Where did we come from? One of humanity's most basic questions, the answer is fascinating. Weaving together insights from the fields of genetics, archaeology, linguistics, and paleoanthropology, hosts Spencer Wells and Razib Khan take us on a grand tour of human history. Scientific storytelling at its best.
Brian Hare and Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity
Razib discusses the new book Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity with one of the authors.
Why Western Europeans are so WEIRD and why that matters!
Razib talks to evolutionary anthropologist Joe Henrich about his new book, The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous, https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07RZFCPMD/geneexpressio-20
Why much of science is fiction
Razib talks to Stuart Ritchie about his new book, Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth
Razib and Spencer discuss the geography, prehistory, and genetics, of Siberia. Also, Spencer talks about his Siberian winter!
Sundaland: a human evolutionary hearth
Razib and Spencer discuss why the geology and biogeography of Southeast Asia may explain why it is so important in the history of human evolution. Show notes: https://blog.insito.me/humanitys-second-cradle-in-southeast-asia-cbb26244f08a
Peopling the Americas 32,000 years ago
Razib discusses revolutionary new work published in Nature that tells us that modern humans were present in the Americas 32,000 years ago with one of the authors, Lorena Becerra-Valdivia.
This podcast is so illuminating, full of history, genetics, anthropology and culture that it is a must understanding what it means to be « us »! I never missed a single episode since the very first! You will learn and laugh so much because the the team Spencer/Razib aim at two objectives: make you a better informed person about history of man and civilization and never miss a good joke about the human nature...
Basques are highly isolated
In your episode on isolated populations, just to clarify some things on the Basques: they are actually quite distinctive and isolated from neighbouring populations, even other Iberians. As shown in Haak et al (2015), they are mostly Mesolithic (Western Hunter-Gatherer) and EEF (Early European Farmer), with only a little bit of Yamna (Indo-European). They actually have a high amount of WHG, not found in other Iberians, far higher than in any other Mediterranean populations. Other studies have also shown Basques to have the oldest mtDNA markers in Europe, such as U8a and a high amount of U5b. Gunther (2015) has shown modern Basques are almost identical to a skeleton in Atapuerca from 5,000 ya, and have been isolated since that time.
My new favorite podcast
I found some of the concepts tough to hold on to but it really is worth it to get a sense of the quiet scientific revolution happening at the intersection of archaeology, anthropology, history, evolution, after recent advances in genomics. The episode about Homo Naledi gave me chills, sharing that sense of discovery and wonder about deep history.