Victor Kumar on A Better Ape

The Dissenter | 29 August 2022 | 1h 26m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Victor Kumar about his book A Better Ape: The Evolution of the Moral Mind and How it Made us Human. Discusses gene-culture coevolution; the three ingredients of the moral mind: core moral emotions, core moral norms, and a capacity for open-ended moral reasoning; moral intuition; moral reasoning; moral progress; institutional moralities; the role of religion, and moral philosophy; whether it is possible to a universal ethical code; political correctness, and a theoretical framework for addressing injustice and inequality.

How Did Humans Evolve?

Babbage from The Economist | 12 July 2022 | 0h 40m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Dylan Barry travels to South Africa to trace the story of human evolution, explaining how interbreeding with other species provided the genes possessed by many people today. To uncover our origins, scientists are nowadays not only hunting for clues in the bones of our ancestors—but in the genomes of living people, too. Speaks to researchers who are helping to rewrite the human story.

Richard Dawkins on Flight and Other Evolutionary Achievements

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 2 May 2022 | 1h 18m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Richard Dawkins about his book Flights of Fancy: Defying Gravity by Design and Evolution. Discusses the different ways that heavier-than-air objects might be made to fly, and why natural selection produces some but not others. Also discusses central issues in evolution: levels of selection, the extended phenotype, the role of adaptation, and how genes relate to organisms.

Arvid Ågren on the Gene’s-Eye View of Evolution

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 21 February 2022 | 1h 25m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Arvid Ågren about his book The Gene’s-Eye View of Evolution. Backgrounds the modern synthesis of Darwinian selection theory and population-oriented view of Mendelian genetics to explain evolution. Discusses the selfish gene view of evolution and group selection.

Rob Dunn and Monica Sanchez on Delicious

Princeton UP Ideas Podcast | 23 September 2021 | 1h 06m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Rob Dunn and Monica Sanchez about their book Delicious: The Evolution of Flavor and How It Made Us Human. Considers the role that flavor may have played in the invention of the first tools, the extinction of giant mammals, the evolution of the world’s most delicious and fatty fruits, the creation of beer, and our own sociality.

Itai Yanai: The Society of Genes

The Dissenter | 28 October 2021 | 1h 05m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Itai Yanai about his book The Society of Genes, co-authored with Martin Lercher. Discusses the “selfish gene” metaphor; the randomness of mutations; how genes cooperate and compete with one another; pleiotropy and polygenic traits and what they tell us about how genes work; the evolution of sex; what we can learn about genetics by studying cancer; genetic diversity and how to deal with genetic ancestry in medicine; epigenetics; gene editing; and some unanswered questions in genetics.

James Costa: Darwin, Wallace, The Origin of Species, and The Descent of Man

The Dissenter | 3 September 2021 | 1h 08m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with James Costa touching on Wallace and Darwin’s Origin of Species, but mainly focussed on The Descent of Man. Discusses where Darwin’s ideas came from, and in what ways they differ from Wallace’s; sexual selection; our primate origins; the evolutionary origins of our mental faculties; race and sex differences; cultural evolution; (cultural) group selection; Darwin as a precursor of evolutionary psychology; eusocial insects, and group selection.

Nichola Raihani – The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World

The Dissenter | 2 September 2021 | 1h 00m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Nichola Raihani about her book The Social Instinct: How Cooperation Shaped the World. Discusses mechanisms used to explain the evolution of cooperation – kin selection, reciprocal altruism, and group selection; the role of mothers and fathers and cooperative breeding; grandmothers; why men live so long; why people help unrelated others; interdependence; why we care so much about what other people think of us; social comparison; the ability to join together and rebel against tyrannical leaders; and how to promote large-scale cooperation.