18 Episode results for "Seventy Thousand Years Ago"
Part of Real Paleo Diet: It's a Tuber
"This is scientific Americans sixty seconds science. I'm Christopher Dodd. Yata Paleo Diet is a popular high protein diet that that aims to mimic what our hunter gatherer ancestors aid. But what we buy at. The supermarket doesn't quite approximate. Those ancient foods take for example star Lily roots heard heard of those things. Lynn widely is an archaeologist at the University of the voters round in South Africa. Her team recently discovered the charred remains of star Lily. Roots in South Africa's border cave hunks of roasted root that date to a hundred and seventy thousand years ago. These great glueck has available Pizzi once the vegetables are cooked and they knew that nearly two hundred thousand years ago which I think's extraordinarily Omeday just know the chemistry of it that they would have realized that a feel satisfied of eating a meal is cooked then eighteen warning which is rule. It's not easy to identify charge. Chunk of ancient food though so wildly team gathered an array of raw ancient foodstuffs and then roasted and charred had them in ovens and campfires. They then did visual comparisons to the ancient sample and observed both in a scanning electron microscope which revealed that the charred leftovers from that meal. A young one hundred seventy thousand years ago where probably chunks of star Lily root details and photos of those roots are in the journal Science widely. He says the find also provides a better view of what the ancients eight. I think the people he was shooting depending on diet is based on protein. Turpin done me thanks for listening for scientific American sixty seconds science. I'm Christopher Danica.
Earth's Magnetic Field Initiates Pole Flip Many Millennia Before The Switch
"This is scientific American sixty second chance. I'm Anne snead Earth's magnetic field which creates planets north North and South Pole is far from fixed in fact the field is quite active sometimes weakens and even reverses causing earth polarity to switch reversals. Don't happen very often though only about every one hundred thousand two million years that's part of why this phenomenon has largely remained a mystery for scientists scientists however a recent study may help researchers better understand how long and how complicated. Earth's magnetic field reversals really are. You're the last polarity reversal took place some seven hundred seventy thousand years ago and a new study researchers use a lava flow records along with sedimentary an Antarctic ice core data to examine that event they found that the reversal took about as long as many scientists previously believed it did just a few thousand years but the researchers also examined the period prior to that final reversal process and they discovered that a lot was happening with earth. I know field thousands of years beforehand. There's clear evidence from the volcanic rocks of a major excursion happening at about seven hundred ninety five five thousand years ago. Brad Singer do scientists at the University of Wisconsin Madison who led the study that was followed by another excursion which is the unexpected ended finding of this study at about seven hundred eighty four thousand the two excursions that we've discovered in the lava record in our seed in some of the sedimentary records are a sign that the Dynamo was beginning to undergo the reversal process twenty thousand years earlier than the final reversal took place so our arguments would be that the rehearsal gristle process is complicated long lived and it gets underway gets initiated well before the final reversal takes place all this activity deep prior to the final reversal vital for our grasp of the process. The ultimate goal here is we want to understand what drives reversals what HAPP- what really happens in the Dynamo. Oh and if you just start and look at this short period right around the reversal you're missing all this unusual behavior that happens in thousands of years prior prior to that we need to know of singers findings hold true for magnetic field reversals in general alterations in the field will mess with critical human systems as such as the GPS satellites that help us navigate fortunately whenever the next reversal happens. It looks like we'll have plenty of time to prepare. Thanks for listening for scientific American sixty seconds science. I'm any SNEED.
Bonus Episode: The future of humanity and space travel
"Possible within the next day case to digitize everything known about our personality Silicon Valley already is offering to digitize all your emails your credit credit card transactions and by the end of the century even the human brain will be digitized and we'll create a copy of ourselves. This is called digital immortality and we'll put that information on a laser beam and shoot that laser beams to the moon the future be like in space. I spoke earlier with theoretical physicist and bestselling author Michio Kaku. His latest book is called the future of humanity began by asking him for his reflections on Apollo eleven the future when the history of humanity is ridden. They'll say that this step to the moon was historic. The first time in world history that we said foot on another celestial body and it's not going to be the last either second golden era of space exploration is now donning. We're going to go back to the moon this time to stay now. You've also been quoted as saying that. Space exploration is a necessity now. Some people might argue with that. They may say look we have enough problems on earth right-handers things like poverty disease never ending wars pestilence that money should be spent here. We shouldn't be playing with money in space. Explain what you mean by saying that space exploration is a necessity well. The dinosaurs did not have a space program and that's why they're not here today to talk about it. In fact extinction extinction is the norm ninety nine point nine percent of all life forms eventually go extinct if you don't believe me just dig right underneath your feet and you'll see the fossils of all the ninety nine point nine percent of life forms that ed eventually went extinct now. We don't want to go extinct. We need an insurance policy and then insurance policy so of that humanity can survive in spite of gigantic asteroid impacts self-inflicted wounds like global warming nuclear war. We want to make sure that we have insurance policy a plan B. and that plan would be would be finding another home. That's right this time. We're going to go back to the moon to stay within about a year. We are so the first unmanned orbiter will go around the moon and by twenty twenty four or so we're going to send humans to the moon and in fact we could very will have a traffic jam around the moon because private enterprises joining the picture not just NASA but SPACEX and blue origins they all have plans for a moon rocket to explore the universe now in your book you write quote no matter how much we may treasure the site of dramatic romantic sunsets the smell of fresh ocean breezes on the warmth of some day one day it will end of the planet will become inhospitable to human life. That's pretty dying in fact it's pretty depressing. What are the biggest threats? Let's to planet earth well first of all in five billion years. The Sun will expand to eat up the earth. This is a law physics in other words one day we will see that the skies on fire the oceans are boil till the mountains will melt and we will go back into the sun in about five billion years on a scale of tens of millions of years another killer asteroid could hit the earth on a scale of tens of thousands of years another volcano okay no may erupt which almost wiped dot humanity seventy thousand years ago and then we have self inflicted wounds like nuclear proliferation global warming and the threat of bio germs you name it we. We are faced with planetary threats. You mentioned that volcano that erupted seventy thousand years ago. It's right at the beginning of your book. It was very interesting point if your book that wasn't Indonesia did that's right the Tobin volcano seventy thousand years go erupted and we think that it wiped out almost the entire human race believe it or not we are all literally brothers and sisters genetically speaking. We're very closely related and tracing back our DNA D._N._A.. Heritage you can show that there was a bottleneck something happened seventy thousand years ago which wiped out all of Homo sapiens except for a few hundred. Maybe a thousand think about that. Maybe a thousand people repopulated the entire human race and it could happen again. You write about future where mas is inhabited by humans. We will be there on MAS intelligent life isn't limited to us and that humans would colonize on the universes as well. How are we into the future? And how long would it take for us to get. What are we talking about you well? We're talking about a time line. That's now becoming realistic now. Remember that NASA used to be criticized is is being the agency to nowhere all that money but we don't go anywhere but now we have a timeframe and that is by twenty twenty four approximately. We're going to go back to the moon to build the space station around the moon to build a rocket a rocket. That'll take us to Mars sometime about fifteen years from now and once we go to Mars a settlement a settlement will be created. Nobody's talking about evacuating the earth and populating Mars. No no no we're talking about a settlement on Mars that will guarantee that we survive as a race even if something were to happen to the planet earth and then one day we'll have solar satellites that beam down microwave energy the polar icecaps of Mars melting the ice caps the ice caps have plenty of water and one day liquid water will flow freely on the surface of Mars like what had happened about four four billion years ago so we're talking about recreating a tropical environment like would morris had billions of years ago. Now you're talking about something that's figuratively and literally so distant but the race Tamaz is already on Russia India European Space Agency and of course the United States engaged in this race China's. Malls mission is planned for next year. Why Mos what's the attraction well? We've looked in the solar system and Venus was once thought to be the Ideal Ideal Tropical Paradise Hawaii in outer space but we know realize that Venus is a hell hole is simply too hot nine hundred degrees Fahrenheit. Well Moore's is a frozen dessert is cold is below freezing but it is perhaps habitable and it's reachable. We've been there. We've been to Mars with robots and now we want to send humans to Mars and of course the trip is not going to be short three days in your on the moon just three days for a lunar chip Amar's trip will take about nine months about two years for a round trip ticket to Mars up to now until very recently actually space expiration historically historic in the province of governments. They're the ones who could afford this. We had the Soviet Union. When it existed the United States they were the ones that I engaged in the race to space and the moon but now of course we have billionaires like Jeff Bezos? The man who owns Amazon and eat Elon Musk's spacex they are involved actively an expiration while we also have Richard Branson's Galactica an its plans to become the first publicly traded space tourism company. What do you make of that? Is that good. Oh bad this. This is a game changer. You realize that in the first golden era of space exploration space exploration was so expensive that we never went back to the moon five percent of the entire federal budget in one thousand. Eighteen sixty six wade into the Apollo space program five percent that is unsustainable. Now we have the second golden era of space exploration and prices are dropping Elon Musk has reusable rockets and <hes> for example Hollywood made a movie about going to Mars called the Martian it costs one hundred million dollars but the Indians sense the probe to Mars for seventy million dollars so a Hollywood movie about about going to Mars actually cost more than actually going to Mars so prices have dropped a desk the game changer. That's why Billionaires are opening up their checkbooks and beginning to finance their Dream Team of becoming a multi planet species. There's so many fascinating insights and predictions in your book one that really caught imagination was the one way you said and I'm quoting here within the century we will make contact with an alien civilization by listening in on the radio communications. What would that be like this would be one of the pivotal events in the history of the human race just think about the Europeans during the Middle Middle Ages when they encountered other people's from other continents it changed their whole worldview realizing that the world was bigger than just Europe now we realized that they are four thousand four thousand in planets orbiting other stars in our Milky Way Galaxy in our own backyard and so I think that some time in this century given the fact that we are probing these planets for radio signals of any type? It's conceivable that we may eavesdropped on alien conversations. Perhaps I love Lucy you Nada space between aliens and so I think that in the century given the fact that we now have catalog four four thousand planets a handful of them earth like we may find a twin of the earth in outer space in fact NASA has been talking about that they've identified seven earth sized planets orbiting near a stall nearby by star three of them have have water you write about it in your book and you say quote we may be on the verge of finding the Holy Grail of planetary astronomy at Trinh of the Earth in outer space. How likely is that and what would it mean? Yes we now know that the closest star to the planet earth is Proxima Centauri part of the Alpha Centauri System and we know that there's a planet orbiting around Proxima Centauri which is earth like is very very hot. Perhaps no life forms as we know it can exist there but the very fact that earned size planet is orbiting the nearest star to our sun gives us hope that one day we may find a adopt Ganger a twin of the Earth in outer space. That's not too far and we're already scanning these planets radio signals. The city project is a project that tries to eavesdrop on alien civilization conversations uh-huh and already. They're zeroing in on these planets that we've identified that apparently look like the planet Earth You mentioned the movie the motion just amendment to go small. It's actually movies and television that have given us shown US versions of a future in space based whether it's the intense conflict which we see in Star Wars or star Trek's expiration of planets and civilizations like you mentioned surviving on the Red Planet in the form the Martian do any of them actually offer us an insight into what this the reality is going to be like in the future well in you'll days space travel was glamorized by science fiction. We had Flash Gordon and Star Wars. Now we realized that of course space could be potentially dangerous and we. Take into account. The fact that are timeframe is perhaps slower that we originally thought but given the fact that prices are dropping like a rock it opens up hold new possibilities for example. If if your car every time we took a trip you junk your car. It would cost a fortune however that's what we do two rockets we junk rockets after just one use now with reusable rockets the cost of space travel could drop by a factor of ten. This means that one day mom and dad may be able to afford a trip into outer-space because of the plunging costs of space exploration and a traffic jam could emerge around the moon in fact. I think that our grandkids may have the option of honeymooning honeymooning on the moon because we now have three rockets capable of going to the moon NECESSA- sell US booster rocket the Falcon Heavy Avi A. OF SPACEX and the new Armstrong Rocket Jeff Bezos three moon rockets. This is unheard of as I said many fascinating things new book but I think this one was the clincher and I was fascinated when you said that humans this will be able to transport digital consciousness through laser porting by the end of the century. That's only about eight years away. It would enable us to travel to the moon in one second Fatheh regret a period of time. How would that work? Yes it's possible within the next day case to digitize everything known about our personality Silicon Valley already is offering to digitize all your emails your credit card transactions and by the end of the century even the human brain will be digitized and we'll create a copy of ourselves. This is called digital immortality and we'll put that information on a laser beam and shoot that laser beam to the moon in one second second your personality your memories everything about you will be on the Moon in twenty minutes. You're on Mars in four years. You've reached the nearest star Nobu booster rockets. No weightlessness snus problems no accidents none of the problems of space travel because you're writing on a light beam pure intelligence everything coated about your personality your memory your feelings everything known about your we digitally sent into outer space and I'll even stick my neck out. I think this may already exist. Aliens in outer space may already use this to transport their consciousness throughout the universe. This may already be a possibility throughout the galaxy and if we look at lunar exploration expiration of the Moon we look at China landed a rover on the dark side of the moon that was a I in lunar exploration. How do you explain this continuing fascination? It's a nation with lunar exploration well before it was a raise between two superpowers the Soviet Union and the United States national pride a place in history was at stake now even small nations realized allies that hey we can build a booster rocket. We have computers we have telecommunications and radio we to join the club and so all these nations WanNa join the spacefaring club the club of great nations which can go into outer space not just for pride but also economics. The economics of space travel is four hundred billion dollars of commerce done in outer space telecommunications vacations weather satellites entertainment G._p._S. all of that is now done in outer space is estimated that in twenty years a trillion dollar economy will emerge in outer space and so many nations want to be part of it. They don't WanNa be left out so it's not just national pride is having a stake in the economy of the future Dr Michio Kaku. Thanks so much for joining us the he is produced by C._G._T.. In America executive producers.
60: Earths Last Magnetic Field Reversal Took Far Longer Than Once Thought
"Space time series twenty two episodes sixty for broadcast on the sixteenth of august two thousand nine hundred eighteen coming up on space time it may take longer august for its polls to flip than previously thought astronomers find traces of one of the universe's very first stars and a chinese space station folds back to earth all that and more coming up. I'm space-time welcome to space time. We'd stewart gary breath. Any study suggests earth's magnetic poles may take far longer to flip than previously. I thought a new analysis reported in the journal science advances shows. The process may take up to twenty two thousand years to complete. That's more than twice as long as the nine thousand years. He's previously estimated this growing evidence that earth's magnetic poles are about to flip the north magnetic pole will become south and the south magnetic pole will become north last time. This happened with some seven hundred and seventy thousand years ago when it does happen. It'll be the first magnetic field polarity reversal in modern times times and that raises some serious questions about how today's technology with coq with the change to us me mortals on the surface of this revolving planet around the sun first magnetic field seemed steady and true reliable enough to navigate by your largely hidden from daily life less your pilot. The magnetic field drifts waxes awesome wayne's constantly when i'm flying one of the first things i do when i get in the cockpit of an aircraft is to readjust the cockpits compass to the latest readings for true north both for years. The magnetic north pole was wandering around pats of northern canada but more recently it's been careering towards siberia which recently forced the global positioning positioning system which underlies old model navigation updated software sooner than expected to account for the shift on average the magnetic pole shifts and reverses versus. That's polarity roughly every hundred and fifty thousand years or so that with the last one occurring some seven hundred and seventy thousand years ago with long jude for the knicks flip and there are some early signs that a possible paul reversal may be about to occur the accelerating movement of the north magnetic pole is one sign another other is something known as the south atlantic anomaly a weed pad of the south atlantic ocean between brazil and africa compass needles go nuts pointing south instead of north north and it's not just compass needles affected the south atlantic anomaly region causes earth ina van allen radiation belt to move closer to the earth surface dipping down onto just two hundred kilometers in altitude this results in an increase flocks of energetic particles in this region exposing orbiting spacecraft the high than usual levels of radiation listen effect the international space station required extra shielding just deal with this problem nashes reported that modern laptops of crushed aboard space shuttle flights as they a pass through the anomaly and the hubble space telescope doesn't do any observations while it's passing through the anomaly whether or not the south atlantic anomaly really does mean a polls colds are about the flip polarity is yet to be saying the problem is scientists have only a very limited understanding as to exactly why the film reversals occur or how they happen now new research by university of wisconsin madison geologist brad singer suggests the most recent short reversal seven hundred and seventy thousand years ago took at least twenty the two thousand years to complete that several times longer than previously thought and the results further color the question some controversial findings that some polar reversals could occur within inhuman lifetime than you analysis is based on advances in measurement capabilities at a global survey of lava flows ocean sediment at arctic ice coast rose providing a more detailed look at a turbulent time for earth's magnetic field of a millennia. The planet's magnetic food weakened partly shifted stabilized the game and then finally reversed for good to the orientation we know today. The new results provide a clearer m._o. Nuanced picture of reversals at a time when some scientists believe we may maybe experiencing the early stages of paul reversal and you other researchers dispute the very notion of a present day. Paul reversal singer says unless you have the complete accurate accurate in high resolution record of water filled reversal really's like it would be difficult to discuss the mechanics of generating one. We know that earth's magnetic field is produced by the planet's molten alton liquid metallic out of core as it spins around the solid. I and inigo generating powerful electromagnetic currents. What's coda jet dynamo this year dynamic in a creative field. That's most stable going through roughly the geographic north and south poles but the field shifts in weakened significantly during reversals. We know this because <unk> asni rocks formed typically other volcanic lava flows or a sediments being deposited on the sea floor they leave a record the magnetic field the time they were created and geologists can survey this global record piecing together. The history of magnetic fields going back millions of years. Their record is clearest for the most recent reversal that one seven hundred seventy thousand years ago for the current analysis singer and colleagues looked at lava flows from chile to haiti hawaii the caribbean and the canary islands and they collected samples from these latter flows of several field seasons lava flows are ideal records of the magnetic field they have lots of iron bearing ring minerals and as cool and solidify they lock in the direction of the planet's magnetic field the research is combined magnetic field readings and radio acid type dating samples from seven lava flow sequences to recreate the magnetic field over a span of seventy thousand years centered on las reversal they found the final reverse was quite quick by geological standards less than four thousand years but it had been preceded by an extended period of instability included excursions which are temporary partial reversals the polls stretching back another eighteen thousand years. That's more than twice as long as suggested by other studies which claimed reversals wrap up within about nine thousand years the lava flow the data was corroborated by magnetic readings from the seafloor which provided more continuous but less precise source of data than lab iraq's single and colleagues also used at arctic ice core samples apples to track the deposition of beryllium which is produced by cosmic radiation colliding with molecules in the atmosphere. You say when the magnetic reversing weakens allowing more radiation in from space to hit the atmosphere producing more beryllium since humanity began recording the strength of the earth's magnetic field. It's actually decrease in strength by about five percent century century and his records like singing shows. A weakening field seems to be a precursor to an eventual field reversal although it's far from clear that a reversal is imminent reversing planetary magnetic food would significantly affect navigation as well as satellite and terrestrial communications but if the current studies right it means society would have many generations to adapt to what would be a lengthy period of magnetic instability stewart gary. You're listening to space time okay. Let's take a break from asia and africa word from our sponsor that great courses plus. We all want to further our knowledge to keep learning after all. That's why you're listening to space time and that's also the great courses pluses all about this is a great streaming service founded on the audio that education should be accessible. 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This is plus dot com slash space and of course you'll find a link of the show notes and on the space time website and now it's back to our show breath. This is space time with stewart. Gerry astronomers have found the ghostly the remains of one of the universe's very. I is buried deep inside an ancient star on the other side of our galaxy. The findings reported in the monthly notices noticed the royal astronomical society lettuce based on observations of distant staff thirty five thousand light years away in the milky way's galactic halo the stein and s a._m. S. sixteen zero five forty point one eight minus one forty four three twenty three point one is a red giant dating back. Some thirty billion years contains taints chemical signatures suggesting it was made directly out of one of the first stars to shine the universe one of the study's authors dr thomas norlander from the australian national university. The city says the pair to the style they discovered would have had about ten times the mass of the sun and as a result probably didn't live very long. He describes the discovery as cosmic vic time machine looking back to the universes irvy's stars. That's because pat filaments founding staff today can reveal traces about their ancestry. Norlander says the the long dead progenitor star probably exploded as a fairly weak supernova. Now the first stars to form in the universe were made up almost exclusively of hydrogen in helium there the elements originally created the big bang thirteen point eight billion years ago. These i is referred to by strimmers this population three stars they were all thought to be extremely massive many tens of times the mess of sun being so big and heart they would have burned through their nuclear fuel supplies very quickly. The explosion russian also seeds the space around it with elements generated by the star during its life and death rose and more recently sterry scorn the higher the percentage of these elements available for its manufacturer starts produced the remains of very first population three stars are still mostly composed of hydrogen and helium with any any trace amounts of heavier elements which strongest referred to as medals these staff and ernest population to stars but as they die and say the universe this with their own remains more and more of these metals become available for future generations of stars for example our local star the sun which is the population once there is is based on its middle probably made up to one hundred generations of other all stars no ladder and colleagues compared the patent of elements in the style they found with predictions addictions for would be created in the population to start when a population three star exploded the authors think the supernova energy from the original population three style when it exploded was so low that most of the heavier elements fell back onto the dense remnant of that star a neutron star and the a tiny fraction of elements heavier than cabin escaped got into space to help form that very population two-star that norlander and colleagues found in fact that population to start turns out to have the lowest level ever recorded at of any still discovery ever made indicating was born just one generation after the universes i is in fact the incredibly anemic style which likely deformed just a few hundred million years after the big bang had iron levels one point five million times lower than that at the sun in this star just one atom and every fifty billion is i ryan. It's like a single drop of water in an olympic sized swimming pool. The deficient style was found using the an you sky map and two point three million telescopes at the siding sighing spring observatory in rural new south wales the find out more andrew dangling speaking with astronomer dr watson this ancient star could would be the oldest one ever discovered. Yes that's right the something of a rice going with this. In the world of astronomy. Australia's does pretty well. Actually i can remember back in the nineteen eighties. When you know every week seemed we discovered the more distant objects they were usually quite us until the record for the most distant object known to humankind align kept tumbling and he's a little bit like that with the oldest star we see these things come up and then a few months later. There's another one that's even older. It's jagged by by the way no a few the role of just to clarify when we look deep into they sky euros looking back in time you can imagine a situation where you're going to be looking back at really entering galaxies in fact there are so many she can say individual styles house because of things like gravitational lenzing which means that you are seeing stars the reality the history of the universe but what we're talking about here is not that he's not the looking back in time trick. It is the ability to see stars in our neighborhood which have evidence of being very ancient and the way you picked that out a spy <unk> style having strange colors and that's how the australian on she called <unk> telescope run by the strenuous nationally invested siding spring observatory autry the barbara ann scott perry's gripe for doing that because he got a whole array filters and he can take images of the sky really detailed images of the sky looking through through the different filters that allowed scientists to say while he is a candidate for an old star but that's not enough what you then have to do is go follow it up with a bigger telescope one that will allow you to look at the spectrum of the style that the rainbow spectrum and to see this barcode of information superimposed on the spectrum abaco really good analogy because when we look at the spectrum of a star is exactly what we see the black lines on the barcode equate to what what we call absorption lines that essentially the fingerprints of different elements in the styles atmosphere so the most abundant element in the atmospheres of stars. He's hydrogen because because that's what the universe started off as and what happened in the very early universe there was nothing else. Actually there was haley as well. Hydrogen helium were the only things substantially that were there in the universe that would trace elements in a couple of other things but that's not important to this context and the first generation of stars. How's the earliest wants to fool would have basically not much more than hydrogen in that spectrum probably been failure because it was in the interiors of those styles how's that the other elements formed the silica the oxygen the carbon ion all of those things are folded site stars and that first generation of stars would give rise to some of these heavier elements then because we believe the first generation of stones were very massive they lived short lives measured intensive millions of years rather other than billions of years like are some those massive stars would all have ended in a supernova explosion which blows the debris from which they have made or at least it's the atmosphere that <unk> from which the atmosphere is made out into the wild blue yonder which in this case means the interstellar medium the space between the stars and what that does is it provides rule materials for subsequent generations of stars to fall in alaska if they fade upon themselves and recreate recreate accordingly h generation of styles bill on what went before it and the atmospheres are enriched by all these atoms that have been created the previous generations of stars so if you want to find a very old style what you need to look for a something that scott very little in it other than hydrogen when he landed very little <unk> spectrum and that's basically what has happened with this particular stuff. I've got to tell you what it's called art replays. This wanted to crack the six zero five four zero point one eight nine a swamp full full three to three point one <unk> prefixes s._m._s. assist think <unk> probably so that's basically what we've got and that particular style whose name of negative say again turns out to have virtually nothing in it other than hydrogen and helium. The one thing that is in it which is a kind of gauges to how old is his. This is really a the yardstick by which the old styles adjudged what is in his iron and iron content is a measure of how earliest <hes> has appeared did in the history of the universe. This one has a nine content of one pop a fifty billion so it's very very spouse in ion. It's i'm content is a record low that say the bottom line so that's what they publish paper will say. It's got a faculty described them. As ultra metal these he's the stars on a metal by the way to toronto is everything except hydrogen and helium under that sounds bizarre but we think of you know even oxygen in common and things like the metal that aside the star is very very poor in iran and that places it in the record books as being at the moment the oldest known star ah but why is this space because in a couple of another one even older. I suppose we're is it do we can we point yes it. It's in the milky way galaxy. Hey it's actually in the halo galaxy that means that not the disk of the galaxy but there is a spherical fairly rarefied distribution of stars around the galaxy lexi. We call it the halo and that's where it is is about thirty five thousand light years away as the crow flies so a rather distant object but still a now galaxy. That's dr i watson and astronomer with the department of science speaking with andrew dunkley on assist the program space nuts and this is space time. I'm stewart gary a small experimental chinese space station really just an open laboratory has burnt up during atmosphere reentry. The teen gong to heavenly palace two was launched into orbit back in two thousand sixteen four what was planned to be a two year lifespan amazingly. The opening opposite remained operational for over a thousand days. It was designed to allow visiting talking notes. The practice docking techniques and experience long duration spaceflight it also tested new technologies needed for a permanent chinese space station sledded for launching twenty twenty two beijing says jiangyong twos reentry went smoothly with most of the spacecraft burning up in the atmosphere and the remains splashing down on target in the eastern south pacific ocean west of chile and that must have been a relief of beijing after after the disaster of its tangoing one predecessor which fell back to within a widely tumbling death plunge in two thousand eighteen after beijing lost all control communications with the orbiting <unk> outpost beijing was widely criticized ivan that not fa losing control these things happen but for keeping the threat posed by the eight and a half ton added control spacecraft a secret noted to try and save itself embarrassment <music> anti-matter take another brief look at some of the other stories making using science this week science report any studies cast doubt on the ability of vitamin d supplements to protect take people from diabetes. The findings reported in the new england journal of medicine suggest people at high risk of type. Two diabetes are unlikely to lower their risk by taking vitamin. Take supplements previous research suggests that an association between low vitamin d levels and the risk of tattoo diabetes but the new study says there was no difference in the risk fact between those people taking the supplements and those taking a placebo other fishing and warmer waters global warming. Maybe combining to increase levels of mercury in seafood a report in the journal nature suggests that warming oceans changing diet you to overfishing could be increasing the levels of methylmercury in some fish fish species scientists warn that popular fish foods such as caught and choon or some of the worst affected with mercury concentrations delighted cut increasing wrap the twenty three percent since the nineteen eighteen seventy s scientists also warning the temperatures could contribute to an estimated fifty six percent increase in methylmercury atlantic bluefin tuna say the increase increase exists despite a decrease in the concentration of the toxin and see what since the late nineteen ninety s paleontologist discover the fossilized remains of what's it's now thought to be the world's largest parrot. A massive squawk zillah standing amid a tall. The bird uncovered from nineteen million-year-old rocks and u._c._l._a. In central a tiger region region is the first extinct giant parrot found scientists from flinders university university of new south wales and zealand's canterbury museum of name the new discovery heroically cleese inexperience tartus to reflect the hercules and myth like size and strength and the unexpected nature the find and you study warns that one of australia's as most unique monitoring's the player puts is in fact greater danger than people realize a report by the university of new south wales found that the clients in platypus numbers have been underestimated committed. The iconic species was listed as near threatened in two thousand sixteen given mounting evidence of recent localized declines the new findings reported the journal global ecology and conservation based on all the available data and platypus distribution and abundance over the past two hundred and fifty eight years compared to more recent different systematic surveys as the study shows that the clients have been significantly underestimated and changes to the species distribution are also concerning in fact forty one point and four percent of sub catchments across the range had no recorded sightings in the last ten years. It's thought these long term declines likely reflect the impact of the stark. Oh for trade it from which platypus never fully recovered subsequent impacts from river regulation habitat destruction pollution predation drowning in enclosed fish and crustacean knits has further increased. The decline of particular concern is the murray darling basin where fifty percents of sub catchments platypus once occurred head no recorded sightings in the last ten years roadwork is expanding our highway on the outskirts of jerusalem discovered a hoard of two thousand year old ancient coins archeologists this from the israeli antiquities authority say the one hundred and fourteen coins discovered all day back to the great jewish revolt against the roman empire the coins old bear identical cool markings on one side a cellist with hebrew words to the redemption of zion and on the other side some jewish symbols and the words ye four indicating there were forged during the fourth year of the revolt which was around the year sixty nine seventy the great jewish revolt was the culmination of a long series of ongoing clashes by the region's local jewish inhabitants and roman empire pyre remnant forces eventually overpowered the jews murdering two million of them and destroying the temple on august the twenty ninth in the seventy. The million jews is that survived slaughter during the roman conquest within expelled from israel which had been their homeland since the days of abraham isaac and jacob some four thousand years ago. You're listening to space time. I'm stewart gary and that's the show for now you can subscribe and download space time is free twice weekly podcast through apple podcast. I tunes tunes. Stitcher bites dot com podcasts soundcloud youtube audio boom from space time with stewart gary dot com or from your favorite podcast download provider divider space times also broadcast coast to coast across the united states on science three sixty radio by the national science foundation in washington d._c. and available around on the world on tunein radio. If you want more space time checking our blog where you'll find all the stuff we couldn't fit in the show as well as loads of images news stories videos and things on the whereby find interesting or amusing just go to space time with stewart gary tumbler dot com. That's all one word and in lower case and that's tumbler without the you can also follow follow us on twitter through at stewart gary at space time with stewart gary on instagram and on facebook just go to w._w._w. Dot facebook dot com slash space space time with stewart. Gary space-time is brought to in collaboration with australian sky and telescope magazine your window on the universe. You've been listening to space time with stewart gary. This has been another quality podcast production from bites dot com.
225 - Thylacines and Pademelons
"Monster house percents. Monster talk is supported by listeners. Like you find out how you can contribute via patriot or with reviews monster talk dot org slash support your contributions larger small. Make a huge difference. Thanks of public enacting. We'd everybody in the group online. And that's because i was checking. Usd qods found some fight us. That were pretty damn good on what they are and side two a few independent expert witnesses. Actually quite unlike anything you've ever seen before giant. Eric ness a twenty four mile. long bottomless lake highlands. If the creature known as the loch ness monster doll welcome to monster. Talk the science show about monsters. i'm blake smith. And i'm karen stabiner. I knew when i heard the alleged fallacy news that we needed to hop on and talk about it for monster talk. Show yesterday karen. I sat down along with her husband matt to discuss. We're talking about a youtube video from neil waters of the thylacine awareness group of australia. The t. a. g. Oa or to go the drop them february twenty second two thousand and twenty one. It's a three minute video or so and as you'll hear in this episode while the narrator neil pets himself on the back for running this stuff by experts. He also titled his video. We found the thilo seen. I think i think ron howard. Narration is appropriate. Here he titled the video. We found thilo scene but he really didn't in this episode. We'll discuss what the experts had to say about these photos. Spoiler the actual photos dropped less than twenty four hours ago on the internet and they are not the definitive proof of filings. That neil water suggested what do they actually show. We'll get to that next in our doll. Welcome the monster talk. Get brusca bruce. Good guys you can tell. I've been practicing my accent. I'm like you guys. That sounds real. Authentic yeah yes crikey flukes. So we've talked about before on the show. We've talked about back in two thousand eleven. We had on. Dr andrew pask who was looking into trying to use dna to resurrect fire scenes. They look to me. They look more like a cane at like a lot like a candid. But but but but they didn't move like kanaan's they didn't hunt like kanaan's but anyway since they were declared extinct people have been looking to find the exception much like we talked about with. I think though declared extinct to how was it in about nineteen twenty. Five one thousand nine thirty. No no it was it was. They declare them extinct in the eighties. Like eighty four. I think well okay but they had not been seen since the last one died in the zoo in the nineteen thirties. So i think it was in her hoban sue. Yeah exactly so So yeah it takes. It's kind of like when they declared you dead. You know they have to have like a gap between the last time you were seeing and when they go to give it up you know like me like like. Let's let's start again with the latest news. That may not be knees at all. Sure so neil. Waters is a guy who released a youtube video. They want there to be a thylacine still alive and so do i. I think it would be great. So say we. Yeah we but. I think that some of them go beyond wanting that and actually believing it's more in line with bigfoot believers in fact you know what let's go to a clip. Here's a little bit of what he has to say. A ten is a little bit of a clue with the moment. The dead as to what they offered certain features of them aren't big use however the baby is not ambitious we white and say we confirmation or rejection from nick mooney take white Three seems had the first chance to look at the fighters of underwriting and given the experts to chance to have a look and tell me what they think. There's at least. Three wondering around northeast. Tasmania with the intention of continuing to do cy. Cy congratulations everyone. We've done cheese. The baby is not ambiguous. I don't know it just makes me wonder if if maybe it was but then a dingo ate it. I you know. I was waiting for that. Say these these these were they had set out trail creek camps and these images were captured on trump campaign. It's not clear whether these with their own or local who had joe camps for hunting or whatever symptom. The photos don't know but they sent it over to a guy named nick mooney at the tasmanian museum and art gallery. Tma g. and asked him to have a look now as often happens The science people of rely on you know known. Animals measurements coloration dentition. All these different ways of looking at animals and figure out what they are make included that these were not file assigns. I need to drop a quick insert here. Replace a big chunk of audio. That was all messed up because of me before the photos were released a news update came out about the video in which numerous outlets reported the experts who were consulted did not recognize the santa's thylacine. Here's an example from c. net water states in the video. He has handed the images over to nick. Mooney seen expert at the tasmanian museum and art gallery. Tma g. a. The spokesperson said mooney has now reviewed and assessed mr waters material on tuesday afternoon local time. Nick moody has concluded that based on the physical characteristics shown in the photos provided by mr waters. The animals are very unlikely to be thylacines. That are most likely tasmanian paddle melons. Tma told c. net mooney added. The still images are not so exciting for stupid brain reasons when we recorded this instead of saying paddle melons. I kept saying pin. To mellon's this was i presume the result of residual brain from repeat watching of cloudy with a chance of meatballs two anyway. I was delighted to learn about paddle melons. Which are marsupial native to the island of tasmania mainland australia and new guinea. Coming up in this episode we also briefly discuss from reported sightings on mainland australia. And i'll throw links for the both the cute paddle melon and to some stories about other alleged sightings in our show notes. Yeah very similar to smooth mallaby right. Right they're smaller than all like wallaby wannabes. They are very cute actually. Don't know yeah they are they are and and when you see them standing upright you would wonder how could someone that was the scene. But you know when they're eating they don't necessarily have to be upright and moving if you see them behind a little bit different and that sydney berry can have thick. It just reminds me a little bit of the passan gimlan story where they were looking for. Bigfoot it seems like this group is really actively looking for the thylacine which is the best way to find it but it seems like this guy has an agenda what he does. This is not his first rodeo. With the thylacines south. He's he next on fox. He's apparently never seen a blurry video that he didn't love. I mean i mean that's a ton of them on youtube there are there are a he just really seems to be confused about what should be considered evidence. Well that's true and it's it's okay to get excited about a photo but it's not evidence it might lead you to evidence but it is not evidence. Well he went some. We went on a show called Racial triple m's so that's why i was confusing. The two. And he was interviewed by a reporter named brian. Colton and So he was referring to. The evidence is is pretty good evidence and win beat the radio announcer when he saw the the images. So it they have been leaked already unpredictably late online yet but He is certainly showing them around to some people including Nick murnian and others but saw the this brian calvert and did not seem very impressed and assist first. Words were So what am i looking at. He so neil kind of tried to justify everything by saying well. I showed these two cat expert. And i showed these two dogs but those were his words and and they said there's definitely not a cat. It's definitely not a dog. That doesn't mean the only thing left is alien. You're right. He's got a lot of enthusiasm but doesn't come across as being particularly well educated in how to properly identify animals and particularly. Well i just. I don't wanna be a little drunk. I don't wanna be spirited myself. I mean i understand. A lot of people are fed up with these sort of stories in general. And if you wanted to make a stereotypical story about who comes up and says they found a thing. That's not you know a cryptic kind of fits that bill. Like he kind of looks like he was born to be the guy who's pointing at bigfoot photos kind of thing but i mean this is file as bigfoot. I don't know if you've been cares about bigfoot. I so i shouldn't say it. That way ends the video by saying congratulations. We've on it. And a little over half way premature. I always appreciate that about you. That you are about as far from mean-spirited as one could get and and that's fantastic that you're able to maintain that and i hope you can For me personally. I look at this. And i've had my fill You know when. I had to deal with these stan. Romanek thing with him with the alien in the window video. He sang the same song and dance. He came out way too soon. In if if you're gonna look at it from the perspective of he's being honest then he came out way too soon bragging about this thing that he he quoting fingers couldn't show because the scientists are looking at it you know and then declared victory even more indicative of a problem is having had the scientists. Look at it and say no. He's he appears to be. I mean i'll know we'll know more later today. But it appears he's doubling down and saying yet scientists are wrong. It's definitely testing or so you did start. His did stop by saying look. Whatever nick mooney says he's an expert. I will respect his. He's whatever he says about this and now that he's come out and said well no. It's not a follow seen. He's doubling down going. The other direction now blake. I did send you a few photos. Because the final scene was also known as the butter and beast. It's yet by different names in different areas and so y- bottom is an area that where my mother lives in. Queensland says not too far away From brisbane brisbane. Roy moore listeners. That australia and tasmania are separated. Like biwater right. Yeah yeah truly is the mainland and tasmania is an island just south but it is pot strata so governmentally part of it but physically. That's what i meant like. Yes it's separate to too but it's absolutely of a strain and if you have a a look at the map of where they the areas that they wants inhabited queenslanders is part of that and So all the way up the coast people have claimed that scene. Follow saints to this day and so there are a number of very beautiful parks and recreation areas in a neither the brisbane and sunshine coast area and so they have been the number of sightings even of life of the and people call it the the butter and based yeah and we and we actually Did a short investigation of buttram forest where it was cited and going through. You can see from the pictures that i sent you how easily you might see stripes. There's some lovely dance. A palm fronds sure like franz and they would create all kinds of light and shadow. And you're right in that kind of environment. The end striping would have been beautiful. Camouflage for for the action if you have a lot of people who are going through hikes through that too and if they've got a dog and if they happen to run past one of these franz i mean e- could absolutely see someone or seen at a melon. Yes but seeing. I don't know if they're They're around that area they may be but saw. You could absolutely think that someone could mistake a dog or other small creature for possibly being follow seen. Especially if you're looking for one and wanting to find one. Yeah if you're looking for is the stripes because that's what they're known for. Yeah you're going to be a straight tail and I think from the famous footage people have seen of these. Their jaws opened an incredible. A with whoever is like it's freakish to see. Yeah so but but i did do a little research about the late. I mean people still research these animals even though they're extinct and there's i found some interesting facts like what are the things that surprised me. Was i think a lot of people thought that that they left mainland australia. Probably due to the arrival of humans and dingoes which would have competed with their food space but it turns out that they actually had first of all they had had a huge population crash. I think it was seventy thousand years ago. Yeah about seventy thousand years ago. More than seventy thousand years ago but that apparently they can look at the genetic diversity in the bones that remain that that. There's something happened. Dramatically to reduce the number of these animals Like a lot right and so when people showed up about forty thousand years ago that also caused a population crash and then dingoes apparently have only been on australia for about four thousand years ago so but it three thousand years ago. There was another big population crash of among the thylacines and that was on both the australian continent and on tasmania where there weren't dingoes and so they realized that probably means it was related to climate sort of incident so there was probably some big dry weather thing that really caused the populations diploma okay. They died off on mainland australia but lived on on Like say until the nineteen thirties on in tasmania but are on. That has been in ireland. It is definitely a slightly different climate. There is even if you go and look at videos of people hunting for file sane It's there's a lot more rain there. It's definitely cooler than it is on the mainland so it is a different climate. We wiped them out. I mean that was they put a bounty on them and we kill them for we. Obviously i had. I was personally involved but the they were they were. They died from bad. Pr they basically people. They looked like a wolf and they probably were doing some predation but probably not to the extent that the locals thought they were They they didn't hunt the way that wolves do they. They hunt more like they were kind of ambush predators. Where like a cat. So call him. The tasmanian tiger makes a little more sense. When you find out more about hunting and stuff. I can put some links to some papers. I found very interesting in the show notes from a science perspective. There's so many things in australia now. That weren't there before so like in addition to dingoes now on the mainland there's there's tons of fox's that were brought over and so for people when they never seen one myself but i can i if you have again if you have a look on youtube. They're blurry videos. It looks like a People claiming that they've seen the file it looks like it's a fox or a mangy folks it looks like a even a lodge mystic pass. Cat a ginger cat. Yeah yeah i it's funny. I mean fox's are really good at hiding. The we have around here. But i i don't even they don't even get hit by cars often. I mean it's it's usually. It's quite exciting to see one You pop up we have. We have bob cats around here and they're also extremely good they don't you just don't usually see much roadkill. That's a fox. Or a bob cat around but we have. Yeah yeah so some animals are just better at this sort of thing. But i. I don't think Well let me say warmer thing so we had on a couple years back. Neil gimmel who was doing a research project into the lot ness. They did the survey of environmental dna with right and ultimately not surprising. They did not find any evidence of giant. Please ius or anything like that really. There's nothing in the lock that would sort of solve the mystery of whatever the mantras except that there's people around it and people construct stories in misidentified things. And that's i mean there's so much misidentification at the heart of cryptos walla. She anyway. But i i. I feel like eventually environmental. Dna is going to either identify these missing animals or proved effectively proved they don't exist. I mean like if if you have bodies of water were you think people see silas pools you know Blood meals from insects are so many ways to catch environmental dna that should have traces of these mystery animals. If they're real. And i think the more we bothered to do that research the more. We'll find that they're not but if we find them existing wouldn't that be great. I mean again. I would be delighted but i. I think we do not have to rely on blurry photos for our monster. Proof i mean we. There are new methods. That are really definitive right. But it's a shame that these groups are coming forward and claiming that they Have seen the scene. A thought alassane saint a group follow scenes and. I think that they're going to be taken less seriously. Often it's incident. He suddenly the man who cried losing a. I have to say shame on the newspapers. I mean i really. This mostly comes from youtube but the youtube video was super popular and then so newspapers started covering it without doing any work to see if this guy had made previous claims. That were unfounded. And that's exactly the same thing that happens here with. It's supposed bigfoot sighting ghost citing the media jump onto it slow news day in and they jumped on it without any Like they get all the benefits and none of the downside. The newspapers and News stories on tv. They don't get deemed for sharing a story that they know is not true but somehow still come across as the arbiters of what's real and what's not realize bullshit. I'm sorry i'm annoyed. Take away message that a lot of people have though i mean i've heard people say oh. I thought that they've found Evidence of the existence of following death. What they were still around because of this kind of thing you know. I think this is an indictment on. Journalism is definitely an indictment on the astrology. I mean just what they do this with everything they do. It would go stories. They do it with monster stories and it just bugs me that they don't even try. There's so much good. If there's so much really interesting scientific information about these animals we know so much there and none of the stories talk about you. Know the the new research that tells more about how they hunted and research tells more about their population instead. Look as bloke walking around with a beer talking about thousand scenes and it's like a station list. He was given has been given a lot of time. And that's going to continue. Yeah yeah that's pronounce e. r. or spelled r. By the time we dropped this story will know more about whether or not this photo was any more compelling to the average reader viewer. But i'm from. The few people have seen the photographs. Yeah i don't think it's going to be revealed to be compelling. I don't think so either especially not as he got so excited about what looked like just a fraction of a second of a blurry animal rooting around trash can. It's just like yeah the the the would not be news to me. You know what i mean. I would be embarrassed to call this news. But he he got a lot of Ink out of it in two thousand sixteen. So i i know i just say this. Lack of information is what makes these kind of investigations. Always so difficult like he got us fraction of a second of a blurry photo. That's too little to go off of just like for us trying to determine what he's talking about. We have no idea how many beers he had before that one. He's holding in his hand and he was also pointing to help spain grown in the background at the start of the video so he liked in a beer. It looked like some kind of. I don't know how to be drink myself. that's why i was exiled to america But it looks like some kind of odd. I think a boutique beer. But i'm sure we will have an australian listener. Who will enlighten us until that brand. What's the real news story. What's the beer. I also wanted to mention that. What karen i have going on for the rest of the day is we're going to go out and get some video footage of the extremely haunted stretch of road known as riverdale road in colorado so wanted roads in the country. That's where Those archie people live. Yes nice so we'll be on the lookout for judge head. Let's see what out project dale. Hi yes to stir doll. You've been listening to monster. Talk the science show about monsters. I'm blake smith. And i'm karen dalton. Are you just heard a discussion with myself. Dr karen stolz no and her husband. Matt baxter talking about the latest silas in years while the photos that were provided don't show filings. There's some really interesting research being done on these extinct. Animals and i put some links to that in the show notes. If you'd like to read more about what. Scientists are actually finding out about these fascinating but tragically extinct animals. We hope you've enjoyed this episode of monster. Talk each episode. We strive to bring you the very best in monster related content with the focus on bringing scientific skepticism into the conversation. If you enjoy much talk we now have a variety of ways to support the show all convenient links at muster talk dot org forge slash support. That's muster talk dot org forward slash support. We have links there to our patriot page as well as a donation button. Another great way to support the show is to buy books from our amazon muster talk wishlist which directly helps us with our research. We love used books. Very much. don't feel compelled to buy new winds and we love kindles so we can share our digital libraries with each other and finally without spending any money at all. You could support us by leaving a positive review at i tunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Positive reviews help keep us visible in items. Which is a great way to help us find you listeners and please share our show on your favorite social media platforms most your talk theme music by pete stealing monkeys. Thank you so much for listening. This has been a month to house presentation. Rest group bruce bruce.
