April 20, 2013

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Rated: Awesome
180 minutes

The Festival of Bad Ad-Hoc Hypotheses (BAH!)

April 20, 2013 at 7:00 pm in 26-100

Tickets are $5 for students (with any student ID, not just MIT!) and $10 for non-students. Online tickets are sold out, but a limited number will be available at the door. Posters and shirts will also be available for purchase.

BAH! was inspired by this comic!

What is it?
The Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAH!) is a celebration of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect evolutionary theory. It is put on by Zach Weinersmith (cartoonist of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal), breadpig (publishers of SMBC and XKCD), and LSC, and is sponsored by EvoS Consortium and This View of Life magazine (Editor-in-Chief David Sloan Wilson).

What will happen?
Seven speakers will present their bad theories in front of a live audience and a panel of geeky judges, who will together determine who presented the best theory. The event will be livestreamed and recorded for posterity. The initial selection readers AND the judges will be grading theories on four criteria:

  1. Force of Science - how much "scientific" information was brought to bear (graphs, real citations, "research" etc.)
  2. Artistry - how unexpected and clever the idea and presentation are, and how well the presentation is delivered.
  3. Parsimony - the simplest theory that explains the most data is best.
  4. Strength of Defense - how well did you defend your views to the judges. Please note - being funny is not a good defense. We want to see you actually defend your terrible terrible theory!

Will this be a family-friendly event?
It's evolution, so there'll no doubt be plenty of talk of sex. However, we're working with the speakers and will discourage anything overly grotesque or horrifying.

We hope to see you there!

Zach Weinersmith is the creator of "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal," a daily webcomic that's been going strong since 2003. He has a degree in Literature and 3/8ths of a degree in physics. He enjoys reading about math, logic, science, history, fiction, and philosophy. His hobbies are space travel, dinosaur riding, and wishful thinking.