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Rank #43 in Natural Sciences category

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Origin Stories

Updated 3 days ago

Rank #43 in Natural Sciences category

Science
Natural Sciences
Social Sciences
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What makes us human? How are we different from chimpanzees? Who are our earliest ancestors and how do we know? Origin Stories is The Leakey Foundation’s podcast about how we became human. This award-winning show combines science and narrative to explore our human story and explain why we are the way we are. Listen and explore human evolution one story at a time.

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What makes us human? How are we different from chimpanzees? Who are our earliest ancestors and how do we know? Origin Stories is The Leakey Foundation’s podcast about how we became human. This award-winning show combines science and narrative to explore our human story and explain why we are the way we are. Listen and explore human evolution one story at a time.

iTunes Ratings

198 Ratings
Average Ratings
183
7
3
2
3

Understand yourself by understanding science

By Bortles23 - Sep 17 2017
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I just listened to Epsiode 15: The Grandmother Hypothesis and my mind is blown! More, more, more!!

Excellent!

By basketrabbit - Jul 19 2017
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An informative podcast on interesting topics with great scripting, editing, production, and pacing.

iTunes Ratings

198 Ratings
Average Ratings
183
7
3
2
3

Understand yourself by understanding science

By Bortles23 - Sep 17 2017
Read more
I just listened to Epsiode 15: The Grandmother Hypothesis and my mind is blown! More, more, more!!

Excellent!

By basketrabbit - Jul 19 2017
Read more
An informative podcast on interesting topics with great scripting, editing, production, and pacing.
Cover image of Origin Stories

Origin Stories

Latest release on Nov 28, 2019

Read more

What makes us human? How are we different from chimpanzees? Who are our earliest ancestors and how do we know? Origin Stories is The Leakey Foundation’s podcast about how we became human. This award-winning show combines science and narrative to explore our human story and explain why we are the way we are. Listen and explore human evolution one story at a time.

Rank #1: Episode 08: Being Human with Robert Sapolsky

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This episode of Origin Stories was recorded live in San Francisco as part of the Bay Area Science Festival. It was the first of The Leakey Foundation and the Baumann Foundation’s new “Being Human” event series. Our speaker was Robert Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow. He gave a fascinating and funny talk about human behavior and the ways we are the same as, and different from, other animals.

You can hear more from Dr. Sapolsky on the Inquiring Minds podcast. Host Indre Viskontas interviewed Sapolsky about his work and his thoughts on our prospects as a species. You can find Inquiring Minds on iTunes and at motherjones.com/inquiringminds

This episode is part of the Being Human initiative of The Leakey Foundation and the Baumann Foundation. leakeyfoundation.org/beinghuman

Dec 05 2015

38mins

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Rank #2: Episode 16: Neanderthals

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People have been fascinated with Neanderthals since they were first discovered in the mid-1800s. For a long time, they have been seen as dumb, brutish cavemen. As more discoveries have been made in the past few decades, our picture of who Neanderthals were and how they lived has shifted dramatically. In this episode we talk with Shara Bailey, a Leakey Foundation grantee and professor at New York University, about our closest extinct relatives. Who were the Neanderthals? And why did they disappear?

Links

The Makers of the Protoaurignacian and implications for Neanderthal extinction

Humans mated with Neanderthals much earlier and more frequently than thought

Thank Neanderthals for your immune system

Leakeyfoundation.org/donate

Sponsored by

Adept Word Management

Credits

Edited by Audrey Quinn

Theme song by Henry Nagle

Additional music by Lee Rosevere, Podington Bear, and Blue Dot Sessions

Jul 01 2016

23mins

Play

Rank #3: Episode 27: Out of Eden the Long Way

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One of the big questions in the study of human evolution is the question of how our ancestors spread across the world.

Our species evolved in Africa and migrated around the world from there. Most people on earth today are mixed descendants of multiple migrations to different places.

Somewhere in almost everyone’s family history, whether it was last year or thousands of years ago, there was someone who left the place they were born and set out into the unknown, looking for a new life somewhere else. For most of humankind’s time on this planet, we all did it the same way. We walked.

Paul Salopek is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Geographic Explorer who is on an epic ten-year journey around the world on foot, tracing the path of early human migration out of Africa. Along the way he is talking with people and sharing their stories through his writing, and through educational programs for students. His project is called the Out of Eden Walk.

You can learn more at leakeyfoundation.org.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about how and when humans spread around the world. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes and bonus material at leakeyfoundation.org

Out of Eden Walk

Out of Eden Learn

Articles by Paul Salopek:

Articles about early human migration:

Credits

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Associate Producer: Shuka Kalantari

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music: Tech Toys by Lee Rosevere

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Sep 21 2017

31mins

Play

Rank #4: Episode 32: From the Archive - Carl Sagan

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Carl Sagan explores the evolution of human intelligence from the big bang, fifteen billion years ago, through today in this never-before-released archival lecture.

Show Notes The Leakey Foundation is 50 years old this year, and we’re celebrating this milestone by sharing rare, previously unreleased lectures from the Foundation’s archive. These talks are like a time machine that lets you hear from scientists in their own words and in their own voices - as they were making the discoveries that made them famous.

The first lecture in this "From the Archive" series is by Carl Sagan, the renowned astrophysicist and science communicator. He gave this Leakey Foundation lecture in 1977, around the time of the launch of the Voyager 1 space probe and five months before the release of his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Dragons of Eden… A book about human intelligence and the evolution of the brain.

In this talk, he explores the origins of life on earth and shares his thoughts on how we came to have brains that can attempt to comprehend the vastness of the universe.

About Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan served as the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo spacecraft expeditions, for which he received the NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and Distinguished Public Service. Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. His Emmy and Peabody award-winning television series, Cosmos, became the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. The accompanying book, also called Cosmos, is one of the bestselling science books ever published in the English language. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize, the Oersted Medal, and many other awards, including twenty honorary degrees for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior.

