evolution

Something Wild
12:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

The Common Junco And Its Uncommon History

foxtail_1 via flickr Creative Commons

A huge question in evolutionary biology is the very basic one: How do species form? It turns out that the Dark-eyed Junco, one of the most common birds at winter feeders, is providing a  clear picture of that process.

First, a quick review of what defines a species:

Read more
Word of Mouth
3:20 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Does Middle Age Have an Evolutionary Upside?

(Photo by brondabailey via Flickr)

All that "40 is the new 30" boosterism aside, midlife is not the start of a downward spiral. David Bainbridge is a clinical veterinary anatomist at Cambridge University, and the author of several books including Middle Age: A Natural History. He believes middle age might be a pivotal part of the human evolutionary process, and potentially the most productive years of our lives. 

Read more
Word of Mouth - Segment
2:02 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

An Evolutionary Upside to Depression? Not Necessarily.

We’ve spoken on the program before about the tendency in science to connect today’s  traits and ailments to evolutionary adaptations for survival from which they presumably developed.  Not every aspect of humanity derives from Darwinian roots, argues Dr.

Read more
11 for '11
12:00 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

11 for '11: Raymond Tallis

Photo by jetheriot, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Here on Word of Mouth, we love brain science.  Brain-science in the courtroom.  Brain-science and aesthetics. Brain-science and poverty.  Image a brain and we'll hear your pitch with open ears.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Mon November 14, 2011

Word of Mouth for November 14th, 2011

Photo by jetheriot, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Our 11 for '11 series continues with Raymond Tallis, author of Aping Mankind, on why our focus on brain-science may be overrated.  PLUS, the next segment of the WBEZ series "Out of the Shadows", and why American Chinatowns are becoming American ghost-towns.  And a brief look at the science of polling.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

Word of Mouth for November 7th, 2011

Caremore, a company that has revolutionized eldercare - providing better care and doing it profitably.  The "next big thing" prediction for Apple - under new leadership.  And 18th century explorers who fearlessly set out to catalog the variety of species that roam the earth.    

Word of Mouth - Segment
12:00 pm
Mon November 7, 2011

To the Ends of the Earth for an Eel

Lizard.
Photo credit: Chausino, via Flickr Creative Commons

In the Eighteenth century, explorers set out to catalog the variety of life on Earth... Until then, even educated people believed in mythological creatures lurking outside the relative safety of their home environments.  Today, there are two million documented species on Earth.  Richard Conniff,  Guggenheim Fellow and Guest Columnist for the New York Times discusses his new book "The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life On Earth".

 

Read more
Word of Mouth - Segment
8:01 am
Sat November 5, 2011

Survival of the Beautiful

peacock tail
(Photo by Ivan via Flickr Creative Commons)

Author David Rothenberg talks about the mystery of animal's preferences for particular colors, shapes, and songs in his book, Survival of the Beautiful.

Read more