Evolution

(Note: This interview originally aired back in January.) On this installment of ST, we speak by phone with Anthony Barnosky, a Professor of Integrated Biology at UC-Berkeley and a leading scientist specializing on how global change affects biodiversity and ecosystem function.

On this edition of ST, an interesting chat with Dr. Walter Piper of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Chapman University (in Orange, California). Dr. Piper is an expert on the common loon -- having studied these diver birds, known for their alluring and distinctive calls, for some 22 years -- and he'll present a free-to-the-public lecture on the social behavior of loons this afternoon (Friday the 14th) at 3pm in Oliphant Hall on the TU campus.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Robert Dudley, who's a Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Prof. Dudley tells us about his interesting "drunken monkey hypothesis," which (per its Wikipedia entry) "proposes that human attraction to ethanol may have a genetic basis due to the high dependence of the primate ancestor of Homo sapiens on fruit as a food source.

Today on ST, we speak by phone with Douglas T. Kenrick, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University. He's also one of the co-authors of a recent book, "The Rational Animal: How Evolution Made Us Smarter Than We Think," which a reviewer for Mother Jones magazine calls "a fun romp through the comedy of human errors. Again and again, the authors find, evolutionary urges and hardwired brains explain behaviors rational economists cannot.

On this encore edition of ST, we listen back to a discussion from April of this year. At that time, we spoke by phone with the acclaimed science writer, biologist, and neuroscientist, Dr. Robert Sapolsky. He's widely seen as one of our leading experts on stress --- namely, on the ways in which stress affects baboons and other primates, and what this, in turn, tells us about the effects of stress on the human condition.

On this encore edition of ST, we speak with Dr. Pamela Soltis, the curator of the Laboratory of Molecular Systematics and Evolutionary Genetics at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. The work of Dr. Soltis has focused on the use of molecular evidence to reconstruct the patterns of plant evolution, and she has contributed significantly to our understanding of the evolution of flowering plants.

"How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction"

Jul 11, 2013

"It's the end of the world as we know it," announces a nifty rock song by R.E.M. from 1987, "and I feel fine." Or as T.S. Eliot wrote in "The Hollow Men," a poem first published in 1925: "This is the way the world ends / This is the way the world ends / This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper." Ever wonder how it will all come to a close? What doomsday will look like?

On today's program, we listen back to a conversation from February of this year with Dr. Lenn Goodman, the Mellon Professor of Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. At that time, Dr. Goodman was preparing to give a talk here at TU entitled "Creation and Evolution." An award-winning scholar and prolific author, Dr. Goodman's philosophical interests have mainly been in metaphysics and ethics, with special attention to Islamic and Jewish philosophical thought and their creative interactions.

[Aired on Tuesday, February 28th.] On today's program, we chat by phone with Dr. Lenn Goodman, Mellon Professor of Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University. He'll present the Annual Snuggs Lecture in Religion tomorrow night (Wednesday the 29th) at 7:30pm in Helmerich Hall on the TU campus; the lecture is free to the public and is entitled "Creation and Evolution." An award-winning scholar and prolific author, Dr.