Alex Mesoudi: Studying Cultural Evolution, Migration And Transmission

The Dissenter | 12 September 2019 | 1h 09m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Alex Mesoudi about his book Cultural Evolution: How Darwinian Theory Can Explain Human Culture and Synthesize the Social Sciences. Discusses the theoretical foundations of cultural evolution; the relationship between culture and biology, and how we can get differences between groups; cultural group selection; issues with traditional social science; integrating lab studies and ethnographic studies; differences and similarities between cultural evolution and modern synthesis genetic evolution; Galton’s problem and how to be sure that the cultures we are studying are independent; migration; and cultural transmission.

Edward Slingerland – Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization

The Dissenter | 31 May 2021 | 1h 10m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Edward Slingerland about his book Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization. Discusses alcohol consumption during our evolutionary history; compares alcohol to other intoxicants; its social benefits, considering that humans are communal, creative and cultural; the role it might have played in the development of the arts, and in religious rituals; the negative and positive effects of alcohol; the evolutionary mismatches we face with distilled liquors and drinking in isolation; alternatives to alcohol, and how best to expose young people to alcohol.

David Buss – When Men Behave Badly

The Dissenter | 26 April 2021 | 0h 59m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with David Buss about his book When Men Behave Badly: The Hidden Roots of Sexual Deception, Harassment, and Assault. Discusses what sexual conflict is, from an evolutionary perspective; the evolutionary roots of behaviours like sexual deception, harassment and assault; sociocultural perspectives about sexual conflict, and how they complement evolutionary psychology; rape, mate-guarding behaviour, and mate value discrepancies and their effects; evolutionary mismatches in sexual conflict; possible evolutionary explanations for the #metoo movement and the incel movement; possible strategies to prevent sexual violence; and using evolutionary psychology to improve their relationship satisfaction.

The Modern Wisdom interview with David Buss is also worth a listen.

Rob Dunn: Never Home Alone; The Species We Live With

The Dissenter | 12 February 2020 | 0h 59m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Rob Dunn about his book Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live. Fascinating, if slightly icky, discussion of how living in homes changed our dynamics with other species, particularly species of insects, bacteria and fungi, and how some of them adapted to our home environment.