Physically present at the Evolution 2008 meetings

I’m at the Evolution 2008 conference, but I’m too tired to appreciate it — the only sleep I got was a few fitful hours on the redeye from Las Vegas, so I’m seriously concerned that I may fall asleep in my session this afternoon. Greg Laden has been instructed to use a cattle prod on me if I slow down and start sounding like Ben Stein in my talk. It could happen. I’m having trouble remembering what my talk is supposed to be about right now. The slides will go up and the talk will flow out of my mouth, I hope.

Speaking of Greg, at least he seems to be paying attention. He’s got summaries up right now of talks by Scott Lanyon, Mark Borrello, and Jillian Smith, so I can get clued in by the blogs later, even if my brain isn’t working very well here at the actual meeting.

I also got the t-shirt … that’s what counts, right?

By the way, for anyone else at the meeting, Lynn Fellman has a booth here. You should stop by and look at the intersection of art and evolution!


  1. Bad Albert says

    Hey, maybe you could have that cattle prod set up to be triggered via the internet so everyone can help you stay awake.

  2. JM Inc. says

    Aww, buck up PZ, you wouldn’t want to miss all that cool evo devo! My personal recipe for success after a night spent cramming (pseudo-eidetic memory is good for that) is a Starbucks quadruple espresso shaken into a bottle of Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino – it’s cool enough to chug, so it doesn’t require a sitting, and it tastes enough like espresso to have that going for it as well. Send forth one of the postdocs! They do have postdocs, don’t they? Who else would there be to fix the PowerPoint setup and serve hors d’oeuvres?

  3. says

    Here’s my imitation of Greg Laden:


    My imitation of PZ Meyers right afterward:

    “Ow, fuck!! Oh, uh, hi, folks…”

  4. randy says

    did you go to the galapagos yet?

    if not, remember to spend money with the locals, don’t leave it all on the cruise ship.

  5. Patricia says

    I must have been asleep somewhere…what happened to Brenda? Did she run off with Kenny? Or was I drinking one of those blue things… now I am confused.

  6. DLC says

    Hmm… 2 days with a bunch of Biologists ?
    Are their jokes any better than Engineering jokes?

  7. says

    I swear to you, I am not making this up folks:

    Of course I spent some time with PZ this PM as he was in the session I was moderating. Afterwards, we all went to another talk. After seeing PZ off to do something or another, Amanda and I were wandering around the campus deciding to go home or not, and we saw a man laying on the grass totally asleep, his head covered by a newspaper or something, wearing the same clothes PZ was wearing, roughly. Amanda turned to me and said “Holy crap, look, there’s PZ passed out on the lawn…”

    My response: “Quick, hand me your camera before somebody wakes him up…!”

    Turns out it wasn’t PZ, though. But he was beat enough when I saw him earlier that the thought of him passed out on the lawn was totally credible.

    He gave a good talk though (I’ll blog that later, of course)

  8. Amanda says

    But I tried to stop Greg from taking pictures of who we thought was PZ!!! Or, at least, I turned away when he pointed the camera towards the poor sleeping gentleman…

  9. crockett says

    Lynn Fellman — the ideas may be interesting, but good art?? More akin to air brushed poster/fair “art.” Seriously, there’s more evolutionary expression and movement in a Soutine painting than in this let’s-by-so-explicit-that-nobody-will-misinterpret-what-I-mean art. Science and art coming together is such a great idea, but this is just illustration. Mind you, I’d rather have this illustrated than coconut-eating dinosaurs, but ….

    just had to vent. If Lynn’s site is down find some Chaim Soutine to look at. Or Gregory Barsamian in the contemporary category.

  10. grolby says

    That was a great talk! I’m the outer space denizen who spoke to you outside the concert hall (HS vs. university teaching of evolution) after Dr. Judson’s talk. I wanted to apologize for managing to catch you while I was in the middle of what I can only describe as some kind of exhaustion and caffeine-induced five-year zenith of awkwardness. How embarrassing! My excuse: I’m new to conferences and haven’t found the balancing point, yet. Yes, that’s the ticket.

  11. AlanWCan says

    Off topic, but George Carlin has just died.
    Dick Cheney just keeps on going like the energizer bunny and George Carlin dies of heart failure…?
    The world’s collective average IQ just dropped a whole bunch of points…

  12. pcarini says

    Damn, AlanWCan, I was blissfully unaware of the news this evening. The world will be a touch more bleak without him around to satirize it.

  13. John C. Randolph says

    In memory of George Carlin, here’s one of his greatest rants:


  14. says

    Do you believe in God? No. Boom! Dead. Do you believe in God? Yes. Do you believe in my God? No. Boom! Dead. My God has a bigger dick than your God!

    Bill Hicks died and now George Carlin’s dead. Who do we have left?

  15. robbrown says

    Off topic, but George Carlin has just died.


    Sucks all the more because that boy is seriously going to hell.

  16. MarkW says

    robbrown: if you mean that, then fuck you.


    A man who was a great entertainer, who brought a little happiness into the lives of millions of people, has just died, and that’s the first thing you can think of?

    I’m bummed out, so if it was some sort of joke I’m not getting, I apologise.

  17. slpage says

    Is ReMine there whining about how he has a ‘theory’ that is better than evolution but, darn it, nobody will listen?

  18. robbrown says

    Wow Mark…geez. I’m a huge Carlin fan, and no I don’t think that is he is going to hell because like Carlin (and presumably most people here), I think the concept of hell is ridiculous. But he made some pretty brutal attacks on god and jesus as anyone, so that’s why it seemed apropos. But not intended in the least bit disrepectfully, because I agree with every one of his anti-religious rants.

    I guess I don’t post here all that often so maybe you could think I was a religious wingnut who actually meant that. Sorry, but no.

  19. MarkW says

    robbrown: Thank non-existent-gods for that.

    I wholeheartedly and unreservedly apologise.

  20. robbrown says

    No prob Mark, and I apologize as well for not thinking a bit more carefully as to whether I might be taken seriously.

  21. Holbach says

    Patricia @ 9 I believe Brenda ran off with Stein, J and Starbuck for a quadruple frontal lobotmy. So now with this done, the four together have the intelligence of a radish. Of course, even being so handicapped, they will probably return to pool their minor resources in a dribble of incoherency.

  22. khan says

    I see robbrown was joking, but the “he’s in hell” posts started early out there in the ether and will probably continue for several days.

  23. John C. Randolph says

    Bill Hicks died and now George Carlin’s dead. Who do we have left?

    Penn Gillette and James Randi spring to mind.


  24. robbrown says

    I see robbrown was joking, but the “he’s in hell” posts started early out there in the ether and will probably continue for several days.

    Yeah, I guess it was an obvious one…whether said by “the other side”, or, as in my case, with total irreverent affection.

    I learned a lesson in making sure that your comments are going to be understood as intended.