New Shoots

Yesterday Jamie and I performed at the Octagon Theatre in Perth, the third stop on our nine-city Rap Guide to Evolution Down Under tour, including the Sydney Opera House June 18-21. Here’s all of the tour dates if you’re in Oz or have friends here who might want to catch the show. Check out the West Australian’s glowing 4.5/5 star review of last night’s show: The Evolution Will Not Be Televised.

In other recent events, I’ve been touring around the USA this Spring. We captured several more locations for the “Darwin’s America” documentary, including Texas and Alabama, where we also began shooting the upcoming music video for “Don’t Sleep With Mean People” with a group of conscientious college students keen to spread the evolutionary lovin’.

I also attended the Tucson Consciousness Conference where my wife Heather gave a talk and where I was performing as “The Reductionist Rapper,” charged with “reducing” the conference proceedings into a series of digestible rap summaries. The conference delivered a full six days of neuroscience and philosophy exploring the mystery of consciousness and how it might be scientifically explainable, and a highlight video of my final “rap up” performance is now available to watch on YouTube.

If you’re interested in the field, my raps were also integrated into a daily webcast called “Consciousness Central” which can be streamed here.

In other news, I wrote a piece about evolution and inequality for the Huffington Post which garnered 65 comments, a personal best for controversy, and I collaborated with the Perlstein Lab to explain the science of evolutionary pharmacology in an animated rap video, plus I gave a talk at TEDxNavesink about the history of rhyme from Chaucer to rap, which should be available online soon. Doing my best to keep it diverse over here!

Finally, if you’ve read this far you’re about to be rewarded with a delectable bit of news. I’ll be back at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer performing The Canterbury Tales Remixed at Underbelly, and also a new show, The Rap Guide to Religion, at the Gilded Balloon. No rest for the wicked!

So now that I’m officially working on a Rap Guide to Religion, I’m curious to hear from you all. What defines religious beliefs as opposed to other kinds of beliefs? How do you think the phenomenon is best explained, evolutionarily, psychologically, or sociologically? What religious behaviours do you think a “rap guide” needs to include to be comprehensive? I have a reading list I’m drawing inspiration from, but I’m open to suggestions as well, keeping in mind the show (and eventually the CD) can only be about an hour long.

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