New evidence helps rewrite the human story
"And later in this rather surprising sign show, which will have Brexit, budgets, and bones. I Bohm's plus a mysterious barbecue that may upset the timing of humans in a straighter as never before I've been keen to sum up the recent hot news from our region. And now the man who can do it has just landed. Back home introduce yourself, the robots I'm director of the center since frustration vita vest in heritage of the university willing gong and you've just landed from overseas where we in Indonesia, what were you doing? I was in Ceram, which is one of the Northern Ireland's looking for early traces of Epinal straightens or possibly Denisovans or any other ancient human group who might have been there. How did you know that it might have been the place to look some recent modelling done by several groups shows that ceramahs very likely crossroad so people coming through to make it all the way to Australia the two in the northern route into Pap or they meant the southern route cross the Flora's t more and down to a stranger. So which I can. Out the northern route. Now, it's been very busy in recent times. I just want to whip through a number of things that have come across in the news just to put it together starting with. Of course, the Denisovans you're on the news of few weeks ago talking on breakfast with Fran about your own involvement in the Denisovans story. What were you doing with that? Yes. That was the actual type site Denisova cave in southern Siberia, where the original remains of Denisovans were found only a few teeth and very few scraps of bones. So not so much about Denisovans at Dennis forgive it. And even when they'd been there. So we are reporting a ton on Denisovans had being at Denisova cave from about three hundred thousand years ago to his latest fifty thousand years ago. What was it like there in the cave? Fantastic. I mean, it's actually three caves all in one and they're excavating one more moment. So we'll find more human remains there. I'm sure in the Cape. But it's much like mini Switzerland that part of Siberia, the mountains yourself, a see exciting part of what you will broadcasting. Then that is that this much more be found there are there is there. Many caves around. Occasional Neanderthal remains in them. Some might even have the remains very modern humans passing through. So that's a three way mix that between modern humans Neanderthals and initials how they all interacted possibly at different points in time and at several points in time, and that's inside area. And of course, now, I've got news from Tibet Chinese work showing that Denisovans were there as well. Is that wrench significant it sunny years because we now go to Nissen's outside of Justice vaca- that was the one stop shop. And now it's to stop shop. It's a start. We need to know. How broadly sprayed word to Nissim is. I mean DNA appears in quite large amounts in aboriginal strands and people New Guinean people on which is very odd. Because of course, we're a long way away from southern Siberia. So the fact we get them into bed. Make sense witness Minson southeast Asia, we need to find evidence of them there too. We don't have the moment. But the fact is they were living up at very high altitude intimate at least one hundred sixty thousand years ago, peer the universe of woolen gong as you come into the science building. You've got display to do with the discovering Flora's. What was the hobbit? And of course, in recent times any matter of days ago. There was an announcement from the Philippines of another creature not quite related or in many ways, reminiscent of the hobby in other words, a small creature. Could you tell us what that was? Yes. Homo loose on insists comes from Luzon island in the Philippines, and one of the very early predictions of Mike Moore would who was the leader of the team that discovered the hobbit was well, once we found one small human on these remote islands of what we call when they share which is the bit in between, Asia and Australia. We'd find more there's a potential to have lots of individual humans of different sorts on these different islands. And in a sense. This is a demonstration of exactly that fact, we have another small type of human being living on a remote island possibly for million years going extinct sometime in the recent possible. Quite sure when the dating indicates they were living sometime before fifty to seventy thousand years ago, quite how early we don't know. But there's another kind of human. Living in this neck of the woods up until recent times. Geologically speaking quite smallest treat climate wasn't not. Yes. Tree comes which flourish. Insist. I insist the it was not. So again, it's a different type of human maybe deputy different circumstances. And I think we might expect to find may be on the island of Ceram different kinds of humans different living in different environments and adapting to those circumstances. What does this do to the out of Africa theory that is one lot of humans going in one direction or two directions to Europe and to the south? But there's another idea that it's out of Asia as well. What do you think the Sony plenty of activity going on in Asia? I think the focus has now come back onto Asia as a bit of a hot spot for human. Evolution does not necessarily say the people moved back into Africa from Asia. But certainly there was plenty of evolution going on within Asia over the last two million years, quite what's happened. We still don't know. Exactly. And that's the most interesting part of it is far from being a full story at the present time. Meanwhile. In the stroller. A few weeks ago? There was a statement which really was staggering for some of us. And it was coming out of Victoria from Jim Bola who is says she hid in many ways with Mungo, the discovery there of mongo persons, male and female, but he was suggesting that there was evidence in this has campsites. This is a sort of barbecue evidence on the burnt stones rather than any fossils. The people might have been a hundred and twenty thousand years ago now that stretching a bit isn't it because your own work way up north at sixty five thousand years now doubling that is credible. I was think you shouldn't throw evidence out of hand. Just because it seems incredible. It might actually be credible. So I'm more prepared to look at any new data set that comes forward. I think the jury is still out on this latest evidence is shown made by people is it a half made by people or these natural features. I think more work still needs to be done. But I think it's the right thing to do to publish what they have. So far get the debate out there and go back and revisit and see what further work can be done to tighten up the evidence. Because if it is one hundred twenty thousand old that's very very important. Like, you say sunny, we're doubling the longevity of people here in Austria. But it raw shows that let's not cost out everything just because it seems to be less than likely it might actually be true. And it's often how progress in sciences made by making what seems to be an outlandish claim the later turns out to be absolutely true. The hobbit being just one such example. Yeah. Indeed. But that would be a campsite hundred twenty five thousand one hundred twenty thousand years ago coming all way from the north. They would be no trapping for all that time. So that would be blowing out what we know already. But finally, but exciting times would you say in your field? Oh, yes. Just maybe ten years ago. We thought everything that sort of more or less being sorted out. With a few loose ends every every week. Now, we have yet another Lucinda turning up the needs further explanation. We have still many. Questions we have answers. But that's what does make it such a most dynamic feel to work in you can say that again, our human and semi human history in the Pacific and Asia but Roberts is the director of the AFC center of excellence for by diversity in heritage at the university of Wollongong.
Pants Extinguished: Lice
"Well, well, well pants on fire listeners again producer Noah here. Back in your feed for another episode of. Each installment of pants extinguished endeavors to quench last week's fiery blaze of misinformation by kicking the liar out of the studio and bringing back the real expert for a bonus interview on his or her topic. So consider this spoiler alert. If you haven't listened to last week's episode about lice than hit pause. Don't check it out and then return to pants extinguished for the unvarnished truth as usual pants extinguished features, Deborah Goldstein, son Levi, not to be confused for last week's contestant. We've I or for Levi Strauss, the inventor of blue Jews memory serves correctly. He was wearing blue jeans at the time of recording. We're so excited that Lena is here to talk to us a little bit more about lies. I feel like we just started. Really we were just getting warmed up. You know? And with us today. Also is our child interview or Levi who also happens to be my kid. Yes. You gotta know people in this world what brought on some of my babies share bring 'em in bring him in. So leave. I thank you for coming. You have a choice. I made you get in the car. Yeah. Yeah. We have Lena here. Who's talked to us about? Did you hear the show? You heard the game where you fooled. Nope. No. You knew you knew ahead of time. Because I had a cheat. No cheaters never prosper, but I did win. You one is good for you. That's what's important. It doesn't matter. How you win as long as you win the teach. Okay. We learned a little bit about lice. But I feel like I have some more questions. Lisa. What about you? Do you more questions? What do I name them? What are they taste like? Taste like everybody. I don't think they're healthy. No, no. I don't know. I think insects can be healthy some protein suck on the insides of your stomach. Ooh. Gross. But you said they're high in protein Lee nice now, I don't know. Bugs in general. Well, this is a real question. Do they serve a purpose in evolution or in in our in the cycle of life? So I was kind of hoping for this question. Oh, yeah. Headlines. They helped scientists figure out what when modern humans started to wear clothing based on body lice, which is a parasite that lives in the body. But and clothing, and they have evolved directly from headlights when the scientists figure that out they were able to use age netted dating technique called the molecular clock to determine that headlights in body split over one hundred seventy thousand years ago, which is when we humans began wearing clothing. This is a key factor. In lowering our ancestors to migrate and Khan is in different parts of the world. And it's out to different climates. It's better not to wear clothes. Or if we never did wear clothes than body lice would disappear vitalize, I guess so. Wow. Piece. So they do they evolved. But do they serve a purpose? Do does anybody feed off of their bug other bug nigger massive feed off of lay? No, not that. I know of this is the only purpose of headlights that I was able to dig up on the internet. Have you put an aunt on your head? They will just go to town. But what is they try eating your own head? Well, only if you're an ant, right? You got your mom's sisters and in the family tree of and I understand. So if everybody is shaved shave their heads does that would we rid ourselves of headlight? Yes, we would. Yes. We the headlights. They need warmth from the hair to lay there. And it's so the the knits need incubation from the warmth of the head of the scalp and the hair to tach. They also need strong role models, and that's why you should fallen tear your local head shepherd lice through these awkward life faces. Only keep my hair. Yes. I would like to keep your hair if you want to of course, I do. Okay. Good. We've I do you have any questions for Lena. I'm wondering if any hair product is hairs Ariss to lice. No. Oh my gosh. Okay. Fine. We'll let it go. Go ahead. That's a great question. So they don't like certain essential oils such as teacher oil. Rosemary oil, lavender, peppermint. So those are good good oils to apply to keep the Leisa way to keep him away. So if you kept them on your head every day, would they they wouldn't it would minimize the chance of getting headlights. But isn't it true? That more kids get lice than adults headlights. Yes. Just because their personal space awareness is quite so they're always hugging and cuddling and being on top of each other. Then grew out of liking. Yeah. It's a growth they should stop hugging. What are some ways you can get lice? Now, like, I'm trying to go school or anything you can sign up for lice. Gimme lice dot org. It's it's mostly hair to hair contact. So if your hair touches someone else's here who has lice takes two to three seconds for that Laos to crawl on over to your hair. It could all second. Yeah. They're pretty quick. The move about thirty centimeters per minute. So how? Per day flash. Exactly tiny flashes. You at a school that doesn't get you out of school. Does if you have head lice most policies are the you have to go home, if they find an accident live Laos if well here in New York City, at least if you have knits, you could see in school, and you just have to get a treated. Oh, got it. Anyone who sees me real life with lice give them to me? I I know I need to get out of school. No, I need know. All right. So Lena, what is one lie about lice that you hear a lot that you want the world to know is not true. They're very good at fort night. So one lie that I hear about people think that if you have lice, you are dirty, and this myth is very deeply rooted, and our society, but having have lice is not a question of hygiene, they can infect anyone whatever their background or personal hygiene. No, you actually prefer clean hair easier for them to climb on and cling onto clean hair vs, dirty oily hair. So have you had lice Lena as a kid? Yes. As a kid, but in your profession being exposed to lies all the time. You don't get. No, I keep my hair up and away. So I'm never hugging. My clients until after the treatment of their very great free. Yes. Can you drown life so life could hold their breath for up to eight hours a while? So if you're let's say in the swimming pool or taking a really long bath with your hair back in the water. They will hold their breath and survive through eight hours, can you choke lice around the neck and just joke them. That's terrible. You don't have to answer that. Okay. So lena. Thank you so much for spending time with us and telling us a little bit more about lice, which is a very interesting topic. I have to say even though it's gross and creeping Crawley itchy. And thank you, also Lebai. Yeah. Great thinking much, they say, thank you. Thank you. This is really fun. Great. And I just can't wait for the twenty year reunion. Pants on fires. Production of Genzyme. Media on the web at best robot ever dot com. Where you can check out more great shows and learn how to become a participant on this one. You can find us on social media pants on fire cast for all sorts of inside info about this podcast. We'll be back next week in our regular format. And until then good luck and good lice sealer.
Major changes in human history linked to geological forces
"We'll end with a book one you may have heard of called origins by Louis Donal from the university of Westminster. Where did we come from? What's next you've been on ABC radio a couple of times recently with Phillip Adams talking about continental drift, and the whole story on big ideas with a wonderful picture of virtually the whole of the history, which is rather wonderful. And I just want to pick up on a few ideas there, which fantastically interesting about origins. And the first one is about that continental drift which necessarily so incredibly slow we've been around for any about five minutes. How is it that we were affected by continental drift itself when it's really so slow and so far away. Yeah. The the entirety of human story has fitted into sensually a single frame right of the end of the movie of the film of earth history. We've we've been here for geological. Blink of an eye. And although plate tectonics achingly slow process, the earth is an old place. And so this process of continental drift and plate tectonics has been acting over the millions and billions of years to create the configuration of the world today. The charge of the planet that we've grown up on was created by plate tectonics. And this is everything from the pattern of mountain ranges on on the land masses. And the arrangement of the oceans, and therefore the stage of the human story was crafted by plate tectonics. I won't particular example, I pick up on in origins in the book is something. We're all familiar with the Mediterranean has been bubbling cauldron of a whole huge diversity of different cultures and society and civilizations throughout team in history of thousands and thousands of years from the atrocities and the Romans and the Greeks, and my seniors and the Phoenicians, but when you think about it most of those cultures were all on the northern lip of this oval shape, see of mid training, not along the bottom. Half and on the north African coast. So why would it be? Why is this the sharp contrast between the north and south of this tiny inland sea and in terms of the human story? A man it self comes down to plate tectonics because Africa has been writing north for the last few million years and his crushing into the bottom of Eurasia of of Europe and Africa is being subjected beneath your so it's crumpled up this huge chain of mountain ranges from the kind of Alps of the cop Athens. And then as they see levels have risen again. It's essentially drowned this crumpled up landscaped give you thousands of natural inlets and coves and bays and natural harbours. So the north coast of the in training is just intrinsically well setup for seafaring society a history, whereas because Africa's being subtracted and swallowed into the bowels of the earth. It's in comparison, very boring flats unaccommodating coastline. So something is distinct as the difference of two coastlines of HUD, profound effect on our story. I'm reminded from what you say about one of the stories of Greece with all those islands, and therefore all different communities that was variety there as they adapted and their different ways mid like the creatures on the Galapagos and the professor of classics at King's College. She's written a book about ways in which that was the foundation for civilization and the birth of democracy because you had such a variety coming together and interacting in different ways in the trade because of the landscape absolutely exactly that this all cappella, God is sputtering of islands keeps each city state distinct and unable to work togetherness, constantly fluctuating system of war and peace between the different states. But that emergence of democracy in Greece is very interesting as well. Because in the bronze age, the style of warfare was is basically chariots you have find a plane to for the two armies to meet new ROY charts and each other. But that was something not possible in the very hilly rough terrain of Greece where instead you fight mainly with infantry. And every man is protected by the man to his rights to aside the shield, so there was kind of inbuilt into Greek society in Greek warfare. This notion of standing by your fellow man, which is thought then matured in terms of the way, choose your leaders and choose the course of your society with emergence of democracy and Athens in particular was almost inherited from just the shape of the landscape is interesting now leaping is always been a puzzle to work out. How it is that in a stray Leo human beings came so quickly from Africa unless the timing was slightly askew. And the latest has been about two years ago in up up in the north signs in the cave of pretty modern people being there sixty five thousand years ago, by modern, I mean with culture using all Kronos sorts of ceremonial stuff there in the cave and then moving south both west and east. But slowly in other words, the evidence from the. Genetic drift has shown that people state in places for ten thousand years, and it's quite story. But will what's the answer to our emergence from Africa coming here so quickly? And also, of course, we go the now the tennis ovens as well as Neanderthals we were created as a species is exquisitely intelligence species of ape of HAMAs options in the free quirky environment of east Africa all intelligence was created. It was given to us by this combination of the plate tectonics going on east Africa at that time. Those five minutes revolution and about interacting with these calls MC cycles, so could mind coverage cycles with little wobbles in arts tilt around the sun. So we've created is intelligent species. People didn't stay in cradle in east Africa. And we burst out of east Africa about sixty five seventy thousand years ago. And it's thought that we headed I along the southern margin of Eurasia, we basically kept to the tropical region that we were familiar with and kept the coast we access. S to fish and other resources that seekers you so you're right. We got pretty quickly to southern eastern corner of your Asia. But the world was very different back. Then we were in the depths of the last ice age and these huge thick ice sheets sat along the northern hemisphere. The world sucked up so much water of notions. That the sea levels are about hundred hundred twenty meters low, and it just exposed this contents of margins as dry land. So large extent we we're able to populate entire world because of those special conditions of the ice age. We could walk these land bridges who Sunderland bridge through southeast Asian and able to reach pump New Guinean, an Australia, but most importantly, Margie belief the human story, we're able to walk cross the Bering land bridge from Siberia into Lasca NFL, populate, the western hemisphere walkie, we could reach the Americas. And you mentioned already that the Neanderthals in Denisovans. So these sibling human species inhabiting the world the same time as us and what I found. That's incredible. Is that idea that notion that today, we are looney specie Bill the only human species on the earth, but very recently geologically speaking we shared world with with our cousins with other human species. But when we crossed the Bering land bridge into the Americas. We were walking were no human species at ever trod before we were the first human species home, assassins were the first treats the Americas. And then as the only sage eased again, and the sea level started to rise these land bridges once again, what's wallowed beneath the waves and these two great populations of humanity in Eurasia and the Americas were separated from each other to independent experiments in domesticating wall species in the emergence of agriculture and development of civilizations. That happened completely independently in niece management in the western hemisphere. It's fascinating it. But then when you look at the genetic story, we have amongst aboriginal people here Dennis oven jeans. And we also have as I sit here, and I recognize in you you've got two percent Neanderthal genes. You see that on my forehead? Causse some not. We're all wants Macy's. But there's variation. Yeah. But Denisovans somehow in you NEW GUINEA, and here there was a flavor and many people think adaptation to the local conditions. In other words, if you're resistant to certain of the pests mosquitoes are I know diseases, then you can somehow adopt the local resistance and on you go south on you. Go amazing story, isn't it as migrated through century. So all non African populations around the world carry within them a little bit of Neanderthal DNA or a little bit of Benesova DNA. So we clearly interact with these other human species and Cleveland quite friendly with into bread with them. And we took on board our own genome. This'll signatures of their DNA, which we then marched around the world is dispersed with us a modern European populations have between two and four percents of Neanderthal. Dna, and there's been some really fascinating tends to research papers as move that Neanderthal. Dna was in some pointer defining feature. What neighbors turn in having the world and become so capable as species Lewis Dartnell from the university of Westminster and he returns next week with the geological origins of Brexit. Yes. Origins is the name of his terrific book, which also hear from Kim car. The shadow minister for science on Labour's plans. Should they win the sign shows produced by my typewriter by David Fisher? And Mark, Don, I'm Robin Williams and our music was by handle their land brought forth frogs so Brevet from me. No. Grown.
Did Ancient Humans Survive a Volcanic Super Eruption? Prof. Stanley Ambrose
"Over seventy four thousand years ago. A Super Volcano erupted and guess what human survived. How did he do it today? We talked to Professor Stanley Ambrose. Who was part of the research team in India to talk about this latest discovery? And for those that remember it's viewed roughly one thousand times as much rockets. The nineteen eighty eruption of Mount Saint. Helen's did the world go dark. How did these primitive people survive will find out today? I'm Tony Suite with Captain Ron Protrude Told please welcome Dr Stanley. Ambrose of a University of Illinois. We're going to talk today about this Super Volcano in India. Over seventy four thousand years ago. Welcome professor Stanley embrose. All right. The crowd goes wild for our professor. How you doing sir good? I didn't hear the intro so I don't know what lies told about. It was it was when you did the runway in Milan and all that good stuff. So we're we're now where it was about the talking about the Super Volcano. I saw this in the In an article about it and of course truth be told is. This is all about Right up our alley and But first of all I I WANNA find out from you. The professor that deals with this stuff. What is the difference between a volcano? Ns Super Volcano. Well just like there are hurricane and tornado magnitudes and earthquake magnitude. We can talk about Volcanoes by their V volcanic explosively index and Giving ideal I think the Montaigne Helen's was V. E. I about one or two Tamboura and Krakatoa were in the three or four thousand within the six possibly seven and Cobra eruption just got over the edge to magnitude nine while that's big that's a sets That's two orders of magnitude bigger than yellowstone yellowstone about seven Maybe the upper end of seven Toby used to be eight now. The volcanic explosively index is measured by the volume of rock. That was bla- student to the atmosphere is dust and the volume is measured in cubic kilometers. Okay right The estimate of the yellowstone bulk corruption. How much ash and dust and rock fragments at blasted into the air that covered the landscape around? It was about six hundred cubic kilometers now to put that in perspective. Mount Saint Helen's was about zero point two cubic kilometers When Toba was first studied estimated about eight hundred but as the research go kept going from one thousand nine hundred. Seventy eight up until Last year and they kept finding more and more of it. Further and further away and the dense rock equivalent of the Toba eruption is awesome up around sixteen hundred cubic kilometers. Maybe more maybe two thousand so total out of rock be blasted into the atmosphere. Seventy four thousand years ago so so tell us how this was discovered It's not like I mean I guess maybe satellite Maybe that gives you more of an indication or and how was it determined It was a super volcano. When was that I discovered because a lot of times? You're like okay. That was the volcanic eruption millions of years ago. But it was it just because of the size of it that instantly knew it was a super kaneohe. Oh yeah from the size of. Let's start from the middle of the crater and then work out of the crater itself has a lake in the bottom right. That Lake is about sixty miles on the northeast southwest direction northwest Southeast Direction. Yeah it's about thirty miles. Wide and there's an island in the middle of volcanic island from a later eruption now that lakes inside a crater whose outer walls the slopes of the volcano form the West and the east southwest in the northeast side island of Sumatra so the entire the northern shifts of Sumatra is the volcano. Okay remember that soon nominee. I think it was yes out. Eleven killed thoughts and people that was on the Western shore of that. Fault was just off the volcano. So it's it's a lot of weight to shift around in At the time that erupted well Krakatoa and or Krakatau was the proper way to pronounce it and Tamboura not timber row. They In time in the eighteen hundreds when there were only a tenth as many people as there are now. Those volcanoes synonymous from those killed like seventeen thousand and thirty thousand people respectively Temporary was bigger one now. If a super bowl can't if if that eruption that happened seventy four thousand years ago was half today you can imagine how big the soon nami would be on my God. Huge Yeah you can justice Amami from an earthquake next to it was a pretty disastrous And that Nami wave actually got to the coast of Africa and one person died at the beach in Kenya That the one in two thousand and read ten remember So that's quite remarkable. How do we know how big it was from other evidence of actual size of the crater? It's a huge hole in the ground on the thousand Rupe. There's a picture of it. The backside of the thousand rupee note for Indonesia car. Indonesian currency is the volcano It's it's a pretty big thing right now. So people can kind of see what it looks like from outer space? It's it's quite an obvious eruption. Well let me ask you this when they 'cause I couldn't even imagine now like I've heard I remember watching National Geographic movie like. Oh the top ten ways. The planet or human human humanity would be destroyed from Iraq meteor Super Volcano. All these other things and so that kind of put the fear of God in you when you hear about these super volcanoes and I found it fascinating while they've happened before and we're we're still here so I found it really fascinating with technology. Now how you either? I don't think we could really definitely stop it. But how do these people survive? These primitive people even survive with the year. Two years of dust in the air and blocking out the sunlight. How would they even survive? It was probably more like six years. I'll tell you how we know this When you Drill down into the ice in green laughed. There's a layer that has like one hundred times more sulfuric acid in it than any other layer in the ice and this is is two miles thick by the way so somewhere down It's actually gone around to the to almost Two miles down in the ice. There's this layer that's full of sulfuric acid. This appear gasset comes from the sulfur. Gases that came out of volcanic eruption in every time you see a big spike in the ice Acid content That seems to correlate with a big volcanic eruptions and Global Cooling and in this case furic acid span six years. And it's years yes. And it's an order of magnitude than any other position in the entire two miles of ice and that two miles of ice spans. One hundred twenty three thousand years and so you can see by the thickness of the Ice Age. We can estimate the number of years that it took for all of the sulfuric acid to fall out of the atmosphere now. It's the sulfuric acid in the atmosphere. It goes up as a sulfur. Gas In combined with water vapor makes White Bright Hayes. A call it. A Parasol Aerosol reflect sunlight back out into space and it's now called the Pinatubo effect because when Mount Pinatubo erupted nineteen ninety one. It caused a one degree. Fahrenheit drop for about two years in the earth temperature due to the reflection of sunlight off of the salsa gases there so Pinatubo's was the largest sulphur producing eruption sulfur Gaspar's traducing eruption in the twentieth century was about twenty billion tons of sulphur dioxide spewed into the atmosphere and that caused a couple of degrees cooling. Now Tober was about seventy eighty times. Bigger I could imagine we see in the ice core. The sulfuric acid layer in how many years it took for the self your downside of clout. This is all very controversial by the way. Different groups of scientists argue that it fell out faster. There wasn't that much both ended in produce a much sulfur and so we have this layer that if the exact same age as the eruption as dated by the geochemists doing radioactive dating. And they say oh well maybe it could be another volcano. And I'd say well if it's another volcano where's this volcano hiding tobe it one of the biggest geological features you can see from outer space. Is that how they found in the first place? Oh No. They knew about the volcano when they started doing geography in the. I don't know what century soon as they understood. What about was you know? They knew this is a Damn Big Ball K now. I know there's a lot of tools found in that area. Was there a big lapse in time from the tools before the volcano until they the civilization of the people living after the volcano? Well we have to narrow down the the question here of the report that was published earlier this week was about tools India right And a on the banks of river called the Sawn River S. O. N. And that runs from west to east down the middle of India and Into two thousand and five we excavated along geological trench through the volcanic ash into the soils above it and into what would have been the mud and sand underneath the volcanic eruption From the river. That still runs next to this. Is My notebook from two thousand and five? That's cool. I just happened to be looking at something when the reporters called me up the emailed me and asked me if I would Talk about this. I've been two three four worked on five sites in India with the Toba Ash In them now when it erupted it probably would have covered India with at least sort of ash and this ashes bone White Sa- color of snow and You can trace this layer volcanic ash into the Arabian Sea. That's the Indian Ocean on the West Side of India which is several thousand miles away from where the eruption was in. It's a foot thick in the deep sea. Okay yeah in ended covered probably the entire subcontinent would at the foot of ash and they would eventually have to wash away but You guys are Californians. When you're it here in places where it snows you know that the day after it snows the next day is like ten fifteen degrees colder right and then the snow melt in warmed up again. So the snow is reflecting the sunlight back into the air so imagine you covered the subcontinent with open snow. The doesn't Melt ch right for many years and they get a lot cooler. Yeah now let's let's put one more ingredient into this cooling effect so we have the air atmosphere clogged with sulfur. Dioxide in its white and reflecting we have the ground in India covered with white at a volcano gash in it's not melting and reflecting more sunlight cooling the land more now if we go back to the ice core just underneath this layer of sulfuric acid for about fifty years The ice underneath has the the isotope compensation that shows that the world had just entered an ice age and these transitions from interglacial to glacial periods. Were happening at a fairly not really regular interval but they the transitions were quite abrupt. And the world has just gone into an instant ice age and then the eruption happened and then above the sulfuric acid layer. You see your even colder set of temperatures lasts for two thousand years. Two thousand two thousand years of temperatures of makes a little ice age. Seemed like Bali okay but it. This cold period already started when we first looked at a crude graph of the data without the time resolution. We thought that the instant dice at this particular instant ice age was caused by volcanoes. But it happened after the ice age had already gotten to the average of these instant ice ages get two interns coldness and it made it the coldest and most consistently code for it was precisely more while more precisely about seventeen hundred sixty years not quite two thousand but you know magin a polar vortex kind of winter every winter. Four out past years and the summers You know snow in August it mid-latitudes and believe in lower latitudes. That's kind of scenario. We're looking at so when you ask about survival man. It was a real shocker. I'm sure I mean I couldn't even imagine like I said with the technology and the things we have to protect ourselves back then it was just pretty much open air. I mean you know maybe some tape some huts but even I'm sure people around that area probably a just wiped out so the question is how many people were wiped out and the answer is we don't know because we weren't there but the geneticist to have tools for reconstructing past population size and It's actually kind of simple in principle yet. People Alive today can trace their ancestry to ancestors that coalesce so to speak to a common ancestor. Various points at time in the past so down here when we find a whole bunch of lineages that coalesce to a small number of lineages. You know good super critical care. Kkk grandparents That founded each of these clans so to speak when we fly into a place where all of the where many of the lineages coalesce to just a small number of ancestors. We know that that's small population at that far back in time and we count time by number mutations that have occurred the differentiate any of the two branches compare this branch that branch of that branch to that branch and we get all the same number of mutational distances so to speak. Same number of mutations accumulating we can say At this point there was a small population and the people alive. Today are the survivors of the expanded population? After release from what we call a population bottleneck. That makes sense totally. Yeah so that's that's how geneticists go about reconstructing past population size so they geneticists say that Roundabout seventy five eighty thousand seven hundred sixty somewhere in that range because mutation rates are not like stop watches one or atomic clocks there Statistically regular but then they're not precise clocks so somewhere in the range of around seventy five thousand sixty seventy eighty thousand years ago. We can see that. There were small a small number of lineages that were then released and their populations grew after seventy thousand years ago. Okay and lineages. That we see around today can trace themselves to a small number of ancestors now In Africa their whole lot of ancestral populations it's genetically very diverse and outside of Africa or much smaller number of ancestral lineages One Book with published called the twelve daughters of evolved gives you an idea of this population bottleneck and so there was a there was a crunch. Many people attribute many researchers attribute this crunch to just leaving after Africa through to small geographic bottlenecks crossing the Somali area which is semi desert can go into the Arabian peninsula across South. End of the Red Sea called the Straits of Bab L. men debt which translates to the gates of tears. Yes so it is sort of biblical but it happened. Seventy thousand years ago Sixty actually closer to sixty thousand and the people who left out of that gate Left earlier than people who then later cross across the Sinai Peninsula at the northeast corner of Africa in Egypt of so we can see depopulation Africa by the genetics in there basically just two branches of all the people outside of Africa one that came out of North Northern Africa about fifty thousand years ago and the other came across the horn. It's called the Horn of Africa through the gates of tears and around the perimeter of the Indian Ocean and all the way to Australia And these divisions wash stiller with us it's sort of north-south divide in the genetic structure of global populations outside of Africa. And I'm sure at that time that was there is a big migration into other areas of the Europe and Africa from India. After that happened. I mean well. We don't know right with the direction. -ality seems to be out of Africa and not backwards. Yeah you have to think of it like a one way. Valves climate gets warm enough and wet enough that like the Sahara has been green it many times in the past their deposits Lakes for fishing hippos. Their drafts zebras. Running around on the Savannah and we have their bones and we even have the artwork for the last African humid period which was also in Arabian humanitarian. But during these hyper dry periods It's you know. The people would have gone in refuge in the wettest places. Certainly not the Arabian Peninsula right. Well Captain Ron's not here but JT. The intern is here and he had a question for you. So jt go and ask your question. I'm curious what you think. Because I've read several articles about the genetic bottleneck and there seems to be a bit of controversy as to whether the Toba catastrophe actually caused it or whether it was just a correlation. Lots of controversy. Obvious as to what you think. Well I think there It's more than correlation tickets causation. Because you can see how great the impact was mind you. This ash goes all the way to South Africa. It goes to Lake Malawi now. Let's talk about Lake Malawi. They drool-o accord down into the mud at the bottom of Lake Malawi and identify a series of sediments and chemical and geological and biological indicators the the pollen grains and what species. They are and all kinds of things at least say. Oh we have a series of mega droughts when they identified the last mega drought as being sixty two thousand years ago then later just a year later actually after the first reports were published in fourteen different research teams and they all said something happens. Sixty two thousand years ago in the last two thousand years then They found soot ash from the Tober option. Just at the bottom of that two thousand years earlier and that that meant loops. It's not sixty two. It's seventy four to seventy two just like in the ice core ingredient and this mega drought in Malawi. In the Southern Tropics African is March by at its basis the volcano cash. Let's go down to the tip of South Africa. The south coast of South Africa face in Antarctica Earth. Three archaeological sites down there that have a small number of shards from the. Tober option and on top of them as barren sand layer with no artifacts and then about two thousand layer years later in each of these archaeological science. All three of them that it's been found the ashes been found We have a completely new kind of archaeological culture. Interesting very fascinating. Aided looking compared to what happened before. And it's so sophisticated looking than when it was first described in the nineteen fifties They thought there was much younger and A it's named after a site in the Foothills of the coastal mountain range. That called Elisa's porch and they had this really nice fine blades that were like disposable razor blades. Okay and they had a lot of red ochre and other cool things now. The people before that in Africa were were quite innovative as well they were running around and visit. Red ochre making Different kinds of bigger blades and eating a lot of seafood on the coast and using a lot of red ochre and doing a lot of cool things but the transition is so abrupt following this two thousand year instinct ice age. It's like the people who survived completely reorganized their way of life. And what I think that they really did was figure out how to cooperate over long distances between groups. It's clear that the people who live before when we look at the stone tools. So here's a blade that the from the Sahara. But they made blades like this from about one hundred thirty thousand years ago the seventy thousand years ago these big blades. Can you see it and we can see it And they were made on rocks that were available within sight of the archaeological sites. Wendy cross the boundary at seventy four and starting a you have this blank. And then at seventy two thousand you have a new culture. Many of the blades were much smaller. Made on a finer bra material that produces a sharper edge. And we think that a lot of this was transported long distances reiter than the size of a a hunter gather territory. We think this is the beginning of The evolution of long distance interaction networks and friendly relationships between groups. It's really interesting neanderthals. Never did this all the way through until they went extinct they seem to have been homebodies and That's were David. Athey brutish life in a sense and that many of them show signs of butchery and cannibalism and If you look at the genes neither get genetic out of the ancient. Dna from the tall bones. Neanderthals were incredibly interbred. The parents grandparents. Were you know they were like a lot of? There's even a half brother sister Set of genes a couple of individuals. Or at least one individual. You're credibly interbred. Which tells me that they did not have good intergroup relationships. I tells everybody that earliest humans Like us that appeared in Europe there's one set of four burials and covered with red ochre and all kinds of cool things The you can get the DNA from both parents in one individual when you extracted DNA out of the Oh bones. They were as different as hunter gatherers today. Who Have Long Distance Network connections? They go out of their way to have arranged marriage with people who they are not closely related to from other villages other communities and so the DNA doesn't lie the DNA is great independent line of evidence for saying people with these kinds of locally made stone tools on locally available rocks were probably territorial and didn't get along well with their neighbors and in fact one of the sites where the volcano gash has been found in South Africa there's evidence of cannibalism on the human bones underneath the volcanic ash when they were in an interglacial warm wet period when they were eating a lot of seafood period Above this Sandler where the volcanic ashes the base at this particular site. It's called Classics River. Sea Level had dropped and there is not any seafood at the site near the site. The site is literally right above the shoreline the very base of the cave deposits of Kabul beach right in front of it. So I've been fortunate to see several of these sites. Well I I mean I can't believe we've already when over thirty minutes but I'm going to ask another question. We're going to have to have you back because you know. Dr Ambrose is a wealth of knowledge. Here and this is Again right up our alley but if if this happened again now the sick because they always they keep talking about yellowstone. That's where I always hear. I don't hear about any other super volcanoes if it happened yellowstone how how would the world change? Were you hear about a yellowstone most goes? It's America first right. Always quote togas bigger right now and it's overdue. Isn't it okay here? Here's lesson and it goes all the way back Ben. Franklin who was the first one to recognize the Balkan or climate connection when he was ambassador to France and he was in Europe when there was a big eruption that throws everything in the sulfuric acid burned the crops from a volcano in Iceland called Laki Aka I. Ben Franklin's principal was. We should all hang together because we will certainly all hang together. We will certainly all hang separately or for me the bottom line here. Is that this. Big disaster kicked humanity into a higher level of cooperation. The humans that survived to the present us but clear evidence right on top of the volcanic ash that they developed a new way of communicating and getting along with neighbors over long distances. The neanderthals did not. That's why we're here today. And they are not you learn how to cooperate. My wine out of everything. I do is really interested in the evolution of cooperation. And if we can't be cooperative over borders the next time there's a disaster what's going to happen Think about this when Those planes broke into the Twin Towers. What was the response of York? Oh everybody came. We're all Americans. Now we lose the ability to say that and act that way and come together during times of disaster. Then we don't have a future but if we do maintain that capacity for international or Inter Group pull operation not set one group against the other The zero sum. You're If I give to you lose something might think there's a new math With the evolution of cooperation and Guy Named Richard Wright wrote a book titled Non Zero in the new mass. Goes like this. The Nats is zero. Sum Is One by give you something. I give you one unit. That's on down one unit. So plus one minus one equals zero. The new math is I give you something to then you give me something with interest in return so one minus one is to. I like that's called the non zero new mass. That's that's my rendition of the whole coop. Pays off in the long run transactional thinking zero sum thinking kits. One group against the other cooperative thinking shows suggests that if Where generous to each other. We'll get we'll receive generosity in return and generous groups will out compete non generous groups. Darwin figured this out this in his book on the evolution of Man in eighteen seventy one and it seems to be quite true. Where are the neanderthals with us? Well actually era plenty of them around bill. But that's a that's another story. That's another story inside of. The biology of cooperation is really interesting. But we don't have time for that but that's another story but yeah the like you said when I saw this it was something very fascinating because when a super volcano of that size would affect the world If it's not going to just affect you know the local area it's going to change the whole world in in some ways and we're going to need each other so hopefully hopefully we will always be that way and and no more borders When it comes to something like that so it can I? Just bring it back to devalue originally called me about this paper in it yes please please okay. Every time a new paper that either that like in Malawi or the archaeology in South Africa or India is published. They say oh. We found a continuous layer of archaeological material. Before and after the Toba had an impact but every time a new New evidence for the size of the eruption in the distance abon Connecticut trend ashes transported the bigger. It gets the more insistent some of my colleagues about saying it had no effect so when it was a mid or low volcanic explode Lucidity Eight was eight point two There was more acceptance of it's an impact but when it would cross the over to nine and they're only to bow Kano's in history that reach a nine tow but one of them It gets harder and harder to deny the impact. Especially when you start seeing these two thousand year long intervals of really cold in Stalagmite Chemistry Ice Cores Sandler's and Other things around the world even in Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. There's a signal of this for two thousand years smile. During icy dated. There was a couple years ago. It's the debate will continue well on that. No we're going to have to have you back because there's a lot more stuff I'm sure we have to talk to you about. And and is is there a place that people can go for lectures or C. C. You know some of your writings or anything that you've done. Oh well you can see there's a youtube video. That was made me at a lecture. I gave Harvard University and So it's you folks want to Google up peabody museum Harvard and my name or Moebius lecture you will see the whole story as it was in two thousand fifteen and that also includes some of the hormones interesting And there's a lot of fun things in their captain. Kirk some Klingons Ron Perlman eights. That's pretty awesome. That's pretty awesome. Well you're a gym Pun intended We we we love having you on in our audience was loving. This also Again we'll have to have you back This is a professor Stanley embrose. PhD from University of Illinois and Do you have any other Sites that you're working on now that Might find some new discoveries I do a lot of work in Kenya. I'm hoping to get out into the field in India with a student who's been working on the east side of India where there are many sites with volcanic ash and see if we can make some more discoveries of these archaeological materials in better preserve layers the problem with paper that was just published as many of the artifacts in sand layers and even gravel layers and that means that the artifacts are not actually made deposited. Where you find them. They came from the hills and from deeper deposit somewhere and they've been washed into that place so we don't actually know if the artifacts represent continuity of occupation we know that there's continuity of erosion right Christian. So that's that's my basic critique of that paper that came out this week is I can't tell any. They haven't described the artifacts layer by layer in a way that allows me to say these are the same or different from the one below or above and they're in San layers gravel layers anyways two-thirds of and so we really don't know so we just have to be careful the titles of that. We put on articles a first time. This group is done this the first paper in two thousand seven were they really put their foot down. Stake themselves to commitment to this interpretation. The artifact layers were really bad grapples another pennant. All right. Well we're out of here. This is truth. Be told Captain Ron in turn. Jt We appreciate it. Professor thank you so much for your time. I know you have to go see some students. Now Yeah okay all right take care yourself bye bye.
