At some point during the last 100,000 years, humans began exhibiting traits and behavior that distinguished us from other animals, eventually creating language, art, religion, bicycles, spacecraft, and nuclear weapons—all within a heartbeat of evolutionary time. Now, faced with the threat of nuclear weapons and the effects of climate change, it seems our innate tendencies for violence and invention have led us to a crucial tipping point. Where did these traits come from? Are they part of our species immutable destiny? Or is there hope for our species’ future if we change?
With fascinating facts and his unparalleled readability, Jared Diamond intended his book, The Third Chimpanzee for Young People: On the Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, to improve the world that today’s young people will inherit.
RNA seems like the unsung little brother of DNA and protein.
But Yehuda Ben-Shahar, assistant professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis, is learning a great deal about their very important molecular responsibilities.
Dr. Yehuda Ben-Shahar is an assistant professor of biology at Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on the roles of genes, genetics, and evolution in shaping and driving specific animal behaviors. He earned a PhD from the University of Illinois in 2002.
Science is the topic this Wednesday as we host professors Ed Stander (geology), Andrea Worthington (biology), and Nancy Slack (biology), and Ken Welles (physics) to provide conclusions to your hypotheses. It's the Vox Pop Science Forum, hosted by Alan Chartock.
The Science Forum is underway. We gather our panel of experts in the areas of biology and chemistry once a month to respond to your science-related questions and comments. On today’s show: Barbara Brabetz, Ken Welles, Jim Pickett and Ed Stander. WAMC’s Ray Graf hosts.