Big Picture Science – Surfeit of the Vitalest

by Gary Niederhoff on November 16, 2014

Big Picture Science – Surfeit of the Vitalest

In the century and a half since Charles Darwin wrote his seminal On the Origin of the Species, our understanding of evolution has changed quite a bit. For one, we have not only identified the inheritance molecule DNA, but have determined its sequence in many animals and planets.

Evolution has evolved, and we take a look at some of the recent developments.

A biologist describes the escalating horn-to-horn and tusk-to-tusk arms race between animals, and a paleoanthropologist explains why the lineage from chimp to human is no longer thought to be a straight line but, instead, a bush. Also, New York Times science writer Carl Zimmer on the diversity of bacteria living on you, and which evolutionary concepts he finds the trickiest to explain to the public.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Doug Emlen / Animal Weapons
Part 2: Bernard Wood / Hominid Entities
Part 3: Carl Zimmer / Biological Diversity

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