Making Humanity Excel Again
"Thanks for joining the people's environment to buy podcast we're here to entertain you know. Say to give you something new something new to learn about. I'm sure man. My on dolly engage people with nature with in many ways as possible making pa daily life. My co host is william ankle. You could say stewart. Excel at what you do right. Gloria i'm folk so modest. Whatever i'm really mind colo- so modest you actually are gone over my age of myself. I you comes and photographer and of weekly live show. We're talk about creativity. And i encourage you to be yourself and i also reflect on why why been doing and how i you can learn from what i've done one One thing you can guarantee you on this podcast is. There are no scripts and we will be exploring in this episode how to make humanity great game how to make excuses excel again. Should i say we're talking about. It's either are we talking about spreadsheets excel no offbeat vaudeville balkan. It's going to be a meandering conversation. Because i it's not really a foreign against by this particular question and we're trying to keep the big issues in your consciousness And reminding you that we're all custodians of the little piece of countryside on our doorstep. Our question today is from pronounces gianetti goes name. Women's nine from william how well the name just so we're clear j. o. n. at&t gianetti. It could be probably could be a j. Might pronounced slightly differently. Pretend yeah well say. Oh i apologize. The question is how can we make humanity. Excel again william. I've ago aren't we excelling already. You know as as species a maybe that might be the reason why we have having such an impact all on the environment anyway. So how much. We've developed industrially especially So i think to begin with we need to understand what it means by selling. How area Do we need to excel in. How areas are we already excelling in. I'm you look at the kobe situation. And how the vaccine is be has been produced within such a short span of time in the way is excelling. Isn't it. But i kind of get the impression that this this question specifically about How do we make my mind excel in being maybe more sustainable of better for the environment. It's an interesting one. I mean i. I think we live in a world full of categorisations and to go forward. Generally we need to view things positively and go backwards. We need to think things negatively like bullying and undermining is a popularly popular us currency these days modern day as like modern day. Fascism by new name so we might be excelling in but when you look at it on balance. Are we as a bit out some strong words. There william fascism bullying but thus what comes up with this question for me. That's not unusual feuds to come up with some strong words right We do some point. But you'll you'll generally use like to use a provocative language quite often. Do but i just want to. Joe down into the question about how how humanity can excel about excel at. What exactly and. I think Do we do. we do. Reflect upon our achievements already. You know. I think when it comes to stability. I think we already achieving lot. And we forget that. I think we sometimes forget that we actually are are achieving. You know we if you're we're basing upon what we need to achieve by a certain year rabin called carbon neutrality betsy recycling more sustainable living etc etc etc. You can get easily dog bogged down in the that. We haven't done this. We haven't done that but what we actually have. How we excelling right now as a species we actually can we then then then understand what the next step is how we can become. We can accelerate a more to our. I think everybody needs to fat chance of otherwise. None of us are going to make it more life. Experience fifty percent of people have progressive fifty percent of the people of might be regressive And if we brushed that reality under the carpet i don't think we'll survive We need to increase the amount of us that are won't humanity to survive. You know there are a lot of people out there saying well. Actually the world is to be without us out to excel. We need to see us as part of the solution. Law is part of the problem on the time as paul part of the ecosystem of ecosystems as well right we all part of nature. I think sometimes what we forget is that we all pov nature and nature's part of us and we are nature. We are part of the part of the world known. Maybe this is the previous episode. Maybe we are. This is the natural order of things that one species ends up dominating for a certain period of time. And we'll have a. We'll eventually come up for whatever reason we're not we're not. We're not immortal as a species wives. They're all arguments. Against the fact we could actually become an into cell species but then and then just and again. We look back to a previous episode. Where we're talking about are we taking the The mistakes into space. If we re just gonna be interplanetary travel. I'll be going to repeat the mistakes. Have you could argue that. If we actually go and call us another planet that we actually become another species anyway because of the challenges we face there anyway and have to the end up stations. We have to make so you clap it against oil and all over again a cyber anyways right so i my point i suppose is we already excelling and we we just. We just need to understand what we are. And the fact that we all the dominant species we already. We are aware of our impact on the world. But it could be the natural order of things. And i think so well listener says how can we might humanity sell again. You're saying we don't have to make an excel again. We already are just not making the best job of it. Yeah yeah and we can always do better. I think i think our report card at school would be a sometimes a very between Ds and cs and bs sometimes but you know could try could do better but has highs but has achieved. Don't in as an alphabet long enough to be able to give me mark because it was way down below said some among the. Yeah that's another. That's another conversation entirely. But the lowest marks. The lowest point was remember a mysterious. Ucse time or you which was ungraded. Because you just didn't do enough work the up but the there is Thing is already more good than bad in the world. so we've got somewhere good to build from. Yeah there isn't. I mean i think the big caveat is thrown up so many sandwich unknown and so much I think it could put back a lot of a lot progression of progress. You know. there's a lot more outward-looking governments there's lot more. There was a lot of a lot more outward-looking countries. I think this could actually take us back to more inward looking and looking ourselves ange inspections and very good thing but i think introspection married with collaboration is a strong very powerful combination. Really a nice. Well that will lead us to just to excel even more than we already have as a species. I think it's about treating people you wanna be treated yourself and some don't want But that may just have being that i or the mind of the may not realize as there is another way but what do you know is that the to choose attitudes. A passed between generations in a the next generation can pick up the traits of revenge and habitual things that go on its genetic and environmental but i just think To treat people you want to be treated viewing grind in yourself in grains at deepen your dna if you have kids. Those values are ingrained in them as well. The minor are always come out but is more chance of it. So you'll perpetuate in good. Yeah there was a When you talk about genetics there and how they the genetics can inform our choices. Which sounds really counterintuitive. Because you bill. I think we all think that we are free of three free of choice for free of Influence but genetics. We're talking about it on radio forests near i'm in my forties now so i can listen to radio for They are. i was listening to it as a teenager. But there's always a pseudo intellectual. Yeah the words. Yeah the words pseudo. There is definitely the key word but the there were saying how genetics actually can for. Genetics are a factor in in our political views. It's interesting isn't it. How certain views will be people have. We'll have certain genetic markers or biz too didactic favor. That's very similar. Yeah so i. I think being able to look at long-term changing look long long-term excelling. I think as another thing to think about as well as how we are we excel in the lawn to is that we try to we we. We don't try to say this. This huge ship right angle. Turn we we try to make changes now in our own. Think in how we approach people and looking at people and treating people as they want to be treated as a great example of that streets and people is how you expect to be treated and looking at their what. They're saying listen to list into what they're saying listening to listen to listening to their thoughts engaging with those thoughts engaging with their thinking gauging with them rather than Blocking the conversation because they are xyz. Wherever that's why i think is about building connections and is just use. I about long-term and ships. I was gonna say the next eighty years is going to be cared for humanity and we can turn the ship around. I think On mike humanity excel. The is already i think the key to it is conversations conversations can get us to a place I don't think we should gamble quite so much lightning on horses but be honest and talk things through. Don't just assume everything will be alright. And don't lie in hollywood behind things oliver so i think it's about connections and being honest. Yeah yes subsidies be on right. I think i think civilly interesting question it was. It felt like if i if i felt quite open ended. But i kind of got the impression the because this is the people's countryside environmental debate paul costuming today. It's more of a discussion rather than debate by then. We're talking about from an environmental point of view. On how can we accelerate future But i think it's a grinder thing than that. I think we need to look at. How how we've already excelled in. Many many facets many fascinating but specifically environmentalism. I think we have exhausted. I think a good example is that there was a big storm that came across the u. k. a. would december on on on the twenty sixth boxing day or since stevens day wherever you want to call it I think it was about half of the power generators but fifty per cent of the power generated in the uk. Came from renewables came from wind power so that themself that's as big fica and that starts in a way that is excelling. Isn't it really. you know i remember. This is awesome slightly slight tangent. But i remember years ago probably in the mid nineties. Obvious doing this College degree didn't finish it. But i was doing and there was a lot of the answer anthropology in and i remember something that jumps out at me. Now come back for twenty years or say twenty. Two years the. I remember somebody was signed. Seven seventy thousand years ago. That was In the human rights that was a cognitive rev revolution where our when is sort of picked up And yet when you look at the situation the world now men and women are still not equal In b- in part because of my own leadership maybe gender is needs to be looked talked to mike at essex. Our bit fat. We've had seventy thousand years. Doing this is obviously not working as well as it could So maybe we need to look at gender equality. Yeah that's true that's true. I mean this start. That's a whole nother conversation. i feel about. It is a question about opens. We did actually have a question about gender equality which we've found quite difficult to discuss and We should return. I think we should definitely return to that question again. With guests and a guest from our justice just maybe just brainstorming on the podcast even having to of two guests have are different gender. Different age to us and really in that question. Because that's really. Yeah that's really important question to even to really go that popped into my head when you're talking seventy thousand years ago. I'm thinking it's very often. There's lots of examples where where women have voice being there seemed to be written out of history and Men can be as bad as women and men men can. Women can be as bad as man. But i think the skills are interchangeable. And we don't look at skills quite enough we look at it. Well you can't do that because you women or whatever but maybe um the perspectives different. I mean that's what on getting ready is. We need a bit more feminine perspective in these things but more balanced. Maybe ballots is always key right. I know i would go as far as saying that. The is is to get us out. Really counter. Intuitive and i think i think this might sound very controversial while i'm about to say that is the the it shouldn't be an issue in the first place it of course it is. Yeah absolutely but the. I'm the aim of i think of gender politics is to make make relevant and actually be you know. This person is x. Is good at this excels in this field. It doesn't matter what their background is doesn't matter their sexual orientation is that the sex is what their gender is. The race is one of their ethnicity. Whatever tick box you wanna go for. It matches. What what what what wherever. Somebody's bringing to the table. What how they're how they're helping improve life right how. Yeah whatever. it is The question was soon jannati pronouncing not roy. Your nazi from israel Thanks for being with us The question was how can we might humanity sell again. Well william strong views up my excelling but we just could be doing it. Better ma action all you would probably say you know if we want to exile better wake solid gain. Maybe keep asking questions Narrow down the research the findings and the thoughts out. I would just need to see it but we're not seeing yet. That's more action. yeah. I'd say i'd also my action would be to keep hearts. Look at what we've already achieved. Look at look at where we all right now and take stock of and then that will inform that will inform how we move forward really. We've done a lot of good things as species. We do all crap things. We don dieting. But we also do a lot of good things as well. Should you wanna sign out of their william. Y'all sign up right now. I'd like to say she right now. Share this episode with five of your friends. Go and share it right now. Whatever method to share things by whether it's what's up whether it's an email whether it's putting a message on a carrier pigeon whatever you do go with five your friends right now. Thanks very much. Listened to the podcast. We appreciate everybody listens. And we'll see you in the next episode.
What explains the rise of humans? | Yuval Noah Harari
"Hello Chris Anderson here. You're about to hear a talk from the historian futurist and bestselling author Yuval Harari in the talk evolved presents his idea that the fundamental building block of our society is stories our ability to believe in a shared fiction if the talk is compelling to I've got some good news I got to sit down with Jawohl for an extended conversation for my podcast had interview in that conversation he talks in depth about why we may have lost the biggest single-story that connected us and what the consequences of that might be. That's the Ted interview on spotify Apple podcasts or wherever you listen seventy thousand years ago our ancestors were insignificant animals. The most important thing to know about price humans is unimportant. Their impact on the world was not much greater than that of jellyfish of firefly's woodpeckers today in contrast we control this planet and the question is how did we come from there to hear. How did we turn ourselves from insignificant APES APES MINDING THEIR OWN business in a corner of Africa into the rulers of planet earth? Usually we look for the difference between us and all the other animals on the individual level. We you want to believe I want to believe that every something special about me about my body about my brain that makes me so superior to a dog over pig or a chimpanzee but the truth is that on the individual level I'm embarrassingly similar to assume Pansy and if you take me and chimpanzee and put us together on some lonely island and we're head to struggle for survival to you see who survives better I would definitely place my bets on the Chimpanzee N- not on myself and this is not something wrong with me. Personally I guess if they took almost any one of you and placed your loan with a chimpanzee on some island the chimpanzee would do much better the real difference between humans and all other animals is not on the individual level. It's on the collective level humans humans control the planet because they are the only animals that can cooperate both flexibly and in very large numbers now there are other animals like the social insects the bees the aunts breath that can cooperate in large numbers but they don't do so flexibly their corporation is very rigid. There is basically just one way in which a beehive can function in if there is a new paternity or or renew danger the bees cannot reinvent the social system overnight they cannot for example execute the Queen and establish a republic of bees or communist dictatorship of worker bees other for animals like the social mammals the wolves the elephants dolphins the chimpanzees they can cooperate much more flexibly but they do so only in small numbers because cooperation among chimpanzees is based on intimate knowledge one of the other if I machine Pansy and Jewish benzene and I want to cooperate with you. I need to know you personally. What kind of chimpanzee are you? Are you a nice Chimpanzee Argon Evil Chimpanzee. Are you trust within if I don't know you. How can I call it with you? The only animals that can combine the two abilities together and cooperate both flexibly and still do so in very we loved numbers. He's US Homo Sapiens one verses one or even ten verses ten chimpanzees might be better than us but if you pete one thousand Cubans against one thousand chimpanzees. Lease the humans will win easily for the simple reason that a thousand chimpanzees cannot cooperate at all and if you now try to cram one hundred thousand chimpanzees into Oxo street or into to Wembley Stadium or tournament square of the Vatican you will get kills complete chaos just imagine Wembley Stadium with one hundred thousand chimpanzees complete Mundus in contrast unions normally normally gather there in tens of thousands and what we get is not cares. Usually what we get is extremely sophisticated ineffective networks of cooperation all the youtube achievements of humankind throughout history. Whether it's building the Pyramids of flying to the moon have been based not on individual abilities but on this ability to cooperate flexible in large numbers think even about this very talk to time giving now. I'm standing here in front of an audience of about three hundred or four hundred people. Most of you are complete strangers to me similarly. I don't really know the people all the people who have organized and worked on this event. I don't know the pilot and the crew members of the plane that brought me over here yesterday to London. I don't know the people who invented manufactured at this microphone and these cameras which are recording what I'm saying. I don't know that people who were out of the books and articles that I've read in preparation for this talk and I certainly don't know all the people who might that'd be watching this talk over the internet somewhere in Buena Cyrus or a New Delhi nevertheless even though we don't know each other we can work together to create this global exchange of ideas. This is something chimpanzees cannot do they communicate of course but you will never catch chimpanzee traveling to some distant chimpanzee bent to give them a talk about bananas or about about elephants or anything else that my interest chimpanzees no corporation is of course not always nice all the horrible things humans have been doing throughout history and we have been doing some very horrible horrible things. All those things are also based on large-scale Corporation prisons are a system of corporation slaughter houses. Our Assistant of corporation concentration camps are a system of cooperation. She pansies don't have slaughter houses and prisons and concentration camps now supposed I've managed to convince you. Perhaps that yes we control the world because we can cooperate flexibly in large numbers. I the next question that immediately arises in the mind of inquisitive listener is how exactly do we do it. What enables US alone of all the animals to cooperate in such a way? The answer is origination. We can cooperate flexibly with countless numbers of strangers because we alone of all the animals on the planet can create three eight and believe fictions fictional stories and as long as everybody believes in the same fiction everybody obeys and follows the same rules the same norms the same values all other animals use their communication system only to describe reality chimpanzee may say look there is a lion. Let's run away or look. There is a banana tree over there. Let's go and get bananas Yeoman's in contrast use their language not merrily to describe reality but also to create new realities fictional realities a human can say look there is a. God above the clouds and if you don't do what they tell you to do. After you die gobbled punish you and send you to hell and if you all believe these stories I have invented then you will follow the same north and lows and values and and you can cooperate. This is something only humans can do you can never convince Shimpei Zine to give you a banana by promising him that after you die you'll go to chimpanzee heaven and you'll receive lots and lots of bananas as for your good deeds so now this banana notion pansy will ever believe that story only humans beliefs such stories which is why we control the world whereas the chimpanzees are locked up in zoos and Research Laboratories Tories now you may find it acceptable that yes in the religious field humans to operate by believing in the same fictions millions of people come together to build the cathedral bill or a mosque of fight on crusade of an Jihad because the Ol- believe in the same stories about God and Heaven and help but what I want to emphasize is that exactly the same mechanism Tim underlies all other forms of mass-scale Human Corporation not only inter-religious field take for example the legal field most legal systems today in the world are based on a belief in human rights but what are human rights human rights just like Garden Heaven of just a story that we've invented the not in objective reality. They are not some biological effect about Homo sapiens. Take a human being cutting open looking signed. You will find the heart the kidneys norani's hormones DNA but you won't find any rights. The only place you find signed rights isn't the stories that we have invented and spread around over the last few centuries. They may be very positive stories very good stories but they are still just fictional stories that we've invented vented. The same is true of the political field. The most important factors in modern politics are stinks and nations but what our state and nations they are not an objective reality. A mountain is an objective reality. You can see it you can touch it. You can even smell it but in nation or a state like Israel or Iran of France and Germany this is just a story that we've invented and and became extremely attached to the same is true of economic field the most important actors today in the global economy our companies and corporations many of you. Perhaps work for the corporation you like Google or Toyota or McDonald's. What exactly are these things? The are what lawyers call legal fictions they are stories invented and maintained by the powerful the wizards we call lawyers and what do corporations do all day mostly. They try to make bunny yet. What is money again? Money is not an objective reality. It has no objective value. Take this Greenpeace of paper the dollar bill look at it. It has no value you cannot eat it. You cannot drink it. You cannot wear it but then come along these muster storytellers retailers the big bankers to finance ministers the prime minister's and they tell us a very convincing story. Look you say screen piece of paper it is actually worth ten bananas and if I believe and you believe it and everybody believes it actually works. I can take this worthless piece of paper. Go to the supermarket. Give it to a complete stranger whom I've never met before and get in exchange real bananas. which I can actually eat this is something amazing you can never do it with? Chimpanzees Chimpanzees train of course yes you give me a coconut. I'll give you a banana that can work but you give me a worthless piece of paper and we expect me to give you a banana no way. What do you think Ame uelmen money infect is the most successful story ever invented untold by humans because it is the only story everybody believes not everybody believes in God? Not Everybody believes in human rights. Not everybody believes in nationalism but everybody believes in money and the dollar bills take even Osama bin Laden he hated American politics and American religion and American culture but it no objection to American dollas. He was quite fond of them. Actually concluding we humans control the world because we live in a jewelry -ality all other animals live in an objective reality. They're reality -ality consists of objective entities like rivers and trees and lions and elephants we humans we also live in an objective reality in our world to there are rivers in threes and lions and elephants but over the centuries we have constructed on top of this objective reality a second layer of fictional reality reality made a fictional actional entities like nations like gods like money life corporations and what is amazing that as history unfolded this fictional reality became more and more powerful so that today the most powerful forces in the world these fictional entities today the very survival of rivers in threes and lions and elephants elephants depends on the decisions and wishes fictional entities like the United States like Google like the World Bank entities that exist only in our own imagination. Thank you thank you. YOU'RE A new book out after scipion worth another one and <hes> it's out in Hebrew but not yet <unk> into I'm working inflation is in the book. If I understand you argue that actually amazing breakthrough we are species right now not only will potentially trying to make our life better but they will create an equestrian new classes and you class struggle's just as the industrial pollution did. Can you elaborate for us. Yes in industrial revolution. We saw the creation of a new class of the Orbin proletariate and much of the political and social history of the last one hundred years involved what to do with this class in the new problems and opportunities now we see the creation of a new massive class of useless people as computers become better and better in more and more fields distinct possibility. That's computers will outperform us in most tasks and we'll make humans redundant and then the big political economic question of the twenty first century will be. What do we need humans for over at least what do we need so many humans for driven answering the book at present the best guess we we have is a keep them happy with drugs and computer games but this doesn't sound like a very appealing future so basically saying the book and now that for all the discussion about the growing evidence of significant economic inequality we are just kind of the beginning of the process through the prophecy? It's seeing all kinds of possibilities before us. One possibility is this creation of a new massive class of useless people.
How It All Began
"Hey It's guy here so today. Show is all but the evolution of our species where we come from and where we're headed and with all the advancements in gene editing technology we can now modify our very own DNA faster cheaper and more precisely. So could we be evolving into a different species or even several variations Gary Asians of species well this episode first aired in October of twenty fourteen. But we've reinterviewed our last speaker to get an update on where this technology is headed. He's a futurist who says evolution is no longer driven just by nature but also by human choice. This episode is called how it all began. Hope you enjoy. This is the Ted Radio Hour each week round breaking Ted talks technology. Entertainment Design Design. Is that really what. I've never known. Delivered at Ted Conferences around the world. If the human imagination we've had to believe in impossible thing. The true nature of reality beckons just beyond those talks. Those ideas ideas adapted for radio from NPR. I'm Gyros a couple of weeks ago. I got a small package in the mail and inside there was a kid. It was a couple of plastic test tubes or a few plastic scrapers some ziplock bags eggs and my instructions were to scrape the inside of my cheeks up and down for about thirty seconds. And how was that were. I was great and And then send those sticks back to this guy. My Name is Dr Spencer Wells and a card carrying explorer the National Geographic Society. And I'm the director of the geographic Graphic project. They're the geographic project. At National Geographic has collected cheek swabs from about seven hundred thousand people around the world and in each of those swabs embedded in the DNA. There's a story so So which find who like. What do I come from well? I'm looking get your results right now. And so we're analyzing several pieces of your genome on your mother's side you're type is t one B three It's mostly found in South Eastern Europe in the Middle East and your subtype is more common in Turkey than elsewhere. Wow in on your dad's side you also have a group. That's more common in the Middle East so your particular combination is closest to Lebanese Romanians Asinine so again pointing to kind of the region around Turkey. So your ancestors would have encountered the neanderthals in the Middle East between forty five and fifty thousand years ago and they bred with them you today or carrying two point point seven percent neanderthal DNA. Wow just slightly higher than average Average is about two point one percent. You know it's funny. You say that because I I do to have some characteristics that I think would concern. So we're all curious about our roots right and they seem so so personal but Spencer's chasing a much bigger story. A story that connects every single one of us to a common origin. You you know this is one of those basic human questions you know like Einstein said I want to know the thoughts of God all else's detail. This is one of those deep. Human questions is that I feel like we as a species should be trying to answer is the only species in the history of the universe. As far as we know that has ever evolved all the capacity to start to answer these sorts of questions by God. We need to be trying to do it. Okay challenge accepted our show. uh-huh today how it all began stories and ideas about our origins who we are what came before us and where we're going as a species. Later in the show Spencer Wells returns to explain how in a very short period of time we left Africa and spread out across. Ask The planet but I my name is David Christian and since nineteen thousand nine. I've been teaching courses on the history of the universe and the place of humans inside that story and I call them history. David Christian is in story and and his idea. Big History is really about our our place in the universe and how small are part of the story actually is here you are you exist around this star you you exist on this planet you a member of this species and all of these apart of knowing what you are eventually. Of course you'll get to say you were brought up in Australia Australia or in America all of those stories we need but we also need this big story and as long as we don't have this big story it's GonNa be very hard. I think for us to understand ourselves as humans so the story David Christian tells begins thirteen point eight billion years Zeo pitch black darkness. Here's David on the Ted stage around us. There's nothing there's not even time or space base. Imagine the darkest emptiness thing you can and cubit a gazillion times and that's where we are and then suddenly unle universe appears an entire universe and we've crossed our first threshold. The Universe is tiny. It's smaller than an atom. It's it's incredibly hot. It contains everything that's in today's universe it's busting and it's expanding at incredible speed and at first I it's just a blur. But very quickly distinct things begin to appear in that blur within the first second energy itself shatters into distinct forces forces including electromagnetism and gravity and energy does something else quite magical it congeals to full matter Kwok's that will create protons and leptons that include electrons and. All of. That happens in the first second so now we move forward. Three hundred and eighty thousand years. That's twice as long as humans have been on this planet and now simple atoms appear of hydrogen and helium. Gravity is more powerful with us more stuff off. So where you get slightly denser areas. Gravity starts compacting clouds of hydrogen and helium atoms. So we can imagine the early universe breaking up into a billion clouds and each cloud is compacted. Gravity gets more powerful as density increases. The temperature begins to rise at the center of each cloud cloud. And then it lists intravenous cloud the temperature crosses the threshold temperature of ten million degrees. Protons start to fuse. It does a huge release of energy and we have from about two hundred million years off to the Big Bang. stobbs begin to appear all through the universe. Experience of them and the Universe is now significantly more interesting and more complex and all of that wasn't even half half a billion years after the big bang it would take another eight or nine billion years for our solar system in our planet to form and nearly another another billion before the first signs of life for most of that time of life on earth living organisms have been relatively simple single cells but they had great diversity and inside great complexity then from about six hundred eight hundred million years ago multi celled organisms appear. You get fungi engage. You get fish you get plants you get amphibia you get reptiles and then of course you get the dinosaurs and occasionally only there are disasters. Sixty five million years ago. An asteroid landed on earth near the Yucatan peninsula creating conditions excellent to those of a nuclear war and the dinosaurs were wiped out terrible news for the dinosaurs but great news for our mammalian million ancestors who flourished in the niches left empty by the dinosaurs and we human beings are part of that creative. ATV pollution repulse that began sixty five million years ago with the landing of asteroid. What do you think we need to know the story? Why do we need to know about origins? Well if I were to turn the question around and say why do we need to know about American history. What would be? I think it would be that we need to be able to play so self in story. Isn't that right one of the one example of this one wonderful example about this is my friend Walter Alvarez. The geologist he's the person who more or less proved that he was an asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs now if that asteroid had been on a trajectory five minutes it's earlier or five minutes later it wouldn't have wiped out the dinosaurs and the dinosaurs would almost certainly still rule the planet. And we wouldn't be here. It's as simple as that. So it's a story that in one sense makes us feel very small and very little we inhabit a obscure planet in an obscure Whoa galaxy around it obscure son but on the other hand modern human society represents one of the most complex things we know and that's the other side of the story that makes us look pretty interesting. Humans appeared about two hundred thousand years ago. Now what makes humans different is human language. We are blessed with a language. A system of communication so powerful and so precise that we can share what we've learned with such precision that that it can accumulate in the collective memory and that means it can outlast the individuals who learned that information and it can accumulate from generation to the generation. And that's why as species. We're so creative and so powerful and that's why we have a history. We seem to be the only species in four billion dylan years to have this gift. I know I know it. Sounds like a little bit new agey but I mean it is a mystery three where where we come from a mystery. We'd we really don't entirely know you'll get two wonderful men. It is a mystery indeed bought having said that the astonishing thing is that modern science can open many doors on that mystery. Not all of them. There is still Dole's roles become open. We don't know what to do with consciousness for example. We don't know what happened before the Big Bang but we can tell a remarkably markedly good story about many parts of that mystery and that story's got better and better and better in the last fifty years so I hope you'll agree read. This is a powerful story. And it's a story in which humans play an astonishing and creative role but it also contains warnings. I remember very vividly as a child. Growing up in England living through the Cuban missile crisis for a few days the entire biosphere seemed to be on the verge of destruction and the same weapons are still here and they're still armed. If we avoid that trap others are waiting for us. We're burning fossil fuels at such a rate that we seem to be undermining the goldilocks conditions. That made it possible for human civilizations to flourish rush over the last ten thousand years. So what big history can do is show us the nature of our complexity and fragility and the dangers that face us but it can also show us our power with collective learning when you think about our origins and you think about out this idea of a unified history of the universe. It places like our whole very brief history into a context in which I I can't help but think God not only are we less relevant than we think but but we've wasted so much time focusing on ourselves in our on our differences when in fact we we are tiny piece of this huge story. I agree I agree. And that's one of the reasons why I think the story is so powerful because it makes the differences between humans same rather irrelevant so if in in schools wiki teaching that history is divided into American history and Chinese history and Russian history. Australian history mystery with teaching kids that they are divided into tribes with failing to teach them that we also as human beings share the problems that we need to work together with David Christian teachers. Of course come big history to find out more about it and to see David's entire talk but the story of us go to Ted Dot Com our show today how it all began our origins. I'm guy rise. And this is the Ted Radio hour from NPR. Hey everyone just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who help make this podcast possible I to capital one with a capital one saver card you can earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment that means four percent on milkshakes with the kids and four percent on music with your pals you'll also earn two percent cashback Ashbourne at grocery stores and one percent on all other purchases. Now when you go out you cash in capital one. What's in your wallet? Terms apply. Thanks thanks also to smart water smart waters and a mission to add fresh thinking to the world through thoughtful innovation. That's why they created two new ways to hydrate smart water alkaline align with nine plus Ph helps keep you hydrated while you're on the move smart water antioxidant with added Selenium find balanced for your body in line but they didn't stop. Stop there now. You can order smart water by saying Alexa Order. Smart Water Yourself Yourself Smart Water. That's pretty smart. He and one more thing before we get back to the show just a reminder that throughout the month of December were asking you to make a year end gift to your local public radio station because when you donate your gift goes right back to your own public radio community and it is is so important to get your contributions in before the end of the year it super easy just go to donate dot. NPR Dot Org Slash Ted Radio and thanks. It's the Ted Radio hour from NPR. I'm guy rise is in a show today how it all began ideas about our origin. And the things that came before us. So think back to your own recent Jason Origins. When you were kid you probably had a favorite dinosaur right? My favorite dinosaurs T. REX ON T. REX is fairly t-rex ex- We try this question out on some kids at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum here in Washington DC and we found some striking uniformity. which is your favorite not rex? It's here on the T. Rex. These kids were between five and twelve. And when you try to pin them down on why why. WII The T.. REX is their favorite. Well it's the Kenya and Itchy rigs as big as a banana. It's it's like eating phones in people and stuff. It's kind of like my dream monster if you think about it because it's so what is it about these creatures who lived so long before we did that speaks to us about our own origins. They're gone and they're very different from anything alive today. Hi this is Jack Horner. I'm the curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies. In Bozeman Montana Jack Horror is like other scientists who are trying to piece together. Parts of our past. Some of them simulate the Big Bang Inside Massive Particle Collider's others look deep into space ace through giant telescopes to see the past. And in Jack's case he's also on a quest to bring some of that distant past literally back right to life and it all started with Jurassic Park so Toronto source rex. They made in. The first movie was just and credibly real looking. Jack was an adviser on the film and he was even the inspiration for one of the main characters. Absolutely still doctor Allen Grants are answers. I guess the fortunate thing about that is that he didn't get eaten. It was seeing the T. rex so lifelike. It's like on the big screen that reignited something in Jack was one of the things that sparked my interest in actually trying to make a dinosaur just like in the movie. Jack Horner wants to make a real life dinosaur one a little friendlier than the T rex. One he says you could actually have as a pet but What kind of pet dinosaur would you have? Why would have aw chicken a chicken Soroush actually? It's not that different from what Jack's character did Ashland interesting part. Well maybe dinosaurs have more in common with present-day birds and they'd do was ripped in this scene. Dr Grant is examining a velociraptor fossil offbeat pubic bone. Turn back just like a bird. Look at the vertebrae full of parasites in the hollows just like a bird and even the word rafter means bird of prey. And even if we can't make a dinosaur like they did in drastic park. Could a bird could a chicken get us closer. Here's Jack Horner's owners big idea from the Ted stage. The theme of this story is building a dinosaur and so we come to that part of Jurassic Park. This is as you know. Michael Crichton really was one of the first people to talk about bringing dinosaurs back to life. If you want dinosaur DNA say go to the dinosaur dinosaur back in Nineteen ninety-three when the movie came out. We actually had a grant from the National Science Foundation to attempt to extract DNA from a dinosaur but we have discovered that dinosaur DNA and all day. DNA just breaks down too fast. We're just not going to be able to do do what they did. And Drastic Park. We're not going to be able to make a dinosaur based on a dinosaur but birds. Words are dinosaurs. Birds are living dinosaurs. So we don't have to make a dinosaur already have them. I know you're you're you're bad as the sixth graders right. The sixth graders look at and they say no. You can call it you can call it a dinosaur but look at the velociraptor the loss of raptors cool. The chicken is not not fix the chicken so we have a number of ways that we actually can fix the chicken. We'll call them biological modification tools. We have selection and we know selection works right. I mean we started out with a wolf flight creature and we ended up with a Maltese definitely genetic modification. We also have transgenesis assist strands. Genesis is really cool to. That's where you take a gene out of one animal and stick it in another one. That's how people glow fish you take a gene of glow glow gene out of a coral or jellyfish and you stick it in a zebra fish and they go. I guess we could make a glow chicken but I don't think that'll satisfy the sixth graders. Either Jack Solution is to focus on something. Buried deep in the origin region of the chicken. For instance every chicken while it is still an embryo actually has a three fingered hand but at some point a gene switches on And it triggers the fusion of the hand and so there are genes that have used the fingers together basically to form the the Wayne and the idea is that if scientists could figure out a way to stop those genes from activating we can get a check in that hashes out with a three fingered hand and the same goes for the tails. We know that in embryo as the animal is developing it actually as a relatively Lee long tail but a gene turns on and resorts the Tau gets rid of it. So that's the other gene. We're looking for. We want to stop that tale from resorting. So what we're trying to do really is take our chicken modify and make chicken Sorenson. I can just imagine chicken. If it had a long bony tail and a three fingered hand instead of of wings it would be a long ways to looking like velociraptor even then wow check you are freaking out a little bit when I explain this sort of thing to people and people do get kind of weird it out. I I try to take him back to dogs. For example was a Chihuahua. They've basically away bread for an animal. That looks like the embryonic wolf and so you know if you can be happy with that yeah I surely really do understand why a bird with a tail is going to freak anybody out. Oh don't get me wrong. I will be first in line to see the chicken Soroush while we're working on. Even though living breathing chicken source is still a long way off. Jack says even just the idea of one is is one way to get kids closer to our collective past absolutely and it also teaches them about evolution and one of the cool things I think about. Dinosaurs is Adele allows. You know kids get interested and and they just soak up all this information about dinosaurs and early on they know more than their parents and so they really fuel the imagination of kids and even as a paleontologist I I imagined them fighting. I imagine them roaming around. They still fuel my imagination. When you think about that time periods we're talking about such a long period of time has passed since that disturbing Nassar's kind of put the human era into perspective for you as almost like a a blip in time will let me give you a different perspective you know? Take any group of dinosaurs like horned dinosaurs. The amount of time that horn dinosaurs were on earth and the amount of time they had to evolve was greater than the period of time. Since they've they've gone extinct two now so trying to put the blip of time into perspective we have had zero time as as far as humans. Go Paleontologist Jack Horner. You can find his talk at Ted. NPR DOT ORG by the way when we talk to Jack last year he was advising the filmmakers behind the latest Jurassic Park near the Jurassic world. I've been on the set. Yeah so can you tell us a little. I can't tell you tell you tell anybody it's a great story and it's got a really really scary new dinosaur kind dog feathers nope does it have really sharp teeth and yesica would so this whole story about all the things that came before us and how we got here. It's pretty hard to wrap your head around because the scale is so so huge. So how do you explain it. I like to use a roll of toilet paper and by the way. This is the renowned paleontologist. Louis Leakey if you lay out a toilet roll which is four hundred sheets in length and you actually think about where the dinosaurs which everybody's familiar with comes in on the nineteenth sheep from the end they go extinct on the fifth cheat right from the end they are round for fourteen also sheets of that toilet roll at that. Point gave rise to the mammals and our our species homo sapiens. Only came into being in that very last millimeter of that last sheep the last two hundred hundred thousand years a millimeter of the four hundredth sheet on a roll of toilet paper. That's the whole history of our species in until very recently we didn't even know that much and what we do know about. Her origins is thanks in large. Part to Louise Leakey's family their story. Sorry in Africa all started with her great grandparents that were missionaries. WHO settled in? Kenya's Kikuyu that's and that's where Lewis my grandfather was born born and he really grew up speaking coup and Swaley and collecting snakes and animals and finding small little obsidian flakes as a child which I think really instilled within him a sense of of excitement and I think that really sowed the seed. He was convinced he was going to find. The answers says to our past in Africa rather than outside of Africa. which is what the conventional thinking was at that time? Okay so a bit an exclamation here up until really the late nineteen forties most serious paleontologists believed in something called the out of Asia Asia theory and it basically argued that our species developed in Asia and the fossil record at the time seemed to confirm it but Louis Leakey was an outline liar. He was absolutely convinced that humans came from Africa and he became obsessed with proving it. Even though most self-respecting fossil hunters there's were digging in Asia. They had fines from Indonesia from China and to to have imagined that you could have found fossils in Africa. Didn't seem right. What they didn't know was the fossils that were found outside of Africa? Were all much younger anger than the fossils that they would then go on to find in Africa so of course the conventional thinking was that Lewis was looking in quite the wrong place. The Louis Leakey and his wife Mary persisted. They spent decades digging for clues in Tanzania in a remote area known as Olduvai Gorge Guard. George gives us stories of the past rows of the hissing starting from the day right away back two million years Louis leaky from an old national geographic documentary and it was at old of I gorge where the leakey's would append the entire field of paleoanthropology in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine. When my grandmother? Mary found the skull of Zinjanthropus. Now the skull of Jan Therapists was one of the most significant Hamad. Fossil's astles found up to that point. It was one point. Seven five million years old far older than other fossils found in China and Indonesia and and proved that our ancestors came from an evolved in Africa so that fine really put then Africa on the map and make people then turned to Africa. It changed our entire understanding of where we came from and that fine launched a family dynasty of paleontologists hosts their sons Richard and Jonathan. Eventually the granddaughter lease who explained her ideas on the Ted Stage you are we. That is the big question and essentially we are just an upright walking big brain super intelligent intelligent ape. We belong to the family called the humidity we are the species called Homo Sapiens sapiens. We are one species over about five and a half thousand mammalian species that exist on planet earth today and that's just a tiny fraction action of all species that have ever lived on the planet in past times. We're one species out of approximately one. Let's say at Least Sixteen Upright walking apes that have existed over the past six to eight million years but as far as we know where the only upright walking that exists on planet Earth today. And it's it's important to remember that and in terms of our place in the world today and our future on planet earth in fact if you go back in time it this phenomenon that there are multiple species of hominids or of human ancestors that coexist at any one time. We've only been around for the past. Two hundred hundred thousand years is a species yet. We've reached a population of more than six and a half billion people but what happened is our technology has removed the the checks and balances on our population growth. My father so appropriately put it that we are certainly the only animal that makes conscious choices that how bad for us survival as species. Can we hold it together. It's important to remember that we all evolved in Africa. We all have an African origin. We have a common past and we share a common future evolutionary speaking. We're just a blip where setting on the edge of a precipice and we have the tools and the technology you and our hands to communicate what needs to be done to hold it together today. Will we do that. We just let nature take it scores Incense what you do by looking into. The past ashed is almost like a window into into the future. Will that that's absolutely right. I think when you work on fossils and you realize a species is there on its abundant for quite a long period of time and then at some point. It's no longer there and so when you look at that bigger picture. Yes yes you realize that the either you you change and adapt or as a as a species. you go extinct. I mean you think about neanderthals 'em who who lasted for half a million years right and we've been around for two hundred thousand I mean let's let's just talk about five thousand years from now. Do you think it's likely that we will be here in five thousand years. I couldn't answer that question. I really I I stop and think about it quite often. I as a species. Yes we probably could be here. But in what numbers possibly far fewer if we're really going to sustain ourselves on the planet but every species becomes extinct at some point. I think we will go extinct. The question is as Homo Sapiens. All we going to be able to adapt to the change that we're actually part of where we're causing such dramatic changes to the planet. So yes you do. Stop and think. I wonder where we're headed Louise. He's leaky is a third generation paleontologist from the legendary leakey family. You can check out her. Full talk at Ted Dot. NPR Dot Org our show today how it all began ideas about our collective past. I'm Guy Roz and you're listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR. Aw Hey everyone just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors so help make this podcast possible I to each rate investing. Your money shouldn't require