Evolution Rap, Like This!

The Rap Guide to Evolution Music Videos, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.

I've been exploring the use of rap and pop culture to teach science and mathematics, ranging from Lupe Fiasco to Linkin Park, but that topic is for another day. But anyone interested in evolution, whether student or teacher, could find this "Evolution Rap" a refreshing approach.

Bottom line: learning should always be this fun.


"Yo, yo, the Origin of Species
Ain't no feces, dawg, believe me..."
And that's all I could think of
So then I thought, this needs to be re-written

By looking at the similarities in development in different animals, researchers hope to identify ancestral relationships.

And sometimes people ask: "How does your show get written?"
Like this: performance, feedback, revision
And how do I generally develop my lyricism?
Like this: performance, feedback, revision
And how do human beings ever learn to do anything?
Like this: performance, feedback, revision
And evolution is really an algorithm that goes
Like this: performance, feedback, revision
So the genetic code of every living thing was written.
Like this: performance, feedback, revision
See, the genes are like a text with a thousand pages.

And revision occurs in the random changes
That come from mutations, and when they see the light
That's the performance, that's the phenotype
And natural selection is the feedback side

That's about who survives and whose genes catch rides
In the next generation, yes, what I'm saying
Is that a rap performance like this is the best illustration
Of the way descent with modification works

'Cause the performance is necessary to change the words

A reconstruction of ambulocetus the 'walking whale'.

To decide which have an impact and which to send back
To the drawing board, in fact I just did that
When you failed to react, 'cause any line can change
And mutations occur when I improvise on stage
'Cause up until this moment, everything I said was off the page.

But now it's time for me to switch to freestyle, yeah, random speeches
Charles Darwin was right, you could examine his thesis
Even though creationists are always trying to smash it to pieces
Evo devo people found for it up in an animal's fetus.
And archaeologists found evidence for it up in ambulocetus

Yeah, that's the bones they found of a walking whale.
I'm kinda cocky with my tales, plus I see evidence for evolution
Everytime I talk to females; You can see it in their eyes
The way they sparkle, with my vocabulary

The proboscis monkey's nose is thought to be a sexually selected characteristic that females find attractive.

Plus they're kind of impressed that I rap on the Tales of Canterbury
So when I talk to my ancestors in my sleep, I'm like "Thank you very
Much!" 'Cause you gave me the skills to leave mad descendants

Yes, creationists are mad pretentious; I'm just tryin' to smash these sentences

I'm tryin' to dispel all creationist myths like I was Daniel Dennett
Because I think religion is pretty much just an anaesthetic
But I'm gonna have to take it to that place, and rap frickin' awesome
Yes, you know I'm tryin' to be the Hip-hop version of Richard Dawkins
Even though his attitude can sometimes be a little pompous
I think his powers of logic are frickin' awesome
Plus he's dealin' with the central problem of modern life
It's belief in reason versus passive belief in an afterlife
Which leads to things like animal and human sacrifice
Yeah, I'm tryin to come through kinda shifty
Like I was a purse-snatcher; you can call me the word-master
Most rappers next to me kinda look like Homo ergaster
Or Homo erectus I'm just tryin' to use Darwin
To get a total perspective that's right, that's how I rip it up

Homo ergaster skull (KNM-ER 3733) discovered by Bernard Ngeneo in 1975 (Kenya)

Creationists are trippin' up; yes, I'm tryin' to take it back
To the days of Australopithecus, you could try to follow me
But first you'd better study human nature and base it
On primatology; otherwise it won't be very worthy
Just ask Ms Sarah Hrdy; yes, she had some theories

That she tried to give to all of us, yes, I'm tryin' to abolish
All the creationist non-knowledge, and show them evidence
Like the bones of Tiktaalik; yes, this is how I'm just
Tryin' to represent it for my fam; I learned about my origins
Up in the Descent of Man

And that's how my show gets written and re-written
Like this: performance, feedback, revision
And anyone can use this algorithm to learn anything
Like this: performance, feedback, revision
But remember, you get the feedback, and you make the decision
Like this: performance, feedback, revision
You wanna know about evolution? This is the definition
Like this: performance, feedback, revision


More like this

A DVD of 12 evolution themed videos should be ready to distribute in time for the fall semester.

A show based on this project will be presented in New York City starting June 17 at the Soho Playhouse.

This really is the appropriate website for anybody who needs to seek out out about this theme. You notice a lot its nearly difficult to argue with you (not that I seriously would need...HaHa). You positively put a completely new spin on a theme thats been penned about for several years. Great stuff, just fantastic!