4X Donation Match

Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be quadrupled!

Visit leakeyfoundation.org/originstorieschallenge to donate today!

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long, Jeanne Newman, and Camilla Smith.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.

Credits

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Sound Engineer/Mix: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys" 

Nov 29 2018

48mins

Play

Rank #5: Episode 28: What They Left Behind

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The stories and songs of prehistoric people are lost. Their art and artifacts are all that remain of their culture.

The painted caves of Ice Age Europe are the world's most famous examples of prehistoric art. What does this art reveal about the people who made it? Why did they paint those images on cave walls? What do the images mean?

Jean Clottes is one of the world's preeminent prehistorians and a leading expert on prehistoric art. He has devoted his life to asking these big questions, and his insights have challenged popular assumptions about prehistoric art and how it evolved.

In this episode, producer Neil Sandell visits Clottes at his home in the foothills of the Pyrénées in France, and they journey deep into a painted cave called Niaux to see the famous Salon Noir.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes and bonus material at leakeyfoundation.org

Credits

Producer: Neil Sandell

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Sound Design: Neil Sandell

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music:

Kai Engel "Denouement" and "Difference" Parvus Decree "The Eternal Wheel" and "Gau" Alex Mason "Other" Scott Holmes "Still Missing"  Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

The Leakey Foundation thanks the following people for their generous support of this episode: 

Jean and Ray Auel, Sharal Camisa, Dennis Fenwick and Martha Lewis, Victoria and Barry Fong, Jeanne Newman, Sharon Metzler-Dow, and Lisa and Bill Wirthlin.

Additional Support

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Sep 28 2017

38mins

Play

Rank #6: Episode 24: Ancestor

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Just recently, the news media announced the discovery of a 13 million-year-old fossil ape called Alesi. This remarkable fossil was found in Kenya, and it’s from a time period where there’s a big blank spot in the fossil record of our family tree. Alesi tells us something new about the very early evolution of apes and even shows what the common ancestor of humans and all the other living apes might have looked like. In this episode, Isaiah Nengo tells the story behind the discovery.

Special thanks to Isaiah Nengo of the Stony Brook University affiliated Turkana Basin Institute and De Anza College. And Ellen Miller of Wake Forest University.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation.

Links

Click here to see photos of the discovery, along with a 3D animation of the inside of the fossil.

New 13 million-year-old infant fossil ape skull sheds light on ape evolution

Questions and answers about Alesi

Skull secrets of an ancient ape

Research article in Nature: New infant cranium from the African Miocene sheds light on ape evolution

Credits

Produced by: Meredith Johnson and Shuka Kalantari

Editor: Julia Barton

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music: Tech Toys by Lee Rosevere

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long.

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show, and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.

Aug 31 2017

25mins

Play

Rank #7: Episode 29: Rewriting Our Story

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For a long time, scientists have been searching for the first Homo sapiens in the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia. The story we've been telling about the origin of our species has gone something like this: Around 200,000 years ago in East Africa, the first Homo sapiens emerged, splitting off from an ancestral species, possibly Homo erectus. We had big brains and a knack for tool making. We spread out across the world from there. We adapted, and we alone survived.

Now a scientific discovery made by Leakey Foundation grantee Jean-Jacques Hublin and colleagues has challenged the story we tell about ourselves and pushed the date of the origin of our species back by 100,000 years.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes and bonus material at leakeyfoundation.org   Survey   Tell us what you think of the show! We'd love to know! Click here to take our short survey. Thank you!  

Credits

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Associate Producer: Shuka Kalantari

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"   Special thanks to Sarah Geledi and Sylvio Tupke

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

Additional Support

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Nov 07 2017

23mins

Play

Rank #8: Episode 03: Jane Goodall

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Dr. Jane Goodall is a legend. She is a science hero, a trailblazing researcher who inspires people around the world. In this episode, Jane Goodall shares part of the story of how she went from working as a secretary to becoming the world's leading expert on chimpanzee behavior.

In 2004, author and Leakey family biographer Virginia Morrell interviewed Jane Goodall for the Louis Leakey Centennial Oral History Project. This never before heard recording covers the time in Goodall's life from 1957 when she arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, to November 1960 when she made her first groundbreaking discovery, one that changed the way we see chimpanzees as well as the way we define ourselves as humans.

Links

Credits

This episode was produced by Meredith Johnson and edited by Audrey Quinn, production help from Schuyler Swenson. Scoring and composition by Henry Nagle. Additional Music from the Blue Dot Sessions and Lee Rosevere.

Thanks for listening! If you like our show, please subscribe and give us a rating on iTunes. We're new and reviews really help. We appreciate it a lot!

You can support long term studies of primates in the wild by supporting The Leakey Foundation.

Sponsors

This show is made possible with support from Wells Fargo Bank.

We're also sponsored by Adept Word Management, who provides transcripts of our interviews and episodes.

Jun 30 2015

24mins

Play

Rank #9: Episode 19: Being Human - Born and Evolved to Run

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Humans and our recent ancestors have been accomplished endurance runners for more than a million years. Our evolutionary history as runners partly accounts for why aerobic exercise is such a key component of human health.

In this talk, recorded in July 2016, Daniel Lieberman explores how and why the human body evolved to run long distances.

Daniel Lieberman is the Professor and Chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, and the Edwin M. Lerner II Professor of Biological Sciences at Harvard University. He is a member of the Scientific Executive Committee of The Leakey Foundation.

His research is on how and why the human body is the way it is, with particular foci on the origins of bipedalism, how humans became endurance runners, and the evolution of the highly unusual human head. Lieberman has published 3 books and more than 100 articles. His latest books are The Evolution of the Human Head, and The Story of the Human Body.

