural
    Not about evolution. But we can pretend it’s about natural selection :)

    The Cat Empire – Protons, Neutrons, Electrons

    Coldplay – The Scientist

    The Smashing Pumpkins – Zero
    “God is Empty, just like me”

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