Matt Ridley on the Evolution of Everything

EconTalk | 22 February 2016 | 1h 09m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Matt Ridley about his book, The Evolution of Everything. Ridley applies the lens of emergent order to a wide variety of phenomena including culture, morality, religion, commerce, innovation, and consciousness.

Prehistoric Origins of Birds

Parsing Science | 10 July 2018 | 0h 33m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, from Yale University, talks about how the discovery of a 95 million-year-old Ichthyornis fossil in 2014 revealed unexpected insights into the origins of the minds and mouths of modern birds.

What Causes What?

Planet Money | 17 October 2018 | 0h 19m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Discussion with Charles Wheelan, author of Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data. Uses stories about school performance and hormone replacement therapy to show how clever natural experiments can distinguish cause from correlation.

A Giant Crawling Brain: The Jaw-Dropping World of Termites

The Guardian’s Audio Long Reads | 28 September 2018 | 0h 32m | Listen Later  | iTunes
A lovely narrative about the world of termites, with perspectives on evolution, superorganisms, fungi, symbiotic relationships, and emergent systems.

Two (Totally Opposite) Ways to Save the Planet

Freakonomics Radio | 22 August 2018 | 0h 51m | Listen Later  | iTunes
While environmentalists say we’re doomed if we don’t drastically reduce consumption, technologists say that human ingenuity can solve just about any problem. Discusses the ideas in Charles C. Mann’s The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World. Nicely frames why each side can’t get the other.

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

Context with Brad Harris | 20 August 2018 | 0h 40m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Review of 1493: Uncovering the New World, by Charles C. Mann, which shows how Europeans emerged at the centre of a modern, globalized world by establishing the Columbian Exchange, which globalised commerce, ecology, food and disease.

What You See is a Function of the Question You’re Answering

EconTalk | 23 July 2018 | 1h 04m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Teppo Felin about perception, cognition, and rationality. Argues against the omniscient thinking that interprets cognitive errors as biases and irrationality. Discusses the implications of different understandings of rationality for economics, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, by Thomas Kuhn

Context with Brad Harris | 24 July 2018 | 0h 24m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Discusses the ideas in Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a classic in the history of science, and one of the most cited books of the twentieth century. Kuhn challenged our assumptions about how science works, but his opaque style ignited a cultural movement energized around the misinterpretations that objective truth was an illusion and that scientific progress was just a conceit of western civilization. These ideas became pillars of postmodernism, and no one was more frustrated by the folly of their development than Thomas Kuhn himself.