Links:

Get tickets for "The Power Paradox" with Dacher Keltner.

Donate to The Leakey Foundation. Your donation will be doubled!

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management.

Theme music by Henry Nagle. Closing credit song by Lee Rosevere.

Oct 28 2016

35mins

Play

Rank #10: Episode 25: Stones and How to Use Them

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The paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey described stone tools as “fossilized human behavior.” These rocks, shaped by our human ancestors and found in archaeological sites around the world, can give us clues about how ancient people lived. Archaeologist and Leakey Foundation grantee John Shea of Stony Brook University says you can learn even more by making and using stone tools yourself.   Thanks to John Shea of Stony Brook University for sharing his work. His new book is Stone Tools in Human Evolution: Behavioral Differences among Technological Primates.   Learn more about Dr. Shea's work on his website.  

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes at leakeyfoundation.org   Videos  How to make a stone tool Making a Neanderthal flint tool Making Stone Tools - Nicholas Toth of the Stone Age Institute John Shea and Alan Alda on The Human Spark   Articles Modern People Making Stone Age Tools by Leakey Foundation grantee Shelby Putt Chimpanzees and Monkeys Have Entered the Stone Age by Colin Barras

Credits

Produced by: Audrey Quinn

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music: Tech Toys by Lee Rosevere

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. Additional support for this episode comes from Bill Richards.

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Sep 07 2017

23mins

Play

Rank #11: Episode 05: Discovery at Ledi-Geraru

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Have you ever wondered what it's like to make a major fossil discovery? Arizona State University graduate student Chalachew Seyoum and professor Kaye Reed tell us their exciting story.

Seyoum was working as part of a team co-directed by Reed. While searching for hominid fossils at a site called Ledi-Geraru in the Afar region of Ethiopia, he found a fossil jaw sticking out of the 2.8 million year old sediment. That jaw turned out to be the earliest known fossil from our genus Homo. It was around 400,000 years older than any Homo fossil found before. The discovery was published in the journal Science in March of 2015. Dr. Susan Anton from New York University tells us why this find and the time period it's from are important in helping us connect the dots in our picture of early human evolution.

Links:

Early Homo at 2.8 MA from Ledi-Geraru, Afar, Ethiopia : Science

'First Human' discovered in Ethiopia : BBC News

Jawbone fossil fills a gap in early human evolution : New York Times

Credits:

This show is a project of The Leakey Foundation. The Leakey Foundation funds human origins research and shares that information with the public. You can learn more and help support science at leakeyfoundation.org.

This episode was produced by Schuyler Swenson. Our editor is Audrey Quinn. Music and scoring by Henry Nagle.

Origin Stories is made possible by a grant from Wells Fargo Bank. Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management.

Aug 26 2015

15mins

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Rank #12: Episode 26: Rising Star

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It's not every day you see a Facebook post that changes your life, but that's exactly what happened to Leakey Foundation grantee Alia Gurtov. Gurtov was checking her Facebook feed one morning and saw a post from paleoanthropologist Lee Berger. He was looking for archaeologists who were "...skinny and preferably small. They must not be claustrophobic, they must be fit, they should have some caving experience, climbing experience would be a bonus. They must be willing to work in cramped quarters, have a good attitude and be a team player." Gurtov had never seen a job description that fit her more perfectly.

A few weeks later she was in South Africa, inside a cave chamber strewn with ancient bones. The fossils she helped recover have changed the story of human evolution and added a strange new relative to our family tree.

Thanks to Leakey Foundation grantees Alia Gurtov and Will Harcourt-Smith for sharing their stories.

You can learn more at leakeyfoundation.org.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation had 12 grantees who participated in the Homo naledi research. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes and bonus material at leakeyfoundation.org

Credits

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Associate Producer: Shuka Kalantari

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music: Tech Toys by Lee Rosevere

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Sep 14 2017

39mins

Play

Rank #13: Episode 06: Being a Nice Animal

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For over 35 years Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth have been studying wild African primates in order to better understand the evolution of the human mind. In this episode they tell us about their long-term study of free-ranging baboons in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Kinship and rank are tremendously important to these baboons. However, in this sophisticated society there seems to be a certain attentiveness, perhaps an obsession with other individuals’ relationships. Is this similar to how humans create social bonds and alliances, and does personality play a part in the ability of these baboons to survive? Listen and learn how these field researchers have approached these and other questions about how natural selection shapes the primate mind.

Links

Robert Seyfarth and Dorothy Cheney's website

Baboon Metaphysics

Being Human

Million Dollar Challenge

Adept Word Management

Oct 27 2015

18mins

Play

Rank #14: Episode 15: The Grandmother Hypothesis

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When Kristen Hawkes first started to research the foraging habits of the Hadza hunter-gatherers, she noticed that the older women in the society were spending their time collecting food and sharing it with their grandchildren. She started to wonder if this type of contribution from grandmothers might explain why humans have such long lives. Her grandmother hypothesis suggests that grandmothering may have led to many of the things that make humans different from other great apes.

Thanks to Kristen Hawkes of the University of Utah for sharing her work with us. Dr. Hawkes is a member of The Leakey Foundation's Scientific Executive Committee.

Links

Kristen Hawkes' Website

Grandmothers and the evolution of pair bonds

Grandmothers and the evolution of human longevity: a review of findings and future directions

Leakeyfoundation.org

Credits

This episode was produced by Schuyler Swenson. Our editor is Audrey Quinn. Scoring and mixing by Schuyler Swenson. Origin Stories theme music by Henry Nagle. Additional music by Lee Rosevere. 

Sponsors

This episode was produced with support from the Being Human initiative of The Baumann Foundation and The Leakey Foundation.

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management.