moving mountains no matter how much or how little experience you have e-trade makes investing simpler and for a limited time. Get One hundred dollars when you open a new account with just five thousand dollars. It's all about helping your money any work hard for you. For more information visit eatright dot com slash learn more me trade securities LLC member SIPC. Thanks also to to personal capital offering online financial tools to give you a three hundred sixty degree view of all your accounts in one place WanNa talk personal capital registered advisors. Who can help you invest smarter and plan for retirement? Download the personal capital APP or start investing today had personal capital Dot Com the personal capital invest with logic plan with heart. This week on asked me another singer. Pollard Cole surprises us with one of her lesser known talents. You do any bird calls. Well what is going on this end or NPR's asked me another. Listen now. Hey really quick before we get to the show if you know of a kid between the ages of say four and twelve is curious about the world and the world of science. You have to check out my kids. podcast how in the world me and my co host Mindy. Thomas travel around the world backwards and forwards and time. Inside the human embody and deep into interstellar space for a show that will take you and the kids you know on an incredible journey. All new episodes begin December second so checkout got wow in the world wherever you get your podcasts. It's the Ted Radio hour from NPR. I'm Gyros and a show today how it all began ideas about our origins agents. So if you've been hanging out in say the town of White Horse which is in Canada's Yukon territory past week this is what you've heard on the Radio Radio Ninety six point one the rush. Hi I'm March and this is March. Is Marcus tired of paying rent. There are alternatives and around the same time around and six thousand miles to the southeast. You would have heard this in Peru Cusco. Eight thousand miles northeast north-east. This was on the air in Saint Petersburg Russia as cool Marvin my half teaches kebab machine and more than three thousand listen miles south this in Kenya so earlier in the show David Christian explained that it was language that gave us in edge as a species more than six thousand languages are spoken around the world. So Oh how did that happen. How did we come to look and sound so different? Let's would spencer. Wells has been trying to figure out when I spend my life travelling visiting places. This is like Chad and Tajikistan Pappa Guinea and Palau Spencer Wells. You might remember. Is that geneticist who analysed my DNA. Earlier in the show. He's also an explorer or for National Geographic and told us that one of the things he really likes to do when he travels is to look at faces. You know you see people who seem to be so different from each other and kind of the underlying theme of our work is will. How different are they really turns out not much and while Louise Leakey and her family family proved that through prehistoric bones and fossils? Spencer Wells looks for the evidence of our common origins in living breathing human beings. He's using the tools of molecular genetics to figure out when human populations began to migrate from Africa and spread out across the globe. More on that in a minute but first let's go back to the beginning so we are about two hundred thousand years old right or awesomely human the way human things that we would recognize young Jiang like us if they were sitting here in the state issue hundred thousand years ago where we living in. What are we look like? We're living as a very small group of hunter gatherers at Savannahs China's of likely Eastern Africa. So present day Ethiopia Kenya Tanzania and it was in that kind of crucible of east African Hunter Gatherer Society that all of the modern characteristics arose two hundred thousand years ago. Were all dark. Skin is darker Gary. We're we're species of hairless primate and we evolved in the tropics six and there was no. SPF Fifty two hundred thousand years ago. So we had to have some sort of natural sunscreen and that was Melania. It's amazing to think about the age of our universe. Two hundred thousand years is is nothing it's like a blip in time it's like it's not even a second on the twenty four hour clock exactly and yet weeds thousand human generations. Yeah so we're talking about not a huge change in the way we look in such a short period of time absolutely. So why can't why. That's one of the big unsolved mysteries. We know that there's been uptaken so we started off dark living in the tropics in Africa and my ancestors for instance who came from northern Europe year-over-year. Very very white guy. My buddy skates who does all of the PBS shows african-american lives and so on is filming with and he says Spencer. You know it takes the whitest man in the world role to tell us. We all gave from black Africans. Spencer Wells picks up the story from the Ted Stage now. How recently do we share this ancestry? Was it millions of years ago which we might suspect by looking at all this incredible variation around the world. No the DNA tells a story. That's very clear. Within the last two hundred thousand years we all share an ancestor. A single person mitochondrial eve. You might have heard about her in Africa. An African woman who gave all the Mitochondria Diversity in the world today. But what's even more amazing. Is that if you look at the Y chromosome side the male side of the story. The the Y chromosome Adam only lived around sixty thousand years ago. That's only about two thousand human generations. The blink of an eye in an evolutionary sense. That tells us we were all still living in Africa. At that time this was an African man who gave rise to all the Y chromosome diversity around the world. It's only within the last sixty thousand ears that we have started to generate this incredible diversity. We see around the world such an amazing story all effectively part of an extended African family. And what happens when do they how do they how do they start to move out. And and where do they go well. So the evidence is that there might have been a little brief foray into the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula as early as entered in twenty thousand years ago but they didn't go very far beyond that but the a big blast came out around sixty thousand years ago so that's two thousand human generations so the question of course is what happened. Why didn't human start to leave Africa earlier than that? Well that's a big question. These why questions particularly in genetics and the study of history when all else fails talk about the weather what was going on to the world's weather around sixty thousand years ago. Well we were going into the worst part of the last ice age. The Northern Hemisphere had massive growing ice sheets in New York City Chicago Seattle all under a sheet of ice most of Britain all of Scandinavia covered by several kilometers thick now Africa. It's the most tropical continent we weren't covered in ice in Africa. Rather Africa was drying out at that time the reason for that is that is actually sucks moisture out of the atmosphere if you think about Antarctica. It's technically a desert and Africa was turning to desert. The Sahara was much bigger then than it is now and the human habitat was reduced to just a few small pockets compared to what we have today. The evidence from genetic data is that human population around this time. Roughly seventy thousand years ago crashed Ashton fewer than two thousand individuals. We nearly went extinct. We were hanging on by our fingernails. We we were almost completely wiped out as a species and if that wasn't bad enough we had the eruption of a mega volcano the largest volcanic eruption unless twenty to thirty million years Toba in Sumatra which today's Lake Toba and it blew its top in its spewed all of this ash into the atmosphere and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere in this had the effect of creating a global nuclear winter in effect and temperatures dropped by fifteen or twenty degrees Celsius on average lack. The Sun Yeah it blocked out the sun basically and so the animals and the plants become sparser into the human population becomes sparser. We can also look at the genetic variation that we see today in humans. Humans have remarkably little genetic variation for a species of large. Abe were highly inbred and it's because the population size around the time of that. Volcanic Kinnock eruption drop down to maybe two thousand but then fifty sixty seventy thousand years ago somewhere in that region. All Hell breaks loose. Art makes its appearance. The stone tools become much more finely crafted. The evidence is that humans begin to specialize in particular prey species at particular times of the year. The population Gulati size started to expand probably according to what many linguists believe fully modern language syntactical language subject verb object that we use to convey complex ideas. He is like I'm doing now appeared around that time we became much more social the social networks expanded this change in behavior allowed us to survive these worsening conditions in in Africa and they allowed us to start to expand around the world. What do we imagine that that migration was like well? I think it was really just a question of people moving a little bit further in search of better food supplies water supplies other might have been some wanderlust West. And say it wasn't it wasn't like hey let's go. You know ten thousand miles. It was it was a very slow migration over thousands liberty long journey starts with a step and and in this case people had no idea what was out there. I mean there was nobody tweeting from Siberia saying hey guys come on up here. There's lots of reindeer. Appear on the Tundra They didn't you know what they were going to encounter. I mean it's really amazing to think about it. You're setting off on the biggest journey in the history of your species. You have no idea where you're going but you are smart enough to be able to figure out solutions solutions to all the problems that are gonna be thrown in your way. The reason you're alive today is because of those changes in our brains that took place in Africa around sixty seventy thousand years ago allowing us not only to survive in Africa but to expand out of Africa and early coastal migration along the south coast of Asia leaving Africa around sixty thousand years ago reaching Australia. Very rapidly rapidly by fifty thousand years ago slightly later migration up into the Middle East these would have been savannah hunters entering Europe around thirty five thousand years ago and finally a small group. You're migrating up through the worst weather imaginable Siberia inside the Arctic Circle during the last ice age temperatures of minus seventy minus eighty minus one hundred perhaps migrating into the Americas ultimately reaching that final frontier. An amazing story and it happens. I in Africa the changes that allowed us to do that. The evolution of this highly adaptable brain. That we all carry around with US allowing us to create novel cultures allowing us to develop the diversity that we see on a whirlwind trip trip like the one. I've just been on. Thank you very much you spencer. Spencer Wells is a geneticist and the director of the Geographic Project at National Geographic. You can check out his entire Tedtalk at Ted Doc. NPR Dot Org. Okay so up until this point we've been talking about where we've come from but what about where we're going and what were evolving into so one and the last time we spoke you said He said that we are going to become yet. Another other hominids or set of hominids. We're going to evolve into something different Do you still think that is that. Still your view. I think it's becoming increasingly unlikely but will become various species. This is futurist one and guess what is making it increasingly likely these days is two things. This one is new genetic technologies that allow you to alter chain code you know. Basically and the second is space travel which will create eight a need for various kinds of bodies that haven't evolved to survive radiation or different gravity or different structures. Bond was on show back in two thousand fourteen and since then a lot has changed with gene editing technology and what one calls the life code revolution. Listen it's moving so quickly so within the last sixty days one of the things that we've seen this new research coming out that allows you to change not just blocks of genes but individual letters in the gene code and so the pinpoint accuracy of being able to do that means that the likelihood likelihood of side effects are much lower and the effectiveness is much higher. Now why would you WanNa do this. Well one of the things about traveling and spaces because because you don't have the atmosphere you're far more exposed to radiation right and we know. There's some bugs some plants some animals that are far more sensitive sensitive radiation than others are and in the measure that you understand why some creatures are more or less vulnerables radiation. It may be possible to engineer human genome. Almost like you do with the vaccine in such a way that we become far more radiation resistant. which which would allow us to live on Mars? which would allow us to live in a very different atmosphere which would allow us to travel much longer distances across space without coming down on with terrible cancers which may make it possible even to get to another solar system? I mean when that happens right. Well what would we even look like like if if we go back three hundred thousand years right. Humans looked more or less the same right like we would recognize them today But in the future that you're describing if we're still around what would we look like like what parts of us would we potentially not need so if you lose an arm or if you lose is a leg you're still you. If you have a kidney transplant you're still you. If you lose your brain then you're not you. Then you know your fundamental humanity has left and so I think people tend to focus a lot on what the body would look like and that's an interesting question but that's not the core question. The question is how our brains gonNA evolve. Our brains are two percent of our body weight and about twenty percent of our energy energy consumption. And I suspect what's going to happen is as we're faced with more and more challenges and questions one our brains are likely to get get larger. They will consumer energy which will probably start melding communicating co processing with other brains since and probably creating a symbiotic relationship with machines. But what about like the rest of us. What about the rest of of of our bodies? What's probably going to happen is we're going to start remaking each of our body parts as they wear out and the limiting factor factor than to how long people live is not going to be your body parts? Because it's going to be like your old house that you Redo the kitchen. The original bathroom you swap out the Alvan put a new fridge. That's what's going to happen to our bodies with their body parts and then the limiting factors brain because we're a long way away from understanding the brain. We're a long way from being able to map the brain. We're a long way from being able to reproduce the brain and we're a long way from being able to download memories from one brain to another but if you do that then all bets are off as to how long a human being could live. Well you know. I'm one of the questions that I've I've asked futurists a lot of the years and something that Think about in in this episode is whether we will be around in a thousand years or even five hundred years and if you want to know my answer I think think I think there will be humans on the planet in five hundred years but far fewer and I I think it. It sounds darken and pessimistic. But I I can't imagine a world in five years where humans are thriving and growing up. What do you what do you think do you do? You think that we will be thriving and five hundred years. He's on planet Earth. You know I tend to agree with you on most things. I don't agree with you. One great that's good. I don't want want you to know I mean. Look one of the things I love to ask. Audiences is if we had a Wales safely putting you into a deep sleep for three hundred years and you got a chance to wake up and see what's happened three hundred years. Would you do it and I would love to see what's here on three hundred years. I think there's never been a better time to be alive today. There's a whole lot of problems in the world today and we have to recognize those and boy compared to one hundred years ago. Five hundred years ago thousand years ago things have gotten mostly better in most places and three hundred years from now. I think think our grandkids are going to be doing stuff. That's unimaginable in terms of how they've dealt with violence how they have. You've created a more peaceful prosperous world in terms of how they've gotten out in space. I would love to see what happens in three hundred years. Yeah that's one. In Rica's he's a futurist and CO author of the book evolving ourselves. HOW UNNATURAL selection and non random mutation are changing life on earth? You can see all of his talks at Ted Dot com started front about him now. Yeah in front of Bottom Team Adam now team in sir. Thanks for listening to the show this week how it all began our production staff at NPR. Include Jeff Rodgers Brent Bachman Megan Kane Neva. Grant Son Has Michigan poor and Brigid McCarthy with help from Daniel Shchukin Americanism and Porsche Robertson Magus. Our intern is Amanda Hunting for our partners. At Ted include Chris Anderson June Cohen. Darren and Janet Leigh. I'm Guy Roz and you've been listening to ideas worth spreading on the Ted Radio Hour from N._p._R.. Them now here in front of bottom team here.
Yuval Noah Harari Charts the Evolution of Homo Sapiens
"You can listen to add free. New episodes of science rules only on stitcher premium for a free month of stitcher premium go to stitcher premium dot com and use. Promo code sci fi it or not nye here reportedly just launched real food in a transparent way to measure the impact of what you eat. You can see how a chicken ball like mine impacts the planet when compared to conventional ingredients. How much less. Carbon is emitted into the atmosphere. How much water is safe. Checkout you dot com slash real food print to learn more the clarkson school founded in nineteen. Seventy eight is a selective program for high academic achievers who have progressed beyond their high school curriculum and are ready for the challenge of a university. Setting students are immersed than a supportive environment with specialized programs and activities that bridge the transition between high school and college. After students complete the year they can continue. As sophomores at clarkson university or move onto other prestigious colleges learn more at carson dot edu slash science rules. We're all science. People never listened as some pretty funky things. There's chemistry and biology ear sites is how do you achieve equal skill. Time effort bats the recipe for success. I'm about to of things so cool to blow your mind. Rican make the world better for every starting now. Welcome welcome to science rules. I'm your host bill i. This is the show where science rules. It's a call in show if you wanna be on the show and i hope you do. Who leaves voicemail a two zero one four seven two zero seven eight five or go to ask bill. Nye dot com on the electric internet can also check me out and all the social media out there and to find out about her upcoming guests. But today i am joined once again by science writer editor and dear friend seriously. Corey us powell. Greetings corey greetings. Bill as always a pleasure to be here with you a pleasure to have a chance to sit back and think about things you know here we are in the midst of this covid pandemic. what's been going on for quite a while and people talk a lot about all. These people are not wearing masks and all this resistance but to me one of the most striking things is how compliant people been how cooperative have been. I'm walking my neighborhood and it's a good. These ninety percent of the people are being very responsible in distancing wearing masks. You think about how hard it is to get ninety percent of people to agree about anything and yet here we are. We're acting in this. Very responsible. Collective behavior the troublemakers. And the people who are giving pushback. They get a lot of attention in part because there outliers they make a lot of noise there you know. They caused a lot of agony. But this is relatively small portion of the population and it reminded me of this interview. I did with primatology. Bronze to wall a while back and i was asking him about. Why is human nature so violent and you know he studies bonobos pygmy chimpanzees and he laughed. He said look. You're talking to me from new york city. They're eight million people living in close proximity there. If you put eight million chimpanzees together in the same place it be pandemonium it would be a disaster and yet new york really quite peacefully. The question is not wire humans violent. The question is why are human so peaceful so that really got me thinking and it got me excited about today's episode. Yes yes. Today is none other the doctor. You've all know a harari. His a historian philosopher and author of the new york times mega bests hours sapiens. A brief history of humankind homo a brief history of tomorrow and most recently sapiens. A graphic history. There's a graphic novel version of his ideas. So dr yuval harari. Welcome to science rules. may i call you all. Certainly. i'm very happy to be here when you start sapiens. you say there's three revolutions. The first one i find especially enchanting the three big ones out the collective revolution about seventy thousand years ago. Then you have the controversy pollution ten thousand years ago and scientific revolution which is really just beginning. I mean again. Five hundred years ago but that's nothing in terms of human history so the company could prove aleutian is on about storytelling to make a long story. Short it's really all about storytelling. We control this planet and not the chimpanzees not the elephants not even the neanderthals because we can cooperating much larger numbers than any other animal and we can do that first and foremost because of our ability to invent and believe fictional stories. If you look at any large scale human corporation you'll always find at the basis some story wages longest everybody believes everybody cooperates and follows the same rules the same lows. It's most obvious in the case of religion that that's easy but the interesting thing is economic systems are based on fictional stories. Just like religions. I get what you mean. I believe by stories but the idea that what corporations do or what motivates them is fiction is somehow prove ably not true. It's not what motivates them. It's what they are. Corporations are not a biological or physical entity. The only place is exists is in our show imagination. He's in the stories. We believe we have these powerful costs of storytellers tens of thousands of years ago. You had the shamans telling stories about spirits. Then you had priests telling stories. About god's way the modern world we have lawyers corporate lawyers telling stories about corporations but it's really the same thing if everybody stops believing in it disappears and in the case even more clearly in the case of money. Maybe the greatest story told if everybody or even say eighty percent of people stop believing in the dollar disappeared. It has no value whatsoever. I mean most dollars are not even pieces of paper. They'll just electronic data when you hear today that the federal reserve bank has created during this crisis trillions of dollars. They don't even bother to bring them anymore. It's they just enter some computer file and zero somewhere and poof. You have a trillion dollars appearing out of nowhere. Tell us about the cognitive revolution. What happened when this is when people could create stories and believe in them right. This is when something happened. We don't understand what which enabled our species of humans homo sapiens. At the time there were at least five other human species we used to being the only humans around but seventy thousand years ago. There were at least six different human species. The most famous apart for us are of course neanderthals until then sapiens homo sapiens does not seem to be superior to undertows all to the other human species sapiens They leave a we leave in africa and then we spread from there and push to extinction all the other human species and many of other big animals of the world and take over the planets and what the neighbors to do. It is a sudden ability to cooperate far more effectively large numbers neanderthals which were as powerful as physically and have bigger brains than homo sapiens. But they could cooperate. Only in small bands twenty fourteen. Maybe eight hundred dollars could could cooperate on something. How do you know that. How do we know that archaeology. I mean we find we sapiens. We find for example people creating stone tools and when archaeologists analyze the chemical signature. I mean every stone has cynical signature. Every rock tells a story sir and in the case of sapienze some stones or seashells they come from hundreds of kilometers away which implies some kind of trade network among other human species almost all the material is strictly local which implies they did not trade similarly you look at graves so it's questionable whether Even head graves intentionally buried. There are conflicting theories about. Its not clear one of the reasons. It's not clear that even if you find neanderthal in some kind of strange position somewhere there are almost no grave goods even if they bury them they don't bury them with all kinds of jewels and then the tools so commemorative objects. Yeah yes we sapiens. From tens of thousands of years ago you find spectacular graves. I mean individuals they just throw them in holland bassett but some individuals they are buried ways thousands upon thousands of some of them tools but some of them works of art. And it's very clear that this is not something that fifty people can do is just too much stuff there. So it's obviously hundreds of people coming together to bury this individual. We don't know why whether it was a political chief whether it was some religious fieger or whatever whatever it was some big human sacrifice we don't know but he's very strong evidence that this was a collaborative effort of at least several hundred individuals. And you don't find anything like that with neanderthals so based on this evidence where and how did this cognitive revolution occur at. Is this just sort of something that happened. Spontaneously to the best of our knowledge sometime around seventy thousand eight thousand ninety thousand years ago in east africa sapienze acquired this ability to cooperate in larger numbers to trade to form larger political units. It's not that humans. Learn how to make better the neanderthals excellent toolmakers. It's not that the brain became bigger again under thoughts. Have bigger brains than us. It's the ability to link together a lot of people into a network a o. Network and looking at subsequent history. This is probably because of a superior ability to tell stories and convince a lot of people to believe in them. What exactly happened around seventy thousand years ago. We know we thing yet. What were they thinking in. Other words was at one afternoon. That some some sapien man or woman went. Hey i've i've got a new way of thinking that's completely different from these other species or close. This bill and i were talking about this earlier. I i'm something of archaic knuckle dragging reductionist myself. And so when. I hear this i look at. Yeah with my etling brow. I'm thinking you know was there. A genetic mutation. Was there a thing that happened. That was able to change the quality of mind and change the the quality of communication probably. But we don't know in science that the best thing is that if you don't know something you just say you know i mean we know what homo sapiens was capable of doing afterwards. Both on the ground. I mean sapiens spreading from east africa. Very rapidly to colonize europa the middle east asia and then re ustralian america which no previous human species managed to manage to reach. We have a lot of evidence of new technologies new art trade systems and so forth it all points in the same direction but what actually triggered this revolution. What is it genetic mutation with genetic mutation. We don't know that right. So was there a gentle change. Over a few generations may be a few hundred generations from non cognitive to cognitive from non-communicative to communicate from non storytelling storytelling or was it sudden. And is there any evidence of that well in terms of today it was definitely gradu- he didn't happen ten years or one hundred years. We'll talking about something between a couple of thousand years to couple of tens of thousands of us based based on the archaeological data humane. Its own what we have is the archaeology and a bit of genetics. of course. but it's mostly the archaeology and there is such a big revolution at present in archaeology. It's not just the people find more stuff. It's the methods out changing dramatically. We now have such powerful tools of research which twenty years ago with sounded like science fiction. So what's an example of maybe. The biggest revolution came from the ability to extract and map ancient dna. What especially code. The public imagination was the discovery ten years ago that neanderthals and homo sapiens. Not only thanks but actually had children together and that almost everybody today on the planet has at least a bit of neanderthal genes in the dna. So hold on. I need to jump in here for one second. Because if what you're saying is true you have details that that did not really have fully modern cognition and homo sapiens. Who did so you sort of have a cognitively modern humans and cognitively not modern humans. i mean we don't know what the neandertal mine was like. They certainly had emotions. they certainly had sensations. They had all kinds of thought processes different from from sapiens. Today there are sometimes differences between between partners. I've noticed that so. There is a lot of research on this question of what was sex like in the stone age and you would be surprised what you can today tell about sexual relations fifty thousand years ago or they're to give us an example. Ooh there is a lot of research. For example about the gender relations was it mainly sapienze males ways neanderthals females with it. The opposite awarded more or less equal. Now this has a lot of You can you can know that because of the kind of dna traces neanderthal dna. That you find today. In modern humans. Sunday comes mainly from Women some mainly for men. So you can tell this and this is has a lot of implications because usually for example if you have a situation where it's mostly males from one. Group in females for another group is often is a situation of conquest and domination. Stick around for more science rules after this whitehead junior dot com offers. The world's best one on one coaching classes for kids between the ages of six and fourteen. It's where children learn through play and experimentation their unique one on one teaching methodology makes it easy to absorb tough concepts because the teacher is able to focus completely on one student. So give it a shot book a free. Coding class said whitehat junior dot com. That's whitehat jr dot com to see how easy it is for your child to learn. Coding tele doc provides access to speak with board certified doctors via apple. Phone or video anytime from the comfort of your home. 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Thousand years ago at depending on which of the world you can get and this is about about control. Humans learning to control other plants and animals and then also learning to control one another. It goes together once you try to control others. Suddenly you find yourself. Under the control of some big chief so the agriculture of aleutian is the moment for millions of years. Humans were hunting animals and gathering plans. And whatever but they never tried to tell them what to do. You know you go and hunt a wild gazelle. Don't tell them to go and went to read and to have sex with. How can we Is about trying to control somebody else's life so if you're a herder what you do. Most of the day is still sheep. What to do go there. Go here with this. Is that one. If you're a farmer you grace potatoes or wheat or rice. So you tell the plants were to. Do you grow here you as go away. And then of course somebody songs to control the unions. You say. of course like it was a natural thing to happen. Yes when you're talking about the control of humans is this a qualitative or quantitative chances naively. I think oh well before. There was agriculture before they were all these sort of these organisms. There so tribes. There were still you know there are people who are in charge and people who were Subordinate seems to me. Like the cultural revolution expanded the scale in which that was possible was that really a qualitative. Yeah it was quantitative because before agriculture human societies where egalitarian democratic. You could not. They'll know dictatorships in the stone age. It's an un unless under very very unique conditions usually original chief you're saying tribes didn't have a head guy the reason that all leaders leaders certainly somebody's of is a better heeler so everybody goes to to harrow to him when they are sick. Somebody's a better hunter. Somebody's a good storyteller. Somebody's connected the spirits so yeah people have leadership roles and they have charisma and all that but you cannot fall speak to do something against the will. There is no police. There is no army no presents and ultimately people vote with their feet. They live in a small mobile bands. If some bully comes along and south setting everybody what to do so one thing to do is just kill the bully of course coming the and and killing is what chimpanzees do when they have a very aggressive untainted leader alpha male but the other thing that simpler thing is just go just walk. I mean vote with your feet You don't have fields. You don't have villages you don't have granaries. You don't have everything you need in order to survive. He's your own skills and you'll social relations. Alright so hang on one of the my conceptions of what i've learned and heard about and so on over there once people figured agriculture out so they could stay in one place and have Granaries and villages and so on is then they had time to sit and think they actually had less time before agriculture people had more free time he also it depends which people you're talking about okay but also before agriculture didn't people starve to death wasn't that an undesirable outcome no foul. So i mean. Farmers starve to death far. More often than hunter gatherers hunter-gatherers. What protects them against famine is that they hunt and gather a very large number of different species of plants and animals so if the drought in some plant is now not available. They hung up on gotta something else. This is an old thing we say about. Ecosystems more diversity in an ecosystem. Exact more robust Easier can get through difficult times in whether floods. Whatever the problem is that especially the first farmers were monocultures in the middle east. They basically eat sweets and bali. That's the main thing in south america. It's potatoes in east asia in its rise in the north. It's millet so you have this louder. Logical relation relying on. Just a single crop will maybe crops and that's extremely fragile. You have it route to have a flawed have some disease and the entire thing collapses so that drawback with that's that's a drawback how come the Flippant world now depends on agriculture. In other words if the hunting gathering was a more robust why did agriculture with. Why did agile culture by weight of numbers farmers are just far more numerous than hunter gatherers. They have a were belive. They die far more often now. From famine but also from epidemics enter gatherers had noted any zero didactics epidemics started with agriculture. Because most of the pandemic come from domestic animals that chickens and pigs and even if it comes from a wild animal like the coronavirus skunk from embed in a mobile hunter gatherer band of twenty people if somebody is infected with coronavirus an okay so maybe ten people will get in to die. That's it but once you have towns and cities thousands of people crammed together. Not moving wisdom animals There yeah this is paradise for germs. So what's the advantage for the individual. I it's weight of numbers. You have a lot more miserable depot but a lot more people end that the way that agricultural the farmers think is to protect themselves through having even more babies mean hunter-gatherers did not have very big families. They moved around the time. it was difficult to manage. You know three or four babies at the same time. So women tried to stay out Birth at least three four years about one of the main ways to do it is to breastfeed babies children until the three or four years old as long as the mother breastfeeds the chances of getting pregnant again quite smoke and it also had advantage of strengthening the immune system of the baby. They're gonna know that of course but it didn't know that it's a good idea to space out birth. So here's a question. there's the next revolution after. Agriculture is the scientific revolution right. Yes that that's the getting back to this thing where i was claiming that agriculture allowed people to sit and think you're saying they had less time to sit and think most people. Yes i mean. Somehow i think science. When i think of science i think of time to sit and think so did farming lead to science or did science emerge some other organic way. You have thousands of years. In between. I mean you certainly need time away from Taking food in order to have serious signs but this is really the business of very very smart privileged group of people. It's not that. The mass of the people of the population in either ancient greece or in modern italy and britain and the united states have time to do signs the modern revolution. He's the work of a very small and very privileged need so here defined defined the scientific revolution. I let's say that. The scientific revolution the basis of the modern scientific revolutions the discovery of ignorance the biggest discovery science until the scientific revolution for thousands of years. You have different cultures and civilizations convinced that they have the answers to all the important questions. Maybe there is something that they don't know but it's not import. All the potent things are in our scriptures are in our traditions. There is nothing important that is left to be discovered. I have to ask a question here because you know anything about the history of science going back into what i would call the the proto scientific age knowing when rain's coming knowing what it was gonna flood knowing which plants were good to eat which plants were not good to eat being aware of your where the sun is in the sky and and and long-term cycles all those things were part of a pretty you widespread knowledge base. That are sort of separate from mythologies at the way you're framing it. Would you say that. That's that's not knowledge that's not science. No it's definitely is but it's it has been accumulated over a very very long time often in unsystematic way as kind of sideshow practice. I mean you don't have the Systematic search for new information end for amalgamating all the new observations and experiments in order to create new disciplines and you models and theories if you look for instance even in the middle ages just in europe in the middle ages just on the verge of the scientific revolution you know forget about astrophysics and biology and things like that. Just think about weapons. What would kings and princes won't more than battle weapons and yet no army. No state no country. In medieval europe had a research and development department that constantly works on making better crossbows better ships are better solves nothing. Of course people sometimes discover things and make improvements incrementally. i mean there is some kind of scientific progress before the modern age. but it's incremental. it's often haphazard. it's not static. I think about the polynesians polynesians were able to navigate all over the pacific ocean and they had agriculture and they had wars. I'm open minded but skeptical that they weren't thinking scientifically to discover new. Things is of course a human universal people everywhere all the time in history discovered new things invented new things but the basic assumption of almost all the cultures we know was that they already have the answers to the most important questions. Yes maybe can discover new island. Maybe we can find a better way to harmless. A whole these little things sure but the fundamental standing of what is the universe. What's happening here. What is the human body humans. Come from no. We know that there is no need to research. And you don't see a systematic effort to observe an experiment and make fundamental changes. You talked about fictions early on. Are you then suggesting quite reasonably and it wouldn't be the first time that science or what we think of as mainstream science is another fiction. Oh absolutely no no no. There's a huge difference science when there are fiction signs of course but let me go back maybe a few steps in defining what is fiction. What is a fictional story though. Really three kinds of things in the in the universe that we know about three kinds of realities there are objective. Things like viruses objective. Things are things that don't depend on human belief even if nobody knows the viruses that are still there even if nobody believes that can kill bacteria. It's still does he. Doesn't depend on your belief that's objective well sipping or would but that it were one of the world the world here in the united states the world would be quite different if we had people who accepted what seemed to be objective truths about viruses. I'm just trying to define the greg The defined the terms. And then i wanna follow up on this point but place finish you have objective realities viruses black holes. What'd then you have subjective realities subjective realities of things that exist in one mind only and depend on what you feel and you believe if you feel pain. Nobody else in the world feels the pain. You go to the doctor. The doctor needs to ask you. Is it painful. Because he knows he doesn't know and similarly if you if you have lots of kids have imaginary friend so they're the only ones who can see talk with this imaginary friend as long as they believe it. It's still there once. one kid stops believing. It's gone that's subjective things or what you dream it. Not you'll dream is a subjective reality now. The many people think these are the only two things in the world the objective things subjective things. And that's it and if something is not subjective. It means must be objective. So if i'm not the only one believing in god or believing in money it must be objective but there is a third kind of reality which he's for his for history's maybe the most important which is interest objective. These are things that exists in the minds of many people to get. It's like a shared dream a collective dream. It's not objective. it's not out there like a black hole. It depends if if nobody believes in it. It doesn't exist but lot of people believe in it. It can be the most powerful thing in the world called inter subjective. This is into subjective between subjective. Yes those to getting to economics and money in corporations and things like that corporations god's nations they exist they're extremely powerful as long as a lot of people believe in them. What do they exist. One does not exist. Where does the united states exist. it's not a physical entity. United states each exists in the network off subjectivity. If it's a shared dream the one way to to to realize it is just think about other animals. Other animals like chimpanzees. They can see our houses. There can see our cars can conceal guns but notion pansy is a were that got states exists because it exists only in the imagination of units. Okay i'm very interested. In the the functional effect of the storytelling amir you talk a lot about storytelling. As a way of connecting people together of sort of creating these these enormous bonds but the story is the bond together. Don't have to be fictions You know i come from a tradition of science storytelling and you mentioned black holes. There are people who are fascinated by the study black holes. There are things like this. That are bonding mechanisms. Their shared stories. They're not fictions. But they're definitely bonding mechanisms. They are very weak glues. Nobody solidifies his life. As far as i know for a black hole a lot of people sacrificed their lives for god for the nation. We can explore this in the people but people have sacrificed their lives for scientific discoveries. Very very few so. Let's say you wrote to run for president and your platform is he equals. Mc squared vote for you. Scientific theories are not good As political social glue all the most successful series stories that make people fight wars and make revolutions and vulcan elections. They are fictional stories. It's very difficult to get a million people together struggling for kose which is an objective scientific. Okay so taking this concrete example. What would you call a narrative says we this group of people. We think that we need a strong healthcare system and we think that we need to band together on a set of policies. That will help push back. This pandemic is that a scientific narrative is that a political. There is that a fictional narrative as long as it states. Scientific ignores some very difficult questions for example. Okay we need a good health system who would benefit from it. Would the people south of the aground benefit from it is there. Some scientific invisible shield along the rio grounder that That botanic stocks. If you want to justify why only certain people will enjoy the health system and not others. This is the moment when you cross over from a scientific theory about how to fight the damage into some kind of national photo riches. Look the sony bed. We need this otherwise without question or are these fictions bad. I mean not just has a certain Absolutely not they can sometimes be bad but not necessarily even if you take something much simpler as a sled say play football you cannot play football together unless you. I agree on rules which are completely the invention of humans. They don't come from physics or biology or chemistry nations. I don't think there are bed. They are one of the best inventions of humanity. As long as you understand them correctly. Nationalism is not about hating foreigners. It's about loving your compatriots. It goes back again to what fronts develop. I heard you quoting him. At the beginning that cheese and neanderthals they basically care only about people. they know people. Thursday chimps they. They know personal. They don't care about strangers. Now the amazing thing about but what say united states is that you have three hundred billion people you know just hundred or two hundred out of them and still at least some people maybe not the president but at least some people are willing to pay taxes so that complete strangers on the other side of the country will have education will have healthcare. This is amazing and this is nationalism in action. You care about these other. Strangers share the story. I'm gonna gain stories. Your business is telling the story. It's fantastic. I hope you're not against stories The thing to remember is stories can be bad or good. They are tools. They are tools like sphere points. All cars created by humans to serve human needs as long as the story fulfills its function. It's very good. The problem begins when people allow the story basically to hijack them to enslave them. Instead of using the story to help people you sometimes sacrifice people for the sake of the story. It can happen with football. When football hooligans be beat each other up eight can happen with entire wars between nations because of some insult to the owner of this fictional entity coordination science rules right back Hello i'm eric lee host of the podcast brave new planet. I'm a scientist who works on new ways to improve human health. And i direct the broad institute of mit and harvard. Every day you see how. Powerful technologies are advancing at a breathtaking pace. They've amazing potential upset. But if we're not careful some might leave us a lot worse off. Brave new planet explores questions like can truth and democracy survive. The impact of deepfakes should we alter the earth's atmosphere to prevent climate to get the world. We want we'll need to make wise choices and those decisions aren't just up to scientists are politicians we all of us are the stewards of a brave new planet. Join me as we grapple with opportunities and challenges that are too big to fit in a tweet but that will shape our future utopia or dystopia. It's up to us subscribed to brave new planet on apple podcasts. Brought to you by pushkin industries. You're listening to science so we go from cognitive to cultural scientific revolutions but now the next step which i find just cool and fascinating and to kick us off you've all. We have a voicemail. Which i think will help. Everybody get started on your next big idea. Here we go. Can we roll that digital recording. Hello mr and i am calling because they see one of the topics this time as you all know how and i just recently completed reading his second book home day and in the book he makes the statement that organisms are essentially data processing systems or in effect organic algorithms and. He makes the assertion that since humans are technically algorithms that there's no reason why in the future organic and inorganic algorithms can't be merged together to form. I guess sort of a race of superhumans with abilities. That would be far beyond anything that anyone alive today is capable of and so i guess i was wondering What would be your take on the ability for organic and inorganic to be combined into. I guess sort of a new life form. Thank you very much for considering the question and have a wonderful day. Sir is no clear reason to think that consciousness is limited to organic compounds. Why would it be. Maybe in the the turns out the something. We don't understand it yes. Consciousness is limited to organic stuff but at the where we all today. I think there is good reason to think that there could be non organic consciousness and certainly non organic intelligence. That's for sure because we already have non-organic intelligence be of computers at least in some fields are clearly more intelligent than humans. A lot of confusion in science fiction sometimes evening science between intelligence and consciousness. So maybe i say a few words about the difference. Yes plays intelligence. Is the ability to solve problems. Consciousness is the ability to feel things like pain and pleasure. Love hate now in unions. Consciousness and intelligence go together. We solve problems by heading felix problems. This is how we sold and that's through of all other. Mammals is well. These chimpanzees dogs solve problems with feelings of consciousness. Computers are completely different. Computers already have a high intelligence in some fields ability to solve problems with zero consciousness. So could be that ever the evolution of intelligence in the case of manuals when through the way of consciousness and that's us but there are alternatives ways to develop intelligence even super intelligence so we might get super intelligent. I which still has zero consciousness. You know for four billion years. We had organic evolution which obeyed not just the lows of natural selection but another set of lows the lows of organic biochemistry. We may now may be reaching the point when at least the second set of rules is no longer relevant that we will start seeing non-organic evolution. So where do you see us going. And given all this uncertainty as he wrote the book on this so you lay out your vision. Wh where are we headed next. Many options i mean. The book is not kind of prophecy. I don't know it's a map of different possibilities. Many of them are mutually exclusive. All of the what do you think is very likely is that within say essential to earth will be dominated by entities that are far more different from us than we'll different from the undertows chimpanzees. You're still amazingly like neanderthals and also quite like chimpanzees but in two hundred us whatever or whoever dominates the planet it will be far far more different in just two hundred years. I think the a kind of generous estimated you look at the speed of technological development the key the toning point the watershed. He's when you start hacking human beings to hockey human beings means that external system understands me bitter than i understand myself not just nine medical condition. This was already passed this long ago but even my emotions. My feelings might decisions when an external system understands that better than me. We have very close to that point. And that's the point beyond which we can't really mansion what will happen in the world. It's beyond our imagination but by by finish it's the only way in the power mentioned From your point of view is the something. Is this a good future a bad future or just more immorally neutral projection of where we're headed. It's could be it. Could be dead band. Depends on what we or it does with with. your are wonderful opportunities and terrible opportunities in nothing setting so it still depends on the decisions we take in the coming years. Humans still have the agency they still have the power but the power is slipping within our hands or today. There is a shift of power from humans to algorithms more and more decisions both individual collective out taken by algorithms if you go to the bank and ask for a loan increasingly. It's not even being that makes the decision. It's an algorithm that collects amount of data on you and when the bank tells you know we don't give you a low and you ask why not the bank says we don't know the ugly said no and we just believe are awkward. The thing about they make decisions in a different way than humans. So if you live in europe and you have the the ride from explanation. It's won't help you because the explanation is a million pages of data that as a human you can't process a human being usually next decision on the basis of two or three data points. That's