It’s a bit late for Mother’s Day, but here are some biological truths about maternal and paternal inheritance. Warning: this is major nerd overload. Wear goggles.

The goggles! They do nothing!


  1. #1 Kaddath
    May 11, 2010

    Is the guy in the inset around 3:49 marker you hippie doppelganger PZ?

  2. #2 tsig0
    May 11, 2010

    Somehow I can’t see a lot of mothers liking this.

  3. #3 hallstrom.anders
    May 11, 2010

    My mother would like it.. She wouldt understand it, but she would love it… Why.. more of her.

    And they just dressed and looked like nerds…

  4. #4 alysonmiers
    May 11, 2010

    If I were his mom I’d be forwarding this video to all my co-workers and practically daring them to deny that my boy is cooler than theirs.

  5. #5 NewEnglandBob
    May 11, 2010

    My ears hurt now!

  6. #6 charley
    May 11, 2010

    I had some tissues ready to handle the bleeding eardrums, but it is actually very nicely done.

  7. #7 Pradeep
    May 11, 2010

    Love the cameo with the bearded biology professor towards the end. Hope you inspire this type of nerdiness in all of our students.

  8. #8 Chimbley Sweep
    May 11, 2010

    Man, so much negativity. Have the interwebs made you all so callous?

    That was a wonderful song. Geeky, but wonderful. Lyric structure was creative, with playful rhymes. Chord progression was simple, but solid. Melody was catchy and bright. His performance was sweet and tuneful.

    I, for one, think it’s a great mother’s day song.

  9. #9 hinakuu
    May 11, 2010

    If I have a child, I hope he/she will be this awesome.
    (It made me tear up a little bit too, thinking about my own mom.)

  10. #10 Haruhiist
    May 11, 2010

    I’d like to send it to my mom, but I don’t think she would get the biological references. Because I don’t get them all either 🙁

  11. #11 charley
    May 11, 2010

    Man, so much negativity.

    Just to be clear, I agree with you completely. I just meant I was expecting the worst before I listened.

  12. #12
    May 11, 2010

    I think this is brilliant, but I’ll never be able to give this song to my mom without her thinking I’m trying to destroy her belief in God.

    Unfortunate side effect of explaining ERVs and other biological evidences that prove Adam and Eve weren’t as they were in the Bible, that the real “Adam” and “Eve” of the human race were African, has led her to believe that no matter what, when I start talking about biology that I’m immediately attacking her religion as well.

    Ah well.


  13. #13 redrabbitslife
    May 11, 2010

    That was hilarious! Nerd overload and kind of a sweet tune, very folksy. My mom wouldn’t get it, but who cares!

  14. #14 Carlie
    May 11, 2010

    I am a mother, and I give it a stamp of total awesomeness.

  15. #15 Sili, The Unknown Virgin
    May 11, 2010

    Nice tie.

    Speaking of which. He’ll have to find hella one for his dad to make up for this put-down.

  16. #16 UXO
    May 11, 2010

    Aside from the fact that he looks like he’s got a cheek full of chaw, I’d call this a total win. Roughly a million times better than any of that auto-tune crap, in any case!

  17. #17 Katrina
    May 11, 2010

    I second what Carlie said.

  18. #18 Adavidson
    May 11, 2010

    OMG this is so confusing. On one hand its frikkin awesome, but, so damn depressing at the same time. Like watching geriatric pornography, you know you shouldn`t, but you can`t look away..

  19. #19 Mattir
    May 11, 2010

    I third what Katrina and Carlie said. I’m a mom, and I think it’s totally awesome. Of course, both of my kids are toying with becoming biologists of some variety, and are already atheist feminist rationalists, so obviously slightly more than half of them is me…

    Plus I probably still have their cells floating around in my bloodstream.

  20. #20 mk.ramm
    May 11, 2010

    As the mother of two computer nerd children, I totally loved it.

  21. #21 pacoyogi
    May 11, 2010

    I am a mother, and I think this rocks.

    For Mother’s Day my 7 year-old gave me a hand-made magazine about our family…it might be my most treasured possession.

  22. #22 mermaid
    May 11, 2010

    I love it:-) I am mother of four guys, three in science related fields, wife of an old computer geek, Aunt to a physicist and biology teacher. I understood enough to appreciate it although I am more an English/art person. Very sweet, thanks.

  23. #23 NewlyHuman
    May 11, 2010

    If my kids had written and sung me that I would possibly have exploded with pride.
    I can only dream of science nerd offspring of that caliber.

  24. #24 cadamole
    May 11, 2010

    Damn. I thought those kickin’ shades would hide my nerdiness.

    Anyway, glad you guys (mostly) enjoyed my salute to mothers everywhere and thanks to PZ for posting.

  25. #25 PZ Myers
    May 11, 2010

    It’s the sweater. It’s so…Mr Rogers.

    I’ve got one like that too, but at least mine is a manly, macho blue.

  26. #26 jenea
    May 11, 2010

    Cool, cadamole himself shows up! If you’re still reading, let us know where we can download the song so I can play it in the car. My kid loves science songs! I’d be happy to pay for the privilege.

