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The Darwin Awards 4: Intelligent Design (Darwin Awards, #4)
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The Darwin Awards 4: Intelligent Design (Darwin Awards #4)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  510 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Most of us know instinctively that applying a welding torch to a grenade is a recipe for disaster. Darwin Award winners do not. Most of us have a basic sound judgement that eliminates the need for NO SMOKING signs at ammo dumps. Darwin Award winners do not. Whether they're steering motorcycles with their feet, heating lava lamps on stoves, or using liquid soap as brake flu ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Plume (first published 2003)
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The Darwin awards books are guilty pleasures for me. I know I shouldn't laugh at the horrible demises of people who die doing something incredibly stupid, but I do find these books entertaining. I hate to say it. Although some of the ones in this book seem more thoughtless and careless rather than actual acts of stupidity, such as the person who accidentally dropped his glasses over the railing on a bridge and reached over too far to get them and then fell. That seems like something just about a ...more
While I did enjoy the opening essays detailing the history of the Darwin Awards, the essays written at the beginning of each chapter just served, for the most part, to bore me. It was, however, interesting to learn how these awards are submitted and chosen, as one who is not a user of the Darwin Awards website. But there's really not that much positive that I can say about the book. I still got really annoyed with the personal accounts, because NO, just because someone you know did it, doesn't a ...more
I found this Darwin Awards funnier than the other ones. There was also a lot less awards that were similar. The little essays are quite interesting, but the full-page pictures are not funny (with the exception of one). I don’t know if this is any better than the third book, for I didn’t have it by the time I started this one. Overall, I would classify it as better than the first, but slightly not as good as the second.
Jessica N.
If you've never heard of the Darwin Awards, it's a dubious honor bestowed on those who have removed themselves from the gene pool with an incredible act of stupidity and which prevents their "stupidity" genes to be passed on to future generations, ensuring a stronger gene pool. Yes, absolutely politically incorrect. So I'm not sure if I should laugh at or feel sorry for the people in this book
If this book serves any purpose besides morbid and black entertainment, it is to help others learn from
The Darwin Awards are an interesting idea, celebrating as they do the deeds of people who are quite literally terminally stupid and who through their own actions remove themselves from the collective human gene pool. Individually, perhaps as part of the morning coffee ritual, such stories are funny.

This book however is another matter. Its repetitive listing of people who do incredibly stupid things starts off being mildly humorous but quickly becomes repetitive and never rises above that level.
This was once again a wonderful compilation of hilarity and absurdity mixed with gruesome details of the most vulgar repulsive kind, but I see it that way only because I myself am repulsed by such grisly details. The segments them selves I could all see being used in episodes of "1000 Ways To Die".

Each article that was discussed before each chapter was very descriptive in their goals and facts on the histories of some things and the theories of others weer a marvel to observe.

While humankind sti
I was actually disappointed with this book. First off, I didn't really like the style of writing for the stories. It could have been written in a way that was more entertaining.

The other thing I didn't like was how before each section (chapter) there was an essay on something relating to evolution and why creationism is bogus. Not only were these essays annoying (I felt like the authors were trying to teach me something when I didn't sign up to be taught, I signed up to be entertained), they wer
Tyler Chatelain
The Darwin Awards was an extremely hilarious (though at the time time troubling) collection of the most ridiculous, egregious ideas which people of today have taken up, usually resulting in their own demise or severe injuries. Although the style and concept is grotesque, The Darwin Awards is ridden with satire which makes it thoroughly enjoying while also leading one to question the advancement of society due to the ridiculous, real stories contained within. The style of writing allows one to be ...more
Forgettable, and 100% the same experience as taking a time machine to the 90s and binge-reading the site again.
Was not a fan. They definitely could leave out the intro sermon for each section of the book.
Stories got a bit old after a while.
I think the Darwin Awards series is one of the finest examples of dark humour gone mainstream. Each of the stories in the book is no doubt a tragedy, but a comic one nonetheless. Thanking the Darwin Award winners for kindly removing themselves from the available gene pool can seem disrespectful (especially to traditional Chinese people), but don't forget that they teach us valuable lessons too: how not to die stupidly. And by dying they entertain millions around the world! Really, they deserve o ...more
True stories of people who either killed themselves or rendered themselves unable to reproduce by doing something really stupid. Thus proving survival of the fittest, etc.
I like that the awards originated online and are either confirmed, unconfirmed, or strictly personal accounts. Each chapter has an "evolution" themed essay at the start, and I find it interesting to read this perspective - although the occassional slam at creationists irritates me to no end.
Great bathroom read.
Apparently there are a million of these books but this is the one the library had when I looked it up (4th in the collection?). Random assortment of stories of people who kicked themselves out the the gene pool with their idiocy (either killing themselves or making it impossible to pass on their genes). Kinda funny. Started as a website that is still going, where people can submit stories. Probably won't read the other books, but it was interesting enough.
Rachel Vives
If you don't have a book in the bathroom, put this one in there. Tom and I love having this book floating around the house. The writing is smart, the stories are not and it couldn't be funnier. A favorite: the quick mart robber who decides to break in with a cinder block only to find it's plexi-glass. 1. Brick bounces off window 2. Robber killed by Brick; never saw it coming.
What do we learn from this? I have no idea, but it's funny.
The stories were funny, but I could have done without the science essays between each chapter and all the proceeding nonsense about 'Noodleous Doubleous'. I understand that intelligent design is an annoying thing and that a book called the Darwin Awards must agree with me, but I didn't think this book was the right place to push their agenda. I'm only interested in the funny stories about people dying in stupid ways...
A few of the incidents were hilarious, but many were just dumb or cringe worthy. Also there were just about as many "honorable mentions" (for people who survived their stupidity) as Darwin Awards. While reading the book, I was shaking my head, not sure how people could be so extremely stupid.

