Getting science under our skins

Carl is planning to start a series called Science Tattoo Friday, and Street Anatomy has an article on a professional medical illustrator and tattoo artist. I call synergy!

Carl and I need to take a road trip to Dallas to get some anatomically correct tattoos of our own, I think. She does a fine botfly, which ought to tempt him.


  1. Michael LoPrete says

    There is a famous saying (originally in French) that Hitchens quotes early in God Is Not Great. Paraphrased (very roughly) into English, it is: God does not enter the equation.

    I have no ink at the moment, but if I were to get something, it would be that phrase. I can think of few other things I’d be willing to permanently etch into my body.

  2. Hank Fox says

    I’ll just toss this in (because I think a countrary opinion NEEDS to be aired in every discussion of tattooing), and deal with the storm of arrows that always follows.

    Wise Old Saying I Just Made Up:

    “Tattoos are for people who want to be noticed but don’t want to go to the trouble of actually becoming interesting.”

  3. says

    How many upstanding anti-homosexual-yet-shrimp-eating Christians have tattoos?

    Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
    Leviticus 19:28

    Blasted, those tattoo-wearing, shrimp-eating Christians!

  4. Rob says

    In the DNA animation, she has the CG and AT base pairs with the wrong number of hydrogen bonds. She has two for CG and three for AT.

  5. Patrick Quigley says

    I don’t have any tattoos myself, but I will offer up a a design of my own. It is a rotational ambigram of the word ‘atheist’ so it reads the same when turned upside-down. This is a plus for arm tattoos since it is legible to both the owner and onlookers whether the arm is raised or down. Here is a demonstration of the symmetry.

    This isn’t a science-themed design, but I thought it might be of interest to some people here. I would be happy to provide a larger or differently colored image if needed. If anyone does use this design, I would love to have a picture.

  6. Brian says

    Hank, I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but I would suggest your statement is a lot more applicable to people who, say, dye their hair pink, or take to bizarre wardrobe choices. In my observation, people who get tattoos “frivolously” do more for the desire to try on the bare act of doing something permanently, rather than trying to get noticed.

  7. Lola says

    That’s funny, as the tattoo they’re profiling this week (the Darwin one), is identical to the one on my shoulder that I got a few months ago, except that I left in the *I think* portion. Patrick, I love the design that you’ve come up with. I think something like that would look great on my wrist.

  8. Patrick Quigley says

    Lola, I’m glad you like it. If you need the image in a different size or colored black to serve as a template just let me know. e-mail: DNAtheist at

  9. says

    PZ, you are going to have to grab me out of my house, knock me out with chloroform, and ship me to a tattoo parlor in the back of van. Otherwise, I’m not going.