  27. #27 CompulsoryAccount7746
    May 11, 2010

    Robert Sapolsky’s awesome! 😀
    I heartily recommend his TTC Lectures on Neurobiology and Human Behavior, if you can get a hold of em.

    Of course there was that OCD & Religion lecture a while back:

    Stress, Neurodegeneration and Individual Differences was good too:

    Toxoplasmosis and other Parasites:

  28. #28 Carlie
    May 11, 2010

    cadamole, I second the request for a downloadable version (I know one can grab it off of youtube, but that seems vaguely unethical to me). I teach a class on the evolution of reproductive strategies, and this would fit in perfectly.

  29. #29 ladyh42
    May 11, 2010

    Thirded, or forthed, or whatever, what Carlie said. I’m a mom and totally loved it. My kids aren’t old enough to understand this yet (my daughter is not yet 4 but likes to point out the ‘dinosaur birds!’) but I did send this to my mom, who I hope will like it too.

  30. #30 Haley
    May 11, 2010

    I’m not a mother, and this man is probably older than I am, so why did this make me tear up with maternal pride?

  31. #31 momkat
    May 11, 2010

    To this obstetric nurse practitioner and mother, this is the best kind of nerdiness. Reminds me of They Might Be Giants and the delightful science songs they do.

  32. #32
    May 11, 2010


    Warning: this is major nerd overload.

    I’m sure the über-nerds can take it.

  33. #33 Form&Function
    May 11, 2010

    Yes! I was thinking of using it my classes as well. This is not only charming but biologically accurate and I thought it was just great :). Nice job, cadamole!

  34. #34 legistech
    May 11, 2010

    Sheesh, all I thought was that it was awesome. The nerdiness didn’t even register with me.

  35. #35 echidna
    May 11, 2010

    Like the multitude of mothers on this thread, I liked it very much. Lacking the Mr. Rogers cultural touchstone in this part of the world, the jumper (sweater for people in the US) doesn’t signal “nerd”.

  36. #36 sparganium5
    May 11, 2010

    As a biologist whose oldest son is a guitar-playing college student (and one of his majors is neurobiology), I have to say this is both an amazing song and a creative tribute to mothers. I will send the link to my son, who will undoubtedly love it as well.

  37. #37 hullgra
    May 11, 2010

    I sent it to my mom, I think she’ll get it and love it!

  38. #38 chgo_liz
    May 11, 2010

    I emailed the link to my oldest daughter and told her that THAT was what she should have sent me on Mother’s Day….if that gives you any idea, Cadamole, of how thoroughly awesome I found your song!

  39. #39 Kirk
    May 11, 2010

    I am a mother, and I think this rocks.

    My opinion as a father is also that this rocks, although I don’t generally say things like “this rocks”. I’m trying to enter into the spirit of the thing, though.

    I’m more than happy to be called a nerd, but I don’t see this as nerdy. It’s just a great song. No, not just. Genius.

    slightly more than half

    Is the domicile of cadamole in the midwest? I’m only asking because, if so, then slightly more than half is, well, pretty high praise. I mean, in Iowa, you just had a lifetime accomplishment.

  40. #40 wildtype
    May 12, 2010

    Great song, it gets better every time you listen.

  41. #41 Downunderandy
    May 12, 2010

    Sent the link to my biologist friend. She was blown away and is sending the link everywher.

  42. #42 Dusty5150
    May 12, 2010

    Love the Rainier Wolfcastle (as Radioactive-Man) quote!

  43. #43 jjdiogenes
    May 12, 2010

    Awesome job Cadamole! I hope my sons grow up to be half as nerdy as you!

    I was actually thinking the same thing as Momkat, you kind of sound like They Might Be Giants and certainly are as lyrical . . . perhaps if John Linnell or John Flansburgh retires . . . hmmm.

    Please post an mp3 of this somewhere – I’d love to download it.

    Also, my mom would have completely gotten it! You’re mom has to be beeming.

  44. #44 MichelleZB
    May 12, 2010

    That’s way, way too cute.

    Must send to my mom.

  45. #45 Nebula99
    May 12, 2010

    That is too awesome! He can actually sing and write lyrics; a lot of science singers can’t. My mom’s not a bio person but I am; if I did my job as a kid she’ll get it.

    Roughly a million times better than any of that auto-tune crap, in any case!

    [argumentative]You are nuts. Symphony of Science is still better. [/argumentative]

    I’m going to show this to my mom ASAP.

  46. #46
    May 12, 2010

    This song sounds like it’s a They Might Be Giants song…if it isn’t they should pay him to let them do a cover-version!

  47. #47 Youngie
    May 13, 2010

    Awwwwwww! That’s so sweet. I really think my Mum would have enjoyed that.

  48. #48 cadamole
    May 13, 2010

    @Carlie and @jenea – I honestly don’t mind if you grab the song off youtube, but if you want to help me pay for a tent I’m saving up for, you can buy it here:

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