Secret Science Club Presents: Robot (R)Evolution with Biologist and Cognitive Scientist John Long
The Bell House (149 7th St., Brooklyn)

Humans have backbones, as do tens of thousands of other creatures. But why? To discover how vertebrates evolved, biologist John Long uses futuristic technology to peer deep into the past. He creates bio-robots that simulate the behavior of animals, both living and extinct. His bio-robots search for resources, compete for mates, deal with threats—and adapt.

Author of the recently published book, Darwin’s Devices: What Evolving Robots Can Teach Us About the History of Life and the Future of Technology, Dr. Long asks:
–How do bio-robots evolve? Is robot sex just zeroes and ones?
–What does it mean to be intelligent? Are big brains really necessary?
–How can evolvabots re-create conditions known only from 500-million-year-old fossils?
–What can shark robots teach us about human evolution? How do robo-prey escape robo-predators?

John Long is chair of the biology department, professor of biology and cognitive science, and director of the Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Lab at Vassar College. He and his robots—Madeleine and the Tadros—have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and other publications, and they have taught evolution on the Discovery and History Channels.

Before & After
–Groove to Mr. Roboto’s interactive playlist
–Try our machine-coded cocktail of the night
–Snag a signed copy of Dr. Long’s new book, Darwin’s Devices
–Stick around for the scintillating Q&A

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