May 28 2016

13mins

Play

Rank #15: Episode 09: Did Cooking Make Us Human? (Re-release)

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Humans have evolved very differently from other primates. Is there one thing responsible for humans becoming human? Some evolutionary biologists think that the way we process our food, namely cooking it, could explain why our species developed so differently from others. Did cooking make us human? Dr. Richard Wrangham of Harvard University and Dr. Rachel Carmody of UCSF and Harvard discuss the impact that cooked food has had on human evolution.

This episode of Origin Stories was produced by Briana Breen and edited by Audrey Quinn. Music by Henry Nagle.

Thanks to Richard Wrangham and Rachel Carmody for sharing their work.

Being Human

This re-released episode includes a new Being Human bonus segment. Being Human was a joint initiative of The Baumann Foundation and The Leakey Foundation, dedicated to understanding modern life from an evolutionary perspective.

Special thanks to Lily Mazzarella of Farmacopia for talking with us about her work for the Being Human segment.

Episode Links

Richard Wrangham's Harvard University Website

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

Smithsonian Magazine "Why Fire Made Us Human"

Rachel Carmody's Nature article: Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation. The Leakey Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to human origins research and outreach. Learn more at leakeyfoundation.org.

Dec 31 2016

25mins

Play

Rank #16: Episode 14: Being Human - Why Do We Laugh?

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Laughter is a universal human behavior. Have you ever wondered why we laugh or what it really means when we do? Greg Bryant of UCLA studies the evolution of communication and vocal behavior, especially of spontaneous vocal expressions such as laughter. In this episode of Origin Stories he explores the origins and evolution of human laughter in a talk that was recorded live at our Being Human event series.

Links:

Being Human

Join Team Leakey! Run a full or half-marathon and help raise money for science.

Greg Bryant

http://gabryant.bol.ucla.edu

http://www.gregbryant.org/Laughter_EHB2014.pdf

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/04/05/1524993113.abstract?sid=b503eb7d-e2ea-4c0b-9dcd-479c234f5465

May 18 2016

39mins

Play

Rank #17: Episode 18: Empathy

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Empathy has long been considered a uniquely human trait, but it's an ability that has also been observed in apes and other animals. Primatologist Frans de Waal says that examples of empathy in non-human primates and other mammals suggest that empathy has a long evolutionary history in humans.   Frans de Waal is the C.H. Candler Professor of Psychology at Emory University where he directs the Living Links Center for the Advanced Study of Ape and Human Evolution. He’s the author of several books including The Age of Empathy, and most recently, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?   Credits: Nancy Rosenbaum produced our story. Our editor is Audrey Quinn. Theme music by Henry Nagle. Additional music by Podington Bear, Lee Rosevere, and Box Cat Records. Being Human Bonus produced by Meredith Johnson.   Being Human: This episode was produced as part of the Being Human initiative. A joint project of The Leakey Foundation and the Baumann Foundation.    The Being Human initiative is all about why we experience our lives the way we do, including our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Keep listening after our story for the “Being Human Bonus Segment” where we talk about  how the science in this episode applies to real world situations. Our guest is Natalee Hanson, a special education teacher who works with students who have emotional and behavioral disabilities.   The Leakey Foundation: Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation. The Leakey Foundation advances human origins research and offers educational opportunities to cultivate a deeper, collective understanding of what it means to be human. We give research grants to scientists and share their groundbreaking discoveries through our podcast, website, and lecture programs. We also give scholarships to students from developing countries to attend field schools and earn advanced degrees.   You can help The Leakey Foundation fund important scientific research and outreach programs like this podcast by making a tax-deductible donation to The Leakey Foundation. Visit leakeyfoundation.org/donate before August 31st and your donation will be doubled!    Adept Word Management: Origin Stories is sponsored by Adept Word Management. Intelligent transcripts. Visit them for all of your transcription needs at adeptwordmanagement.com.    You can find transcripts of our past episodes at leakeyfoundation.org.

Aug 25 2016

25mins

Play

Rank #18: Episode 04: How to Document a Society

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Every day for 55 years a dedicated group of researchers, students, and Tanzanian field assistants have spent their days crawling through thorns and vines as they follow chimpanzees to observe their behavior. They write everything down in notes and on maps and checksheets. It adds up to an impressive amount of data. 

This episode tells the story of the evolution of data collection at Gombe, what it's like to collect it, and what we can learn from it.

Thanks to Anne Pusey, director of the Jane Goodall Institute Research Center at Duke University, and to Emily Boehm, Joseph Feldblum and Kara Walker from Duke University.

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation. The Leakey Foundation is proud to support ongoing research at Gombe and around the world. Since 1968, we've awarded over 35 research grants to Jane Goodall and other scientists studying chimpanzees at Gombe. Learn more and help support science at leakeyfoundation.org!

Music in this episode is by Henry Nagle and Kevin MacLeod ("Backed Vibes" Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0).

Our editor is Audrey Quinn.

Support comes from Wells Fargo Bank. Transcripts provided by Adept Word Management.

If you like our show, please give us a review on iTunes! It really helps spread the word about our show, and we appreciate it very much!

Aug 05 2015

16mins

Play

Rank #19: Episode 10: Being Human with Alison Gopnik

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Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research focuses on how babies and young children learn about the world. She’s the author of over 100 journal articles and several books including The Scientist in the Crib and The Philosophical Baby

This episode is part of the Being Human event series, presented by The Leakey Foundation with support from the Baumann Foundation.

Thanks to Alison Gopnik for sharing her work. You can learn more about her research at alisongopnik.com.

The Leakey Foundation is a nonprofit organization that funds human origins research and outreach. Visit leakeyfoundation.org to learn more.

The Being Human initiative is dedicated to understanding modern life from an evolutionary perspective. Learn more at leakeyfoundation.org/beinghuman.

Music in this episode is by Henry Nagle and Lee Rosevere.

