Monday, October 26, 2009

A new twist on an ancient story

“Evolution is a theory that we have more experimental evidence for than any other theory, and yet 50 percent of the population of the United States doesn’t accept it,” said David Lynn, professor of chemistry and biology, during a recent Creativity Conversation with choreographer David Neumann. “Maybe we’ve taken the wrong path in talking about evolution. In science we do a good job of conveying facts, but not a good job of telling the stories – what makes it human.”

Lynn’s research focuses on the origins of life. His desire to find new ways to explain science to the public inspired him to collaborate with Neumann, and the Seattle troupe Lelavision, as they developed dance performances. Their works, including Lelavision's "Warm Pond" (see photo), recently premiered in Atlanta.

“I was deeply influenced by the manner in which evolution operates and using those structures – contingencies and chance operations – in the structure of the dance,” Neumann said. “Sometimes when you utilize chance there’s a fantastic discovery.”

Watch a video of the conversation between Lynn and Neumann:

Related story:
Dancing with the scientists

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