Big Picture Science – Frogs’ Pants

by Gary Niederhoff on July 2, 2018

frogspantsBIGGER Big Picture Science – Frogs’ Pants
click to listen!

It’s one of the most bizarre biological experiments ever. In the 18th century, a scientist fitted a pair of tailor-made briefs on a male frog to determine the animal’s contribution to reproduction. The process of gestation was a mystery and scientists had some odd-ball theories.

Today, a 5th grader can tell you how babies are made, but we still don’t know exactly what life is. In our quest to understand, we’re still at the frogs’ pants stage.

Find out why conception took centuries to figure out. Also, why the 1970s Viking experiments, specifically designed to detect life on Mars, couldn’t give us a definitive answer. Plus, can knowing where life isn’t help define what it is? Take a tour of the world’s barren places.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: Jay Gallentine / Life on Mars
Part 2: Edward Dolnick / Science of Sex
Part 3: Chris McKay / Life’s Limits

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