Featured Guests, Tyler Volk and Dorion Sagan, authors of Death & Sex
Friday, February 19th, 2010
CompostModern Discussion Forum
Meet the authors of the critically acclaimed Death & Sex
a great excuse to talk about your favorite subjects in public…
Dorion Sagan has written and co-authored twenty-three books on evolution, cooking, and sex, translated into eleven languages. Sagan is the son of astronomer Carl Sagan and biologist Lynn Margulis.
Tyler Volk is a professor of biology at NYU who has written extensively on the Gaia hypothesis and life and death in the ecosystem. He is the author of four books and is affiliated with space life support research at NASA.
Ask a scientist everything you ever wanted to know about death and sex. Why are some cells programmed to die? Why is dying useful? Will science ever learn to stop the aging process? Why do people have certain sexual tendencies and not others? How different are we from other animals? Are the Marquis de Sade’s sexual practices any worse than those of male bedbugs who pierce females through any part of their bodies to impregnate them?
As part of the CompostModern Discussion Forum on creativity, we will be exploring these questions and more. Although the mixing and matching of sexual reproduction would seem to make natural selection less able to select precisely, the invention of sex has done a lot for evolutionary adaptation. Why and how? Aside from the way death provides compost for new life, what are some surprising ways that life has found death useful? Can artists learn about creativity by thinking about sex and death in nature?
Death & Sex is fittingly a naked hardcover book, without a dust jacket, finished in a lovely and tasteful black damask cloth. The single volume is actually two separate books. The cover of one side reads in two lines, “Death / Tyler Volk” in silver type above a barely discernable embossed “Sex / Dorion Sagan” as a mirror image below it. Turn this attractive little book over and around and it reads “Sex / Dorion Sagan” in harlot red script, and Volk’s title and name are its mirror image. This book is a valuable aesthetic object and will no doubt be a collector’s item. It is also a book that will find its way into the conversations of all your friends. Copies of Death & Sex will be available at Dactyl before the event and at the event. Or order from Amazon.com and 6% of your purchase price will be donated to Dactyl Foundation at no cost to you.
Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org as space is limited.