Cochran, Gregory — The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution Part One

Have humans changed in the last 10,000 years?  Are we biologically the same as we have been for the past 60,000 years? Recent evidence suggests that so called civilization has promoted rapid evolutionary change in our species in the last 10,000 years.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Gregory Cochran, a physicist and anthropologist, who is the co-author of the book “The 10,000 Year Explosion – How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution”.  His book asserts that changes in human biology, lactose tolerance and resistance to malaria for example, represent human evolution accelerated by civilization.

In this, the first of two Radio Curious conversations with Gregory Cochran we discuss some of these evolutions.

In part two we discuss the evolution and genetic mutations of race and physiology.

I spoke with Gregory Cochran from his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 23, 2009 and began by asking him what biological indications exist to show an increase in human evolution in the past 10,000 years and why they occurred.

The book Gregory Cochran recommends is “Twilight of the Mammoths: Ice Age Extinctions and the Re-Wilding of America” by Paul S. Martin

Click here or on the media player below to listen to part one.

Fogg, Laura — Traveling Blind

The ways different creatures, especially us humans, use our senses to guide ourselves through life has long attracted my curiosity.   I’ve often wondered how blind people seem able to orient themselves, and also wondered about their dreams. 

From time to time, over the years, I would see an attentive woman walk past my office window next to a young person of student age.  They would walk together talk, and the young person almost always carried a white cane with a red tip. 

Laura Fogg is this woman, the author of “Traveling Blind:  Life Lessons from Unlikely Teachers,” and our guest in this archive edition of Radio Curious.  

Laura Fogg worked as a Mobility and Orientation Instructor for the Blind in Mendocino County for over 35 years beginning 1971.  She pioneered the use of the red tipped white cane with very young blind students some of whom had multiple impairments.  She traveled long distances over the rather spectacular back roads of Mendocino County to work with each student his or her home.

When she visited the studios of Radio Curious on December 1, 2008, I asked her about the lessons that she learned that have changed her life. 

The book Laura Fogg recommends is “My Year of Meats,” by Ruth Ozeki. Published in 1999.

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Nuland, Dr. Sherwin — Wisdom of The Body: Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, Remembered

Dr. Sherwin B. Nuland, our guest in this archive edition is the author of several books, including “How We Die,” and “The Wisdom of the Body.”  He died on March 3, 2014, at his home in Connecticut, at the age of 83.  Dr. Nuland and I visited, shortly after “The Wisdom of the Body” was published, in the back of a bookstore in Santa Rosa, California on May 6, 1997.

In “The Wisdom of the Body,” Dr. Nuland, describes the synergistic functions of the human body and considers the brain, language, and civilization from developmental perspectives.  He reflects on children, and humankind as a whole, and explores aspects that have separated our species from the rest of the animal kingdom.

In this interview, originally broadcast in May, 1997, we began with his answer to the question, what is it about the human species that has allowed us to learn so much about ourselves.

The book Dr. Nuland recommended is “The Meaning of Yiddish,” by Benjamin Harshav.

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Erlick, Eli & Longchamp, Dr. Carla — Transgender Youth: One Family’s Experience Part One

This edition of Radio Curious is the first of two conversations with Eli Erlick, a woman, who was born a male, and her mother Dr. Carla Longchamp.  

Eli Erlick is the Founder and Executive Director of Trans Student Equality Resource, based in San Francisco, California and a student at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.  Dr. Carla Longchamp is a family physician in a rural northern California community.

Together they share their family’s experience when Eli realized that she was female, and her parent’s subsequent acceptance of who she is.  Our conversation, recorded on January 15, 2014, at Radio Curious, began when I asked Eli, when she knew she was a girl. 

Click here to listen to part one or on the media player below.

Click here  to listen to part two.



Blake, Tim — Marijuana & the California Drought Part Two

This is the second of two interviews about the nation-wide acceptance of the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana.  Our guest is Tim Blake, founder of The Emerald Cup, California’s oldest competition among outdoor growers of organic cannabis.  He shares his opinions about the future cultural and legal acceptance of marijuana. 

Tim Blake and I continued our conversation about the growing nation-wide acceptance of marijuana and why. His comments and opinions are his, and were recorded in the studios of Radio Curious on January 17, 2014.

The book Tim Blake recommends is “The Urantia Book:  Revealing the Mysteries of God, the Universe, Jesus and Ourselves,” published by the Urantia Foundation.

Tim Blake’s comments and opinions are his and not necessarily that of Radio Curious.  We’re just curious.

Click here to listen to part two or on the media player below.

Click here to listen to part one.

