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Radio Curious revisits part two of a conversation with Gregory Cochran, physicist, anthropologist, and co-author of the book “The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution,” which explores how changes in human biology have evolved from civilization.
Barry Vogel, Attorney and Counselor is the Host and Producer of Radio Curious. Christina Aanestad is the Assistant Producer.
In this, the second of two Radio Curious interviews, we continue our discussion of human evolution with Gregory Cochran an aerospace physicist and professor of anthropology at the University of Utah; his expertise is in genetic anthropology. Gregory Cochran along with Henry Harpending, also a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Utah, are the co-authors of the 2009 book “The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution.” This book explores how humans appear to have evolved over the last 10,000 years, largely driven by civilization-the place, culture and lifestyle of the time.
In this two part conversation, recorded by phone with Gregory Cochran from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 23rd, 2009, we discuss how humans have genetically evolved. In part one we discussed the changes in human biology such as lactose tolerance and resistance to malaria that represent human evolution accelerated by civilization. We also discussed the intermixing of neanderthals and humans and the genetic benefits in our species that continue to this day.
In part two, Cochran discusses how gene mutations have allowed specific human advantages in different locations around the world. We began with his discussion of the migration of the human species out of Africa, which resulted in some people living in the northern latitudes. People born in these areas with a random genetic mutation resulting in skin of a lighter color allowed them to absorb more vitamin D from the sun, thus giving them better health and a greater opportunity to have off spring. We also discuss the genetic mutations that contribute to certain types of intelligence.
The book Gregory Cochran recommends is "The Princeton Companion to Mathematics,” edited by Timothy Gowers.
Radio Curious is a half-hour, weekly, long-form interview program, now in it's 24th year. We interview people on a curiously wide variety of topics about life and ideas. Our website is www.radiocurious.org. If your station airs Radio Curious please let us know firstname.lastname@example.org, we will add you to our list of syndicate stations. We also welcome questions, feedback and program ideas. Radio Curious 280 N. Oak St. Ukiah, Ca 95482. (707) 462-6541.
The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution Part Two