Sound Engineering by Rob Byers.

Jan 19 2016

38mins

Play

Rank #20: Episode 09: Did Cooking Make Us Human?

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We humans have evolved very differently from other primates. Is there one thing responsible for humans becoming human? Some evolutionary biologists think that the way we process our food, namely cooking it, could explain why our species developed so differently from others. Did cooking make us human? Dr. Richard Wrangham of Harvard University and Dr. Rachel Carmody of UCSF and Harvard discuss the impact that cooked food has had on human evolution.

This episode of Origin Stories was produced by Briana Breen and edited by Audrey Quinn. Music by Henry Nagle.

Thanks to Richard Wrangham and Rachel Carmody for sharing their work.

Links

Richard Wrangham's Harvard University Website

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

Smithsonian Magazine "Why Fire Made Us Human"

Rachel Carmody's Nature article: Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome

Dec 29 2015

18mins

Play

Episode 40: The Denisovans

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A mysterious new human relative was discovered ten years ago from a pinky bone found in a Siberian cave. They're called the Denisovans, and people around the world carry their DNA today. Until just a few months ago, the sum total of all the fossils the Denisovans left behind could fit in the palm of your hand. Now new research is unlocking more of their secrets.

Thanks

Thanks to Bence Viola and Viviane Slon for sharing their work. 

Dr. Viola also wants to give a shoutout to his colleagues, including Anatoly Derevyanko over more than 40 years has excavated countless sites in Siberia, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. And Michael Sunkov who now heads the excavations at Denisova.

I also want to thank Sergey Zelensky who provided the sounds of Denisova cave and the recording of the conference.

Click here to learn more about Leakey Foundation grantee Frido Welker’s work on ancient proteins.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation.

For a limited time, all donations up to $5,000 will be matched 4:1 thanks to Gianni Amato and Gordon and Ann Getty. Once we pass $5,000, all donations will be doubled.

Visit leakeyfoundation.org/donate to donate today!

Credits

Host and Producer: Meredith Johnson

Editor: Julia Barton

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys", and music from Blue Dot Sessions.

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long, Diana McSherry, Jeanne Newman, Camilla Smith, and donors like you!

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.

Nov 28 2019

31mins

Play

Episode 39: Piltdown Man

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In this episode, we explore the story of Piltdown Man – one of the most notorious hoaxes in history. 

When Piltdown Man was discovered in a gravel pit outside a small English village in 1912, it was celebrated as a "missing link." The find captured the public's imagination and became world-famous. The problem was that Piltdown Man was a complete fraud. The purported fossils were actually made up of modern human bones and an orangutan mandible.

The Piltdown hoax suspects have included Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, and the philosopher Teilhard de Chardin. Now, more than 100 years later, scientists have narrowed the suspects down to a single culprit. 

Thanks:

Thanks to producer Leo Hornak for reporting this story.

Thanks also to Professor Chris Dean of University College, London, Dr. Isabelle De Groote of Liverpool University, Karolyn Shindler, Professor Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum, London, and Dr. David Joyce of Clark University, who runs the excellent Piltdown Plot website.

Thanks as well to Dr. Miles Russell of Bournemouth University - author of  "Piltdown Man: The Secret Life of Charles Dawson."

And finally thanks as well to Dr. Hugh Cecil for his advice and encouragement.

Readings were by Luke Blackall, Angelo Hornak, and Jonathan Keates.

 The archival lecture audio used in this episode is from The Leakey Foundation Archive. You can listen to Dr. Weiner's complete lecture on our website

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Visit leakeyfoundation.org/donate to donate today!

Credits

Producer: Leo Hornak

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Senior Producer: Catherine Girardeau

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long, Jeanne Newman, Camilla Smith, and donors like you!

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.

Oct 31 2019

37mins

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Episode 38: From the Archive - Louis Leakey

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In the final installment of our "From the Archive" series, Kenyan paleoanthropologist Louis S.B. Leakey shares the story of his life and work in a never-before-released interview recorded in 1969.

The Leakey Foundation was formed 1968 in honor of Louis Leakey and we are proud to carry on his mission of increasing scientific knowledge, education, and public understanding of human origins, evolution, behavior, and survival.

You can help carry on Louis Leakey's legacy by donating to The Leakey Foundation. Every donation will be doubled!

leakeyfoundation.org/donate

Aug 07 2019

31mins

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Episode 37: From the Archive - Mary Leakey

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Mary Leakey was called the "grand dame" of archaeology. She was a methodical and exacting scientist who made some of the world's most significant archaeological discoveries. In this lecture from The Leakey Foundation archive, Mary Leakey tells the story of Olduvai Gorge, the place where she found fossils that completely changed our understanding of human origins.

Want to support Origin Stories? All donations are being matched 4:1. Give today at leakeyfoundation.org/originstorieschallenge

Jun 14 2019

46mins

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Episode 36: From the Archive - Tepilit Ole Saitoti

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Tepilit Ole Saitoti was a Maasai warrior, author, and natural resources expert. In this lecture from The Leakey Foundation archive, Saitoti tells his life story, discusses Maasai culture, and explores the challenges faced by the Maasai people.

Learn more and see photos on our blog.

Want to support Origin Stories? All donations are being matched 4:1. Give today at leakeyfoundation.org/originstorieschallenge

Mar 14 2019

56mins

Play

Episode 35: From the Archive - Raymond Dart

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Raymond Dart was getting dressed for a wedding when he was given two boxes of rocks and fossils. Inside the boxes, he found the first evidence of humanity’s African origins. This episode tells the story of the 1924 discovery of the Taung Child through a never-before-released lecture by Dr. Raymond Dart.

Show Notes

The Leakey Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary by sharing rare, previously unreleased lectures from the Foundation’s archive.