Thomas, Sam — Midwives and Murder

The rather fascinating tale of midwifery and murder in York, England set in the mid 1640s is the topic of our conversation with Sam Thomas, author of “The Midwife’s Tale,” and “The Harlot’s Tale.”  While researching English history for his Ph.D. thesis, Thomas happened on to the Will of Bridget Hodgson, a midwife.  A fictionalized version of her life forms the basis for Thomas’s mystery series set in York, in which Bridget Hodgson is the protagonist.

Our conversation with Sam Thomas, recorded by phone on December 27, 2013 from his home near Cleveland, Ohio, where he teaches high-school history, begins with his characterization of York, England, in 1644.

The books Sam Thomas recommends are “An Instance of the Finger Post,” by Iain Pears, and “The Lock Artist,” by Steve Hamilton. 

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Gottlieb, Dr. Dan — Quadriplegia: A Struggle to Live

Letters to Sam:A Grandfather’s Lessons on Love, Loss and the Gifts of Life

For most people, the desire to be known exceeds the desire to be loved. Who we are as individuals, how we reckon with our personal abilities and disabilities the topic of this edition of Radio Curious, a conversation with my friend Dr. Dan Gottlieb.

Dan Gottlieb, a clinical psychologist who lives and works near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania lives with quadriplegia, paralyzed from the neck down as a result of an automobile accident in 1979. He is the host of “Voices in the Family,” a weekly public radio program originating from WHYY in Philadelphia and the author of two articles a month in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Because of his physical condition, Dan thought he may not live to see his young grandson Sam grow to be man. When Sam was diagnosed with a severe form of autism several years ago, Dan decided to write a series of letters to his grandson.

His book “Letter’s to Sam: A Grandfather’s Lessons on Love, Loss and the Gifts of Life,” is a collection of the thirty-two intimate and compassionate letters sharing Dan’s thoughts, observations and experiences gained from his 27 years with quadriplegia, and his professional life as a clinical psychologist.

Dr. Dan Gottlieb and I visited by phone from his in mid April 2006.

The books Dr. Gottlieb recommends are “Eat, Pray and Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything, Across Italy, India and Indonesia,” by Elizabeth Gilbert, and “Life of Pi,” by Yann Martel.

Originally Broadcast: April 12, 2006

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Gottlieb, Dr. Dan — Our Body Holds Our Life’s Truth

Dr. Dan Gottlieb is a psychotherapist, author and host of Voices in the Family, a weekly public radio program originating from WHYY in Philadelphia.  In 1980, half his life ago, a wheel from a large truck crushed his car and he has been a quadriplegic ever since.

In this interview, we discuss his current work and physical condition.  He describes a recent severe accident where he was thrown from his wheelchair on the way to his first class to be a stand-up comic, and suffered a concussion and paralysis of his left arm.  Although the pain in his arm remains, he says, “it’s just an arm.”

In this program, Dr. Gottlieb describes how trauma changes human hormones and human wiring; and how the body holds the truth of our lives, without judgment or narrative; and his current work to teach compassion to oneself and others. This program was recorded by phone from his home near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 2013, and is a sequel to his other Radio Curious interviews.

The books Dan Gottlieb recommends are: “Self Compassion: A Healthier Way of Relating to Yourself,” by Kristin Neff and “Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation,” by Sharon Salzberg.

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Cantu, Robert Ph.D. — Concussions: The Impact of Sports on Our Kids’ Brains

Concussion injuries to our children is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious as we visit with Dr. Robert Cantu, the author of “Concussions and Our Kids.”  Dr. Cantu’s medical career centers on neurosurgery and sports medicine and is dedicated to addressing the concussion crisis through research, treatment, education and prevention.

Dr. Robert Cantu and I visited by phone from his office near Boston, Massachusetts on September 24, 2012.

Dr. Cantu writes that the genetic inheritance of child begins to control his or her athletic skills at about age 14.  This is similar to the evolutionary influence that compels young teenagers to set a mark and establish status and belonging within their band or tribe, often through athletic prowess.  In the evolutionary history of our species this was necessary for basic survival.  Now in the 21st century many of our children do the same thing, frequently with strong family support, yet at the same time subjecting themselves to radical injury.  Dr. Cantu and I visited by phone from his office near Boston, Massachusetts, on September 24, 2012, and began when I asked him to comment on that analysis.

The book Dr. Robert Cantu recommends, which was also made into a movie is “Head Games,” by Chris Nowinski.

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Miles, Dr. Steven — A Blind Eye to Torture

Radio Curious brings you an interview about torture from our archives in 2006.  Our guest is Dr. Steven Miles, author of “Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and the War On Terror,” a book based in part on eyewitness accounts of actual victims of prison abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan and more than thirty-five thousand pages of documents, autopsy reports and medical records.
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