Thursday, October 6, 2011

Darwin Awards

For those who enjoy morbid humor, The Darwin Awards are an entertaining way to to explore applications of evolutionary psychology. The website (and resultant books) have become popular fare for morning radio DJs hoping to fill air time and similar "stupid news" outlets.

The site is a compilation of submitted news stories (look for those marked "confirmed true" as others that have turned out to be hoaxes are still listed) about people who have met their untimely deaths in creatively stupid ways. According to the byline for the site, "The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it."

Admittedly, it is a bit crass to find humor in others' deaths, and use descretion when clicking around the site. I would also caution that the site authors, while attempting humor, are not always well-versed in evolutionary theory, nor are those who submit comments on particular articles. However, it should be commended for drawing our attention to ways in which natural selection in human beings continues, sometimes in surprising ways.

For a couple points extra credit for tomorrow's class, you may visit the site and find one (appropriate) Darwin Award to share. It's nice to start class with a little humor. :) But please, don't WIN any Darwin Awards! This is not an honor anyone wants to attain!

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