The fourth lecture in this "From the Archive" series is by Dr. Raymond Dart, a neuroanatomist, discoverer of the Taung Child, and the person who named the genus Australopithecus.

Raymond Dart was born in Australia in 1893. He studied biology and became a medical doctor specializing in neuroanatomy. He moved to South Africa in 1922 to help establish the anatomy department at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In 1924, as he was getting dressed for a wedding, he received two boxes full of rocks and fossils from a nearby mine. The fossils inside those boxes changed his life – and our understanding of human origins.

Dr. Dart gave two Leakey Foundation lectures. In this episode, you'll hear clips from one of them, along with the entirety of his lecture entitled "Why Study Human Origins?" which was recorded in Washington, D.C., in 1975.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. 

4X Donation Match

Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be quadrupled!

Visit leakeyfoundation.org/originstorieschallenge to donate today!

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long, Jeanne Newman, Camilla Smith, and donors like you!

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like Origin Stories, please leave us a review or tell a friend about the show. We really appreciate it!

Credits

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Sound Engineer/Mix: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music: Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"

Feb 14 2019

31mins

Play

Episode 34: From the Archive - Margaret Mead

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In this never-before-released archival lecture from 1974, anthropologist Margaret Mead discusses the lives of women from prehistoric through modern times.

Show Notes

The Leakey Foundation is 50 years old this year, and we’re celebrating this milestone by sharing rare, previously unreleased lectures from the Foundation’s archive. These talks are like a time capsule that lets you hear from scientists in their own words and in their own voices - as they were making the discoveries that made them famous.

The third lecture in this "From the Archive" series is by Margaret Mead, the world famous cultural anthropologist and author. 

Margaret Mead was born in 1901 and she had a long and distinguished career as an anthropologist. She served as president of the American Anthropological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among other academic appointments, she was a curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City where she worked from 1926 until her death in 1978. After her death, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. This award is the highest civilian honor given by the United States government

The citation on her award said - "Margaret Mead was both a student of civilization and an exemplar of it. To a public of millions, she brought the central insight of cultural anthropology: that varying cultural patterns express an underlying human unity. She mastered her discipline, but she also transcended it. Intrepid, independent, plain-spoken, fearless, she remains a model for the young and a teacher from whom all may learn."

Margaret Mead's Leakey Foundation lecture entitled “Women - Primitive and Modern” was recorded in Pasadena, California in 1974.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior.

4X Donation Match

Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be quadrupled!

Visit leakeyfoundation.org/originstorieschallenge to donate today!

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long, Jeanne Newman, and Camilla Smith.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like Origin Stories, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.

Credits

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Sound Engineer/Mix: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"

Jan 10 2019

51mins

Play

Episode 33: From the Archive - Dian Fossey

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In this never-before-released archival lecture from 1973, the legendary primatologist Dian Fossey tells the story of the early years of her groundbreaking mountain gorilla research.

Show Notes

The Leakey Foundation is 50 years old this year, and we’re celebrating this milestone by sharing rare, previously unreleased lectures from the Foundation’s archive. These talks are like a time capsule that lets you hear from scientists in their own words and in their own voices - as they were making the discoveries that made them famous.

The second lecture in this "From the Archive" series is by Dian Fossey, the legendary primatologist who was sent by Louis Leakey to study the mountain gorillas of Rwanda. She gave this Leakey Foundation lecture in 1973, only six years after she started the Karisoke Research Center in the Virunga Mountains.

In this talk, she describes what it was like to establish the Karisoke research center, and she shares what she’d learned so far about their lives and behavior.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior.

4X Donation Match

Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be quadrupled!

Visit leakeyfoundation.org/originstorieschallenge to donate today!

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long, Jeanne Newman, and Camilla Smith.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like Origin Stories, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.

Credits

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Sound Engineer/Mix: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"

Dec 13 2018

54mins

Play

Episode 32: From the Archive - Carl Sagan

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Carl Sagan explores the evolution of human intelligence from the big bang, fifteen billion years ago, through today in this never-before-released archival lecture.

Show Notes The Leakey Foundation is 50 years old this year, and we’re celebrating this milestone by sharing rare, previously unreleased lectures from the Foundation’s archive. These talks are like a time machine that lets you hear from scientists in their own words and in their own voices - as they were making the discoveries that made them famous.

The first lecture in this "From the Archive" series is by Carl Sagan, the renowned astrophysicist and science communicator. He gave this Leakey Foundation lecture in 1977, around the time of the launch of the Voyager 1 space probe and five months before the release of his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Dragons of Eden… A book about human intelligence and the evolution of the brain.

In this talk, he explores the origins of life on earth and shares his thoughts on how we came to have brains that can attempt to comprehend the vastness of the universe.

About Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan served as the David Duncan Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo spacecraft expeditions, for which he received the NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and Distinguished Public Service. Sagan published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. His Emmy and Peabody award-winning television series, Cosmos, became the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. The accompanying book, also called Cosmos, is one of the bestselling science books ever published in the English language. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize, the Oersted Medal, and many other awards, including twenty honorary degrees for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior.

4X Donation Match

Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be quadrupled!

Visit leakeyfoundation.org/originstorieschallenge to donate today!

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long, Jeanne Newman, and Camilla Smith.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.

Credits

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Sound Engineer/Mix: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys" 

Nov 29 2018

48mins

Play

Episode 31: The Four Year War

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A scientist solves the mystery of the only known chimpanzee civil war...thus far.

In 1960, Louis Leakey sent Jane Goodall to start her study of chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Her first decade of research led her to think that chimpanzees were like nicer versions of humans. But in the early 1970s, the Gombe chimp community split in two and deadly violence erupted. The cause has remained a mystery until now. A new study by Leakey Foundation grantee Joseph Feldblum reveals similarities between the ways chimpanzee and human societies break down.

