Brain Pickings

The Rap Guide to Evolution: Baba Brinkman’s Homage to Darwin


Dropping rhymes on the natural selection of reason.

The life of Charles Darwin has been the subject of ample creative adaptations — from a graphic novel biography to a collaborative album to a series of biographical poems by his great-grand-daughter.

Now comes The Rap Guide to Evolution by the inimitable Baba Brinkman — a Darwinian rap-teaser for Mark Pallen’s book The Rough Guide to Evolution (public library) that does for science-lovers what Dan Bull’s Lennononandonandon did for Beatlemaniacs and The Elements of Style Rap did for literary nerds:

[Darwin], as far as anyone knows, was the first
To recognize the underlying pattern behind the pageant
Affectionately known as “life on this planet”
He was the first to understand it
The first to translate his amazement
At the wonder of life, into a way to explain it
So this is a celebration of Darwin’s greatness
In the form of a rap — some would say “a debasement”
I would say “be patient”, just think of this as
A manifestation of the evolutionary equation
A recapitulation of life, a re-enactment
So, how do you go from amoebas to rappers?

Complement with Darwin’s daily routine and his timelessly delightful list of the pros and cons of marriage.

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