I probably shouldn't have wasted my time reading the whole thing, but there were some pretty good laughs in there.
Andrew (Ace)
"It was ok" sums it up exactly right !

2 oddities:

- I too skipped over the Evolution-based essays. Why were they there at all ?

- I know Americans can be funny about some words that they consider strong language, which some of us are no longer bothered about. It just looks daft though, when someone is described (in the book) as a Heck's Angel ! ;-)
Funny! A look at the work of would-be scientists and the tales therein. From the book itself: "Filled with over one hundred new tales of evolution in action, plus science essays and a parody research paper supporting Intelligent Design, The Darwin Awards 4 shows that when it comes to common sense, natural selection still has a long, long way to go."
Interesting, but definitely more and more of the same as you go on. Not certain what the point of the essays are in context with the book, but fairly interesting.

Recommended to NOT read the entire way through as I did, and instead to have it be in the bathroom or on the coffee table for reading very small bits at a time.
A further collection of amusing tales of how people have removed or nearly removed themselves from the human gene pool. Will this series ever end, more amusing tales of stupidity and recklessness, can't wait to get my hands on the fifth volume (which I'm sure there'll be)
Well, I usually get my Darwin dose on the website, but I saw this book for the amazing low price of $1.99 -- what book lover could resist? There were a few essays added -- a couple of them were funny and I found one of the a bit on the snippy side, but maybe it was just me.
Becks Fagg
This little book gets read regularly, as it is prime real estate location (aka the bathroom.) It is bite size chunks of humour (and eye bulging) stories... that entertain.
Not the most literate book I have read - but I sure do remember bits from it ;)
Again, this volume delivered with some awesome science essays before each chapter. I think now I'm only continuing this series to read those instead of the actual Darwin awards, which are getting repetitive and more black in humor.
This thing was just a litany of stories about poor bastards that either maimed or killed themselves after having made a horrible decision. Story after story of the pathetic deaths of pathetic people. I just couldn't do it.
It's always a joy to read about other peoples stupidity and the insights of other who see it coming. The title and concept is a great idea and I thought it was an appropriate read for his birthday.
John E
I don't know why I read these books. Must be some superiority complex or something. The stories tend to get repetitous and obviously predictable. I'll probably keep reading them though!
Grady Ormsby
Fun! Funny! There is no end to ignorance. I suppose that for every Stephen Hawking, there needs to be someone at the other end of the spectrum to keep things in balance.
Another great edition. I really enjoy how the awrds are organized. The fact that ruining your junk gets you an honorable mention only adds to the whole experience.
Merrie Harris
I love the Darwin series of books. It gives me some faith that certain people remove themselves from the gene pool before procreating. The book was very entertaining.
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Wendy Northcutt graduated UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular biology. She began collecting the stories that make up the Darwin Awards in 1993 and founded shortly after.

Northcutt is the author of the international bestsellers The Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action, The Darwin Awards 2: Unnatural Selection, The Darwin Awards 3: Survival of the Fittest, and The Darwin Awards
More about Wendy Northcutt...

Other Books in the Series

Darwin Awards (6 books)
  • The Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action (Darwin Awards, #1)
  • The Darwin Awards II: Unnatural Selection (Darwin Awards, #2)
  • The Darwin Awards III: Survival of the Fittest (Darwin Awards, #3)
  • The Darwin Awards Next Evolution: Chlorinating the Gene Pool (Darwin Awards, #5)
  • The Darwin Awards Countdown to Extinction
The Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action (Darwin Awards, #1) The Darwin Awards II: Unnatural Selection (Darwin Awards, #2) The Darwin Awards III: Survival of the Fittest (Darwin Awards, #3) The Darwin Awards Next Evolution: Chlorinating the Gene Pool (Darwin Awards, #5) The Darwin Awards Countdown to Extinction

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