Thanks:

Thanks to Joseph Feldblum for sharing his work. Visit his website to learn more about his research.

Thanks to Jane Goodall for everything. Visit her website to learn more about her work and the Gombe chimpanzees.

The archival audio used in this episode is from The Leakey Foundation Archive. The narration in the first part of our story was recorded in 1970 for a Leakey Foundation filmstrip. The lecture audio is from a 1978 Leakey Foundation lecture entitled "Cannibalism and Warfare in Chimpanzee Societies."

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be quadrupled!

Visit leakeyfoundation.org/originstorieschallenge to donate today!

Credits

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Associate Producer: Shuka Kalantari

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long, Jeanne Newman, and Camilla Smith.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.

Nov 15 2018

26mins

Play

Origin Stories Season Three Preview

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Origin Stories returns November 15th with more stories about how we became human.

Nov 01 2018

2mins

Play

Episode 28: What They Left Behind [Rebroadcast]

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The stories and songs of prehistoric people are lost. Their art and artifacts are all that remain of their culture.

The painted caves of Ice Age Europe are the world's most famous examples of prehistoric art. What does this art reveal about the people who made it? Why did they paint those images on cave walls? What do the images mean?

Jean Clottes is one of the world's preeminent prehistorians and a leading expert on prehistoric art. He has devoted his life to asking these big questions, and his insights have challenged popular assumptions about prehistoric art and how it evolved.

In this episode, producer Neil Sandell visits Clottes at his home in the foothills of the Pyrénées in France, and they journey deep into a painted cave called Niaux to see the famous Salon Noir.

This episode was awarded the grand prize in the Prix Marulić International Audio Festival in the documentary category.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes and bonus material at leakeyfoundation.org

Credits

Producer: Neil Sandell

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Sound Design: Neil Sandell

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music:

Kai Engel "Denouement" and "Difference" Parvus Decree "The Eternal Wheel" and "Gau" Alex Mason "Other" Scott Holmes "Still Missing"  Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

The Leakey Foundation thanks the following people for their generous support of this episode: 

Jean and Ray Auel, Sharal Camisa, Dennis Fenwick and Martha Lewis, Victoria and Barry Fong, Jeanne Newman, Sharon Metzler-Dow, and Lisa and Bill Wirthlin.

Additional Support

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Jun 06 2018

38mins

Play

Episode 30: Tales From the Field [LIVE]

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Three true tales about what it's like to do field research.

Kelly Stewart, Dorothy Cheney, and Robert Seyfarth share stories of gun smuggling, pet leeches, close encounters with hippos, and fan mail from one of the world's most infamous mass murderers.

This bonus episode was recorded live at a Leakey Foundation Fellows event in 2016.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

If you donate before midnight on December 31, 2017, your donation will be quadrupled!

Links

Baboon Metaphysics Being a Nice Animal   Survey   Tell us what you think of the show! We'd love to know! Click here to take our short survey. Thank you!   Leakey Foundation Fellows Program   Leakey Foundation Fellows are an exclusive group of science supporters. Benefits of becoming a Fellow include unique travel opportunities and an invitation to be our guest to the annual Leakey Foundation Fellows' dinner with some of the world's leading human origins researchers.

Credits

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Podington Bear "Stars Are Out"

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"   Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

Additional Support

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Dec 31 2017

29mins

Play

Episode 29: Rewriting Our Story

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For a long time, scientists have been searching for the first Homo sapiens in the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia. The story we've been telling about the origin of our species has gone something like this: Around 200,000 years ago in East Africa, the first Homo sapiens emerged, splitting off from an ancestral species, possibly Homo erectus. We had big brains and a knack for tool making. We spread out across the world from there. We adapted, and we alone survived.

Now a scientific discovery made by Leakey Foundation grantee Jean-Jacques Hublin and colleagues has challenged the story we tell about ourselves and pushed the date of the origin of our species back by 100,000 years.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes and bonus material at leakeyfoundation.org   Survey   Tell us what you think of the show! We'd love to know! Click here to take our short survey. Thank you!  

Credits

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Associate Producer: Shuka Kalantari

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Additional Music:

Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"   Special thanks to Sarah Geledi and Sylvio Tupke

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

Additional Support

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Nov 07 2017

23mins

Play

Episode 28: What They Left Behind

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The stories and songs of prehistoric people are lost. Their art and artifacts are all that remain of their culture.

The painted caves of Ice Age Europe are the world's most famous examples of prehistoric art. What does this art reveal about the people who made it? Why did they paint those images on cave walls? What do the images mean?

Jean Clottes is one of the world's preeminent prehistorians and a leading expert on prehistoric art. He has devoted his life to asking these big questions, and his insights have challenged popular assumptions about prehistoric art and how it evolved.

In this episode, producer Neil Sandell visits Clottes at his home in the foothills of the Pyrénées in France, and they journey deep into a painted cave called Niaux to see the famous Salon Noir.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about human evolution and human behavior. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes and bonus material at leakeyfoundation.org

Credits

Producer: Neil Sandell

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Sound Design: Neil Sandell

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music:

Kai Engel "Denouement" and "Difference" Parvus Decree "The Eternal Wheel" and "Gau" Alex Mason "Other" Scott Holmes "Still Missing"  Lee Rosevere "Tech Toys"

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

The Leakey Foundation thanks the following people for their generous support of this episode: 

Jean and Ray Auel, Sharal Camisa, Dennis Fenwick and Martha Lewis, Victoria and Barry Fong, Jeanne Newman, Sharon Metzler-Dow, and Lisa and Bill Wirthlin.

Additional Support

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Sep 28 2017

38mins

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Episode 27: Out of Eden the Long Way

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One of the big questions in the study of human evolution is the question of how our ancestors spread across the world.

Our species evolved in Africa and migrated around the world from there. Most people on earth today are mixed descendants of multiple migrations to different places.