it you come to the bank loan to three data points that's it. That's what the human brain can do. An algorithm ways thousands of data points each giving a very very small inference on the final outcome. So hang on another thing that i find just so cool that you talk about is the intercontinental serial killer comes actually from the new book from the graphic novel so the whole thing about the graphic novel is to experiment with new ways of telling historian offending science. So we play a lot of genres so one part of the graphic novel is like a superhero action. Movie one part is reality. Tv show and one part. Is this detective story. And we created this fictional character detective lopez and she goes to investigate the greatest crime of the last billion years. The sudden disappearance of about fifty percent of the large animals land animals of the world about ten twenty thirty thousand years ago. She goes around. The planet collecting evidence interviewing witnesses on the track of these intercontinental serial killers. And of course she discovered that these serial killers are homo sapiens. We knew for a long time that something big happened to a lot of the big animals between safety thousand years ago when you start seeing disappearance of big animals australia and about ten thousand years ago when more than fifty percent of the big animals of america disappear and there was a little argument or student of about it. But i think is quite conclusive evidence that as homo sapiens spread from east africa. They system ethically drove to extinction most of the big all the other human species and most of the big animals of the world even before agriculture agriculture now but they had tools and they had stories and they could hunt and tribes right yet. But the big advantage was again. Large-scale cooperation in mammoth has a good defensive strategy when it is attacked by individuals but it cannot protect itself against the coordinate trump or ambush of fifty or hundred individuals. This is why the big animals disappeared. Roberts they have different shortage they hide but the big animals rely on their signs in strength. Now this is good enough against lions against crocodiles against neanderthals. It was not good enough energy against cooperative homo sapiens. Which is why all over the world. You see the rapid disappearance of most of the big animals. So is that still what's going on today with the mass extinction that we're kind of in the middle of with climate change. Union people talk about the sixth extinction. It didn't begin this century or even in this millennium it began about fifty thousand years ago ways the spread of the new kind of homo sapiens. It's now maybe shifting the way of the extinction to the oceans for thousands of years dental thousands of years humans were a deadly threat mainly lacked in the last few centuries we became a deadly threat also in the ocean so now you see the gradual disappearance of the big animals of the oceans. The whales the dolphins the sharks and so forth. So here's a question. Is it inevitable. The sister say a win. These people are ancestors marched across eurasia the north america killing or the big animals and eating them or whatever they were doing with them was that that was not part of a master plan. That was something that was happening for. People trying to make a living is climate change in the destruction of ecosystems is at inevitable or can we make a different decision set of decision. Can we come up with a different collective narrative that we want to follow. Yes certainly The big difference between multiple now. And what happened then is back then. People didn't realize what they were doing. They were hunting two-three three members the year. Nobody lived for thousand years so nobody realized that over time we are causing goran sisters or causing the extinction of the moment but now it happens so fast and we have so much information that it should be obvious the wheel doing it and it also means that we can stop doing it and this is really question of politics. We need the political story. Politics is about storytelling. You win elections but telling story and the question is if somebody can come up with a good enough story. It's been convinced people to stop undermining on destroying the ecosystem if you are in charge if you are as we say king of the forest. Let's put this the global fiction that accords. Power to certain people has given that power to you and i would you do with the s i. I would share it with a lot of other people. Because i wouldn't trust myself to really know what to do with it. How would you do that with a story. And some voting and ballots being counted and stuff like that. How would you do I would ask experts on that. I'm not a good politician king of the forest. I would share some of the power. Because i'm not a politician and i don't really know how to deal with power effectively and i think that's you know what i would like to see in the world if that's what you're getting is two things which related. It's much better global cooperation because all our major problems can only be sold on a global basis whether it's climate change whether it's the rise of artificial intelligence whether it's inequality it can only be solved through global cooperation you cannot do it on the level of nation So that's one big thing. In the other thing. I would try to formulate a vision for the future because what strikes me most about the current phase. We are now in history. He's that humanity has more power than ever before politicians potentially have more power than ever before and nobody offers any serious vision for what to do with it. You know when you look at the twentieth century the twentieth century politics was a battle. Between big visions for the future basically communism you had fascism. You had liberalism each had a giant plan for the future of humanity. And now nobody has any plan you look to the right look to the left is is a vision of the future a story and then do you have story. Do you have a vision. As king of the forest uddhav. i've part of the vision. I mean first of all stock knowledge the enormous power that we are gaining secondly to realize that this power is slipping from our hands. It's shifting to the algorithms so we don't have a lot of time if we don't act quickly it will be too late. I don't believe in a robot rebellion or anything like night. It's much more simple will just more and more decisions about to alone to will be taken by unconscious. Non conscious algorithms and in addition the world will be just too complicated for homo sapiens to understand even today if you look at the financial system how many people in the world can really understand the financial system. I think it's less than a lot less than one percent. Now i think in twenty years the number would be exactly zero in twenty years. Nobody will be able to understand financial. Not no human. Being algorithms will be able to humans. And what does it mean to politics when no human being can understand the financial system so even if you have human president still that president suddenly gets coal from the chief algorithm telling the president. Mrs president mr president. There is a financial crisis. But i can't explain to you what the crisis is because you're a human. You can't understand the three options what to do but just trust me. I can't explain why you'll just human too much data you want understand and you know that's what politics to be like in twenty or thirty years if we don't do something now. Corey bell corey i. Here's something that sounds thunderous. in fact. Yes it's thunder and if there's thunder that means that somewhere out there is lightning and if there's lightning out there it means it's time for the lightning round. Now you've all lightning round means that we ask you lightning-fast questions and you give lightning fast answers. Just you know right. Whatever light flashes out of your brain boom. What is the most misunderstood idea in your books. that fictions are banned that against all these fictional stories than we should get rid of them. If you could be doing anything other than what you're doing now what what would it be. The hunter gatherer be so happy. But i would have to start young if you don't start at age one it siri. You're not going to really to this. Don't get the life skills. It's learning dab ice skate or play. Water polo yeah. So if you if you could bring back any one of the extinct species home Homo species that you spoke about. Ooh which one would have be I wouldn't wish it on any of them the the way the world looks now you just look at how people from different religions and races tweet each other so think how we will treat the pony undertows if they were alive now. If you could live at any time in history when would it be. Oh it depends. I go now. Or as a baby the baby hunter-gatherer like i don't know thirty thousand years ago. But if it's now than only the president. I mean. I will die after a week from these intrigue. Any other furiously thing okay. Thirty seconds or less of the three revolutions cognitive agriculture industrial. Which one is the most important is one more important than the other they're built on each other but ultimately the scientific will be the most important because the other ones just change something about humans. The scientific is going to change the very lows of evolution. This is great. Thank you so much. Thank you our guest. Today has been Ewbal noah harari and he is historic foster arthur of sapiens and. The new book is sapienza. Graphic history remember everybody when it comes to investigating the past and future timeline of humanity site rules and if you like science rules please take a moment to re reviewing an apple. Podcast on helps us out helps us find out. Would you want to hear about helps. Other people learn about the show. So thank you be sure to look at my socials for more information on our upcoming guests. And i'm at bill i on all those things. And meanwhile if you'd like to leave his voicemail give us a call at two zero one four seven two zero seven eight five for a question at ask bill. Nye dot com. Science rules is produced by harry organs. And the very same glorious powell casey hawford mixed this episode and composed original dean josephine martorana our executive producer and it stitcher. Everyone science rules. Stitcher tell it provides access to speak with board certified doctors via app phone or video anytime from the comfort of home. Tele doc if you twenty four seven access to doctors for nonemergency conditions like a sinus infection allergies rashes and more download. The app today or visit tele doc dot com slash science rules to register today. So you're ready when you need a doctor's care or schedule a doctor visit today.
10 years since Japans tsunami, ants do social distancing, otters save kelp forests, ancient and agile hippo-sized reptile and autism and human innovation
"I'm justin link host of the village from cbc podcasts for years men were vanishing from toronto's gay village the community had always suspected serial killer. And in the end they were right called a podcast that transcends true crime by the new yorker and recommended by the atlantic and esquire. Find the village on. Cbc listen or wherever you get your podcasts. This is podcast t modest. He says all program genome is our shared inherited cracks. I'm bob mcdonald on this week show. It's been ten years since. Japan's earthquake tsunami disaster. What did scientists learn that subjecting pacific plate actually being pushed beneath. Japan slipped as much as forty or fifty meters and antisocial insects when disease strikes and do quarantine lockdown bubbles and social distancing the biggest risk of living groups. Because you're always in contact said become extremely good at it. Also underwater forest rangers cr have been protecting vulnerable. Kelp forest from bhutan devastation. The fact that offers are maintaining adjacent patches of cal is really important for the eventual recovery of kelp california's plus a two hundred and sixty million-year-old hippos size. Reptile predator was quick and nimble as a cat we created What we called an agility score and it was comparable to that of a mountain lion and a researcher makes the case that the human ability to innovate is tied to diversity. The that we can now see a link between those strengths in autism and human invention. I think may change the way we look at autistic people all this today on quirks and quarks. It was ten years ago this week. Devastation struck in japan. Japan's prime minister is describing friday's earthquake and tsunami as the country's worst natural catastrophe since the second world war two minimum sanriku has been wiped from the face of the building. net standing. Is the hospital. some reports. Say ten thousand may be missing here. The japanese government today said that it would cost up to three hundred nine billion dollars torino. Build by far the most expensive natural disaster in history on march eleventh. Two thousand and eleven. A magnitude nine earthquake struck the pacific coast near the tohoku region of japan. The quake triggered us nami. More than forty meters high with surged up to ten kilometers. Inland destroying everything. In its path it killed more than fifteen thousand people and left. Hundreds of thousands of people homeless and of course caused a major triple nuclear meltdown at the fukushima nuclear power plant the disaster took many scientists by surprise and because of it the way we study earthquakes and prepare for them has changed dramatically to talk about what we've learned in the decade since the disaster. I'm joined by. Dr john cassidy. He's an earthquake seismologists with natural resources canada. Hello welcome to cork some quirks high bob and thank you very much. Take me back ten years. What was your reaction. When you were watching the images of the earthquake from japan come in it was a. It was devastating. It was it was so hard to watch. And i think it was probably the first time that no such a tragedy would unfold in real time watching the nami roll roll on shore. It was it was really hard to watch. It certainly was. Why was this earthquake. Such surprise Well it was. It was a surprise. Large earthquakes in japan aren't a surprise. But the really big magnitude nine subduction earthquakes. An ocean plate is being pushed beneath the japanese islands. That was expected in the southern part of japan and in the north what. The earthquake models had estimated was You know the potential for large earthquakes but in the magnitude eight range not not in the magnitude nine range and just to be clear when you talk about magnitude eight magnitude nine. There's a big difference between eight nine. It's logarithmic scale right. exactly there's of ground shaking. There's a factor of ten for every magnitude unit. So a nine is if it produces ten times stronger shaking than a magnitude eight But in terms of energy It's actually thirty two times greater. So it's it's even bigger in terms of the area that's impacted tension for salami and energy release so this one being a magnitude nine. What made it unique for scientists who study earthquakes. It was really the first well recorded subduction earthquake anywhere in the world. You know they were well. Over a thousand instruments on japan that recorded this earthquake both seismographs. Gp house and Know they showed really huge movements parts of the island of honshu moved between two and five meters at the time of this earthquake horizontally so there were huge movements of parts of the japanese islands. But okay so. Those are local effects. Were there any large-scale effects. That had caused the well. The the movements were huge especially in the offshore region without subjecting pacific plate. Actually being pushed beneath i. Japan slipped as much as forty or fifty meters within a few seconds. So that was. That's the largest displacement along a fault that's been recorded in in an earthquake like this And of course those movements also triggered a saami which is probably the Ahead the greatest impact for for this earthquake waves from this. This earthquake circle the earth. Many many times over the following days. And when you get to these very large earthquakes like this one. The earth actually rings a bell. so it's it's it's vibrating back and forth and in many different ways for for a long time but the earth started spinning ever so slightly faster after this earthquake and as a result of this earthquake. And that's because of the way. The pacific plate was pushed deeper into the at the time of this event. So it's it's like a figure skater. Bringing their arms in closer to their body. The figure skater will spin faster. The earth started spinning faster and so the days were actually vote. One micro-second shorter than they were before this earthquake so really quite remarkable global impacts. that's astounding well looking back. What are some of the most important lessons. We've learned from the two who quake one of the first applications of earthquake early warning so it really demonstrated the value in life. Saving ability of earthquake early warning systems and saw me warning systems have made a huge difference in japan stopping trains stopping the traffic and the importance of earthquake history because we've only been recording earthquakes for just over one hundred years and these really large events happen perhaps hundreds of years apart or even thousands of years apart so we are looking for evidence of large earthquakes. Happened five hundred years ago thousand years ago ten thousand years ago. And how did the twenty eleven to who earthquake in japan change how we do things here in canada it's played a huge role And very practical role so those recordings of ground shaking in japan. We know that magnitude nine earthquakes have occurred off the coast of british columbia. So we know that the same type of earthquake happens here. We've seen evidence for nineteen of those in the past ten thousand years But we don't have any recordings of of the shaking because the last one was more than three hundred years ago. So we've been able to use the recordings from japan and incorporate that information directly into our earthquake hazard model. What can we expect here along the coast of british columbia when a magnitude nine earthquake. Kerr's so that information has been folded into our national building code and and is being used today in the design of bridges and structures to make them more earthquake resistant. Do we have similar monitoring systems here off our coast that they did in japan or they do in japan we do and one of that earthquake triggered a huge amount of interest in offshore observatories and really Demonstrated the importance of knowing what happens right. Above the subduction faults which are offshore so the importance of instruments on the seafloor here in canada. Were really fortunate. We have ocean networks canada based at the university of victoria and with the instruments that have been deployed off our coast for for more than a decade now so there have been many more instruments deployed off of our coast to really start looking in detail at that subduction zone and what's happening right above the region where we know energy's being stored for one of these quakes. So are we prepared if a quake like this hits canada well. We're certainly a lot more prepared now than we were twenty or thirty years ago thirty years ago. We didn't know that these magnitude nine earthquakes occur off of our coast. And of course if you don't know about something you can't prepare for it. You can't design your buildings for it so there's been a huge amount of Of new information so we know that these earthquakes occur off the coast of british columbia. Washington and oregon. We know how often we know the size of the earthquakes. And we know what type of ground shaking to expect. And so this information is now in our building codes and Which is really important But we also have a much greater awareness now compared to twenty or thirty years ago with drills in schools The shakeout exercise. We do each year in october. And so i think you know in part lessons learned from these earthquakes around the world like japan and chile. What to expect in the public. I think has a much greater awareness of those types of earthquakes and he the impact of the earthquakes. And what to do when the shaking begins not cassidy. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you. It's been a pleasure. Dr john cassidy's an earthquake seismologist with natural resources. Canada and the head of the geological survey of canada's earthquake seismology section own. You might have come to the term. I know i have. I'm talking about social distancing staying away from others to minimize the spread of covid nineteen. It's just one of the strategies we've adopted along with bubbling and quarantine to try and limit the spread of the virus Well if it makes you feel better. This strategy has deep evolutionary roots. We humans aren't alone in adopting isolation to deal with infectious disease. Dr natalie met studies the social strategies ants us to reduce their risk of exposure to potentially deadly pathogens. She's a senior lecturer studying and at the university of bristol in the uk. Dr strom at welcome to our program. Thank you very much. So what are we. Humans doing that similar to what you studying. Ads does this. A variety of strategies that we apply ones as a infectious disease that other animals and in particular and apply as well some of them are linked with trying to avoid becoming contaminated so we may avoid infectious individuals or infectious individual may isolate themselves so by renting or simply by staying home. Because they're feeling unwell and this is something that the end do as well. Well how do you study this kind of thing in ant colonies. What i use is tracking systems that sort of automatic follows location of each ant colony for extended periods of time. And this works. Thanks to tiny bob code if you wish to dimensional barcode stat. We blew onto the thorax back of each and then we have a camera that records them and so can extract location of all answered the same time and based on that we can then sort of infer who comes in contact with who and we can build a network of physical contacts of the colony and that is what constitutes the basis food the transmission of infectious disease such as the fungus that i study so i can then make pilots between the social network and the dynamics of transmission of the disease while well tell me about the infections that the ants fungus how does it affect individuals who are exposed. So what happens with this disease that it has. Two kids are host in order to be transmitted to another host. So what you might find is dead bodies in the environment which are covered with spores of that fungus sends. That's c. c. contemplating particle if you wish. so then. When ananta comes in contact with a sporting body she may get some of these sports on her own body and that one what happens is that within about twenty-four hours dispose of this fungus will become quite too tightly attached to the cuticle of the and will start piercing. The cuticle so that's it can then enters body wondering sides of stock multiplying making the end sick and eventually kill it and produce new sports that can then transfer to new hosts boise so that's similar to covid nineteen where you can get the infection. But you're not sick yet. And that's when you can transmit it you may not even know you have it. But the in the case of the answer this is a fungus. That's on the outside of their body. They're carrying it around but they're not sick. They're not sick. know exactly. There's no infection yet. So what did you observe with these healthy aunts that carried the fungus but are not sick in terms of their social distancing. Yes so. They're immediately aware of carry this fungus. And it's something that's again detected healy because it's outside so we're not sure whether they're smelling it whether they're tasting it. When's it cleans themselves whether it's perhaps a dusty feeling but day knows if got it on their body and we know that i am going to try to remove the sport from their own body so said you self grooming also said decrease the amount of time suspend inside an e sway decrease the risk that other ends may sort of become exposed to this fungus. Okay so they They isolate themselves. What what reaction do the dance in the colonies have to them when they show up with this this fungus on their bodies yes so are extremely altruistic so they won't end cynical long as not a threat to the colony so the very first when an aunt is going to meet another ends at sort of covered in this pathogen. They're going to try and cure so for this particular disease. Aways this happens that the healthy aunt will broom the ones that's been contaminated to physically remove the sports and at the same time going to apply for mike acid on the end and also chew. The sport was his full. So that they will kill the spores and in this way will remove a large portion of the sports that are on the contaminated end and decreased risk set. Some of it will go inside an infection. So that's basically caregiving similar to what we do in humans where we try and cure sick individuals and indeed by trying and safe those contaminated for eight years. They themselves and current increased risk of catching infection. So this if they do catching infection it's gonna tend to be a low level infection so something's not going to kill them and that the country will boost your immune system so this is similar to what we do in humans vaccination where we have a boost of our immune system so that later if when counter the pathogen. We're less likely to be sick. But in addition and anomaly organized into two groups one is a group that is golden assist which tend to be younger and to stay in the center of the nest and humans. Nurses all the give us but in any case in ans- nurses are those who take care of the queen's approved under very valuable to the colony because it's still very young and so they have many months and years of their life to contribute to the colony and then the older end to be far says they leave the nest to go and look for food or to defend a territory and the less valuable to call any because there are already much older and close to death anyway. And what we found is that when some ans- become exposed by the pathogen among the healthy ones inside the colony there was an increase in social distancing between the nurses and the for ages which decreases the risk of transmission of the pathogen from the forager's to the nurses. So what happens to answer that. Do get the fungus and they can't get the benefit of caregivers to help them remove it what what happens. What happens in ants. Those sex is that when they approach death they will go as far away from the colonia as they can to die in isolation in an area basically have got no chance of another nest mate finding their body and becoming infected so they quarantine they go into self-isolation. Yes is aleisha before death. It sounds like the answer pretty efficient and how they deal with potential exposure to disease rather than let politics get in the way yes absolutely. It's one of the biggest risk of living in group. Because you're always in contact said become extremely good at it and that's why we very rarely see unin colonies at sick the web. Is this kind of behavior. Unique to ants and humans. So we see social distancing in many animals including mammals and other vertebrates some of it quite interestingly sort of a consequence of what is called a sickness syndrome for example in vampire bats when they are infected or immune system is active. They tend to show a form of lethargy which decreases the social interaction with the rest of the group so even if they stains ida group have fewer contexts through sickness syndrome. And there's a big debate. Whether this is chris side effect of infection whereby in order to get rid of the disease. It's best to put all your energy immune system and you don't leave anything else for the other sort of perfuse actions or whether sexually selected to protect others sort of prevented from becoming ill so i guess. The lesson from nature is stay home. If you're sick stay home. Yes absolutely dr story matt. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you dr natalie. Met is a senior lecturer at the university of bristol in the uk marine kelp forests along the pacific coast to quite a beating a few years ago these underwater coastal forests or one of the most productive ecosystems on our planet. But a while back they were hit with a destructive double whammy. It began in two thousand thirteen. When scientists started noticing starfish. Dying off in record numbers that we started coming across a lot. Starfish that were They're dead read lost their arms or looking pretty poor literally everywhere just littering the bottom edge. You'll hear the loss of the starfish had huge impacts on the kelp then in twenty fourteen. An unprecedented heatwave raised ocean. Temperatures from alaska down to mexico by up to four degrees celsius in certain places. The temperatures relative to normal are higher than they've ever been at least in our historical records kelp forest. Don't like the heat. So that was the second whammy. It could have been curtains for the kelp but it turns out they had an unsuspected. Why a study in california has shown that crc who have faced near extinction themselves historically have been essential to protecting surviving kelp forest during this challenging time. Joshua smith led the study. He's a phd candidate and marine biology at the university of california in santa cruz. Mr smith welcome to our program. Thank you bob. First of all can you take me back. A few years to describe the effect of those two events. The decline of the starfish population the heat wave. What did they do to the kelp forests. Yes so these are two critical events so a little less than ten years ago around the year. Two thousand twelve hour kelp forest here on the central coast of california and in other places along the northeastern pacific ocean looked vastly different in many places. That help was so dense that it had grown all the way to the surface of the ocean and was literally covering the surface of the water. I remember being underwater in two thousand thirteen and something really unusual was going on over the course of just a few weeks one species in particular. The sunflower star was completely decimated. I mean gone and sunflower sea stars. It turns out was a really key character in the story because the sunflower star was a major predator of sea urchins. So what's the connection. Between the sea stars a see urgency in the kelp and kelp forests sea urchins are normally living down in these rock crevices. And that's the perfect place to be for a search in their hidden away from predators and their food is literally being delivered to them so just like leaves that fall off a tree kelp blades fall off the main plant and drift along the reef where it's deposited into these rock crevices. What happened was after the marine heatwave that drift kelp actually declined because cal had a really poor growth year and that meant that there was not enough. Help to keep your chins. Happy tucked away in the crevices and so without enough food. And without one of their key star predators lurking around the reef. The actions emerged from those rock crevices and started roaming around the reef. I see so the starfish are gone. The urchins start wandering around. I guess they're finding more help which the kelp were already hit down by the heat waves. So this isn't looking. Good for the gallup. That's right. We didn't see complete. Kelp deforestation like other places observed instead what we had was this patchy mosaic of remnant kelp forests interspersed with these patches of fear and barons so what we found is that the sea urchins that are residing in these kelp forest patches. Those urgent are really healthy. However the urchins in these adjacent desert's that we call in barons are completely starved out and they're just empty inside in so win. The authors have a choice to forage either in a patch of kelp forest where the urchins are healthy or a patch of barons when they're starved. The auditors are going to potch of healthy sierra help for us well since the sea otters eat the sea urchins. That eat the kelp. Was that mean. For the the ability of the kelp forest to recover so that means that the auditors are contributing to the resistance so the auditors are helping to buffer and maintain these remnant patches of kelp forests those patches of forests or the ultimate sources to help replenish those barren areas. Where eventually those agents are going to go away and in order to get the help to recover in those once barren grounds there has to be source populations kelp nearby that can help replenish their spores. And so the fact that offers are maintaining adjacent patches of kelp forest is really important for the eventual recovery of forest to those once barren grounds. Why are these kelp forest so important so the kelp is important for all of the different animals that live in the forest that provides both food and habitat for hundreds of different kinds of animals in the forest so the extraordinary productivity and biodiversity of cult forest actually supports a number of different commercial and recreational fisheries now are also important in buffering climate change and this is because just like plants on land kelp forests use photosynthesis and so they take in co two. And what's really unique about. Kelp is that often in the wintertime's. They're these big winter. Storms that ripped out kelp so after kelp if acquired all of this co two they get ripped out by big storms and the it floats out over the deep ocean and sinks down to the bottom of the ocean and we call that carbon sequestration and it means that the kelp is taking nco to and then depositing it in the deep ocean. So what then in. Your mind is the future of the kelp forest along the west coast. That's a really great question You know urchins are a natural part of this system and urgency or doing what urgency do and so. I think that what we're seeing up down the coast at the barons is really a symptom of climate change and that's clearly evidenced by the dramatic marine heat. Wave that really picked off. These widespread sea urchin barrens. That we've seen and we've certainly seen these marine heatwaves impact other ecosystems in the ocean around the world coral reefs and california's and so are steady highlights the role of predators in mitigating the effects of the kelp forest decline resulting from these marine heatwaves. But i think it's just really important to consider how climate and marine heat are impacting these systems because ultimately the sea urchin barrens. That we're seeing are a symptom of climate change. This has thank you very much for your time. Thank you so much about. Joshua smith is a phd candidate in marine biology at the university of california in santa cruz. We know quite a bit about what life was like during the time of the dinosaurs but before the dinosaurs more than two hundred and forty five million years ago the earth was inhabited by a completely different and fascinating diverse group of large reptilian animals. One of the most fearsome is the antea sorace a massive carnivorous creature. The size of a hippo with huge bone crushing teeth that lived in what is now south africa paleontologists had imagined that it was a lumbering plotting cumbersome beast but new research suggests that this picture is wrong. These animals that seems were equipped to be fast and agile predators like a hippo sized velociraptor. Dr julian. Ben was a senior researcher at the evolutionary studies institute at the university of witwatersrand in johannesburg south africa. He led the research doctor. Ben wall welcome to our program handle. I'm very happy to be here. Thank you for inviting me so before your study. What did we know about this creature. The antioch sorace so actually before we knew very little. So we have a bunch of very nicely preserved skirted but actually we don't have any skelton of until stories at least not need very nice skelton so when we talk about the when we try to discuss about the biology of until we referring to the most complete skeleton that we have which belongs to one of his cousins from russia not directly from the authorities. So this left a fair amount of blurry area so we knew it was carnivorous from stiff. We knew the body size of the animals or something like around the turn and we knew that it was living alongside over of his cuisines named dino fans that we mostly are before us so based on the evidence that you do have what did the creature actually look like so based on what we have the anti service would have had a very big head like a massive skirl almost like hippopotamus Just a bit less fleshy on the leaps more readily and like and in general it would have had Very readily ian outlined so a very long and ficto like a crocodile sprawling limbs on the side of the body and the massive skull. What kind of environment. They live in so it would be an environment. Quite an isolated area An environment that was mostly mushy swampy. We've big meandering rivers and flood plains over the place not so hot actually because south africa because of the continental drift south africa negated closer to the southern bowl than it is not solder. Climate would have been a little called particularly in winter. The winter would have been very cold and the summer would have been very dry so very contrasted climate. But so tell me about your study. What were you hoping to learn about. Antea source so we knew that. The couzens of onto cerise practiced very strange behavior. That is called head butting when to animals knock their heads to each of our like the bighorn. Sheep that you have in canada. So we wanted to know if until source west capable of headbutting cuisines felons and so we can discount onto your risk and we looked at the inner ear and then what we found was twenty. Two it was it was completely serendipitous. We found that the inner ear and a certain part of the brain called fluke ula lube of the cerebral on where actually very similar to those of agile animals so for example the modern cheetah that on some adaptations that are quite similar to modern cheat up and more more intriguing was some similarities with the infamous venezia reptile. So you could see that the brain that part of the brain and the inner ear were very similar to those of those animals Which was quite surprising because we were expecting until cerise to be actually very slow moving a massive in heavy anymore. That was not capable of moving fast boy so just let me see if i got this right you. So you scan the skull the pieces of skull with with xrays. Put them together so that you had a three-dimensional model and you were able to see inside. Then you saw the shape of the brain in the ear canal and it was similar to a cheetah or animals that are that are really fast moving but yet this thing is the size of a hippo exactly so it was really not expected So you may think is the inner ear a good proxy to reconstruct agility and actually historica need has been used for more than thirty years now and because the inner ear is not only the organ of hearing. it's also the organ of balance so locomotion as a direct effect on the bottom of the inner ear. The most striking adaptation was the size of what we call the semi-circular which is really at the heart of the balance again. And this is electile that you find in the most agile species so it had a good sense of balance. You're saying that you need if you're going to be fast moving and running. Yes exactly it has a good sense of balance and a very good coordination between the motions of the is the motions of the head and the motions of the body which is something that you would find in species that are good at tracking decorate. I'm imagining something like a reptile version of a polar bear like a big animal. That can move fast when it needs to and be more agile. Do you think this thing would be even more agile than that. We what we called an agility score and it was comparable to that of a mountain lion. I mean based on that it would have been fairly a giant. Now why is it really as giant as montaigne lion. Maybe maybe not but it was definitely more giant than the over things that we're living at the same time so after all of that. Did you find out whether or not it was actually a head butter so we still need to work on that. If it was a head butter what would that tell you about how it lived. So headbutting is a very interesting behavior because the headbutting to create a yawkey core ranking of the males between each other which implies that the only together and the needed that social ranking to make other in that group and this implies some degree of social behavior. So if you find that an extinct animal was a head butter. It implies that social yard he so it implies a certain degree of greg useless while the public knows quite a lot about the dinosaurs but these animals that were around before the dinosaurs are sound just as interesting. Why do you think they don't get as much attention. I guess it's because In the western world you tend to focus on the source that you find and The the the world wide media dominated by the media's coming from the western world so it's just that the ones coming from south africa of less publicity but no less fascinating. dr ben. thank you so much for your time. Thank you very much dr. Julian benoi is a senior researcher at the evolutionary studies institute at the university of witwatersrand in johannesburg south africa five. Let me ask you something when you're on a plane Back in the days where we used to travel. Did you often find yourself pondering the marvel of arrow dynamics or how about this when travelling by train. How much of your day dreaming time is devoted to how precisely the railway networks are coordinated. I'm getting to a point here. stay with me. Here's one more about when you listen to music. Does it just wash over you or do you concentrate on its detailed structure. If you answered yes to all of those questions you just might have. What the author of a book about human inventiveness refers to as a system. Izing mind dr simon. Baron cohen is a cognitive neuroscientist and director of the autism research center at the university of cambridge in his new book. He argues that humans became the scientific and technological masters of our planet because of our brains systemized mechanism and also that some individuals especially some with autism spectrum disorder are the system is irs of our world driving that inventiveness. His new book is called the pattern seekers how autism drives human invention. Dr baron cohen welcomed quirks and quarks. Thank you bob. Now you wrote about how you joke you redder that your book could be the shortest book in the universe. Just three words long. What are those three words. And why are they central. Driving human inventiveness. The three words are if and and then. So i think that these three words describe how humans hamas appalachians is the only animal that can reason and can reason in order to invent. I mean we're talking in the time of covet and we could say if the death rate is high and we do nothing then the death rate will be even higher but if the death rates is high and we imposed lockdown than the death rate will decrease so lockdown is an invention happens to be like a public health invention but it shows the reasoning of how humans how modern homo sapiens. Think in order to invent okay. So you're saying if i do this then that will happen but how does this system is mine. Come into that. So what arguing in in my book is that between seventy thousand and one hundred thousand years ago. There was a change in the human brain that the system is a mechanism evolved and the system is a mechanism is what allows us to look for systems in the world or invent new systems and a system is nothing more than these if and then recognizes or patents. So that's why. I called the book. The patches seekers you other animals don't seem to look for these special patents but we do what What happened back seventy thousand years ago. That that brought about this inventiveness if we look at the archaeological records because that's really all we can go on to figure out like what changed in the relation of the human brain. Seventy thousand years ago we see the first bow and arrow this if and then logic if you like was what allowed us to come up with a complex tool like the bone marrow but equally we could. We can look for other examples in the archaeological record. The first musical instrument at the oldest or the earliest musical instrument. That's been found. Is that a flute. Made from a bone a hollow bone from the bird and stay to to about forty thousand years ago but we can imagine that the person who made it was thinking. If i blow down this hollow bone and i cover one hole then like at a particular note. But if i blow down the hollow bone and uncovered the whole then. I got a different note. So what we can see just in these simple examples for their in fact they in the the tools that are being made a complex. What we see is that human beings were playing with these if and then patents and it led to what i call generative invention. We didn't just generate once. We could generate in multiple different spheres whether it's music or mathematics or public health or medicine or cooking. We can we can. We can invent new systems new passan's of this kind in any sphere that we choose. I see so you're saying that this system rising mind allows us to sort of create something that didn't exist before think about it and then invent something and like new tool it sounds a lot like how scientists tested hypothesis. The observed something they experiment. You don't try to come to a conclusion. Yeah that's absolutely right but you know. Many people think science something quite recent maybe a few hundred years old. But that's really just the formalising of how we do experiments how we test hypotheses but actually we can see evidence that human beings have been doing this for at least seventeen to one hundred thousand years. Okay so we've been inventing for awhile. What's the connection. Then between that. That kind of thinking and autism. Yes so people they love. Patents if we can generalize when we give them tests of this kind of reasoning this. If and then reasoning they score higher on average than notice people and in a you opened this interview with some questions for the listeners that comes from a measure called the system is questioned. Just simply asks questions about how interested i you. In a variety of systems an autistic people score higher on that measure competitor people but we also worked with the company twenty three and me which is a personal genomics companies. Some of your listeners will have heard of it so that the people who were taking the tests the psychological test also gave us some of their dna so we could look at genes that are associated with how much you like to systemized interested. You are in systems and what we found was that the genes that are associated with scoring high on system izing overlap with genes for autism. So that was telling us that even in our dna there's a link between your attitude at system izing and autism. What's the evolutionary tradeoff with discussing this systemized ability. Yeah so in our research. We both said looked at a second circuit in the brain which we call the empathy circuit which also likely evolved around that same time around seventy thousand years ago because when we look at these amazing new inventions in the archaeological record i mentioned the first musical instrument we can interpret them as not only requiring system is but will say requiring empathy. So when you make a musical instrument and you play it. You'll making music. You're not just doing this for yourself. In all likelihood you're doing it for an audience for a listener and you're thinking about how authors will perceive your behavior. We do find a trade off in the sense that the stronger. Your entrusted in systems the less entrusted the individuals in empathy or in other people's thoughts and feelings. So this was a surprise to us but this is what we found in again. Big population studies when you say empathy What do you mean by that. Yeah so empathy is an umbrella term. Two aspects of empathy. one is cognitive empathy. Which is the ability to imagine what someone else is thinking or feeling. And that's the parts of empathy. That autistic people struggle with but the other aspect is called affective empathy which is having an appropriate emotion in response to how someone is thinking or feeling an autistic people are no different to the rest of us when it comes to affect empathy so just to sort of break that down. An autistic person might struggle to read between the lines to figure out what someone's intentions are but if you tell tell an autistic person that somebody else is suffering. It upsets them and they want to do something about it. So we have two ends of the spectrum. Here you have. The system is on one end. And then you have the other end where people who are more socially sort of geared. I guess what's behind this difference. Why some people would be strong on one end or the other so. I think these are just traits in the population. We're all different. We can think of of these psychological traits as just like height or any other biological difference that some people are above average. Some people are just average and some people that below average. But what's interesting. Is the trade off suggests that they might be controlled by some common biological factors. We've explored one of those which is hormones during pregnancy by measuring testosterone in the womb. And finding that the higher that prenatal testosterone the stronger they their interests are in systems but the more they struggle with empathy. So that could just be one of the biological factors that might explain this tradeoff exposure to testosterone. So are you saying that males are more likely than females to be. Strong system is irs. That's what research is revealing so again in our in our big study it was over half a million people. We did find agenda difference on average the when it comes to looking at Male and female brains. Isn't there a lot more overlap and similarities than there are differences absolutely misses. The research in terms of gender or sex differences is always in terms of group. Averages in you take a group of males and a group of females and he just compare them on any particular metric trait. And there's a lot of overlap but you do seek group differences on average emerging. But just because the science is showing. That doesn't mean that you could. You could infer anything about a particular individual because they may or may not be typical for their sex. Well yeah i mean we have a lot of females who are very good system. Is they work in science and engineering. Then yeah absolutely now. you work with people with autism. What do you think that this idea that human invention has largely been driven by traits that we associate with autism. What could that mean for. Our perception of what autism actually is. Yeah i mean. Part of the reason i read. The book was to really maybe change our perception of autism because for the longest time autism has been really just characterized as a disability which it is but with a focus on all the things that autistic people find difficult what they struggle with but we know that autism is more than just a disability. The people think differently sometimes. They have strengths. I've suggested strengths in passion recognition attention to detail being able to stay very focused on passions and even sometimes talent in these areas the fact that we can now see a link between those strengths in autism and human invention. I think may change the way we look at autistic people. We might want to see them who they are people who think differently and have contributed to human progress. You mentioned that people with autism have a great ability to see patterns and whatnot but very often. They have social difficulties. How can we channel this inventiveness and give them a sense of purpose. Give them jobs. I'm so it you know. I'm not sure if your listeners are aware but the majority of autistic adults are unemployed. And this is almost a contrast to what we've been talking about where we're talking about. How autistic people have strengths uneven talents at thinking differently and yet they're unemployed and we know that unemployment is is bad for your mental health. You know leaves. You feeling excluded from society. It can lead to poverty but also just a sense of not being founded. So i think we need to reach out to employers to us them to maybe change their practice in terms of how they hire people. Because if you if you want autistic people apply for a job in your company in your organization and you set the bar in the traditional way where they have to come to an interview and have good social skills make eye contact. Be able to kind of communicates appropriately That may just mean that they don't get through the first hurdle of a job application But we could think creatively to change the way that we we hire people. The selection process. Maybe give the applicants tusk. Today that's relevant to the job that they're applying for so that they get an opportunity to show their skills show that potential and maybe they would be the best person for the job. This is all part of a wider. Discussion is going on under the heading of neuro diversity in a we were not familiar. That weren't places and in our educational settings we should be sensitive to gender diversity and ethnic diversity otherwise we could be guilty of of different forms of discrimination but we also need to be sensitive to neuro diversity. The fight fit people think differently. Some people have neurological disabilities but they could still contribute to the workplace and we need to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace to accommodate people whose brains are simply different. Doctor baron cohen. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you dr. simon baron. Cohen is a cognitive neuroscientist and director of the autism research center at the university of cambridge in england. His new book is called the pattern seekers. How autism drives human invention. And that's it for this week's edition of quirks and quarks if you'd like to get in touch with us or email is quirks at cbc dot ca or. Just go to the contact link on our web and get to our webpage. Just go to cbc dot ca slash quirks. Where you can subscribe to our podcast. Listen to our audio or read. My latest blog you can follow us on twitter and facebook at cbc quirks. You can also get us on the cbc listen app. It's free from the app store or google play. Brooklyn courts is produced by amanda buckets. Sonia by and mark crawley are senior. Producer is jim lebanon's. I'm bob mcdonald. Thanks for listening for more. Cbc podcasts go to cbc dot ca slash podcasts.
