The world’s first-ever
FESTIVAL OF BAD AD HOC HYPOTHESES
What is it?
The first ever Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAH!) was held on October 6th at MIT's Kresge Auditorium. It was the first of what we hope will be many celebrations of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect evolutionary theory. Our brave speakers presented their bad theories in front of a live audience and a panel of judges with real science credentials, who together determined who took home the coveted sculpture of Darwin shrugging skeptically. And eternal glory, of course.
BAHFest will return soon. If you wish to receive updates on our progress, sign up here:
Here’s the comic that inspired the event:
After a rescheduling, the first-ever BAHFest was held in MIT's Kresge Auditorium on the evening of October 6th, 2013 in front of over 1000 attendees. The event was hosted by Ben Lillie of Story Collider. Video is forthcoming!
Our brave presenters:
- Tomer Ullman (WINNER!)
- Dr. Edward Chung
- Stacy Farina
- Cori Mclean
- Jordan Smith
- Dr. Justin Werfel
Our esteemed judges:
- Robin Abrahams
- Dany Adams
- Richard Wrangham
BAHFest was put on by Zach Weinersmith (cartoonist of SMBC), breadpig, and MIT's Lecture Series Committee. It was sponsored by the EvoS Consortium and This View of Life magazine (Editor-in-Chief David Sloan Wilson). We were also proud to be part of the Cambridge Science Festival.
How do I submit?
Submissions for the first BAHFest closed on March 10th, 2013. But we might do another one in the near future, so keep thinking up bad hypotheses!
What’s in a good theory?
Our initial selection readers AND our judges will be grading theories on four criteria:
- Force of Science - how much “scientific” information was brought to bear (graphs, real citations, “research” etc.)
- Artistry - how unexpected and clever the idea and presentation are, and how well the presentation is delivered.
- Parsimony - the simplest theory that explains the most data is best.
- 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!
BAHFest would like to thank:
- Hadassah J. Head, for convincing real scientists to trust us.
- JP Bonner, for reserving this domain with the speed of a ninja.
- Andrea Tsurumi, for designing the logo and poster.
- Rebecca Rojer, for the site design.
- Kyle Horseman, for designing the Darwin trophy.
- Andrew Boch, for 3d printing the trophy.
- Chirps the cat ,for shedding fur all over some shirts and making us wash them. NOT.