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15 Sep 2020

Adhering to Prohibitive Taboos – Manvir Singh

Why do religious leaders abstain from some pleasures? In episode 83, Manvir Singh from Harvard University's Department of Human Evolutionary Biology discusses his research into why shaman healers among the a group of people off the coast of Indonesia observe costly prohibitions, such abstinence or......
Listen to the episode..Adhering to Prohibitive Taboos – Manvir Singh
12 Nov 2019

Ritual Pain for Social Gain – Dimitris Xygalatas

Sure, you might have a tongue piercing. But would you consider something far more extreme for a bump on the social ladder? In episode 62, we're joined by Dimitris Xygalatas from the University of Connecticut, who talks with us about how extravagant and painful rituals can foster greater subjective......
Listen to the episode..Ritual Pain for Social Gain – Dimitris Xygalatas
28 May 2019

Wisdom & Madness of Crowds – Wataru Toyokawa

When in Rome, should you really do as the Romans do? In episode 50, Wataru Toyokawa from the University of Konstanz in Germany discusses how observing and imitating others in crowds can at times enhance collective ‘wisdom’ ... while other times it can lead to collective ‘madness.’ His article, "So...
Listen to the episode..Wisdom & Madness of Crowds – Wataru Toyokawa
9 Jan 2018

Capacity for Number – Rafael Núñez

In episode 14 we talk with Rafael Núñez from the University of California San Diego about his research into if human understanding of number has developed through biological evolution, or through the evolution of language and culture. His article, "Is There Really an Evolved Capacity for Number?,"...
Listen to the episode..Capacity for Number – Rafael Núñez
3 Oct 2017

Archaeology of Space Culture – Alice Gorman

The rich archaeological records of human space exploration can tell us much about human behavior, geopolitics, and the history of science and technology. In this episode we're joined by Alice Gorman of Flinders University in South Australia. Alice tells us about her research that explores archae......
Listen to the episode..Archaeology of Space Culture – Alice Gorman