Fires in Australia, cuttlefish watch 3D movies, coal pollution harms crops, fossils show ancient parenting, first evidence of cooked vegetables, and why so much poop?
"This is a CBC podcast her modest it. All Girl dark-haired inherited the by. I'm Bob McDonald on this week. Show Austrailia is burning. We explore the impacts of wildfire smoke on human health and what it means that fire has killed a billion animals. It's not only only the habitat destruction that causes the death of the animals. But it's also the fact that there's not going to be any food left for the animals that survive and why a scientist into showed cuttlefish three D. movies and how the hard part was getting them to where the glasses basically over a course of a week. You can train a coddle fish and you can then convinced convince them to wear the glasses also pollution from coal plants kills people but also deprives us of huge amounts of food. I think air pollution is sort of this hidden damper on global food production. And now we know who kids can blame for those yucky vegetables on their plates at one hundred seventy two thousand years ago. This is the first evidence of people cooking vegetable plants plus the earliest evidence of parenting. And why it is that we produce so much poop all this and more today on quirks and works whom this fire said one. One Australian mayor is a horrifying beast. And this is what it's like inside the beast an inferno raining flame unfortunately We are in uncharted territory. Tree this afternoon. we've never seen this many fires concurrently at emergency warning alert level. The scenes out of Australia are terrifying. Fire still raged across the tinder-dry drought-stricken country heavy smoke has turned sky. Blood Red so far twenty six people have been killed with many others was on accounted for scientists estimating that there are more than a billion animals dead. Here's how one scientist characterizes. This climate change driven catastrophe pastor P to be honest with you literally like an apocalypse we have had fires seems to September and different parts of Australia. And it's now getting to the point. Where does a lot of habit that spurned at me? Die People don't know if it's day or night and these red smile can sky a S- just doesn't even look real. It looks like one of those Hollywood movies. The fires have gone on so long and the emergency lasted so long. That Australia's magpies have learned to imitate eight fire trucks and the really terrifying thing is is that this isn't even peak fire season in Australia yet. The shocking scenes we witnessed so far could be just the beginning. This is not just the people suffer. It's all of the animals. And this is just heartbreaking. Come along here and the fence. Launches pleaded with animals. That have tried to get out and They breakthrough the fancied trying to get through and look at this. Just it's disturbing is really really disturbing Sir said. The human suffering is devastating. The damage to Australia's unique natural landscape is horrifying today on the program. We're going to look at both apart from the loss. US lives and the loss property. The major impact on humans is likely going to be because of the clouds of toxic smoke that blanketed the continent. According to those who you study. The health effects of breathing in wildfire smoke. What is happening now in Australia is unprecedented? The number of people who've been affected by they smoke. It's not an isolated event in the country or affecting city. It's every major capital city. The country is having severe this making tax and particularly how much popular cities Brisbane Sydney Melbourne. And they'll say camera that's Dr Fay Johnson and associate professor of public health. The University of Tasmania Australia who studied the health effects from wildfire smoke. It's been estimated that the air quality in the worst affected parts of Australia right now. Is Twelve Times hazardous limit for air pollution just breathing. That air is the equivalent of smoking nearly a pack of cigarettes a day and vulnerable. The people are suffering as a result. so Dr Johnson and our colleagues are in emergency response mode right now trying to deal with something entirely unprecedented president in her long experience. I think studying the health effects of bushfire smoke in a straight thirdly twenty years now and we've been gradually seeing increases increases and most serious mike events that nothing like this. This is really a step change from anything. I've witnessed before for more on the science of toxic wildfire fire smoke. We've reached Dr Mary for Nikki in California. She studied the health effects from California's exposure to wildfires. She's the director of air pollution and health. Research at the Sean Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University Dr Per Nikki. Welcome to our program. Thank you for having me. What goes through your mind when you see how the how much smoke that people in Australia are? Being exposed to while the situation is just horrific take. The exposure levels are higher than people have ever experienced before. I feel so sorry for the Australians. And what they're going through and then for everyone and that's GonNa be impacted by the that smoke traveling for hundreds of miles and impacting other communities. Well what kind of overall effect can wildfire smoke exposure handler blur health. While we know from previous studies that exposure wildfire smoke will cause increases in respiratory disorders orders. Is Jerry showing up emergency room hospital emissions and death so things such as as makes esser basins. COPD bronchitis pneumonia. We'll see an uptick and all those types of respiratory events during exposure wildfire smoke but in addition we also know that wildfire smoke causes increases in cardiovascular killer diseases especially for those over the age of sixty five you'll see increases in heart attacks arid ms and strokes in addition we. We know that wildfire smoke will also impact pregnancies and so for those exposed during wildfire store. Pregnant you you can potentially see decreases birthweight and also increases in preterm deliveries well. What is it about wildfire smoke? That makes it such a concern for health well. Wildfire smoke consists primarily of particular matter. They called pm two point five PM. Two Point Five is about thirty times smaller than the width of a human hair. So very very small particles that are so small that when you breed them in they can cross over into the bloodstream and then go throughout throughout the body causing inflammation in lots of different organs and re cabinet throughout the body. Well I can understand how breathing in smoke would have an effect effect on your lungs but you mentioned cardiovascular. So how can it affect the heart well. Once the particular matter enters into the bloodstream. It can cause inflammation and oxidative stress and different types of problems within the lining of the blood vessels and it can go to any Oregon and cause problems. What are some of the concerns about the ingredients that are in that smoke? That's a good question so particular matter. The composition varies depending on. What's being burned? So the composition of a forest fire is different and has a different toxicity than into the composition of wildfire. That has burned through town. And you've had you know plastics and chemicals and all types of things. Go up into smoke so the Texas PM. Ten point five is an area of investigation in trying to determine for different types of flammable materials. Israel's what is most toxic to human health one of the ones. You're concerned about. Well it makes sense that when you're burning plastics and another things that that PM to five maybe more toxic. There's also things called. Hitchhiker toxins such as lead so lead can be carried on the particular matter there and that will obviously cause damage if that's inhaled and spread throughout the body so we're concerned about all types of toxins but especially heavy metals and other components now. I know that you've looked at the health effects on children who were exposed to wildfires compared to perscribed forest burn. Tell me barrage and found. We were studying air pollution in Fresno California. which is an area that always has very poor air quality and and the people living in Fresno also are exposed to wildfires on routine basis? Because they're close to Yosemite and Yosemite they also do prescribe burns earns. So what we did is we collected blood samples on these children and we looked at a group of children who had their blood drawn ninety days after exposure issue to a wildfire versus ninety days after exposure to a prescribed burn and although this is a retrospective study what we found is that clinically clinically. We saw that. During exposure to the wildfire there were more as Ma type symptoms more respiratory symptoms but then then on a cellular molecular level. We saw that those who were exposed to the wildfire had more changes in their DNA Than those exposed to the prescribed. Burn you say changes to the DNA. What so we study a certain gene? That's responsible for producing good healthy immune cells and we found that exposure to a wildfire would suppress press that gene more. So therefore you got fewer of these healthy immune cells When exposed to the wildfire in comparison to the prescribed burn so how how do you think the health impacts of the Australian fires might compare to what you saw in California or even what? We're seeing up here in Canada with our big fires that are happening on the West rushed in Australia. Where there's been smoke exposure up to twelve times the limit? That's deemed hazardous. That's much higher than anything thing that we've seen here in California and also they're having this exposure for an extended period of time. The damage to human health is going to be a Much more severe unfortunately much worse Dr Pernickety. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you very much appreciate it. Dr Mary Per Nikki is the director of air pollution and health. Research at the Sean Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University as we said earlier the human cost of these wildfires fires in lives property and health is going to be devastating but a second concern is what these wildfires are doing to Australia's natural life Australia's earliest known for its unique biodiversity. And right now the world is watching that biodiversity burn natural landscapes have been scoured by fire and vast numbers of animals killed and those that have survived. have nothing to eat and no water to drink so normally timid wild animals are desperately desperately approaching. Humans for help Casey boy. I am sorry I love. I had no idea whether it's on the news or across social media. There's a never or ending stream of videos showing tragic scenes of Australia's animals. It's been estimated that up to a billion animals have been lost since the fire started in September and that number is likely rising with each passing day. Dr Valentina Mela is an ecologist at the University of Sydney who's been witnessing the damage. Dr Mellow Welcome to our program. Hi How are you. I'm well thank you paint me a picture of what it's like there right now. He had the devastation. Ever station is really scary. A lot of trees and forests completely destroyed. There's literally nothing left in some areas. Listen I work on Koalas. And no one of the main area Sephora. The survival of design animal is actually being destroyed and we see these repeating in other areas of Australia so it's Very big concern for us. It was your colleague professor. Chris Dickman who initially started started saying half a billion animals were lost and now he's revised that to a billion that seems like a very huge number. How was that number calculated? Well to be honest with you. I think that's actually a conservative estimate. So what we're seeing is a lot more as being lost. That estimate is based on a pipe that was published a while ago there was looking at how deforestation can affect act wildlife in Australia in terms of habitat lost and how many animals would be lost with the habit at once. the trees as with destroyed and of course that estimate was calculated just considering loss of birds and off mammals. Soy for the estimate dawn account for old invertebrates debt. We might have lost which is a really important part of the biodiversity because a lot of animals eat insects and so once those insects are animals? That survive will not have any food left to eat. So that's let's and now the big pod at that you have to consider because it's not only the habitat destruction that causes the death of the animals but it's also the fact that does is not gonna be any food left for the animals to survive so if you feel that a billion animals his conservative. What do you think is a more realistic number? It's it's very hard to come up with number and I don't even want to think about it to be honest because it is so tragic. Can Australia is already struggling. With the highest highest numbers of animal extinct and these Phi EST are really getting to the point where we are keeping animal over. Uh Animals over the edge and and getting them to the brink of extinction a lot of Australian wildlife old adapted to Fi- got to leave the Through some fire Vince because Australia is a country to Burns at naturally quite often but nothing like these to these stint stint nothing can survive these. It's just Hell No. What about species are species actually going extinct as well? It's hard to say at the moment before we have some extinctions local extinctions would call them but I think some of these spaces will definitely be put in serious trouble because for example. We'd Koalas. We already know that these animals we're in trouble before the fires and now who we estimate that You know thirty percent told the Koala Habitat in some areas has been lost a it's just assed bearable to think because these animals already struggling with deforestation and we'd disease and then you add the defiance that destroys habitat that was intact and of course it's hard to imagine how they're going to be able to recover. We'll as Koala researcher yourself. How have the Koalas Wallace adapted to deal with the wildfires? Australian animals are used to deal to bounce back. Let's say from fire events but the problem is always intensity and the extent of the fire into when you have a normal circumstances a fire to burn so the under under story and it doesn't reach the canopy of the trees and so the under story burning can even help regenerate some of these plants. But when you you have the fires of these extent intensity where they destroy so much habitat it will take years to get the habitat back where it should be for animals to survive properly in it and can the quality not just move to another habitat. Try to run away from the fire. Koalas czar very very selective in terms of foraging behavior so they are very picky with the food that they eat they only eat a certain number of for a eucalyptus trees and dip. Their preference varies depending on the area where they leave. So it's very very hard to think that these animals can just go all right on. Just GonNa move to the forest next tool and also the extent of fire so bad. It's just not possible like even ground round dwelling animals and birds died. That can fly away. They have died because the fumes and the hate was just so intense that they just cannot survive. The animals of Australia have been dealing with fires for Millennia but they've also been dealing with the extra burden of human impact Deforestation Niagara Culture the growth of cities and whatnot. Do you think that they would be surviving. These fires if those human impacts were not there yes because I stink the intensity of fire and the extent of the fire would not be so incredibly huge. We are contributing contributing significantly to climate change and debt. Ease the reason why these fires were so crazy. Two Thousand Nineteen was the hottest Yeah ever experiencing Australia history. Everything is dry and as soon as a Phya it's like fuel and and so the fires can spread really really rapidly and reach huge proportions. So are we witnessing the transformation of the Australian continent would will it be different from this point on. I am terrified that this is going to become the norm in Australia. And we've I've been researching climate change for years and scientists have been signed for over twelve years that this was going to happen and I. I think it's about time someone listens because we are witnessing these today. And it's happening now so we got to act now otherwise this is really going to become normal. Doctor Mela thank you very much for your time. Thank you so much Dr. Valentina Mela is an ecologist at the University of Sydney got Roll Ladies and gentlemen. If you're familiar with the exciting effects that can be achieved with three D. You can imagine what happens when when something from the great beyond reaches right out of the screen to clutch at you. A terrifying story at startled the world how to unscreened in global box office tally. Show that three D. movies are declining in popularity at least among humans among cuttlefish however three D. movies are the hottest new trend cuttlefish are cephalopods part of the family that includes squid and octopus. They're known for being one of the most intelligent invertebrate animals. They're also very skilled at catching their prey. SHRIMP CRABS WORMS researchers at the University of Minnesota wanted to learn more about how cuttlefish are able to catch a meal with such exquisite precision and they thought it could have have something to do with the animals depth perception. They thought that the cuttlefish had stereo vision. Like we do so. They tested this. Exactly the way you'd Imagine Agean. They created an underwater theater. Put Three D. glasses on the cuttlefish and showed them three D. movies starring Yummy shrimp. And and what they found out is making a big splash in how we understand cephalopod vision. Trevor Ward L. is an assistant professor at the Department of Ecology Evolution Russian and behavior at the University of Minnesota wardell welcomed courts quirks. Thanks for having me. Tell me about cuttlefish I mean what are they like. How do they actually hunt? So in this case they look a bit like squid. But they're more squat normally just swimming around. And if they noticed movement which typically signifies pray there've been like cats though Kanda sneak out very slowly and then they will move backwards and forwards to judge the depth and once they've sort of targeting and how how far away it is they'll shoot out their tentacles and strike their prey on the end of the tentacles. They have suckers that they can grab the prey and then retracted attractive back into the arms and consequently to their mouth. Okay and how important is depth perception for that tactic so it's actually quite critical because the suck is only on the ends on the clubs of this tentacles and so you can imagine. If they're the wrong distance they might shoot too short and the shrimp would escape ape or if the too close they may push it away or not catch it properly and so again it would escape. Well take me through the experiment. What was the setup that allowed you to test vision in cuttlefish how they judge distance so the idea was the three d cinema? I have to say most people thought this wouldn't work because does the cuttlefish would just take the glasses off and not be very happy with me putting them on in the first place and to be honest right it was very tricky eh to convince them to wear the glasses but when found some glue that work relatively well at eventually falls off and then we could use that glue to attach attach some Velcro and the audio he was that. If the cuttlefish really didn't like it's classes it could take them off. So that's sort of where got bone from doing wingnut but I can tell you a long y you know. A lot of catfish would inc.. Because they didn't like us playing with them that would inc because we moved them from one tank to another earn. Some cuttlefish to be fair did not wear the glosses at all every time we put them on they took them off. So you say inc.. That's when they scored actually scored that black ink actor. That's that's right so I use that as a defense mechanism but it's also a good demonstration that they're they're pretty annoyed with the situation. So so how did convince the ones to wear the glasses that kept them on. So it's funny you ask. I basically used some strategies due for looking after my daughter She's a new six. Where when they behave well I give them a reward? In this case the reward is a small shrimp so for example. Every time we did something so oh how move them from one tank to another tank would give them a shrimp as a reward and then you know if we put the glue with the Velcro on would put them back in a tank. We'd give them a shrimp for award and we Kinda found that by giving them something to do but also some sort of reward they would be less likely to ink and more cooperative live on the overtime basically over a course of a week you can train a cuttlefish to shoot at a screen. A computer screen go beyond the tank and you can then convince them to wear velcro and then you can convince them to where the glasses. But it's a very slow process. Now now what was the movie you played for them in Three D.. That they could watch right so as you might expect. It's their favorite. So it's a movie of I walking shrimp and so We used to go pro video. We had to modify that a little bit so we would just bicycle take the outline of that shrimp walking and then we could fill that in With a particular color and the color he was the one. That's a sign for each. I okay so you got your screen. Three D movie of shrimp. You've got your cuddled fish wearing the three eighty glasses. How did you do the experiment? How did they respond? So this whole experiment relies on the perception of depth so like Asks watching tyrannosaurus REX. Come out of the screen to attack us and you know you sinking backing the seat. The cuttlefish also when it sees that shrimp if there's a long distance between the the two shrimp then it will think it's very close to it and it'll back it'll swim backwards so that it can shoot out. Its tentacles at the appropriate distance. So did you find out whether or not the cuttlefish have stereo vision like we do so they do indeed have stereotypes and and the interesting thing was that apart from using stereotypes us. We tried animals where we just gave the stimulus to one. I and interestingly win Arne have stimulus provided to Y. Then they take much longer to shoot at the target and not so certain but don't most hunters have stereo vision. That is very true but the surprising thing with cuttlefish is they can do this trick of stereotypes but they also can independently move. There is is and that gives it almost three hundred and sixty degree view of the world but when it goes to hunt it rotates. It's is but here then it's losing receptive field behind it so wallets busy hunting a shrimp something could sneak up on it because it can't see behind right at that moment well now that you've trained your cuttlefish to wear three d glasses and watch movies. Are you planning to show them the latest star wars or anything like valve e lovely. But what we're doing now is taking a little bit further so now that we know that the alignment of the left and the right ally is quite critical whole then we can put normal sort of ophthalmology glasses on and we can adjust with. I see to see how critical that overlap is. The left and the right guy going to be doing that. I test for the better worse better. You know it's a bit like that. Actually that Mr Ward Hill. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you Trevor Ward. Ill is an assistant professor at the Department of Ecology Evolution and behavior at the University of Minnesota around the world. Coal is still the largest single source of electricity the US China and India burn huge amounts of coal and nine percent of Canada's electricity supply. Mike comes from burning coal. Although our federal government has pledged to stop using it completely by two thousand thirty to cut greenhouse gas emissions but beyond greenhouse gas's burning coal produces a witches brew of other kinds of pollution things like mercury lead sulfur dioxide and soot particles. These can lead into a range of health issues for people living and working around coal plants. A new study has provided new numbers. For just how big that. Health impact is but the study also looked at a surprising secondary impact of coal burning which found out that it's not just costing lives it's also costing food. Jennifer Bernie is an environmental scientist at the University of California San Diego. Dr Bernie welcomed the courts and quirks. Thank you for having me okay. Give me the numbers. What what did you find in terms of the costs of burning coal so this study Looks at the United States which has undergone a a really dramatic transition in feedstock over the past decade or two away from coal towards natural gas. And in this analysis I found that the decommissioning old coal fired power plants lead to saving around twenty six thousand lives and and in addition to that Almost six hundred million bushels of corn soybeans and wheat in the surrounding areas over that time period while what what was the time period did two thousand five to twenty sixteen those are astounding numbers. How were you able to make the connections between you know? Twenty six thousand lives saved five hundred million bushels of corn between that and coal fire plant. Yes so to attribute these kinds of changes to to a a coal fired plant. It has to be done. Statistically one of the things that's Scientifically interesting about this transition. In the United States is that there were for Many many locations around the country Hundreds of units shut down. So it's really quite simple. We look at the changes in mortality before and after or the changes in crop yields before four and after or changes in pollution before and after in these locations and compare them to other places in the country that didn't have a coach shutdown and we see a statistically mystically significant difference In places where you had a unit shut down deaths dropped hand Crop yields went up. Boy Well I mean it's understandable the Wicked have an idea of how coal pollution affects human health. But how would coal plants have had that much of an effect on agriculture. Yes so there are a couple of different pathways by which air pollution impacts agricultural production so the first is through. Production of Aerosol suspended particles in the air. These aerosols in the air block incoming sunlight so they may not have as much light available for photosynthesis and that impacts productivity The second pathway is through a production of ozone near the surface so coal fired power plants actually natural gas plants as well produced a lot of oxides of nitrogen nitrogen and other compounds which then evolved in the atmosphere and form ozone ozone is also something we're used to thinking about as harmful for people but it is also directly a harmful to plants when it enters plants via the somatic causes direct tissue damage. Now how far away from the power plants was. This affects scene fee affects tail off with distance but We still even small effects out to about two hundred kilometers. Wow that's that's astounding. Now did it matter if the coal plants that were being shut down were older ones or newer ones that might have new technology on them. Such as scrubbers tried to clean up the emissions from the stocks The numbers that I gave you are an average across all of the units that shut down it does seem unlike the units that were shutdown. Were among the older and dirtier of the units. What was your your mind when you saw these numbers so two things went through my mind and and they're very contradictory The I was. I'm not surprised this is nothing new. Under the Sun We know that these types of pollutants are bad we know that coal plants produce them. It's not surprising. Therefore that That you see this signal. That was one reaction on the other hand and simultaneously. The other reaction was kind of a holy crap. These are huge numbers And what really really hit me was the geographic distribution Asian of these impacts. You know we sort of think of the pollution associated with transportation or the pollution associated with electric nick power generation. In this case as kind of this nebulous bad burden but something that we all kind of share equally and don't really think about that much for me. Seeing the distribution of where these impacts were really made it clear to me that is not it is not a nebulous burden and it is not one that is shared equally it is very clearly a concentrated concentrated so it it really drove home the the sort of the local impacts of these decisions that we often think of in kind of a macro and aggregated aggregated way. Now your study was in the. US would you expect to see the same patterns in places like here in Canada on our prairies where we burn coal for electricity interesting or countries like India China which are really big heavy coal users. Yeah again I think there might be some differences assist depending on technology and depending on the actual feedstocks different types of goal right produce more or less sulfur but one thing that The evolving literature on air pollution impacts has ah shown. Is that That these effects are surprisingly consistent We see that humans and crops are vulnerable to these pollutants. No matter where they are. So what effect you think. coal-burning is having on the global food supply. That's a great question. It's the thing I'm most excited to dig into next next. I think air pollution is sort of this hidden damper on global food production. It's not something that many people think about It's these these pathways are not common knowledge in the way that human health impacts of air pollution are so I do feel like it's almost like a weighted blanket just pushing yields down a little bit all over the world. Dr Bernard. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you so much for having me. Dr Jennifer Bernie is an environmental scientist and associate professor at the University of California San Diego. parenting is is hard work. It takes a lot of time resources and effort but it does increase the chance that your little bundle of joy will survive to adulthood which is why most mammals do it and sort of many birds insects amphibians and reptiles. So it's an interesting question to ask how far back in evolutionary very time parenting does well. Scientists have a new answer to that question. Thanks to fossils discovered in Cape Breton Dr Hillary Madden led the team. That analyzed analyze the new fossil. She's an assistant professor of Paleontology at Carleton University in Ottawa. Doctor Madden Welcome to the program. Thank you what kinds so fossils did you find. We found what appears to be the remains of what we call a veteran. Opiates and opposite. So this is an animal that we believe to be on the lineage inch. That would eventually lead to mammals. And so it's basically a large individual large being about twenty or thirty centimeters from the tip of its note to the base of its tail and alongside alongside. It was a very tiny little skull of what appears to be the same species and so we are interpreting it as a juvenile of this larger animal. Now what did it actually look like. The animals would have looked a lot like a modern day lizard sort of very classically reptilian along gate limbs grass. I'll long tail scaly. But we we don't think they're traditionally very closely related to the reptiles at all so they're actually more closely related to us. Oh so it looks like a reptile. But it's related to US exactly interesting point on the evolutionary tree old were they. This particular fossil goes back to about three hundred and six three hundred nine million years old. Wow so what was the aspect of this fossil. That indicated to you that there was parental behavior involved. We see basically an offspring attendance where we have an adult in the attendants Indi- or in the presence of its offspring and then as well the nature and the sort of the location where they were found within a hollowed out tree stump kind of suggest that they were in some sort of denning posture which would be offspring concealment or offspring protection in a tree stump. Tell me about that right. So Nova Scotia the way. A lot of the vertebrate remains are found around are within these ancient hold a tree like structure cavity although they're not related to our modern day trees there more closely related to Moss's today but in the past house they would have basically been very large tree like structures that when they died the outer bark would have been pretty tough but the inner core would have been much softer and and would have eroded and rotted away leaving hollow cavity. So you're suggesting that the animals would have used that like Dan. Yes we think they were using it like a Dan they're preserved in very close articulation relation in a tight relationship together in very pristine preservation which suggests we captured them at a very lifelike moment. What do you mean by that likely? Well I guess. Basically they wouldn't wouldn't have been transported are washed into the stump. We think we've captured them where they actually were living. And so within this dumping specifically within the root portion of the stump is where. Brian Hibbert Robert. The discoverer of the actual specimen found them. So what kind of of moment were they in. At the time that they were covered. Yeah so they're they're. Posture seems to be the adult skeleton. We have sort of the back half of it with its tail. And the tail is sort of coiled around its hind limb and in that space between the tail and the Hind Limb of the larger animal is where we find the little one and so sort of oppressed up against the side of the back portion of its body and encircled by the tail of the larger individual so like it was using its tail in a kind of a hugger it looks sort of it does look like that. It really made us think we're looking at some sort of yes like quote denning like posture. How do you do that? And not just the way the bones happen to fall together or or have been moved around over three hundred. Richard million years is true. So that's one thing we had to sort of think about and look at other pieces of evidence in the fossil like there's a well preserved series of bones in the that would've been belly ribs in these animals and they're very delicate tiny bones and we often don't find them at all. They get washed away really easily but in this case this animal they're all preserved in pristine articulation with the belly and delicate skull of the baby. which had it been transported very far? It would have almost certainly been blown to bits and it's all still intact including cluding tiny tiny little teeth all in place so we think they didn't move very far from where they originally died. Well that's astounding with. How can fossils be preserved so well over three three hundred million years? I think it's perhaps some of the fortunate aspect of these sort of tree like stumps that have been preserving stuff for us in Nova Scotia. They kind of would have acted acted as tombs and basically protected them. Over many hundreds of millions of years we see them still standing erect in the cliff faces where piles of sediment have built up around them and still inside the contents are absolutely pristine. What what's the environment like in Nova Scotia back then? So the environment would have been a a little more Tour tropical than it is today. The geography would have been a little bit more equatorial placed. We're looking at sort of sub-tropical kind of environment. We have indication occasion from the geology. That we're looking at an alternation between swamp like environment to sort of a successively drier environment. Back to being swampy so this would forgiven. A variety of animals different kinds of Eko spaces to live. In being sort of aquatic semi aquatic and then more terrestrial forms boy. I don't think people really think about Nova Scotia as a place where you're gonNA find fossils in tropical environments. No it's true. It's true but we sort of picture the environment I. I'd like to sort of imagine it being maybe more like Louisiana Delta like environment. These sort of more southern swamps that. We're familiar with North America. Well if this is parental behavior happening back then. How does that compare to other fossils that we have the chill animal behavior like this? We see a very similar kind of association association between a parent and offspring in the exact same family within the Baron opid Synopsis But occurring about forty million years younger. That was sort of the previous record of the oldest oldest example within the loomed vertebrates and even beyond that we get into a couple more examples within the same lineage in the triassic and then it kind of explodes once we get into proper mammals. We see of course is a ubiquitous behavior among modern mammals. What's that say to you then about the whole route of the nature of parental care? Right so I think this being forty million years earlier is is quite remarkable but also this pushes this behavior into time period. That's very close to the origin. The evolutionary listener origin of these groups period so We have the oldest synapse. It's coming from jogging Nova Scotia which is a little bit older than keep Britain sediments but so very very quickly soon after these animals appear they already begin. Adopting what we would think of is maybe being slightly more complex behaviors so the rate at which animals were adapting to their terrestrial environment seems to be happening much more quickly than I think I initially and many would've initially thought Trad and thank you very much. No Problem Dr Dr. Hillary Madden is an assistant professor of Paleontology at Carleton University. The next time. I'm your cookout around. The campfire ends in inedible. Charred remains don't think about the faces of disappointment and hunger possibly ridicule looking. Looking your way think instead that you may be contributing to research by future archaeologists trying to understand how people lived cooked and ate in the early part part of the twenty first century. I mean it's not likely but it's not without precedent that's because one hundred and seventy thousand years ago. Hunter gatherers gatherers living in a cave in South Africa. Burn the root vegetables. They were cooking dinner. And for the archeologist who discovered this it has provided a banquet of information because this is the earliest example of cooking vegetables we've ever found. Dr Christine. Fevers was part of the team. She's a senior lecturer at the university. The Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa Dr Cevers welcomed quirks in. Cork's thank you and delighted to be speaking to you. Tell me about the cave where you found. These charred food remains will. Buddha cave is the most superb piece of real estate the dino it situated on the cliff straddling South Africa and is fourteen formerly known as Swaziland. It's on as I say this very steep EAP cliff and one conformed to one's death literally from South Africa into Swaziland. However the cave itself is Approximately I'd say fifty by twenty meters and forms a wonderfully warm and constant temperature so that on cold days that's pretty looming the cave but on very warm days you had this wonderful oh cool atmosphere while south spectacular. who were the people living there? Well we have earliest evidence that people would there at least two hundred twenty seven thousand years ago and those people would have been uh species homo sapiens pins. Now what type of plant remains. Did you find in the cave. In the upper layers we fund incredibly well preserved remains. The cave is a dry environment which has preserved plants very well but we have only charred remains pains that are recovered charring ensures that remains preserved through long time. How old are the charred remains that you pump? The charred remains Approximately one hundred and seventy thousand years old. What type of plans were that? Were in the chart. They were eating little underground storage organ specifically what we identified at Border Cave where resumes a Risa Miss. Something like Ginger arises and and these Rice Jones Thon in the area Ron Buddha cave at prisons they grow in clumps And they have a very wide distribution Russian across southern Africa and so people would have taken. Some kind of digging implement may be a stick. ooh A shop and bone was stone and they would have plan to go out and collect these RISA INS. And then Vinh either tied all the steams together and brought them back like that or put them into some kind of receptacle and brought them back to the the cave to cook them and this is quite significant because it implies that people want to share share if they simply wanted to eat the hypothesis they would have done so out in the field but bringing it back means means they intended to share it community or to share it with older people with children who are unable to wander around around collecting and I think this is quite an important indication of Behavior at one hundred and seventy thousand years SOKAIA. We know that people had been using fire for a great many thousands of years before but at one hundred consumed to thousand years ago. This is the first evidence we have of people actually cooking Fitch Tobacco plants. It's now you say that these Rizal Gms these root plants that they were cooking one hundred seventy thousand years ago are still around today. Have you tasted them. What do you think these meals were like? Will they not particularly tasty but they not unpleasant to eat either. You know I prefer potato myself but watch it. I don't have potatoes then. These will do fine and many people still eat then. What happened because they still so popular is is that they pretty much exploited in the wild and all the samples we did find? We used to identify the ancient. Wry I sense rather than to cook and eat ourselves. I'm also wondering if they ate meat. Did you find bones around where they hunters as well. Oh Yes oh definitely they were hunters as well and we found a very wide range of bones and people probably would have had Quite quite a lot of meat but things like these risa GMS would have formed. The daily staple in the Diet for example meet in Southern Africa in the winter months is often quite lean and to make that protein available people who need to have a little bit of carbohydrate or fat as well and these carbohydrates would have aided in the synthesis of the protein eighteen so it sounds like they had a fairly balanced diet. Meat Vegetables They were cooking. What does this tell you about the people who lived in the cave? One hundred and seventy thousand years ago. Well I think they having a pretty good life you know. I think that they would have been periods of great abundance abundance because at certain times of the year fruits and Green things that one can eat different. Leaves shoots is things like that are very abundant. I think that animals were far more abundant but of course they were a lot of dangers at that time as well. Dangerous Animals. That mostly. Don't care the now ver very often on our way down to the cave. We will see a snake a large Scorpion. That kind of thing so I guess it was a life of plenty. But who said difficult darkness achievers. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you it's been a pleasure speaking to you Dr. Christine fevers is a senior lecturer in the Archaeology Division. At the university the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg South Africa In West and with that it's time for another quirks and quarks question. My name is Jim Van Horne. And I'm from Koslow Bruce Columbia and I've been a a journeyman plumber for fifty plus years and have dealt with human waste products from time to time the financial cost of getting rid of this waste with water and sewage treatment in a staggering. which brings me to? My question is the digestive system in humans and animals that inefficient or is it. Our Diet produces reduces so much of the waste stream. And here's the answer. I'm Marlon Bucko. I'm from university. Wealth and I'm a professor of microbiology here and Kinda Teresa's says chat and I study in My lab who human poop in particular and I think this is a great question because we don't like to think about poop too much because it's kind of disgusting discussing but what you should know about but it's actually not just undigested food about seventy five percent of the weight of an average poop is from voltaren altering facts and the remaining twenty five percents overhaul about is actually bacteria itself and other microbes makeup positive. What we got microbiome these microbes? It's not live as part of your microbial ecosystem and you'll guts and they carry out of work for you some very important only a very small amount of tool it's actually undigested food and the average healthy person and so. I don't really think that it's necessarily a problem of too much undigested food. I think that the problem with the amount of sewage is being produced. It's just because there's a lot of people and also a lot of animals so the microbes are very very important for us that very important to help us break down food and I'll buddies but once once they viva buddies they work doesn't stop and in fact many of those microbes become an important also wastewater treatment process and we harness their power if you like purification dwarf occasion at at removing some of the impurities from the water now. I think it's very important to understand that these microbes really need to be the healthy and we tend to flush a lot of things down the toilet that we perhaps shouldn't and these kind of interfere with the wastewater treatment process. And so I guess in the answer to the question question. It's really not so much about what we can do to reduce the amount of on digested waste product. That we can produce is what we can do to make sure that we produce the best policy poop that we can and they can break down food and by the way Dr Allen Vercoe is a professor of microbiology and Canada. Research Chair at the University of G- wealth. And that's it for this week's edition of course in quirks if you'd like to get in touch with US or send us a question our email is courts at CBC DOT CA or. Just go to the contact. Lincoln our webpage and go to our webpage goto. CBC DOT CA Slash Quirks. Where you can subscribe scribe to our podcast? Listen to our audio archives or read my latest blog you can follow us on twitter and facebook at CBC quirks you can also get us on the CBC. Listen snap its breed from the APP store or Google play. Works in courts is produced by Amanda Buckle wits Sonia Biting and Mark Crawley. Our senior producer is Jim. Lebanon's I'm Bob McDonald. Thanks for listening for more C._B._C.. PODCASTS GO TO C._B._C. Dot C._A. Slash podcasts.
