The Dissenter | 22 December 2023 | 1h 44m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Luke Glowacki about the evolution of war, and human cooperation. Discusses the main sources used to study the origins of war including animal models, archaeological evidence, and contemporary traditional societies; the myth that ancestral populations did not have anything to fight over or were too egalitarian to wage war, and also the myth that nomadic societies did not make peace; the deep-rooters and the shallow-rooters, the best evidence and arguments from both sides, and the epistemic and moral implications of the debate; large-scale cooperation in small-scale societies, and the main costs and benefits of intergroup cooperation and aggression; and whether peace is easy to maintain, and the role of key individuals in coalitional conflict.
Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 21 May 2021 | 1h 04m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with David Anthony about his 2007 book The Horse, The Wheel, and Language. Discusses the archaeological and genetic evidence for a massive migration from the steppe as the origins of Indo-European languages, the enormous genetic impact of the Yamnaya people, changing thinking about migration, and the domestication of the horse.
Razib Khan has done a follow-up interview that updates progress over the last two years on the domestication of the horse, the spread of the wheel, and Yamnaya steppe herders’ language. See also the Tides of History interview with David Anthony.
I highly recommend reading The Horse, The Wheel, and Language and also Razib Khan’s Substack, which has lots of pieces on steppe migration.
The Dissenter | 31 August 2023 | 1h 01m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Greger Larson about the domestication of animals. Discusses the evidence from genetics and archaeology about how domestication got started; the impact of animal domestication on human evolution; issues with how we think about domestication and the supposed intentionality behind it; how we should think about the early stages of our relationship with other animal species; and insights from animal domestication on the timing of human dispersal.
Origin Stories | 30 May 2023 | 0h 30m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Matt Tocheri backgrounding the discovery of the ‘Hobbit’ skeleton (Homo Floresiensis) in 2003 on the Indonesian island of Flores. Discusses his work characterising the wrists of hominins and its role in understanding the significance of the Hobbit discovery.
Many Minds | 1 June 2023 | 0h 56m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Eleanor Scerri and Manuel Will about their paper The revolution that still isn’t: The origins of behavioral complexity in Homo sapiens. Discusses the history of the cognitive revolution model. Sets out the evidence that there was no cognitive revolution—no one watershed moment in time and space. Argues that the origins of modern human cognition and culture are to be found not in one part of Europe but across Africa and much earlier than the classic picture suggests.
Razib Khan’s Unsupervised Learning | 13 January 2023 | 1h 06m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with John Hawks discussing the commitment of paleoanthropologists investigating cave systems; the finding that small-brained Homo naledi used fire deep in caves and the implications of that for hominin evolution; the profusion of human lineages discovered in Southeast Asia over the last few years; and the possibilities for ancient DNA and ancient protein analysis.
In Our Time | 12 May 2022 | 0h 51m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss one of our ancestors, Homo erectus, who thrived on Earth for around two million years. Homo erectus spread from Africa to Asia and it was on the Island of Java that fossilised remains were found in 1891 in an expedition led by Dutch scientist Eugène Dubois. Homo erectus people adapted to different habitats, ate varied food, lived in groups, had stamina to outrun their prey; and discoveries have prompted many theories on the relationship between their diet and the size of their brains, on their ability as seafarers, on their creativity and on their ability to speak and otherwise communicate.
The Next Big Idea | 14 April 2022 | 1h 10m | Listen Later | Podcasts | Spotify
Interview with Jennifer Raff about her book Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas. Explains the breakthroughs in genetics that have given scientists an entirely new understanding of how the Americas were peopled and what happened in the millennia that followed.