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"The great man's brain may need some downtime."
March 26, 2008 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Dinner With Darwin. Scientists from various disciplines weigh in on what kind of dinner conversation they envision themselves having with Charles Darwin. Via.
posted by amyms (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
What would you tell him?
That I love him.
What would you ask him?
Will you marry me?
What would you bring him?
Some interesting barnacles.
How would you describe the evening?
Like a club night on ecstasy
What book would you bring him?
The Code of the Woosters by P.G Wodehouse.
What film would you bring him?
Everything Is Illuminated.
What would he think of the fact that his ideas and personality are under attack from Intelligent Design and creationism?
Fuck 'em.
posted by binturong at 10:09 PM on March 26, 2008


I'd say, "Cheeky fellows, those animals, scampering about like they do. I'm eating one now! I say, what are you having?"

At that Charles Darwin would slam his cutlery down and stalk off, never to dine with me again.

How was I to know he was so sensitive about his work?
posted by breezeway at 10:24 PM on March 26, 2008


What would you tell him?
That he has a very handsome beard.
What would you ask him?
The dead know only one thing: it is better to be alive. True or false?
What would you bring him?
Acid.
How would you describe the evening?
Interesting.
What book would you bring him?
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Assuming he had a DVD player and electricity, what film would you bring him?
MicroCosmos.
What would he think of the fact that his ideas and personality are under attack from Intelligent Design and creationism?
Feh.
posted by homunculus at 10:55 PM on March 26, 2008


Interesting read. Thanks, amyms.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:07 PM on March 26, 2008


Sooo.... does anyone ever fantasize about hanging out with historical figures and attempting to explain what the internet is, or, better yet, what a Rickroll is?

Just me then?
posted by alexei at 1:36 AM on March 27, 2008


Very amusing breezeway, but Darwin was a huntin' shootin' and fishin' chap in his youth, not at all averse to ingesting fellow fauna.
posted by binturong at 1:38 AM on March 27, 2008


What book would you bring him? If we're bringing him stuff and actually eating dinner, I assume he's still alive and not a ghost, and that I've gone back in time. I'd have dinner with him in 1830, when he had just come of age, and would bring him Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Over dinner, however, before I let him open his present, we would just chat. I would tell him about our times, and he would think I was mad. He would slip out and get a couple of policemen, and they would take me away to the local insane asylum.

Darwin would soon become the Omniscient Emperor of All. Victoria might give him a country (maybe Canada?) in exchange for ensuring that Britain was by far the most advanced and dangerous nation on Earth, with a navy and air force out of Jules Verne, and diplomats who seemed always to know just what the other side was really thinking.

If I ever got out of the insane asylum, I would parlay my own knowledge (vastly inferior to the man with the 21st century Britannica) into a business empire based on knowing who and what was going to be a big seller, even if I had no idea how to make it. I would be the second richest man in the world, but I would have to watch my back for Darwin, the richest, who could easily arrange to have me marooned or otherwise disappeared. Indeed, in the end I might have to kill Darwin first. I would chuckle, "Survival of the fittest and all," and Darwin would cringe because that was Spencer's line, not his, and then I would release the apes.
posted by pracowity at 1:59 AM on March 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yeah, if you read The Voyage of the Beagle, you will see Darwin and his company eat most animals in a way that is pretty shocking to modern biologists. See the example given of the discovery of Darwin's Rhea -

When at Port Desire, in Patagonia (lat. 48 degs.), Mr. Martens shot an ostrich; and I looked at it, forgetting at the moment, in the most unaccountable manner, the whole subject of the Petises, and thought it was a not full-grown bird of the common sort. It was cooked and eaten before my memory returned. Fortunately the head, neck, legs, wings, many of the larger feathers, and a large part of the skin, had been preserved; and from these a very nearly perfect specimen has been put together, and is now exhibited in the museum of the Zoological Society. Mr. Gould, in describing this new species, has done me the honour of calling it after my name.
posted by scodger at 2:11 AM on March 27, 2008


I think I would want to know more about his wife, to be honest, and how much she influenced his decisions...
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:46 AM on March 27, 2008


Darwin was a huntin' shootin' and fishin' chap in his youth, not at all averse to ingesting fellow fauna.

I know, binturong. I think it was my supercilious tone that pissed him off.
posted by breezeway at 5:49 AM on March 27, 2008


I'd imagine it would be a rather one-sided conversation, no?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 6:33 AM on March 27, 2008


Surely you would want to ask him about the "playing a tuba at a table of worms" experiment.
posted by liquidindian at 6:35 AM on March 27, 2008


"Good evening, Chuck -- Hail, Satan."
posted by LordSludge at 7:23 AM on March 27, 2008


If we're bringing him stuff and actually eating dinner, I assume he's still alive and not a ghost, and that I've gone back in time.

Oh, I assumed he'd been resurrected somehow. That would change my question to him. Hmm.
posted by homunculus at 10:30 AM on March 27, 2008


What would you tell him?
We’re eating at Tru.

What would you ask him?
Heidegger - big asshole or the biggest asshole?

What would you bring him?
A copy of Crumb’s “Mr. Natural” ask if he sees any resemblance what with the beard and all.

How would you describe the evening?
Raucous - after all, he was a sailor.

What book would you bring him?
A technical manual on the power grid, a book on home safety and how to manual on hooking up DVD and television connections.

Assuming he had a DVD player and electricity, what film would you bring him?
Star Wars. It’s a documentary of what happened to a bunch of hominids a long time ago...in a Galaxy far, far away.

What would he think of the fact that his ideas and personality are under attack from Intelligent Design and creationism?
Heh, heh, yeah, I remember my first beer.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:57 PM on March 27, 2008


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