What's the most powerful volcano in the Solar System?
"Hey everyone daniel here. If you're listening to this podcast then you're the kind of person who likes to think deeply and have interesting conversations conversations about the universe or about what's growing in your backyard and there's a new app for that. It's called the backyard. you can ask questions. Share your smarts join communities or even start your own. It comes to you from your friends at scotts miracle gro that's at the backyard. Wherever you get your apps support for this podcast comes from goldman sachs what goldman sachs experts and leading thinkers have to say about trends shaping markets industries and the global economy. Stay informed with the latest insights from goldman sachs on the economic and market implications of covid nineteen available on our podcasts at yahoo dot com slash covid nineteen or any of your favorite podcast platforms Your hey we ever seen hot lava in real life. I've been to see the volcano in hawaii. Yeah how close did you get to. The actual lava pretty close like a few feet. I touch the steak. You actually touch the lava with and did you love it. Then although i'm not in love with it thank goodness for that. It is pretty hot stuff. Hannah cartoonist the creator of phd kayaks. I'm dana. i may particle physicist on the co author of the book. We have no idea am a big fan of chocolate lava cakes. Much information there first of all you wrote a book i did. I wrote a book with his friend of mine. You should check it out. It's pretty funny. What's a call again and purchase it. It's called we have no idea. It's about all the grand mysteries of the universe everything we don't know about science and physics and the universe everything that we love talking about on the podcast and i wrote it with you and it's filled with a fantastic hilarious little doodles and cartoons that. Explain the physics and also make you laugh just like this podcast oh well cartoons and comics sign me up and also you like chocolate lava cake. What is that chocolate meet at a lava or is it lower chocolate. It's lava made out of chocolate. I guess you know it's a cake that you bite into in the molten chocolate flows out burns your tongue but it's so delicious you don't mind. Basically just undercooked chocolate kick. Yep a super popular a while back. I guess there's still popular with me. They still are podcast. Daniel and hori explained the universe they production of iheartradio in which we take a big bite of the lava field deliciousness of the universe. And try to explain all of it to you. We think about all the crazy stuff. That's out there. We zoom down the tiny little particles that are jiggling and wiggling and made out of strings. We talk about the whole shape of the universe and its future and what might happen to it and to you and we do all that while making some banana jokes. Yeah and hopefully without burning your tongue because physics is pretty hot understanding the universe learning about it. It's all pretty amazing and stuff. It is odd stuff and we like to see explode out of your mind and flew out through your life and i love hearing from listeners that they have had their excitement for a physics tickled by listening to the podcast. Yeah we'd like to talk about all of the small stuff out there in the universe and all the huge out there that we can find you can discover and especially we like to talk about extreme things in the universe. We definitely do because we love to ask questions about like how hot can something get or how big consulting be your house small. Can we see things. These extremes of the universe are what tells us what's possible there the places where the actual rules of the universe might be revealed and so we love to explore these crazy extremes. Yeah we have a whole series of extreme podcast episodes. And that's where you queue the heavy metal guitar music extreme universe teaching sponsorship for mountain dew. Right there i wish but yeah we have episodes bad call this thing in the universe. The biggest thing to chinese thing all kinds of biggest most extreme things. I don't think we've done this chinese thing. Yeah that's a great idea. Well i guess we have. The brightest do have the brightest and we have the fastest spinning thing and the hottest thing and the coldest in the empty is thing and the densest thing and all the thing is things out there in the universe right we still have another silliest thing in the universe silliest thing in the universe. I'm not sure that's a physics. Podcast topic isn't it. Whatever you define selena's in physics terms would probably. There is some concept in physics. That has nothing to do with silliness but is called silliness. Anyway it's like the charge or something similar so boring news. This one has to scillies has negative one and a half borings. And there's the the white rule which says that no two nerds silly podcast time. We're breaking that rule right now. It's all about so. Yeah we talk about extreme things. The so today on the podcast. We'll be tackling the question. What's the most powerful volcano in the solar system. Now daniel powerful doesn't end with an es t- Yeah that's true. The most dramatic ist makino in the solar system. Most powerful and powerless. Well you know that's a linguistic problem. You know some of these adjectives you can't add. Es t to them but you still extreme. Because you're still the most something against the adding the most helps Grammatically speaking right so the question is what's the most powerful volcano in the solar system. Now daniel i think you've picked his words very carefully because you didn't see what's the hot is we'll keno or large is will cain. He's said the most powerful i did. I thought about powerful volcano. Because there's lots of different ways to describe. Okay knows right. You know. And i'm not that interested in like the biggest volcano if it's like inert and not doing anything anymore it's basically just like a dead volcano so i wanted to know about like the most dramatic the one that's gonna explode the most the one that's like we're gonna blow up in your mind so i thought about most powerful volcano the burpee est. Exactly one with the worst indigestion gaseous. The route is all right. Well it's a pretty big get solar system. I imagine there are a lot of canes in it and said we'll talk about all of the ones here on earth all the ones in the solar system but as usual we were wondering how many people out there maybe had an answer to this question though. Thank you to everybody who volunteers to answer these random. Physics questions from me with no preparation. Really appreciate it and if you would like to participate. Don't be shy. Promise it's fun right to me. Two questions and daniel and jorges dot com. And you'll hear your guesses on the podcast. What could be more fun than anything difficult. Physics questions in front of thousands of people. You know you'd be surprised. When i used to walk around campus and ask people it was almost never people said no like everybody was up for the a lecture whatever. I wonder how they would feel if he told him how many people listen to this and what not that number would impress them are make them feel bad for us. This definitely reason why. I try not to look like a famous podcast or when i walk around campus. Yeah i see. That's the purpose. It's just my natural look any way. Is there a look for successful podcasters. Like what are we supposed to look like. I don't know but this definitely isn't it that you know. Or maybe the more successful you are at the less dressy. You have to look right. I mean i feel like in a way. That's true like the more successful. You are the more like you. Don't care how you dress. Maybe address like seth rogan rights. I might look be seth rogan. But you know we have one listener marked fearing who's also a cartoonist. And he wants drew our portraits just based on hearing our voices like but his mental image was of us while. And what did we look. Well i looked like this big barrel. chested guy. Wearing a tweed vest and pontificating with a big pipe coming out of my mouth so i looked pretty pretentious. And how did he get right for me. I think he didn't know that you have a chinese background. Didn't somebody say that we looked like the guys from what does that choke light of the conchords flight of the conchords yet. Well that's show is hilarious. So i'd be glad to be compared with that show any level but anyways we're talking about volcanoes and we're gonna ask people on the street. They thought it was the most powerful volcano endless system. Here's what they had to say. Well just is It's on on the most. Powerful volcano in the solar system is actually me after a night of binging on taco bell. No i'm kidding actually. I think it's on a moon. One of the icy moons. That's got a bunch of heat generated by gravity from jupiter or saturn. And something like that. That is a good one. I don't know about specific. Cain old but i have a hunch it would be on jupiter's mellon i'll so we're not talking about the highest volcano olympus. Mons on mars is extinct. So i'm thinking that gravitational tides on a moon of a gas giant would drive tremendous eruptions. Maybe a water volcano on europa were methane volcano on titan. I'd say the most powerful volcano in the solar system would be the volcanoes on iro because when they go off they shoot debris clear out into space that then get sucked up to form a ring around jupiter so i would say the most powerful volcanoes are the ones on i o. I would guess that that would probably be on venus. But i don't know what the name of it is. I know that the moons of jupiter have pretty struggle kennels an active. But i also know that moore says one be look into though on is not active. It is probably in the sun. Thurs the dead one. On mars olympus mons and then around saturn. There's the moon enceladus. Which is ejecting like ice and stuff into the space. And that's kind of like a volcano. Or i ate. I liked the person who said that they're the most powerful canine in the solar system. That person needs to find new taco. Truck don't wanna be around that person that is not a good sign my friend but nobody said any volcanoes on earth. He will just assumed that. The biggest crazy as most powerful volcanoes are somewhere else. I guess i think he said in the solar systems and then kinda tipsy off the you know to get to the extreme stuff you have to go outside of the planet will. I'd like to know the most powerful volcano in the universe. But we have no idea what's out here beyond this alert systems that i sort of just like the limits of what we could prob- in the universe. I mean there must be a more powerful vulcano somewhere else just because there are so many planets is there a theoretical limit to the biggest bull. Canine do you know what i mean. Like at some point would it collapsed into a star or something. Theoretical limited like a whole planet. Be a volcano. That's pretty cool. And if so then. What's the biggest volcano plan. And you can have done new podcast episode idea. I guess i'm getting ahead of ourselves but yes. Let's tackle this question daniel and i guess the first question is about the terminology. So you said you pose the question as the most powerful okay. No not the hottest not the burpee is so what does that actually mean. Well when i was. I thinking about this. I was imagining. Dramatic explosions right. We all know about like mount saint helen's or other big explosions in history of killed lots of people and been very dramatic and pumped a bunch of stuff in the atmosphere. So that's sort of what i had in mind at first but it turns out these two very different kinds of aquino's there's the ones that like explode and blow their top like we're talking about and they had like one big eruption but then there's sort of the slow in steady kind of all keno. That sort of leaks lava continuously over many many years. Like the one you visited in hawaii and those could actually be much more dramatic and influential on climate so there are two types. Yeah exactly so. The kind in hawaii for example is called a shield volcano. Visit the bulk of of this sort of slowly leaks lava like the volcanoes in hawaii explode and then stop does a continuous flow of lava. And that's because this law. That doesn't have a lot of silica in it so it's very fluid so doesn't like build up and then explode and when you get then this. It's called a shield volcano because basically just like flows downhill and spreads out. You get this very flat. Sort of volcano shape not typical cone volcano. Very broad and flat. So sort of like a shield laying on the ground but it's still unpredictable. Rate like you can build up pressure on them and sometimes you know top collapses like i've been up there to the top of some of the ones in hawaii and the things change like one dear i went. And there was his whole landscape and then the next year or one and the last was yeah absolutely and they're constantly producing more landscape. Price like a continuous flow. But you're right. He's variables not like exactly continuous. You know and these things definitely have cycles where they're more active and less active. The one killer whale in hawaii it produces like two point seven cubic kalaam of lava which spread out covering like a hundred square kilometers over about a thirty year period but it has ups and downs and times right when it's producing more in times when it's producing less but they're not like really dramatic explosions. You're used to seeing like in cartoons for example eat like the giants appraisal of lava. That's not this. yeah exactly. So shield volcanoes put out a lot of lava sort of like in a more continuous flow because of the kind of lava they are. And you know in history. They've been very important like there's one in siberia that probably caused the permian extinction an event that killed like seventy percent of all species on land and spread it lava across like an enormous area of the earth. So i don't mean to put down shield volcanoes like they're very powerful. They're very important but they don't have this sort of momentary dramatic explosion the way the other volcanoes that we call straddle volcanoes are way to that one in siberia. How did it kill so many species or just spread lava across like a huge plane where seventy percent of the species where it wasn't just the lava it also released a lot. Mercury into the atmosphere raised the temperature of the earth by ten degrees which can upset a lot of ecosystems. But it's definitely can affect liking the course of life on earth all right so then the other kind call the sword volcano the other kind is called strata volcano strategy because there's lots of layers in it layers of magma and other kinds of rock and sort of build up slowly in this kind of okay. No is much more erupted because it has a different kind of lava the lava has more silica in it and more dissolved gas. And so. it's sort of like stickier as gooey. As doesn't flow out of the crack in the earth is easily. It tends to be more like up and then when the pressure builds up underneath it and then it blows and so this sort of google leads to much more dramatic explosion right and gazziev to right. Yeah it releases. Enormous quantities of rock and lava and also gas and smoke and they can also have big effects on climate. We'll talk a few examples later on all right. Those are the two kinds here on earth or anywhere. Does that apply to all other planets to those are the ones that we have studied best on earth and we'll talk about the ones and other bodies in the solar system. You'll see that they're not really a fair classification for talking about what's happening on other planets because the process is really very very different. You're not even always talking about lava. Sometimes you have very low gravity environments and so it doesn't like build up the same way it does here on earth so volcanoes on earth or pretty different than volcanoes on i o or titan or other places i see. They're more alien but the way. The geologist volcanoes or talk about volcanoes power the uses metric. They measure like how much stuff comes out of the volcano like what volume of stuff has it emitted at a single time or over time because the eeg said there are two kinds like one. That's steady and flowing and the other kind more explosive. Yes so sort of judgment call but you integrate over the eruption and if it's a shield volcano in the eruption of continuous than you can measure it powered by the volume of lava produced if it's erupting straddle volcano and you can measure as power by the volume of stuff produced in that eruption. And then you know it goes quiet for a while and so you sort of know when the eruption ends. But i guess. Even if it's the erupting kind the straddle as one defect it's not erupting is not because there's no lava sort of coming up from the ground. There is just building up right exactly both kinds have sort of a steady flow of lava. Exactly both of them are places where there's like a big pool. I think actually it's called magma before comes out of the ground and then it's called lava but they have this pool of magma underneath or there's a crack in the crust and is getting closer to the surface and that pressure can build up and that's one problem with this metric of measuring powerful volcano basically by the volume of its greatest explosion could be a volcano out there. That's like about ready to go and is much more powerful than any volcano on earth just has never blown up and so we don't know that it's there and i guess you know maybe just take a step back a worth all. This lava coming from the molten center of the earth or is it a particular layer and why does it come up doesn't gravity pull it down you know. The earth is many many layers near the crust and then underneath that have the mantle but the crust is not of uniform thickness right and so there are places for example when the tectonic plates meet when there are gaps and is easier for things that are molten inside the earth to come up. For example. a lot of the volcanoes on earth are actually underwater and the exist where these tectonic plates meet in the ocean. And you can get a lot of volcanoes there so typically. They're displaces in the earth where this sort of the earth's crust is thinner and this molten magma can bubble up i the all that stuff is under pressure right because on top of all that lava molten center of the earth. There's a bunch of tectonic plates pressing down on it and so if you have a crag thin it's gonna leak out some of the lava being squeezed underneath the reason that it's liquid is because of the pressure. You have some heat from radioactive decays of isotopes from the inside of the earth the mostly gravitational pressure like think about. Why is the son hot. The sun is hot because being squeezed and then that squeezing creeds fusion the earth does not have fusion still being squeezed not creates an enormous amount of pressure and that pressure can create friction. And that's why you have liquid inside the all right. Well let's get into. What are the most powerful will canas. Notches here on earth but indy sooner system refers. Let's take a quick break. Hey it's daniel of all the diy projects out there. Gardening is the most fulfilling. There's nothing like starting third and nurturing something beautiful or delicious from the soil. But whether you're looking to beautify your yard with incredible flowers and plants or it's your gold grow the perfect tomato. It's not about having a thumb that an unnatural sheet of green gardening is all about giving your plants a great start. And that's why miracle gro is the number one gardening brand miracle gro performance organic soils help you increase your gardens bounty by up to two times versus unfed plants magin luster flowerbeds with incredible seasonal blooms or growing more juicy plump. Tomatoes for your summers eyelids grow. What you love without compromise. Miracle gro makes it possible. Get your next garden. Project started today at miracle. Gro dot com. That's miracle g. r. o. dot com crazy. How much we have to pay for outdated impersonal healthcare and even crazier that we all just accept it. It's time to face facts. Healthcare is backwards. Luckily there's forward a new approach to primary care that surprisingly personal and refreshingly straightforward forward never makes you feel like just another patient backed by top rated doctors and the latest tech forward gives you access to personalized care whenever you need it. Using in-depth genetic analysis and real time bloodwork forwards top rated doctors provide you with in-depth insights to better understand your genetics mental and physical health. They then create custom easy to understand plans to help guide you to achieving long-term health with forward you get unlimited in person visits with your doctor and access to care any time via the forward app offer. One flat monthly fee. It's time to stop accepting backwards. Healthcare and start moving. Your health forward visit go forward dot com today to learn more. That's go forward dot com or are we talking about the hottest volcanoes in the solar system daniel the most powerful volcanoes about power who has the most influence on the course of history. Yeah or who can just blow the most stuff into the atmosphere because that's really how they measure it. They're not like how many people did you kill. Or how many square kilometers did you cover with your lava. Just like what's the volume of stuff that you blew up out of the top of the mountain but you use told me a little earlier that powerful as measured by the amount of lava flow which could be like steady and not that exciting it could be but you measured by the volume of lava. But i guess what i mean is you could have a really powerful volcano but using kind of constantly to never exploding or throwing things up into the atmosphere but it could still be the most powerful one if it's producing a lot of lava than by this definition. It would be the most powerful. It wouldn't be dramatic and it wouldn't be exploding but it still would be the most powerful or do you mean like a reset of adding an element of drama to the word powerful the most lava in the shortest amount of time. No i think as we said earlier you just measure how much stuff has been produced and so kill away for example has been producing stuff longtime so racks up like a good amount of lava like three cubic kilometers. Which sounds like a lot right but it turns out that even these shield volcanoes that are causing leaking. What seems like an impressive amount of lava don't hold a candle to these straddle knows which can release just so much more stuff in a short amount of time all right. Let's get into what are been some of the most powerful volcanoes in our history here on earth and i guess a mount saint. Helen's is kind of at the top of the list at least in terms of the consciousness of the population. Yeah is one that people can talk about and think about because it happened. Sort of in recent history we have like television footage and pictures and all sorts of stuff so people connect with it is pretty small event on sort of like the top list of volcanic eruptions in earth history. However so it's the deadliest and most economically destructive in us history but it's not actually that impressive. Only three cubic kilometers of stuff was blown off the top of the mountain against the. Us is not that old. I mean it's like two hundred years old comparative you know the age of the earth until it save the most. It's the biggest one in us. History doesn't go back. A lot of pretty far knows just a blink. I mean that's very impressive. Like imagine three cubic kilometers of lava. It's a lot of stuff right and blew up the whole top of the mountain. The top of the mountain is now like a one mile wide crater so this is nothing to sneeze at is just not that big compared to other crazy events in earth's history and mountain helen's was as dreadful qena the kind of builds up and then explodes. Yeah and there were some hints that it was gonna explode. There was like an earthquake a couple months before the cracked the volcano and there was like steam coming out and people could see the top of the mountain changing shape of like bulging so people were pretty. Well clued in that something was going to happen and are a lot of like volcanologists that were around watching it. Unfortunately a lot of them underestimated the power of it. Some of them tragically died in lava flow because there were too close. Oh no they didn't live long and prosper. They did not exactly no so it. Killed like almost sixty people destroyed a bunch of homes. And i guess maybe people that didn't think that it was going to blow up or you know were they just if lake. Oh look it's blowing out smoke and look swollen. Let's take more pictures. Yeah they thought it was going to blow is not that bad you know. They didn't expect it to be as dramatic as it was the underestimated its power classic. Mistake all right. So that's mount. Saint helen's in nineteen eighty. What else do we have in. Our history will the most powerful record volcano in all of human history right. Which is you know not that long talking. Maybe ten thousand years is only a couple hundred years ago in. Indonesia was his volcano mount. Tim bora which blew up in eighteen. Fifteen in his famous because it deleted a whole summer. It's called the year without a summer. What i can relate to that experienced this past summer this past year feels like it was raised. It blew up so much material into the sky all around the world that it's basically caused a volcanic winter. This happened in april and so basically summer just never came because the sun was blocked yet like winter spring up back to winter and then enroll right into fall. We had snow in new york in june. The whole temperature of the earth dipped a measurable amount because of this one volcano on so when they say like when it snows july as saying that it could happen. It has happened exactly and it affected. You know crops and hundreds of thousands of people died as a consequence of this volcano. People died of starvation. A lot of people died in the immediate aftermath because there was very dramatic in mount saint. Helen's blew three cubic kilometers of debris this one blue two hundred cubic kilometers of debris up into the air. That's kind of what happens right. When you blocked the sun things get cold. Yeah you basically put a shroud. The whole earth basically got a big shroud and we couldn't get sons so we couldn't have summer is a pretty crazy event in blew. Off the whole top of the mound. It lost like almost five thousand feet in height and they liked dropped stones there twenty centimeters wide on the nearby villages so it was pretty insane. You could hear it happening like a thousand miles away. That's pretty powerful stuff exactly. So that puts mount saint. Helen's really shame all right so then what else is on our list of most notorious explosions unearth. So that's as far back as we can look sort of been recorded history but we can look back in the geological record and see evidence of more powerful volcanoes. So there was this event. Seventy five thousand years ago again in indonesia and geologist. Think this was the most powerful volcanic glass in the last million years. Mount saint. helen's blew three cubic kilometers mount bora in eighteen. Fifteen blew two hundred cubic kilometers. This one we think blue almost three thousand cubic kilometers of stuff into the air causing of all kennedy winter about ten years long ten years like no summer for ten years no summer for ten years and it cooled the whole earth and its impact lasted. Almost a thousand years. is that sort of related. To the ice age of the ice age i think is a separate event but definitely contributed to the cooling of the earth and we think it kills. A lot of humans is also separately. This evidence that humans have a genetic bottleneck seventy thousand years ago if you look at everybody's. Dna who's alive now and try to reconstruct where they came from. It turns out that it looks like the whole human population comes from a very small group of people. Around seventy thousand years ago they call this a genetic bottleneck we all have the same ancestors a group of about like maybe five to ten thousand people that lived about seventy thousand years ago and so. There's a lot of debate and discussion in the field about whether one thing caused the other but it might be that this eruption killed a lot of the extant. Humans only leaving a small population. Which then were the ancestors for everybody. Who's alive today. So we come from survivors of this volcanic explosion. Yeah yeah exactly. by definition. We all come from survivors but this almost wiped us out right it could have been the end of humanity. Yeah i mean killed. Everyone except like three to ten thousand people. That's not allow people. That's like a small town left to repopulate the entire earth. Yeah exactly and they got busy doing it. And it took seventy thousand years but they did their duty. They got busy wink wink the big job but somebody's gotta do. Yeah and so. What's this volcano call. It's called lake. Toba anything sumatra indonesia and that's the most powerful eruption we think the last million years just from the geological record that we can study but then we can see to right but there'd be thanks hidden underneath jungles or the ocean floor. Yeah that's how they find. This stuff is the dig down through layers of sediment and they see like ashley down and you can tell exactly how much was deposited. Because it's still there. You see these dark layers in the sedimentary rock and you can tell what happened and they also they can look down you know ice in antarctica and stuff and they can measure the global temperatures the amount of snowfall and stuff like that. That's how they know what the temperature was. You know seventy five thousand years ago all right. What else is on the list. Another really powerful set of eruptions happened right here. In the united states about two million years ago in yellowstone yellowstone is famous of course for these geysers old faithful and all sorts of stuff. So you know. There's a lot of heat going on underneath. But it turns out that yellowstone lies over like a hot spot is like a thin spot in the crust and his all this hot magma that rise up from the mantle very near the services of heath everything up you saying yellowstone is a volcano or was it will qena. Yellowstone is a volcano. It's like could blow at any time and in the last twenty or so years. People have been like measuring the level of this magma and has been rising and rising and rising and some people saying oh yellowstone is i do for an eruption that's hogwash. We don't really know when yellowstone will erupt again. The last time interrupted was about six hundred forty thousand years ago and it pretty mammoth eruption that released like a cubic kilometers but over the last two million years. It's erupted several times many of those times just as large as lake toba or even larger. Well so that could have also may be taken our species. Yeah but i don't know what humans looked like. You know two million years ago when the evolutionary tree was and it's harder for us to predict that and then to calculate that but yeah absolutely definitely affected anybody who's living anywhere nearby these eruptions produced enough ash and lava to fill the grand canyon. Like these are mammoth events. Sort of in world history can makes you wonder what might have been you know what could humans have looked like they those other humans survive you know good have been taller or better looking or smarter or more acceptable to humble cannon corruption yet is cool thing about how like random moments that could have been different really shaped the path of life on earth you know the asteroids ear then then killed the dinosaurs and all those kinds of events including volcanic eruptions have really shaped where we are and we don't know right now if where we are is sort of like what would have happened in most circumstances or is just like totally rare and random occurrence so is fascinating to think about all these things and to look volcanic activity on other bodies to understand like are we lucky or unlucky. Do we need these kind of okay notice or like keep evolution fresh or has all. His kenneth activity prevented things from progressing more quickly. Right or to invest in that giant volcano plug idea. I think plug of volcano. You end of just putting it off and a bigger explosion when it happens not to be plugged. Really good than you. But maybe the biggest eruption in the history of the earth that we know of have been even further back in history. There's this eruption hundred thirty two million years ago. What yeah down in. What's now south america. But this is before south. America split off from africa. This is back when there was like different set of continents. His continent called gondwana. Which is you know has sort of south. America tucks into the little armpit of africa there. Yep yep yes so. It used to be a single continent and it was split apart by tectonic activity and they think that about one hundred and thirty two million years ago as sort of part of that splits connected to win. That split happened. There was this enormous set of all kinik eruptions right around there. And if you've ever been to like who falls and it's very close to right around there and so this was a huge event. Probably put out like almost nine thousand two kilometers of lava. Guess you you know these continents than these motions and splitting of continent. The all happened because of can't activity right. It's all of like ma ma and and you know earth turning down there and moving things around exactly so there's volcanic activity is very closely connected to these cracks in the earth's crust these intersection between the plates. That's why we think for example is probably like a million submarine volcanoes on the ocean floor putting out lava constantly. All these little cracks where these things are happening and i guess thankfully there underwater right. They are underwater but actually make really weird kind of lava because they come at any cool really quickly when they hit the water. Make these weird blobs. And they're called pillow lava right. They look kind of like you know a bubbly. Yeah they look a little bubbly and so with the lava looks like depend the law on when it comes out. Is it like down the side of the mountain and make a bigger hawaiian island or does it make a fluffy pillow underwater or does it like shot out into space because they said at the top of a really tall kaneohe all right. So that's the biggest one and what's the name of. These volcano of or volcanoes is a whole region down there and it's called the piranha and eat and decca traps and down there still in south america. There's a lot of volcanic activity of under iguazu falls and that whole area. This one was like a huge explosion or are you saying it was like a network of explosions or was it just one china with explosion. There's a lot of discussion about that as you might be able to guess. It's hard to tell exactly what happened. A hundred and thirty two million years ago. The evidence is inconclusive. And some people think oh. This was like a network volcano. Some people think it was one mega explosion. Geologists still argue about it conferences. But i guess it didn't extinguished life on earth because we're still here yeah. He didn't and interestingly doesn't seem to coincide with mass extinction so even though it produced a huge amount of lava and probably put stuff out into the atmosphere. It didn't kill off a bunch of critters that we know of our species that we had no idea about our could be you know. They'll look at the fossil records so before and after and you can line up like extinction events with volcanic events sometimes and sometimes they're volcanic events with no extinction events where you see like the same kind of critters alive before and after the eruption all right well that's bull canes on planet earth. Let's get into what are some of the most powerful will kano's in the solar system and see if we can beat some of the ones here on earth but first let's take another quick break any can make you look good on paper at penn college. We're more into looking good on steel and looking good on x-rays with looking good in code building and rebuilding vision and revisions and when it's all said and done you'll look good to everyone because the past might be written on paper but the future will be made by hand. Learn more at p. c. t. dot. Edu did you know that we spend forty percent of our time on non work related tasks while at work as we've adapted to work from home we've lost over a third of our productivity to distraction disorganization and work app fatigue. One company click up is making waves on the internet for its flexible platform. That brings your tasks docs goals chat and more all in one place with two hundred thousand. Plus teams from companies like uber. Google and web flow. Click up might be onto something. Click up is freed forever. So sign up today at click dot com slash iheart and see. What the grays is all about. We're talking about giant carful volcanoes and they don't just happen here on earth they happen on other planets and even in other moons. Yeah exactly and our solar system turns out to have a lot of all kind of activity. We think the moon might have had volcanoes rethink. Venus might have had mulcair news. We know that mars used to have volcanoes in fact one of the largest mountains in the solar system is on mars olympic mons and. It's a shield volcano. Buds is dead and most of these things. The moon venus and mars no longer have any volcanic activity. I guess it's a natural part of just being a planet. Having pimples is a teenager like it's a right of passage almost for all planet because all plans start off molten and then they get crusty and cool and the outside and you know that exerts pressure and so inevitably you know all planets. I would imagine get volcanoes. Yes i think that's probably true. They're all molten at some point. I guess rocky once. Sorry i guess you need to be a rocky planet have volcanoes any to be a rocky planet also requires a special configuration. You have to have this crust which holds the magma in but is enough that it can crack and you can bulge and you also have to have like a liquid core and so mars for example. We don't think it has any more volcanoes but we don't actually know whether it's still has liquid core some people think it's totally cooled and some people think there's still like magma underneath dying to get out but the outside crust is too solid to let any volcanoes anymore. I see to think maybe like it could just be too dense or something. All right well take us through. A tour of volcanoes in the will is really exciting that there are volcanoes in the solar system. Because it means that some of these other bodies are not dead. They're not just like cold places. Volcanoes are a sign of activity. An activity means heat and the heat. Maybe means life. It's exciting to other places in the solar system where stuff is still happening and so currently in the solar system of course we will cain earth and then there's three other places where we've seen this kind of activity and they're all moons. There's a moon of neptune which is called triton there's ancelotti's which sounds like a salad but is actually the sixth largest moon of saturn and then of course there's iso did you call insulator that is literally the spanish word for salad of trying to figure out how to pronounce it. I think is in salacious. Isn't it is indian. Salacious enceladus insulates. Will i think i'd like a caesar solidifies please We'll get that to you. Straight from veteran blade so most of the volcanoes we know about that are active now are in moons. There aren't any in. Like you know. Venus or mars or mercury. None of those places have active volcanoes in mars. We think has some activity going on. There are mars quakes but there are no volcanoes left on mars and of course there's this fossil of a volcano olympus mons it's the largest mountain. Solar system is not currently anymore volcano. There's nothing happening there. i guess. What makes us special here. What is it about earth. Let's still have volcanoes. Thought something we really understand like. We don't understand the inside of venus and mars or mercury. It's something we're still studying. It's a difficult thing to do. And in fact we're gonna have a whole podcast about whether mars and venus still have liquid cores and what's going on with them but it's not something that's easy to understand. There's a lot of discussion and debate. Really we don't know could just be luck or is it something about our crust like our composition of the rock or our fear. It's something to do with the size right. The size of planet determines like how hot it gets much gravity there is and also how long it takes to cool so for example. Mars is much smaller than earth. Which is probably why it's cooled faster. And the outer crust has formed and been so thick and choked off all of those volcanoes. But also you're right. Volcanoes are important. They're big part of why we have our atmosphere and so it's interesting to learn about this because it helps us understand like for other planets in other solar systems are they likely to have volcanic activity which could produce the atmosphere. They need to eventually seed life. Oh need volcanoes to make an atmosphere right. You don't just get it for free. You don't get it for free like if there was gas around when the earth formed most got blown off because he didn't have the steady current you need to have a magnetic field as early on so by the time things settled down and cooled off and you had like a nice magnetic field to protect your atmosphere. Then you need to replenish it. The same way like earth once had water when it was very very young and the formation but most of the boiled off into space and it needed to be replenished mostly by comets and other things in the same way we need to replenish. Our atmosphere in that mostly came from volcanoes is see and i guess. Gas plants can have volcanoes or ice planet right to coal. You can actually have volcanos on ice planet. Well like ice lava yet but they are kreil volcanoes they do not blow out like molten rock. And that's what we think is going on. For example on triton moving solar radiation penetrates the surface and heats up some layers that are below that are darker so they absorb more of this energy. Get hot and then they blow out through the surface. Well what what are they blow. If not lava mostly like nitrogen gas or some water vapor or methane or see to some of these. Things are called cry of volcanoes because they're still really cold but it's still like pressurized gas so you might still be hot. No it's pressurized gas but it's like liquid nitrogen is still really cold and so if you blowing liquid nitrogen into space is not going to warm up. Oh my god. Liquid nitrogen volcano like a volcano. That's not read but like blue or white right. yeah absolutely. This is a pretty exciting moment. When they founded like voyager two saw on triton in one thousand nine hundred eighty nine pretty exciting moment to see this and it rises up by five miles into space. Because this thing has very light gravity and so you don't get like you know bubbling up a volcano on earth in these geysers just like shootout into space. Why it was so exciting astrophysicists crying. That's why they called it a cry of okay. No joke makes me cry. That's what i'm here for to If you like you can't call it a volcano. It's thought lava. Shouldn't there be another name. Yeah well they do have another name they call it a cry of o'kane cold frozen volcano. I see they get a derivative name. Yes sort of and this thing happens in other places. So like enceladus or enceladus the moon of salads as the same kind of thing shoots up icy particles and cassini in two thousand and five when by took pictures and it actually flew through some of these jets because they come from the polls and see pretty reliable you know where they are and it measured it has water vapor and nitrogen and methane and carbon dioxide and stuff like pricing amount of ranch dressing which is weird too much ranch dressing. Everybody always overdose stressing more croutons less dressing and we talked once about the moon. Europa which is a cool place that has an icy crust probably with water underneath like a big water and sometimes that cracks. You get these geysers of frozen water vapor plumes that come out in the might for example have little microbes in them. So we're sending a mission to europa to sample these geysers. Can you call them. Geysers you call them. Volcanoes i dunno dunno prior geysers cry. Oh geysers yeah exactly but there is one that you could definitely call a volcano and his very impressive and this is a volcano. That's on the moon. I oh that's a moon of jupiter. I uh-huh is a moon of jupiter. It's the innermost moon of jupiter. Okay so this one actually has like lavin yes. This is the most volcanically active body in the entire solar system. They've seen like a hundred and fifty different volcanoes. They think there's even more like maybe up to four hundred or so and this thing is really hot because it's so close to jupiter jupiter's tugging on it and it's basically squeezing it remember. We talked about like tidal forces. What happens if you get really close to a black hole. It's gonna pull on one side of you more than the other side of you when that happens anytime you get close to any large body. For example the moon is doing that to earth in the squeezing the water on the earth. And which is why we have tides. It's like the gravity's needing it right like it's sort of like stretching and compressing in that creates he warms it up exactly creates friction internally and that keeps it hot on the inside so iowa's hot because jupiter's like needing it with its gravity boy is just got a little racier raytheon spacey roussy at a distance and so it melts the rock inside. I oh and you have like actual lava and you have these huge eruptions. The new horizon spacecraft saw one eruption from this tamasha dr volcano that went up one hundred and eighty miles. Hi this is like actual lava actual lava shot out into space. Yeah hundred and eighty minute get that kind of activity here on earth. Doing like with the most began is a couple of miles. Yeah exactly and of course because we have much more gravity right. So it's easier to launch like tens of cubic miles of hot lava up into space when you're smaller moon. There just isn't as much gravity. It sounds like it has fearful canes and earth right. we have millions. You said underwater. Maybe we have millions. Yeah but these seem more powerful like more dramatic and it's a denser. Volcanic environment like more volcanoes per square kilometer or something and i'll also features what one geologists called in their paper the most powerful volcano in the solar system. Well there was a competition and he gave the metal to this. What's it called. It's called lookie. It's named after you know the trickster god of north mythology people think it's the most powerful volcano in the solar system is seven hundred times more powerful than kill away for example puts out seven hundred times as much lava every year. Wow that's a lot of lava it's a lotta lava that's like hotter than tun. Yeah exactly it will burn ya. And it's hard to measure these things like we don't have like great cameras taking pictures of this stuff. Where they can do is sort of just watch. In the infrared these eruptions of heat the heat on the surface and they try to convert that heat measurement into like a volume of magma. So you know this uncertainties there but these are definitely big powerful things hanging out on the surface of east. We can look at it from here like you can actually see the heat and the signature or do you need to get up close in. Have we taken pictures of rehab taking pictures. We have the head like flies taking pictures of these things so you can see it the best shots. We have come from watching it steadily day by day and you can use space telescope. So like has image did for example. It's a weird volcanic because it's constantly leaking. Lava tends to erupt so like every five hundred and forty days. there's a huge outpouring of lava and then it just sort of bubbles around for awhile seeking lava all right so then that's our winner. That's the most powerful volcano in the solar system. It's low key in the moon. Iro which is a moon of jupiter. And i wanna thank robert howell geologist university of wiring for answering all of my questions about volcanoes and he wanted me to point out that he's not really a shield volcano because the weird composition in the low gravity. The lava comes out. Doesn't make really build up into a shield. He called it a patera. Because it's like this vast pool of lava so if you look down onto from space is just as like lake of lava. But they don't even really understand exactly how it forms interesting. It has a gravity. Assist kinda like this. Let gravity there to the maybe he can shoot higher shoes higher. It doesn't build up the same way. So like the shape of the volcano. The whole nature of it. You can even really call it. A shield volcano because to be a shield volcano requires basically being on earth or having a similar gravitational environment like the whole shape of it is different than the dynamics of it. I imagine exactly pretty cool all right. So that's the biggest most powerful will keno in the solar system. It's seven hundred times more powerful than callaway. It's pretty impressive. I would not recommend i o as a family vacation. Destination is much better. Well gee gee just don't go interrupting but you know you have a five hundred year window there. You can swoop in and take pictures are we'll send you there. You can go touch the lava. I'm sure i'll love stop by for a salad on the way a warm salad. All right well. We hope you enjoyed that and think about all the amazing things that are out there in other planets other moons things that we think are big impartial here. Are maybe pale in comparison to things that are right in our neighborhood and that's why we love to throw our minds out there into the rest of the universe to imagine how life here on earth is different or similar to. What's going on out there in the rest of the universe when aliens come. Can we talk to them about volcanoes or will they be amazed that we have these crazy bubbling pot of lava on the surface of our planet. Interesting we could become like a tourist destination. We are the hawaiian galaxy near you. Go the tacos. Dan of the solar system. Well we enjoyed that. Thanks for joining us so you next time. Thanks for listening and remember that daniel jorges explain universities a production iheartradio for more podcasts from iheartradio visit the iheartradio app apple podcasts. Or where ever you listen to your favorite chips. Hey it's daniel. There's nothing more satisfying than making a meal with food. You've grown in your own garden. And bonnie plant spent the last century helping folks like you grow their own food. Monty has over three hundred unique varieties of plants so the fruits and vegetables you love can be grown right in your own garden from strawberries and broccoli peppers and lettuce. Your dinner options are endless. See all the varieties at bonnie plants dot com grown. Just for you. If you're a small business owner growing your business is what it's all about. That is if you have the space to do it. Keep smart self. Storage has the solution with a variety of storage unit sizes helpful online resources and easy to access facilities cube. Smart self storage provides a self storage experience that puts the focus on you. Because you and your business matter most and help you grow cube. Smart is offering up to twenty five percent off your monthly rent. Say goodbye to crowded inventory. And hello to your business. Success story with qb smart self storage cube smart dot com for more information.