Somewhere in almost everyone’s family history, whether it was last year or thousands of years ago, there was someone who left the place they were born and set out into the unknown, looking for a new life somewhere else. For most of humankind’s time on this planet, we all did it the same way. We walked.

Paul Salopek is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Geographic Explorer who is on an epic ten-year journey around the world on foot, tracing the path of early human migration out of Africa. Along the way he is talking with people and sharing their stories through his writing, and through educational programs for students. His project is called the Out of Eden Walk.

You can learn more at leakeyfoundation.org.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation funds cutting-edge research about how and when humans spread around the world. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes and bonus material at leakeyfoundation.org

Out of Eden Walk

Out of Eden Learn

Articles by Paul Salopek:

Articles about early human migration:

Credits

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Associate Producer: Shuka Kalantari

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music: Tech Toys by Lee Rosevere

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Sep 21 2017

31mins

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Episode 26: Rising Star

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It's not every day you see a Facebook post that changes your life, but that's exactly what happened to Leakey Foundation grantee Alia Gurtov. Gurtov was checking her Facebook feed one morning and saw a post from paleoanthropologist Lee Berger. He was looking for archaeologists who were "...skinny and preferably small. They must not be claustrophobic, they must be fit, they should have some caving experience, climbing experience would be a bonus. They must be willing to work in cramped quarters, have a good attitude and be a team player." Gurtov had never seen a job description that fit her more perfectly.

A few weeks later she was in South Africa, inside a cave chamber strewn with ancient bones. The fossils she helped recover have changed the story of human evolution and added a strange new relative to our family tree.

Thanks to Leakey Foundation grantees Alia Gurtov and Will Harcourt-Smith for sharing their stories.

You can learn more at leakeyfoundation.org.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. The Leakey Foundation had 12 grantees who participated in the Homo naledi research. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes and bonus material at leakeyfoundation.org

Credits

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Associate Producer: Shuka Kalantari

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music: Tech Toys by Lee Rosevere

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. 

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Sep 14 2017

39mins

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Episode 25: Stones and How to Use Them

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The paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey described stone tools as “fossilized human behavior.” These rocks, shaped by our human ancestors and found in archaeological sites around the world, can give us clues about how ancient people lived. Archaeologist and Leakey Foundation grantee John Shea of Stony Brook University says you can learn even more by making and using stone tools yourself.   Thanks to John Shea of Stony Brook University for sharing his work. His new book is Stone Tools in Human Evolution: Behavioral Differences among Technological Primates.   Learn more about Dr. Shea's work on his website.  

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation. Thanks to a generous supporter, your donation will automatically be doubled!

Links

Check out the complete show notes at leakeyfoundation.org   Videos  How to make a stone tool Making a Neanderthal flint tool Making Stone Tools - Nicholas Toth of the Stone Age Institute John Shea and Alan Alda on The Human Spark   Articles Modern People Making Stone Age Tools by Leakey Foundation grantee Shelby Putt Chimpanzees and Monkeys Have Entered the Stone Age by Colin Barras

Credits

Produced by: Audrey Quinn

Editor: Julia Barton

Host and Series Producer: Meredith Johnson

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music: Tech Toys by Lee Rosevere

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long. Additional support for this episode comes from Bill Richards.

We are also brought to you with support from Audible.com, the internet's leading provider of spoken-word entertainment. Our listeners get a 30-day free trial and free audiobook download at audibletrial.com/originstories

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it. 

Sep 07 2017

23mins

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Episode 24: Ancestor

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Just recently, the news media announced the discovery of a 13 million-year-old fossil ape called Alesi. This remarkable fossil was found in Kenya, and it’s from a time period where there’s a big blank spot in the fossil record of our family tree. Alesi tells us something new about the very early evolution of apes and even shows what the common ancestor of humans and all the other living apes might have looked like. In this episode, Isaiah Nengo tells the story behind the discovery.

Special thanks to Isaiah Nengo of the Stony Brook University affiliated Turkana Basin Institute and De Anza College. And Ellen Miller of Wake Forest University.

The Leakey Foundation

Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding human origins research and outreach. Support this show and the science we talk about with a tax-deductible donation.

Links

Click here to see photos of the discovery, along with a 3D animation of the inside of the fossil.

New 13 million-year-old infant fossil ape skull sheds light on ape evolution

Questions and answers about Alesi

Skull secrets of an ancient ape

Research article in Nature: New infant cranium from the African Miocene sheds light on ape evolution

Credits

Produced by: Meredith Johnson and Shuka Kalantari

Editor: Julia Barton

Sound Design: Katie McMurran

Theme Music: Henry Nagle

Intern: Yuka Oiwa

Additional Music: Tech Toys by Lee Rosevere

Sponsors

This season of Origin Stories is made possible by support from Dixon Long.

Transcripts are provided by Adept Word Management. They are a small, family-run business based in Houston, Texas. They have been long-time supporters of this show, and they were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Please visit Adept Word Management for your transcription needs.

Get Social

We'd love to connect with you on Twitter and Facebook. Please say hi and let us know what you think of the show!

If you like the show, please leave us a review or rating on Apple Podcasts. It's the best way to help other people find the show and we really appreciate it.

Aug 31 2017

25mins

Play

Season 2 Preview

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Our new season of Origin Stories is coming soon! This is a sneak preview of the first episode.

Aug 11 2017

2mins

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iTunes Ratings

198 Ratings
Average Ratings
183
7
3
2
3

Understand yourself by understanding science

By Bortles23 - Sep 17 2017
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I just listened to Epsiode 15: The Grandmother Hypothesis and my mind is blown! More, more, more!!

Excellent!

By basketrabbit - Jul 19 2017
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An informative podcast on interesting topics with great scripting, editing, production, and pacing.