Biocurious is a weblog about biology, quantified.

Darwin Awards

by Andre on 6 January 2006

The editors at Seed thought the Darwin Awards were interesting and science related (?) enough to include in their magazine. Am I the only one that doesn’t really like the Darwin Awards? It’s not that I can’t appreciate dark comedy, even the morbid variety, but outside of an occasional chuckle all I got from reading this year’s nominees’ stories was a feeling of pity and a little guilt for taking the time to do it. I just can’t take pleasure in hearing about a college student dying in a car accident even if he had just written an article in the student newspaper about how he was a member of the “die-hard group of non-wearers [of seatbelts] out there”. Was he stupid? Yes. Was it funny when he died? Apparently to someone.



  1. Ian Holmes    4191 days ago    #
    no, you’re not the only one. i never really got off on them either.

    it would probably trigger godwin’s law if i brought up social darwinism, so i won’t. (but still)

    like the blog btw
    (check out mine at biowiki.org—i too was once a biocurious physicist)
  2. Andre    4190 days ago    #
    I’m glad I’m not alone.

    I’m sure I’ll be checking back at your site. When I get the time I’ll go through the extensive blogroll too. Nice to see a good list of bio focused blogs.
  3. Ian Gibson    4190 days ago    #
    Agreed. It’s just a way for people to feel justified in enjoying the misfortunes of others, without feeling guilty..

    We all do stupid and thoughtless things from time to time, so it is hardly funny if a misjudgement proves to be fatal.
  4. PhilipJ    4190 days ago    #
    I am the first to agree that the majority of the Darwin Awards aren’t funny in the traditional sense. But every now and again you get a story that is funny. Let me stress that again, it isn’t funny that someone died, but the story is funny.

    Going out of your way to denounce seatbelts and having that stupid (though certainly not thoughtless, given the article in the student newspaper) conviction be the act that kills you is funny. I don’t think it is funny that someone died, but I can appreciate that the circumstances around it are. And I don’t think that makes me a bad person.
  5. Andre    4189 days ago    #
    No, you’re evil.
  6. PhilipJ    4189 days ago    #
    What are your parameters?

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