The Obstetrical Dilemma

Origin Stories | 4 June 2021 | 0h 34m | Listen Later | iTunes
The obstetrical dilemma suggests that human babies are born early as an evolutionary trade-off between having a pelvis wide enough to permit the birth of large-brained infants and narrow enough for efficient bipedal locomotion. Holly Dunsworth and Anna Warrener describe their research exploring the (non) evidence for the obstetrical dilemma and discuss the importance of the stories we tell about our bodies.

The Teeth Remember

Origin Stories | 2 March 2021 | 0h 20m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Tanya Smith about her book The Tales Teeth Tell: Development, Evolution, Behavior. Describes her research on the fossil teeth of two Neanderthal children and the detailed and intimate story about the lives she was able to uncover.

See also What Teeth Can Tell Us About People in Roman and Early Medieval Wessex.

The Cave Punan

Origin Stories | 8 April 2020 | 0h 34m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with anthropologist Steve Lansing about his work mapping the genetic and language diversity of the Indonesian archipelago. Includes his work from 2018 with the Cave Punan, the last surviving hunter-gathers living in Borneo, with a unique song language thought to predate the arrival of modern humans in Indonesia.

The Denisovans

Origin Stories | 29 November 2019 | 0h 31m | Listen Later | iTunes
A mysterious new human relative was discovered ten years ago from a pinky bone found in a Siberian cave. They’re called the Denisovans, and people around the world carry their DNA today. Until just a few months ago, the sum total of all the fossils the Denisovans left behind could fit in the palm of your hand. Now new research is unlocking more of their secrets.

Evolutionary Arms Race

Origin Stories | 29 April 2016 | 0h 21m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Pardis Sabeti, a computational biologist who uses maths and computers to look into the genomes of humans and infectious microbes to see how they are evolving. Summarises the ideas in her book Outbreak Culture: The Ebola Crisis and the Next Epidemic. Sabeti was named one of Time Magazine’s People of the Year in 2014 for her role in the fight against Ebola.

Did Cooking Make Us Human?

Origin Stories | 29 December 2015 | 0h 18m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Did cooking make us human? Richard Wrangham, author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human and Rachel Carmody discuss the impact that cooked food had on human evolution.