Andrew Fox recently recorded a song that he said was inspired by The Discovery Institute. For those of you unfamiliar with the Discovery institute, they consider themselves a “think tank” dedicated to trying to prove creationism in a scientific setting. Something that simply can not be done and in the words of PZ Myers they are the world leaders in “intellectual dishonesty”. So when Andrew sent us a link to his song that he described as, “to date, the only fully-produced orchestral dance track inspired by an Intelligent Design Think Tank” but also inspired by skeptical websites, I was all ears.
I asked Andrew to describe his inspiration and intended message for his song.
Disco Institute” is a kind of re-appropriation of a stock lyrical thrust in dance tunes—”stop thinking, start dancing”—which is a perfectly respectable on the dancefloor but rather stupid in a lab that studies, say, molecular biology (normally not a subject covered in funk repertoire). I could pretend that I was consciously attempting to deconstruct the prejudicial assumptions (thinking and reality = bad) that lie at the core of so much dance music, but that wouldn’t be accurate. I can only intellectualize this song so far because the underlying truth is that I thought “Disco Institute” was a fun idea and I wanted an excuse to make a big groovy disco song without feeling like I was being too frivolous. I mean, come on, it has a frickin’ harp in it. It’s not like I expect Michael Behe to listen to it and be all like “My God…what have I been doing with my career?! Dawkins was right!”, although it would be fantastic for everybody if he started dancing to it just long enough to trip and fall onto something irreducibly painful. I’d like that to be my artistic legacy: making creationist lackeys dance themselves face-first into hard, stationery objects.
Says Fox, “While popular science rarely makes it into my music, if listeners stick around for my next EP release they’ll hear a touching love song inspired by both Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and an episode of The West Wing. If that combination doesn’t spell financial success, then I don’t know what does”.
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