The Insight-logo

The Insight

Science Podcasts

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.

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.

Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ancient DNA And The Five Ancestral Lineages of Modern Dogs

11/26/2020
Today Razib talks to Anders Bergstrom on the results of a new paper in Science that uses ancient DNA to discover the ancestral lineages of modern dogs. There are some major surprises! https://razib.substack.com/ https://unsupervisedlearning.libsyn.com/ https://science.sciencemag.org/content/370/6516/557

Duration:03:18:55

Brian Hare and Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity

9/15/2020
Razib discusses the new book Survival of the Friendliest: Understanding Our Origins and Rediscovering Our Common Humanity with one of the authors. https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B07ZC6XGGX/geneexpressio-20

Duration:01:04:10

Why Western Europeans are so WEIRD and why that matters!

9/8/2020
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

Duration:00:57:19

Why much of science is fiction

9/3/2020
Razib talks to Stuart Ritchie about his new book, Science Fictions: How Fraud, Bias, Negligence, and Hype Undermine the Search for Truth https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1250222699/geneexpressio-20

Duration:01:28:24

Siberian paleohistory

8/6/2020
Razib and Spencer discuss the geography, prehistory, and genetics, of Siberia. Also, the time Spencer experienced a Siberian winter!

Duration:00:43:49

Sundaland: a human evolutionary hearth

7/31/2020
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

Duration:00:50:46

Peopling the Americas 32,000 years ago

7/23/2020
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. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02190-y https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2509-0 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2509-0

Duration:00:17:09

Ghost in the machine

7/16/2020
Spencer and Razib talk about what we mean when we say "ghost population" in human genetics, and why it's so important to understand our origins. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2842210/ https://www.genetics.org/content/192/3/1065.short

Duration:01:12:55

Native American admixture into Polynesia!

7/9/2020
Razib talks to Alex Ioannidis on the new paper which he is a first author of which argues that there is pre-Columbian Native American ancestry in Eastern Polynesia. Did the Polynesians bring them back from the mainland? Or did they voyage themselves? https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2487-2

Duration:00:47:02

Will to Power and the Holocene transition

6/25/2020
Razib and Spencer talk about what a new ancient DNA paper from Neolithic Ireland suggests about radical inequality and power differentials in early agricultural societies, and what that says about the transition from hunting and gathering more generally https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2378-6 (also, coronavirus update!)

Duration:00:31:38

Two cultures, humanities and science

6/18/2020
Spencer and Razib discuss what the humanities can offer to science with Kerim Yasar, professor of East Asian literature https://twitter.com/nihonkyo

Duration:01:26:33

Psychiatry and genes

6/11/2020
Razib talks to Dr. Emily Deans on what's like to work in psychiatry today in a world with personal genomics. https://twitter.com/evolutionarypsy

Duration:01:06:36

American Downfall: Cultural evolution, Peter Turchin, and the return of history

6/3/2020
Spencer and Razib discuss current events in the context of cultural evolution. The history of decline, the American "Empire", and Peter Turchin's thoughts on social disorder http://peterturchin.com/cliodynamica/the_2020/

Duration:01:45:58

The genetic basis of facial variation

5/28/2020
This week Razib talks to Dan Crouch about what we know about the genetics of the variation shape and features. https://www.pnas.org/content/115/4/E676.short

Duration:00:30:02

Ancient DNA and China

5/21/2020
Spencer and Razib discuss the latest ancient DNA work that sheds light on East Asian prehistory (and also some coronavirus status update) https://reich.hms.harvard.edu/sites/reich.hms.harvard.edu/files/inline-files/YangSciecne2020.pdf (excuse the "sound effects" early in the podcast!)

Duration:01:09:25

Chris Stringer on paleoanthropology in 2020

5/14/2020
Razib catches up with Chris Stinger on the state of paleoanthropology in 2020 and the ramifications of what genetics has taught us about the diversity in Denisovans in the past few years!

Duration:01:04:29

Genetically Modified Organisms

5/7/2020
Razib talks to Chad Niederhuth at Michigan State on the promise of GMO agriculture! http://niederhuthlab.com/

Duration:00:50:35

Coronavirus 2020: vaccination and the specter of revolution

5/1/2020
Spencer and Razib discuss the state of the pandemic, why Spencer is skeptical of rapid vaccine development, and the political and cultural fallout of COVID-19. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/04/29/847755751/compared-to-china-u-s-stay-at-home-has-been-a-giant-garden-party-journalist-says https://medium.com/@spwells

Duration:01:28:37

Alfred Russel Wallace and the Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago

4/25/2020
Spencer describes Wallace's encounter with Indonesia and his insight into evolution by natural selection.

Duration:00:26:37

Genetics, genealogy, and secrets unknown

4/22/2020
Razib talks to Libby Copeland about her new book, The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/lost-family_9781419743009/

Duration:01:14:21