In this episode, a question that haunted Darwin: if natural selection boils down to the survival of the fittest, why would one creature stick its neck out to help another? Is altruism an aberration, or just an elaborate guise for sneaky self-interest? Do we really live in a selfish, dog-eat-dog world? Or has evolution carved out a hidden code that rewards genuine cooperation?
What decides the trajectory of our lives, our successes or failures, our steps and stumbles? Do we achieve what we achieve through force of will, or does fate have us by the throat? This hour, Radiolab explores the tug of war between will and fate from birth to death - from a kid reaching for a marshmallow to hints of dementia in the words of a 20-year-old.
Over 50% of the planet now lives in cities. This hour, Radiolab looks at what makes them tick. We talk to a couple physicists who think they can fit every city into a tidy mathematical formula, and we take to the streets to test their idea. We explore the water tunnels 700 feet below Manhattan and question whether cities are the source of, or the solution for, our growing global appetite.
There are so many ways to fall - falling in love, falling asleep, even falling flat on your face. In an episode full of falling music, Radiolab plunges into a black hole, takes a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel, and debunks some myths about falling cats.
What would life be like without words? Without language? This hour, Radiolab explores the words in our head and how they change the way we think. We talk to a woman who taught a 27-year-old man the first words of his life, and we ask a neurologist what happened when a stroke wiped out the language center of her brain.
1) The Exchange:Ira Byock: The Best Care Possible In his new book, Byock calls for a new approach toward the end of life; one focused on taking care of persons, not just “bodies”, and helping patients and their families reach decisions about dying.
We'll bring you special coverage of one of the most important legal and policy cases of our generation starting this evening, Monday March 26, through Wednesday. The U.S. Supreme Court justices will hear arguments and consider the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act.
This special coverage will begin each evening at 8 p.m. Listen on NHPR and NHPR.org.