© Glendon Mellow, The Flying Trilobite

The Pharyngula Mutating Genre Meme–a blogging and scientific experiment

Let me start this post by agreeing with Leslie’s Blog: it made my head hurt to figure it out. To which I say: Woohoo! It hurts so good! Stop it some more!

This is a memetic experiment started by PZ Myers at the unbearably great Pharyngula blog. Bloggers receive the instructions from other bloggers and are permitted to mutate the provided memes within certain guidelines, then pass them on to other bloggers. (That’s the act of reproduction. Don’t watch that part, for decency’s sake.) So here goes:



There is a set of questions below, all of the form , “The best [subgenre] in [genre] is…”.

Copy the questions. Before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:

> You can leave them exactly as is.

> You can delete any one question.

> You can mutate either the genre, medium or subgenre of any one question. For instance, you could change “The best timetravel novel in SF/ Fantasy is…” to “The best timetravel novel in Westerns is…” , or ”the best timetravel movie in SF/Fantasy is…, or ”The best Romance novel in SF/Fantasy is…”

> You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form “The best [subgenre] in [genre] is…”.

> You must have at least one question in your set, or you’ve gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you’re not viable.

Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions.

Please do include a link back to the ‘parent’ blog you got them from, (e.g. THE MEMING OF LIFE), to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions.

Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers.

Remember though: your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate, and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.


My great-grandparent is Pharyngula.

My grandparent is The Flying Trilobite.

My mommy is Leslie’s Blog.



The Flying Trilobite’s version is first. Leslie’s mutation is next. Mine is last.

The Flying Trilobite says:

*The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is: Hyperion by Dan Simmons.

*The best romantic movie in scientific dystopias is: Gattaca (1997)

*The best sexy song in rock is: #1 Crush by Garbage from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet soundtrack

*The best cult novel in Canadian fiction is: JPod by Douglas Coupland (2006)


Leslie’s Blog mutated it to:

*The best timetravel television in SF/Fantasy is: Heroes

*The best romantic movie in scientific dystopia is: THX 1138

*The best sexy song in traditional is: “Chan Chan” by the Buena Vista Social Club

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

THE MEMING OF LIFE’s mutation:

*The best romantic movie in scientific dystopia is: THX 1138

*The best sexy song in traditional is: “Chan Chan” by the Buena Vista Social Club

*The best satirical movie in comedy is: Life of Brian

As for inviting other bloggers to reproduce with me…

I’m curious to know whether an incest taboo exists, or should exist, in memetics as in genetics. To that end, I hereby turn around and stick my log-in my mother:

Leslie’s Blog

…and blog-the-casbah with Grampa:

The Flying Trilobite

…and pharyngulate my great-granddaddy! (Well it SOUNDS dirty, anyway)


[N.B. I do have a hypothesis about memetic incest: I think it will turn out just as unadvisable as genetic incest. I won’t say why until I see if I’m right…]

Just for sport, let’s invite the neighbors in, making it an eightsome:

Hmm…maybe The Friendly Atheist would be interested in taking in my hard post…

As for the Friendly Humanist— he’s a new dad. Too tired for sex.

Sex, Genes & Evolution does it bloggy style!

As for from Archaea to Zeaxanthol…well, that’s a mouthful. Which doesn’t lend itself to reproduction.

[Ay yi yi! Remember when this was a family-friendly blog?]



This was written on Friday, 12. October 2007 at 12:39 and was filed under Science. You can keep up with the comments to this article by using the RSS-Feed.

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Comments »

  1. well, that’s a mouthful. Which doesn’t lend itself to reproduction.

    So, does that mean I’ve been tagged or not?

    Comment: Jim Lemire – 12. October 2007 @ 7:30 pm

  2. Oh yes, yes — you’re it! That was just a veiled naughty reference. I was running out of sexual double entendres.

    Comment: Dale – 12. October 2007 @ 8:19 pm

  3. not sure I enjoyed being it, but here you go

    Comment: Jim Lemire – 12. October 2007 @ 10:50 pm

  4. […] is The Flying Trilobite. My great-grandparent is Leslie’s Blog. My grandparent is The Meming of Life. My parent is The Friendly […]

    Pingback: Evolution of the Pharyngula Mutating Genre Meme – 14. October 2007 @ 7:11 am

  5. Oh, Dale! I hope it was as good for you as it ….again??? Let me check my supply of Ibuprophen, and I’ll give it a go.
    Thanks for joining in. It is a good hurt, isn’t it?

    Comment: leslie – 14. October 2007 @ 12:57 pm

  6. *Sigh*. They always claim to have a headache.

    Comment: Dale – 14. October 2007 @ 1:18 pm

  7. […] having this cold are murder.  But Mr. Smarty Dale over at The Memeing of Life   has thrown this  meme  back at me and I want to hurt myself some more.  All the Genre Mutating has introduced me to a […]

    Pingback: Leslie’s Blog » Intermission – 15. October 2007 @ 11:55 am

  8. […] Here I thought I was being so clever sending this meme to a blog named the Meming of Life. […]

    Pingback: Leslie’s Blog » Pharyngula Mutating Genre Meme…two – 16. October 2007 @ 7:31 pm

  9. […] is The Flying Trilobite. Great -great grandma is Leslie’s Blog. Great-granpa is The Meming of Life. Grandpa is from Archaea to Zeaxanthol. My Daddy is Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and […]

    Pingback: A little meme with my morning weigh in… « WEIGHT 1 DAY – 20. October 2007 @ 9:59 am

  10. Finally posted my contribution to your turn-the-tables post!


    Thanks, Dale!

    Comment: The Flying Trilobite – 20. October 2007 @ 11:38 am

  11. […] great-grandfather is The Flying Trilobite.Great great Grandma is Leslie’s Blog.Great Granpa is The Meming of Life.My Grand Pa is from Archaea to Zeaxanthol. I was birthed by Malaria, Bedbugs, Sea Lice, and […]

    Pingback: Evolution » The Pharyngulating Meme – 24. October 2007 @ 4:45 pm

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