239 episodes

"The host, Macken Murphy, is able to condense vast chunks of information into engaging and digestible episodes. Fact-filled and fun."
— The New York Times

Species mackenmurphy.org

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 40 Ratings

"The host, Macken Murphy, is able to condense vast chunks of information into engaging and digestible episodes. Fact-filled and fun."
— The New York Times

    Pilled | Louis Bachaud

    Pilled | Louis Bachaud

    A deep dive into the manosphere, with the scholar who knows it best, Louis Bachaud.
    The manosphere is a constellation of 5 loosely affiliated communities, including pick-up artists (PUAs), men's rights activists (MRAs), "Men Going Their Own Way" (MGTOW), incels (the "Black Pill" communiy), and the "Red Pill" community. Louis details the history of the manosphere, describes the current factions and their differences, and guides us through their use and misuse of science, especially evolutionary psychology. The episode opens with a systematic critique of the manosphere, and the interview starts around 34 minutes in. Enjoy.
    Recommended background, especially for critiques of the manosphere:
    - Bachaud, L., & Johns, S. E. (2023). The use and misuse of evolutionary psychology in online manosphere communities: The case of female mating strategies. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 5, e28. 
    For the size and direction of sex differences, see:
    - Archer, J. (2019). The reality and evolutionary significance of human psychological sex differences. Biological Reviews, 94(4), 1381-1415. 
    - Stewart-Williams, S., Butler, C. A., & Thomas, A. G. (2017). Sexual history and present attractiveness: People want a mate with a bit of a past, but not too much. The Journal of Sex Research, 54(9), 1097-1105. 
    - Schmitt, D. P. (2005). Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe: A 48-nation study of sex, culture, and strategies of human mating. Behavioral and Brain sciences, 28(2), 247-275. 
    - Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and brain sciences, 12(1), 1-14. 
    For extra-pair paternity:
    - Wolf, M., Musch, J., Enczmann, J., & Fischer, J. (2012). Estimating the prevalence of nonpaternity in Germany. Human Nature, 23, 208-217. 
    - Anderson, K. (2006). How well does paternity confidence match actual paternity? Evidence from worldwide nonpaternity rates. Current anthropology, 47(3), 513-520.
    - Bellis, M. A., Hughes, K., Hughes, S., & Ashton, J. R. (2005). Measuring paternal discrepancy and its public health consequences. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 59(9), 749-754. 
    For age gaps:
    - Conroy-Beam, D., & Buss, D. M. (2019). Why is age so important in human mating? Evolved age preferences and their influences on multiple mating behaviors. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 13(2), 127. 
    - Antfolk, J., Salo, B., Alanko, K., Bergen, E., Corander, J., Sandnabba, N. K., & Santtila, P. (2015). Women's and men's sexual preferences and activities with respect to the partner's age: Evidence for female choice. Evolution and Human Behavior, 36(1), 73-79. 
    - Buunk, B. P., Dijkstra, P., Kenrick, D. T., & Warntjes, A. (2001). Age preferences for mates as related to gender, own age, and involvement level. Evolution and Human Behavior, 22(4), 241-250.

    • 2 hrs 9 min
    Hair on Our Faces | Dr. Barnaby Dixson

    Hair on Our Faces | Dr. Barnaby Dixson

    Today, we explore the befuddling (and surprisingly complex) mystery of the human beard. Our guide is Dr. Barnaby Dixson, a human behavioral ecologist at the University of the Sunshine Coast who uses interdisciplinary methods to investigate human mate preferences across cultures.  His extensive work has bettered our understanding of a wide variety of physical traits; most relevant to today's discussion, he is one of the primary contributors to our understanding of beards. We discuss the evolution of facial masculinity and facial hair, and their role in attractiveness and intimidation across various contexts. You can learn more about Dixson, here: https://www.usc.edu.au/staff/dr-barnaby-dixson
    Relevant sources are mostly in Dixson’s past publications: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=LE_ROqQAAAAJ&hl=en
    But also, see: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vbEZV65uWCcG3E3Qzk-DEuy2m3rodw07WIt3l6meMSo/edit?usp=sharing

    • 1 hr 48 min
    The Unchosen Ones | William Costello

    The Unchosen Ones | William Costello

    William Costello is an expert on incels, a rising star in the field of evolutionary psychology, and the latest protégé of Dr. David Buss. In this conversation, we discuss incel violence, demographics, mythology, perception vs. reality, and solutions to inceldom, among other things.
    There's still time to participate in Costello's cross-sex mind-reading study, here: https://utexas.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_38KyEyGDOs4stN4
    You can keep up with Costello on Twitter, @CostelloWilliam: https://twitter.com/CostelloWilliam?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Date Psychology | Alexander

    Date Psychology | Alexander

    Alexander is a psychologist and science communicator. He is best known for his deep dives into the literature on human mating and his nuanced critiques of popular misconceptions about dating. In this data-driven discussion, he talks to Macken about what men and women actually want and what people generally get wrong about dating, before diving into a variety of topics including the Manosphere, the “mating crisis,” hypergamy, and bodycount, among others.
    Alexander is @datepsych on Twitter, where he runs online studies and produces fascinating threads on mating. He also runs a popular blog, datepsychology.com, and is increasingly popular on YouTube, @alex.datepsych.

    • 1 hr 39 min
    Great White Shark

    Great White Shark

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water... a brand new episode of Species. Come listen and learn about their secret social lives, how to survive a shark attack, and some mind-blowing stats.
    Bibliography: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Ayzr57teXk06LE21jN9LH934wXhOzIRW9KbKiBeCUVw/edit?usp=sharing

    • 23 min
    Updates | 1.15.23

    Updates | 1.15.23

    I'm extremely busy and, unfortunately, pausing production on Species, at least for most of this month. If you sent me a donation in January and you want a refund, contact me through mackenmurphy.org, and I will be sure to send it back to you. My sincerest apologies.

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
40 Ratings

40 Ratings

H man is the best ,

Pleas put this in your podcast

Hi Macken I’m Henry and I’m 10 years old. I love your podcast. My uncle told me about it because he loves fish also my favorite episode is the Great white shark because I Learned that it is so rare to get attacked by one. I would recommend this to every one and trust me I try. I don’t know if you have done this before but If you haven’t can you do a episode on a German Shepherd because I have one.

nettt mannnnnn ,

Request and rating

Hi Macken I’m Jordan I love your podcast can you make a podcast on tree frogs or flinders range scorpions since I have a pet one called ray

Addie hi ,


Hi macken, my names Addie and I’m 10 years old, I really like this podcast and would recommend it to anyone,and I reckon you should do an episode on the blob fish and axolotl.

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