S4 E73: Evolution & the Challenges of Modern Life | Bret Weinstein & Heather Heying
This episode was recorded on October 5th, 2021.
Podcasters and evolutionary biology power-couple Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying join me to discuss a variety of topics related to their new book, A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century. We explore topics like niche-switching, what Darwin got wrong, Twitter, sources for modern values, hyper-novelty, the aftermath of progress, parenthood, and sexual selection – just to name a few.
Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying are evolutionary biologists, former Evergreen State College professors, and the current hosts of the DarkHorse podcast. You may also know Bret through Joe Rogan, or as the twice-moderator for Jordan’s debates with Sam Harris.
The couple’s book, titled “A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life,” asks why the most prosperous age in history has scarcely offset suicide rates, tribal division, loneliness, and human misery.
Follow Bret at:
And Heather at:
The DarkHorse Podcast:
A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life:
[00:00 ] Intro
[00:30 ] Guests’ background
[01:32 ] A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century – why they wrote it
[04:30 ] “Values might not be [scientifically] defensible. Taken to the extreme, it might be hard to explain why existing is better than not" - Bret Weinstein
[05:07 ] “We believe that any credible 'ought' needs to be scientifically informed" - BW
[05:45 ] Learning to negotiate hyper-novelty in the modern world. The extremely fast rate of progress and change
[06:56 ] “The amazing rate of change we’ve created is itself deranging us and making it very difficult to understand and remember how to be human” - Heather Heying
[08:18 ] “It's not that progress is bad – the benefit of progress is often tremendous, but it almost always comes with important unintended consequences” - BW
[09:26 ] Our incredible ability to adapt by “niche-switching”
[15:41 ] Unintended consequences & modern sleeping
[22:45 ] Twitter as a giant social experiment; what happens when you can (sort of) communicate with everyone?
[25:22 ] “If people treated each other the way they do on Twitter, they’d get beaten up with enough regularity to stop them. So the net effect [might make us] nicer, right?” - BW
[25:47 ] The importance of nonverbal communication; physical and chemical ways humans communicate
[29:57 ] Small talk, gaging social skills, and nonverbal cues
[31:28 ] “Small talk lets you take a room’s temperature–literally and metaphorically" - Heather Heying
[32:35 ] Objections to evolutionary theory: A critique of some key Darwinian tenets
[38:28 ] Play & Evolution
[42:08 ] Intelligence in mate selection amongst bowerbirds
[53:12 ] How Heather conceptualizes male/female status hierarchies
[55:57 ] Sex, gender, and how they’re linked
[01:06:44 ] The Hero's journey and the importance of new storytelling
[01:13:42 ] The adaptive valley picture in evolutionary biology
[01:13:46 ] “I'm trying to update our understanding of stories rather than the stories themselves" - Jordan Peterson
[01:21:29 ] podcasts & collective listening
[01:27:26 ] Parenting & Children
[01:27:46 ] “Children will destroy your life and replace it with a better one" - BW
[01:28:52 ] Parenting & Relationships
[01:30:03 ] Wrapping up
#Biology #Evolution #Gender #Pârenting #Darwin
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