'the need for speed'
"I love this podcast. Support this show through the acoss support a feature. It's up to you. how much give. And there's no regular commitment just hit the link in the show description to support now. Fifteen seconds guided journal ignition sequence. Uh space nuts three to five report. It feels good. Hello once again and happy new year. Thanks for joining us on the latest episode of the space. Nuts podcast episode. Two hundred and thirty five is what it says on the notice. The professional professional rundown shake out so backwards anyway trouble rating that my name is andrew dunkley your host and joining me as always is good professor fred watson astronomer at large. Hello fred andrew. I wanted you to see my astronomy face masks because my daughter sent me for my birthday all the constellations sadly only their employees but they are the right constellations the real thing. So this is my. This is my new fashion accessory. Which don't need in here. Because i'm on my own. Nearest person is twenty inches away in a different room. So i can take it off but i thought you'd like to see beauty. I love it. I wasn't very actually. I've seen a lot that people have been creating. You've got to give humans credit for the ingenuity that some of the face masks that have started popping up around the world just so imagine any. I'm not so sure about the zombie ones because children have a scowl. Good another good one to show you in your letter. And so that's one yet. But i've sitting it be good and by the way. How is christmas and new year. What did you get up to. I wrote two chapters of the new book and still forging ahead to try and get it. Get the text out away as soon it can extend the cartoons for it. Because that's the next big thing. Just go away. This impromptu you hang on hang on gentleman was the late under dunkley. Who's just revealed his chest full of his his case full of trophies. It's done oh the book stone ready for my perforated creator so We're all good to go. Yeah hard copy to greatest editor an miracle anyway. Anyway that will be out sometime this year. Probably the guys freights to look to nine comes in. No fans come though andrew. Both of them. It takes me. We'd better get down to business so news. Good christmas good as good very very quiet so we didn't get up too much not that we could because there was so many restrictions that we had to deal with because of the sydney at break but yeah hopefully things will get better this year but against a wish. Think so in this episode of the space knots. Podcast we will be talking about earth spinning faster than it used to. That's because people running a lot faster than they used to. The planet of luck treadmill effect china the these certain chinese astronomy as we got a lot of speed going on not the wrong kind of spayed. We got spayed spade going on this week's episode. Chinese astronomers on nearly six hundred high velocity stars. That's because most of them are seventeen years old now and a couple of questions coming up one from tome in the midlands of the uk around binford's law which this fascinating question and darryl in south. Australia has a what would happen if question for us. I love those ones so we will deal with all of that today on the space. Podcast now fred to l. very first a topic for twenty twenty one earth is spinning faster than it used to. Someone suggested the treadmill effect. I suspect otherwise. Actually you know the treadmill effect is good as yes zanny because of the moment. Nobody knows why so. It's a theory that Look at your theory that is should go into the mix for what the reason is for his faster spinning earth that we're seeing it sort of flies in the face of the normal wisdom about the spain we've known ever since invention of atomic clocks and probably a little bit before let's actually but we know that the the rotation he's not constant it's very poor timing sort of a because it spins affected by things like the sloshing around of the liquid iron core in the middle solid iron core in the middle and the liquid encore above it the excuse me the convictions in the mantle but he's also affected by other things like melting ice sheets and ocean currents and things of that so all of those things effect the rotation of the earth but as you and i spoken about before andrew the normal way changes is by slowing down and that's because the tidal friction effects between the earth and the moon the earth is gradually put the energy into the moon which makes it received away from us that energy has to come from somewhere and by logic comes from the slowdown of the rotation. But it's not just you know a constant drift downwards it's got bumps in it and we had a bump effectively last year. Twenty twenty apparently had more short days than we had for quite a while which means that the spin is going up. Sorry i do go ahead now. I knew that last year felt quake. Everyone said just half austin twenty twenty like well. The shortest day was by day. Now we don't mean daylight or anything like that. It's the stunned day. Eight to six thousand four hundred seconds. That's how many seconds going today which is twenty four times three thousand six hundred number of seconds our so. The shortest day was actually july nineteenth last year the depths of our winter down here in australia but high summer up in the northern hemisphere and the the so that eight to six thousand four hundred seconds was short by one point. Four six zero two milliseconds. So it's not really something you'd notice but it is a short day and you blink and you would yes blinked too usually longer than expected so you would but yes. There's no so. I should say that. Nobody's worried about this particularly it's just a reflection of the fact that the earth is as variable in its spin. An exactly as i was saying things like the the movement of material with india but also i think to some extent we're seeing the sensitivity sensitivity of the earth to what actually happens on the surface and that's because on the surface this effectively. What's called a big moment of inertia. So that things that happened on the surface actually have a bigger effect. And that's why just the level of snowfall for example over a continent light green land or over an online greenland and even things like the erosion of mountains by glasses. And that sort of thing all of these can change the speed of the planet's spin the the other side of it and maybe this is a little bit more concerning is that atmosphere and climate scientists looking at this as perhaps seeing something like the effect of global warming wave got snow caps melting on the snows high up in the in the mountains actually disappearing So it's it's really an interesting yardstick May mark the beginning of changes in the weather through tate. Now the people really most upset about it. I'll the computer scientists and they always up because that's why computer. Scientists hate the fact that the spinneys gradually slowing down because in order to compensate for that. We introduce leap seconds periodically. I think something that's not been introduced since nine hundred seventy five. Was it the first time elite second was put in and they buy their computers. Need to be adjusted. If you put a leap second in and that's a big pain in the neck because on systems on board spacecraft it's all over the place where things have got to be changed and the idea of the speeding up of it could mean that you put in a negative leap second. That's to say you take out a second. At the end of period periods other the thirtieth of june thirtieth of december put in. So you could take one house. And that's again could lead computer scientists to tear their hair out and all kinds of problems. So they're the ones who are most directly affected by this but i thought it was a really interesting piece of research to point out that actually occasionally this in speeds up. Yes it is it's fascinating. I believe the first leap second was added in nineteen seventy two. You went viral. And yeah when the earth slowed down a little bit. And and yet as bain think twenty seven seconds up their baths. I did have a question. You you mentioned. At the beginning that the title affected the moon is supposedly slowing the rotation of the earth. But we also had the moon is creeping away from the earth. And we'll have a time. Will that change the spin of the earth as it is it moves away or is that too so the to intimately linked andrew. The moon will never disappear. It will settle down about half a million kilometers away. This is in something like fifty billion. It's nothing to worry about but it's actually so it's the gravitational interaction between the two that causes both of those phenomena the slowdown of the earth. Which is because it's giving energy to the moon. It is a very complicated process. But it's all about the way the tidal bulge on the earth naturally acts gravitationally on the moon itself to give it an acceleration that acceleration moves it further out in its orbit so yes to intimately linked processes both of which are very interesting. I think me gets they all joy. I actually looked it up once and i think we have talked about it when once or twice the ball. She's responsible for quite a significant difference between the width and the height of height of the planet. It's it's it's quite a large fairy. That's the equatorial bulge. Just the bulge calls the story. Actually something something. That's not good me andrew. So yes the has. An equatorial bulge fatter around the middle. Pretty well all the planet. Saturn is the most sundays. Ten percent wider crosses equator than is at the polls. But wait for this in the all. The research been doing for the kids book. One of the amazing facts is how perfectly spherical sonny's so the some is one point. Three thereabouts million kilometers in diameter. And yet it's the difference between its equatorial diameter. it's polar diameter is less than ten kilometres. It's a staggering. So it's absolutely a perfect fear which is really quite remarkable. It is so here's another question without notice getting good at that if spinning a bit faster in twenty twenty does that main the bulge. The equatorial bulge begun. Probably but the amount millimeter. Not exactly. that's too much ten millimeters so it's just a case okay. We got that covered. Great topic off the year fascinating. You're listening to and occasionally watching the space nuts. Podcast with andrew. Dunkley and fred watson all space nuts. Thanks again for joining us on the space nuts. Podcast andrew dunkley with frayed watson and thanks to everybody who send questions into us because we lock to get questions from the audience we feel it gives you a bit more to to enjoy. It's just us rabbiting on about what we like to talk We get to talk about the stuff that you want to know about as well and we've got Episode two hundred forty coming up very very soon and as we tend to do on the round numbers the opportunity to go all in. So if you've got a question buzzing around in that massive. Brian of yours that you would like fred to tackle plays plays plays senate into us. Just go to the space. And that's podcast website space nuts. Podcast dot com is what it is coincidentally and you can upload your question through our email interface. If you don't want to use your voice or you can click on the tab and record your voice as long as you got to deliver the microphone. It should work and just tell us who you Wave from ask you a question bam and away we go. So we'd like to do an old question episode for episode two hundred and forty which will be coming up in about five weeks time. Now fred we. We have got The need for spade in episode two hundred thirty five of the space. And that's us and we go from a fastest spinning earth too high velocity stars which of been observed by the china fan quite a few of them. Yeah that's right. This is actually a story quite close to my heart under a number of reasons partly. Because i've been involved with in measuring high-velocity stars myself the right project. Radio velocity experiment which we did with the united kingdom schmidt telescope during first decade or so of the new millennium the speeds of half a million stars and one of the first pieces of research that came out of that was the detection of high velocity stars. Nothing like as many as the chinese astronomers have now discovered but what does not just these stars leaving the galaxy and waving goodbye. She gives you a way of measuring the mass of the galaxy and we got a mass for the galaxy from those results of one point four trillion times. The massive sum. That's a result. The dutch really still holds up. I think anyway. Things are moving on because with a telescope. Which again. I've had quite a bit to do with. It's called lemos. It is a telescope. That is built actually only about one hundred kilometers from beijing for reasons that i won't go into here but on a site that is rather light polluted but is very good for observing relatively bright stars. And what they've done with lemos its name is actually an acronym is the large sky area multi object fiber spectroscopic telescope and. There's the clue because my career was all about multi object fiber spectroscopy which is where you use optical fibres to steer starlight from the telescope into the spectrum device that actually turns the light into a spectrum unless you analyze all details so our five spectograph on the schmidt telescope one hundred and fifty five dollars when he was in good condition but the llamas telescope has thousand so it can look thousand us simultaneously. And that's why they doing now very big surveys of star speeds and the chemistry of styles as well which is one of the other things that comes out of this so the the study that's just been published has now a total of five hundred ninety. One stars added to the list that we knew already which was about five hundred and fifty so it kind of doubles effectively doubles. What we've what we know. Often the stars are ones that have actually had something happened to them For example if you have a style that happens to be in the central galaxy of one disclose to the black hole in the central galaxy might get caught up in the maelstrom of material. But not quite be sucks in. But in fact given a cake atwood's to give these very high losses it's that sort of thing or even just an encounter of two stars coming together. where they they don't colli but the gravitational interaction actually boosts one of them out of the galaxy so it's really You know it's a really interesting piece of work. But today we have something we didn't have in the in the era of raves. The ready of loss experiment. We now have the space. What guy is doing is measuring very accurate positions of stars. They're accurate to about five minutes of of an arc. Second tiny fraction of a second of arc is one three thousand six hundred thirty degree which is a relatively small angle but then they're splitting to millions of an second and that lets you look at the way styles move across the line of sight when you can combine that with the radio lusty which is the along. The line of sight you get the true space velocity of the star. It's actual motion through space. And that's how you can how you can use some of these very high velocity and are effectively leaving the galaxy. It's great so have fast. Are we talking figures. But i actually had time to look at the paper itself which came out on the seventeenth of december but the typical sosa figures that we were talking about with rave war of the order. Four hundred five hundred kilometers per second. And that's enough to to get you out of the galaxy. It's all about the escape. Velocity galaxy of course varies depending on where whereabouts in the galaxy. You are so. It's not a single number. I think we're used to quote the escape velocity sun's radius of what the number is. I could probably look it up but do just now. I think it's less than four hundred kilometers per second. But you get the drift. It's these velocities in the region of a few hundred kilometers per second. How fast is l. Son moving asda. Yes so we Part of sort of circulating around the center of the galaxy and our speed is roundabout two hundred and fifty kilometers per second. Okay that's the psalms orbital speed around the center of the galaxy and in fact because of doubt matter that's the orbital speed of most styles one of the things that we won the reasons why we think dark matter is there is because of this. What's called a flat rotation curve when you look at galaxies. Everything's moving around at about two hundred and fifty kilometers per second whereas what you would expect is for the velocities in the middle to be fast and then for them to slow down as you go further out what they don't. And that's one of the one of the reasons why we think every galaxies encased in a cocoon of dark matter. It's the the the most significant reason why we think dot military israel. Someone's going to ask the question if everything's moving at approximately the same speed and how is all drifting apart at a suppose. It doesn't matter what that's s you drifting atwood's if or apart what do you mean i mean gets. Pensions makings the so. That is much much smaller and only comes into play where you've got you know huge distances. We're talking about galaxies which are bound by their own gravity a that sort of overrides anything to do with the drift of space which is much much slower values on the scale of the galaxy. The expansion of the universe zero. It's only when you're looking at galaxies the separated by you millions or billions of light years. That you start to see the expansion of the universe. I k- makes perfect sense. You mentioned a few reasons. Why stars reach these high-velocity he's the one you mentioned is that they just got their drivers losses. Well we knew those. Got to pay the state of new south wales. And i think in a couple of other states in australia. Who get the loss to demonstrate so with a red pay for their first year provisional license. And then i think for three more years two more years. They have to have green lights so well identified. It doesn't slow them down at all but yes making generalizations hundred because all climbing on santo them. I know some people who were very very carefully and under done pretty good too doesn't let or time for a break here on the space podcast episode two hundred and thirty five your with andrew dice. Clay and frit watson respect for pistols nuts the nuts podcast with andrew dunkley and professor afraid watson and a special shout out to all our patrons of course who put a bit of money into the podcast. We certainly appreciate your support. And if you'd like to become patron you can look up the day towels on our website. Spice nuts podcasts dot com. You can give a little. You can give a lot you it's totally up to. You is not mandatory I must point out and A shoutout to our social media supporters. Those follow us on facebook twitter. Where else pay patriots. That's my special. That social media is also Pinterest and a few other places. So what's that other one called instagram instagram. I should have but I just get so lost in them there so many but and youtube. Of course you call you to Social media platform i suppose but We getting quite a following on youtube. Say thank you to the youtube followers for supporting this. The space nuts podcast when we get a lot of feedback from youtube is so thank you very much now frayed. We've got a couple of questions to tackle we and this i yes I one pretty wordy is comes from tom. Who lives in the midland of the uk High fred and andrew. I have a question for regarding a mathematical phenomenal. Benfits bowl a came. I came across this awhile ago. Walls casually researching various things online for those unaware of benfits law. It's an analytical to tools commonly used to detect fraud. I find this fascinating. Basically the law states that when taking the first digit of numbers in lodge dafa sits the probability of h number one to nine occurring repeatedly decreases the higher. You go for example. The number one will occur. Thirty thirty percent of the time to around fifteen percent and so on Nine occurring just five percent of the time audited this tool to analyze data sets and find anomalies in the information. If a company's data features a nine as the first digit say sixty eight percent of the time providing the company's services died products whose prices exclusively begin with the non. That's important it's a likely indicator of fraud so now to the actual question pot in benfits law is benfits. Law commonly used in astronomy analyze things like distances between stars galaxies planets all for other large sets of data relevant to astronomy. I've read several articles that have explained how they've explored the slow in niger for things such as dips diverse quakes sizes of animals and infectious diseases. But there doesn't seem to be a huge amount on astronomy and spice if this lower applies not only define any financial information but much to the natural world and the universe that's that would be somewhat intriguing. Love the podcast discovered it. For months ago. I tend to listen to it whilst flying space exploration game which really enhances the experience. I'm fully code up now. Begun releasing some episodes. You poor thing If you could start recording twice a week minimum. That would be great about all the best tom from the uk. Midland's benfits law. I like the sound of these. It's interesting yeah. It was an infection. Benford was only. This was the second person to discover this law because it was also discovered a fifty years earlier in eighteen thousand nine one by an astronomer by the name of simon american so sometimes known as the new combined astronomers of certainly to the numerical distributions. Tom's right actually that it's not a to the is widely used in astronomy. Although i take his point that other natural things have been used to to to to have been shown to fit this law like mathematical of physical constants. It's a really very interesting thing. I think financial fraud is probably sleaziest us but the point going to make in astronomy. They're a statistical tools. Which quite different from this and very much more suited to the problems that we face strong which are looking things like looking for trends in the metal content of stars in their atmospheres or their surface gravities how distributed with distance in the galaxy. And for that kind of statistics that we use pumps in some ways more conventional. Although the flavor of the month is still something called beijing statistics which is a statistic set of statistical tools that involve you effectively taking a guess. At what the answer might be you fix something called a prion and the prior is your starting point when you are going through the statistical number crunching to work out. What what the answer is likely to be so basin in statistics play a much bigger role than benfits law. It is interesting. Though how applicable it is over many different physical parameters. One of the things that that i thought was an interesting concept. Benford law is lengths of rivers a. That's such an interesting thing that the length of rivers actually fits this natural law. I just wanted to comment. I'm going to have to offer a second because my computer's got red lights on. It tells me. I forgot to plug in power. So i'm gonna let you chat for a second. While i get it but the the really interesting thing i think about them. Full when you look into it is it works best. When you've got a statistical data covering many orders of magnitude that means you know tens hundreds thousands hundreds of thousands millions. If you've got data that covers that broad-based then the law works really well. If you're only within like this year one to ten then it doesn't work so well which is an interesting of i think is an interesting little. I'm going to go before my computer dis. Andrew i'll leave you to talk for no less than no longer than about thirty seconds. I think i can manage that. I used to work in radio. F- still up radio. I don't work in it anymore. It reminds me of a trip judy. A couple of months ago. now we We saw trip. We decided not to take charges. And of course my find but it's battery heavily and so the next day driving home at a cable in the car and just plug in and charge a fine on the way home and everything will be apple's when i got home. The phone was almost data. What the heck over the course of time. The plug in the Adaptor in the car dashboard had worked. Its way out a couple of millimeters and no longer have contact. Couldn't you get caught out in this wise but Luckily or go home with fully functional. Find the light. I the lightest i put on my phone battery burn Daily which ended a brand new find. So i'm a little bit annoyed and apparently the fixed isn't going to be uploaded until next month. So yeah i think a lot of these mobile phone companies have got a bit to answer for fred. I really do. But that's another story. Thank you complicit. The way i didn't want it to fair enough. Now let's move onto our next question and this is. This is a what would happen if question. This comes from daryl. In south australia must point out too that This question one from tom. The the patrons but just for change were including a couple of days. Patron questions in the mainstream podcast. Normally they'd go into bonus material for the patrons but These questions were so very good. We thought everyone would enjoy them Now i darryl says the other dials watching a youtube channel and the title of the segment was what would happen. If the earth got kicked out of the solar system it was mentioned that some seventy thousand years ago a brown dwarf red dwarf binary system passed through the cloud. Miss things up it also stated that Please seven ten of probably mispronounce that will pass through in about a million years time So he's asked several questions. Have either of you heard about this carol. Scientists had to scientists now Now this happened. can this still be saying through telescopes. today how would it take How long would it take for asteroids from the event. And how can scientists track something that might take a million years to be in our neighborhood. Good questions and You fred. I love the way you haven't heard of. It was just going to say. I love the way that darrell has number these questions. One big three and five so yes. I've certainly heard of seventeen. Which is a star that will pass through a million times. I don't know about the black brown. Dwarf red dwarf binary system. It's possible that might have happened. So let's just step back and workout what what's going on here. The solar system is not just the planet and the asteroids and comets. It is also the cloud cloud envisage baiano water dutch back in about nineteen fifty or there abouts he postulated that the source of comments. Is this sperry. Co cloud of comet nuclei which bodies a few kilometres long very icy. But if you've got lots of them out there a passing star could disturb the cloud propel them into the inner solar system where they will essentially falling towards the sun and be visible as comments because they wanna get near this up evaporating there. The isis basically turned to to today to a plasma in fact and then see them but of course if that happens on a wholesale scale. If you've got something that churns through the cloud and disturbs it and sends a whole lot of comets into the inner solar system. A good chance that some of them are going to hit the earth and so people who look at asteroid impacts and things of that sort and the history of the earth in terms of mass extinctions criterion and things of that sort. They're the people who i think would be saying. Well something happened here. We had a whole lot of impacts mass extinctions. Maybe that was because something The cloud and you can. Actually you can naturally. This is going to one of the questions here. Be i think actually not to be how the scientists know this happened. You can look at stars now especially that we've got the guy data set that we were talking about a few minutes ago. These exquisite positions of stars which also gives us the chance to work out their motion. How they're moving. If you combine that with radio losses take from spectograph of. You've got this complete commotion of us tom. And if we can look stars out there in the universe and say well or in the galaxy and say well this one would be now affinity few hundred thousand years ago something of that. So so that's how that kind of deduction is made and so. The red dwarf binary system. As i said. I haven't heard of that one but it. If it really exists it probably is something that has been observed through telescopes the gleason seven tan is much better defined. Because that's one that's kind of way it hasn't passed through the the solar system yet It's a it's a red dwarf star glazer stars essentially red dwarf dwarfs that can producer head doctor professor leases. Catalog is number seven ten in the catalog. It is expected that there will be an interaction between please ten and the cloud because it will come in closer probably than the cloud. Certain point two light years is minimum distance. The cloud his roundabout that distance from the from the sun. So this is an event that is expected to occur on our best figures in one million two hundred and eighty-one thousand years time and that again comes from the guy data so it is. It's a close approach and that is likely to disturb the cloud and so the other one of the other questions that donald has asked question. D- how long would it take to see astronauts. From this event that should be comets asteroids because cloud is the reservoir of comments they would take yes tens of thousands hundreds of thousands of years to spiral in from the cloud into the inner solar system. Maybe on average fifty to one hundred thousand years so it's not an immediate thing but this star is itself conduct an immediate effect it drifts through the sky relatively leisurely pace. I think also a figure of one year. I think was been. Let me see if i can take that up again. It was certainly something that would be easily visible. It's a star that will be relatively brian. In fact they were suggesting magnitude of about minus two which is bright as mars gets when it's when it's brightest. I'm sorry i can't find that figure of its of its drift but the style would be there and it doesn't through the cloud bash everything up. It's a very leisurely process. But the effect of this one hundred thousand years or so after the closest approach when the star would still be visible in the sky. That's when you start getting become feeding into the inner solar system and the last question how can scientists track something that might take a million years to be unable. It's exactly one of just said it's looking at the information we get from gaya and the radio velocity surveys that gives us the space velocity of a star. And then you just map it forward because there's not that much else threatens in the you know in the period go to any other styles that it might interact with but a million years is you. It's not that long in the grand scheme of things so it's very interesting really interesting question. I'm very glad. Donald rosa ripa beside the and still less around one point. Two question about the predictability. I suppose a million years out that makes it a little bit of a lottery dozen Only in the sense that you might have or missed. There's a faint star somewhere between us. That will disturb its path and it's be the modeling that people are doing about the way stars moving within our neighborhood. Actually go out to fifteen million years and so this sunday. Good modeling That takes into account what we know about styles vicinity now. This one's an interesting one. The fact that it is sort of whizzing towards was timescale of point. Two eight one million years. I don't know whether any of us still be around by them. We hotfooted to other parts of the galaxy all succeeded in wiping out. Who knows i fully the former committing. I just going back to one of my is many years. It's motion through the sky. News right Could something be disturbing north plad now. or a we pretty well with with what's happening around us in this possible. The cloud the problem with the cloud is so so far away the objects in tiny that he's not really well bound to the solar system. So you don't have to give it much of a push to disturb things and people have suggested you can giant molecular clouds in the neighborhood of the sun could disturb the cloud facto. I've worked with some strenuous back in the nineteen seventies and eighties. Who very much have picture that. Epi sell the disturbances of the cloud of a period of hundreds of millions of years every software company one of these regularly company one of these giant molecular clouds cloud guess disturbed and you get an episode of bombardment on the on the surface a victim. Kluber and bill napier my two colleagues at hebrew. Were very big on this on this view but we do have we do have evidence that certainly have been periods where the bombardment via has been much higher than other periods and not just right at the beginning in the early history of the solar system. Three point eight zero three point. Nine billion years ago something called the late heavy bombardment. Which in which was a time when everything's charging around but they've been these other period since then where it's looked as other been more higher rates of cratering on solar system bodies which suggests that there's been more pets and that suggests that maybe something has upset the clouded. And i suppose it's also possible. Something disturbed what. I've fifty to one hundred thousand years ago when humanity wasn't feeling and we might say the effects real soon true actually hundred thousand years ago. He was a thing but different. Not quite as well in tune with the the sums negatives were then they just new things. We're flying down. The point mentioned in the youtube channel. That donald watch not confessed to watch this video. And it's giving us a link to it. We'll try and do that. But that talks about events seventy thousand years ago. That would have messed things up. We could still say the effect of we could yes. That's right yeah we watch out for this spes. Yes great news. Daryl not question. It was a good one. I do enjoy the what would happen. If so if you want to Forest one or two of those for episode to forty We could have a bit of Because i'm sure people got something in mind about what we'll look forward to that. Is i forget again. If you do have a question you can upload it our Website gust gum. I m i linked voice If you want to record your voice Or you can just do it through the email interface and send us the text. Whatever way suits you that brings us to the end of another program and their first one for twenty twenty one. Thank you for it. It's it's great fun and a great pleasure. We'll we'll find other interesting stuff to talk about next time on a look food andrew soon. Okay professor fred watson astronomer lodge out of the time he space nets podcast and special high to hugh back in the studio and for me andrew dunkley and all of us. Thanks for your company will see you on the very next mice. Not available at apple. Podcasts google podcasts. Spotify iheart favorite playa. You can also stream on demand. This is another thirty podcast. Production from dot com radio.
This May hurt: British politics
"Hello and welcome to the intelligence on economist radio. I'm your host Jason palment every weekday. We provide a fresh perspective on the events. Shaping your world. President Donald Trump has lost two crucial battles in his efforts to keep his financial records private. It's a skirmish that could be heading for the supreme court, and it seems the ruling there would also be unlikely to go his way. And has a piece of music ever raised the hair on your neck, giving you a chill made. You outright euphoric a new book tackles the complicated question of why people like the musically do? First up, though. Today. Theresa May announced her resignation as Britain's prime minister after failing three times to push her Brexit deal through Parliament, Mrs may spent two years, negotiating an agreement with the European Union about the terms of Britain's departure only to have members of parliament. Turn it down time and time again, it is, and will always remain a matter of deep regrets to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit. It will be for my successor to seek away. Forward donnas the result of the referendum to succeed. He or she would have to find consensus in parliament where I have not such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise. She was forced to extend Britain's departure from the EU for an additional seven months. Her fourth attempt to forge a deal. The withdrawal agreement Bill, alienated, her supporters by offering the. Prospect of another referendum. It was this, that finally caused her leadership of the conservative party and the country, background the color, Vaz gain or who we love we stand together and together, we have a great future. Politics, maybe under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country so much to be proud of so much to be optimistic about. I will shortly leave the job that it is being the owner of my life to hold. The second female prime minister, but certainly not the last I do so with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country. I love. We've just watched Theresa May. The prime minister give a very emotional resignation speech on the steps outside Downing Street. Tom, Wainwright is Britain editor, there's been speculation all week, not about if she will step down, but when she will step down, and she's now, giving us the date is the seventh of June. It was a very dramatic moment and to resume was keen to get in some of the mentions of the things that as prime minister, she has tried to highlight she talked about her quest to solve what she describes burning injustices in the country. She highlighted the fact that she has been Britain's only the second female prime minister, but not the last she said, and at the end really became too much for her, and her voice cracked as she finished the speech and she turned away, really on the verge of tears. It was a very dramatic moment. Why has chosen this particular moment that what, what is it? That's pushed over the edge. Well, it's been speculation all week about when she will step down. She's been under pressure for months, having tried and failed to get her Brexit deal. Through parliament. She's had three attempts. Now, all of them have been crushed and had plan was to try a fourth and final time to get it through. But this week she came up with what she described as a bold new offer to try and win the votes of labor MP's back the deal. But it backfired spectacularly when she mentioned that they could be a second referendum in volt, and her conservative party erupted on the very mention of this, it became clear that there was no chance of getting the deal through and say the question turned simply to the matter of when she was going to quit. So what happens now what happens now is we have to choose her successor, and you might expect the public would have some say in who runs the government. But that's not the way that it works in Britain's parliamentary system. It won't be the sixty six million British people who choose it will be the hundred and twenty thousand paid-up members of the conservative party who choose. And they aren't much like the rest of the country that quite a bit older than average that heavily male-dominated. And in their politics are quite well to the rights, even of the typical. The conservative party voter. And so they're likely to choose somebody who is perhaps more right wing and has a sort of firmer line on Brexit than the average voter might themselves want, so who's not going to be while the runaway favorites at the moment is Boris Johnson. The former foreign secretary he isn't wildly popular with conservative MP's, who the ones who draw up the short-list of two from which the members then choose MP see him as an election winner, and right now that's something that's very much on the conservative party's mind. We had the European elections yesterday in Britain. We'll get the results on Monday. The Tories are expecting an absolute drubbing in those some poll suggests they could get down to single digits and Tori PC Boris Johnson as somebody who might be able to tempt people back to the Tory party away from the Brexit party, which is on a winning streak at the moment. So they seem likely to put him on the shortlist. And if they do it seems overwhelmingly likely that those Tory party members will pick him over whoever else is on that short list. Very popular with them. And how will he handle the, the Brexit mess that he's, he's inheriting? Well, he said in his usual bombastic style. He's just going to go back to Brussels and get us a better deal. And the EU doesn't seem all that persuaded by this, Dave said very clearly that the deal is done, and it's now up to Britain to take you to leave it. What we don't know is what Boris Johnson will do when the EU says, no, that's the big question of the summer and the big question facing Britain. And what about the questions, MRs may left with which would comment? Would you make on the sort of this ignominies ends to her leadership? Well, it's a tragedy for her, because, really, she's been desperate for a legacy of some sort. And there's not much to see that her one big question in time in office, was to try to get this Brexit he'll through, and she's failed to do that, and Brexit has so dominated at time in office that she hasn't really had time to do much else either during his speech. She talked about the burning injustices that she tried to fix. She talked about the inquiry into the. Grenfell fire disaster that she had launched, but these are fairly slim pickings almost three years in office. Really not much there for her to hang onto, and this isn't the kind of enter a government that she had hopes talk, thanks very much for you time. Thank you. For a deep dive on the historical roots of Brexit. Have listen later today to our interview show. The economists asks my colleague and mckelway talks to Jacob rees-mogg leading Brexit tier and backer of Boris Johnson. It's been a troubling few days for President Donald Trump his fight to avoid handing over his financial records and suffered a significant setback with two court's ruling against him. Meanwhile, an ongoing spat with Nancy Pelosi the speaker of the house of representatives has ask elated. I pray for the president of the United States. I wish should his family or administration staff would have been intervention for the country, crazy Nazi. I tell you what I've been watching her, and I have I have been watching her for long periods of time. She's not the same person. She's lost it. And she is a mess. But it's the court battles rather than the exchange of insults, that should concern him more. Donald Trump has had a really bad week. John FAZ men is Washington correspondent on Monday. A federal judge in Washington DC ruled that he can't block the house oversight committee subpoena of Missouri and accounting firm that he used. And then two days later, different federal judge in New York refused. The Trump organization's request to quash subpoenas that the House Financial Services and intelligence committees issued to deutscher making Capital, One, now, Georgia has lent Mr. Trump money for years, and he has several counts with Capital, One that same day legislators in New York approved a Bill that will let stay tax officials. Mr. Trump's home state releases returns to congress in New York's governor Andrew Cuomo has said that he will sign it. I mean we've heard about these kinds of paperwork skirmishes for absolutely months, white. Why is this set of decisions significant will these rulings are significant for two reasons, first because it's the next step in a process, both George W Bush, and Barack Obama fought congressional subpoenas. Now they didn't fight them the way Donna. Trump has by announcing they're going to fight them all. And arguing essence that congressional oversight is inherently illegitimate when carried out by the opposition party, but they fought them all the same, and they both lost in federal court, just as Donald Trump has, and then they complied with the court's ruling, so now it's up to Mr. Trump to do the same thing. The other reason these rulings matter is that the judges decisions were fundamentally simple and unambiguous judge Ramos who ruled in the door Chavanne case said that the case did not raise any serious questions. In other words, this is a lawful issued subpoena. And the president has to comply now. I expect he'll appeal both rulings but it's difficult to see grounds for reversal in either case. So how likely is it then that in the long run? Even if this is fought that we'll, we'll see these financial records. I'd like to say that it's a given that at least congress will see some financial records soon, Donald Trump may have the will and political capital to resist congressional subpoenas, but Missouri's Android Jamaican Capital, One don't and they will almost certainly comply and. Mr. Trump will probably contest, New York's law authorizing the release of his tax returns, but Democrats are also trying to get them through the House Ways and means committee. And I imagine if that goes to a federal district court that the court would side with them, they are to the reasoning is, basically, the same so somehow congre, see at least some of what they want to see fairly soon, and they may ultimately see everything. But what do you mean by everything what, what kinds of information, do you expect will be revealed in these records? I am hesitant to speculate but there have been rumors for years that Mr. Trump is perhaps, not worth as much as he claims he's worth Michael Cohen in congressional testimony said that Donald Trump inflated, and deflated, his reported wealth, depending on what served him best at the time the New York Times reported on Sunday, the money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended that several transactions involving entities controlled Mr. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to federal financial crimes watchdog. So I suspect we could see any. Number of things, you can imagine any number of things that we could see or, you know, we could also see that he's a rich guy with a complicated, but fundamentally legal financial history. I mean, though, if that is true, it's unclear why he would devote so much energy and expense so much political capital on keeping his record secret. So what if there is a nefarious stuff though in the records with all the talk that's been going on, on the hill about impeachment on what you'd call political fronts? D do you think there is a chance that the information revealed in these documents could could sort of bolster a push for impeachment more or less on financial grounds as well? Well, Nancy Pelosi and House Democratic leadership have been pretty clear that they do not want a partisan impeachment process and what they fear will happen for good reason, is that the house, which is controlled by Democrats will vote articles of impeachment against the president. But the Republican dominated Senate will vote against removal in essence, they'll acquit him and Democrats worry that this will leave him in a stronger position heading into twenty twenty now. I'm not sure that's entirely. True. You know, if the impeachment process is preceded by a long set of hearings that essentially dramatize, the allegations contained in the report, but that's where House Democrats are today. They view talk of impeachment as essentially distraction from the more important process of oversight should impeach president for political reasons. And also, we should not impeach the president for political, but you have to be art site in terms of your sex, and to see where that takes us at the same time growing number of progressive Democrats have begun pushing harder for impeachment, and arguing that it would streamline multiple separate avenues of inquiry and with dramatize the high stakes those increase in the middle of those groups in the middle between the leadership, which wants to go slowly and deliberately and the more aggressive, progressives are the dozens of Democrats from moderate district's, who gave the House Democratic majority. Now, I suspect many of them would say privately, as I suspect house leadership members would to that Donald Trump has clearly done things that are impeachable. But those candidates one because they ran kitchen table campaigns in there. Probably pretty reluctant to dive into what is for now and overwhelmingly partisan battle. Okay. And then what happens next? Well, Mr. Trump will no doubt, appeal the two recent rulings, and whatever happens at the appellate level. I expect the loser will appeal to the supreme court. Mr. Trump may feel here's a pretty strong hand there. The court leans to the right and he appointed the two most recent justices Neal Gorsuch, inbred Cavanaugh. But if it does go that high, I really think it's likely than not that he'll be disappointed justices Gorsuch and Cavanaugh may on the whole lean to the right. But they are also distinguished jurists, and I rate legal minds and I think the rulings from judges made and Ramos this week made it pretty clear that Mr. Trump's argument really doesn't have much legal merit. And so, in that sense, I'm inclined to ask, again. And I feel like I've asked this a couple of times before. But do you think we're headed for a constitutional crisis? Well, some people like during Nadler, who heads the House Judiciary committee said we were in a constitutional crisis, when the president didn't immediately ac- to subpoena. That's not really true. Presidents have fought subpoenas before they'll fight them again. But if the Trump administration, disregards federal court ruling than that really is a different kettle of fish, that really is a constitutional crisis. Now, we aren't there yet, but it isn't too hard to imagine Mr. Trump thumbing his nose at a really doesn't like even if it comes from a supreme court that he helped shape. John, thanks very much for joining us. My pleasure. Without music life, would be in the stake. So said failed composer, but Fain philosopher. Friedrich nietzsche. Musical tastes can be a mystery. Why does some music lovers adore Wagner, for example? But sean. Viciously. Earsplitting medal. The ones I've really been able to get on with, I guess it's been funk. This is the pricing of SCI fi, y you liked the music that we like Stephen Phillips rights for books and art section. He's reviewed a new book by musicologist Nolan Gasser tries to answer the question of why we like the music we do. That's, that's the writing about music is like dancing about cadet you, so why you like it isn't attempted demystification explaining, how music produces the uncanny sensations that we recognize listening. So there's might be the power to move us to tears to vote all to induce. Involuntary toe tapping impressed, most mysteriously all the odd proclivity of sad songs, what lift us. Hello. My name is Nolan Gasser, and I'm the author of why you like it the science and culture of musical taste. I may pianist composer, and musicologist. There's no doubt that we have always been musical. Even if we spoke before we saying, although something that we saying before we spoke or some combination, our ability to sort of manipulate sound in a musical way. Certainly goes back to our earliest days music has the power to bond us. Something that we all experience when we're at a football game. And we we all the same us or at a concert, and we all sing together. Our ability to use sound creatively. Just goes back, I think to our origins of being musical, even to the point that, I think that our ability to be creative, with musically may have been one of those things that helped us to eventually about seventy thousand years ago, successfully get out of our small little corner of sub Saharan Africa and populate, the entire globe music is really essential to who we are as humans. So Stephen, what is it that does define our taste in music, according to Mr. Gasser and why should we take his word for it? We said he has the musical. Chelsea played with the Steve Miller band as a pianist. He's a composer in his own. Right. Also has to professional experience. So he worked at US music streaming pioneer Pandora and here he presided, I've, I think was the original music recommendation algorithm. The basically suggested new music listeners based strictly on the musical characteristics of favorite tracks. So the either is to, to sift out the confounding considerations, like fashion. And so the book really is about what shapes on music, tastes collectively and individually all music plays in the same Evelyn resemble. So when we talk about feeling the groove of visa music, every the can humans possess the unique ability guess arise to lock into a beat role suckers, the repetition. This is the stock in trade across all genres. Electron grim, particularly unimaginable without repetition. Repetition, allows us not merely to listen to the music to listen, along with it because we kind of know what's coming next. So this explains into an how surprise governs on musical response. So there's that paradox of negative emotion, the Saltaire when we listen to sad songs. So think about it. When you listen to experience a sense of emotional uplift, even time to sense of catharsis sense of physical emotional release. What's going on? His call us speculate, this sad music, Spurs secretion of a certain hormone proacting, this is consoling Coleman that's produced by nursing mothers. And when you feel mental torment, but the payoff is heightened by the fact that you're not actually experiencing out event. So it's like sitting in the seats watching tragic play. It's a safely, victorious feeling not actually going through the triggering event itself. Together offers attacks on me of the different emotions, the music lists and identifies. The peak or the peak listening stages free sewn an characterized by thrills and chills. It kind of all over body sensation. It's far more common amongst avid music fans. He writes, Jason, your producer William has prepared three pieces of music, listening pleasure. I'm going to see if we can vote the feeling of freeze on you. Okay. It's the thrill of current events. I mean, actually the whole body, I feeling I have is that I I must have some work to do. There. There is no full-body ecstasy from this kinda makes you feel like the crossover between polka and country music. I don't I don't much care for it at all. Much more. My speed. I I, I can I can tell there's gonna be a solo in not too long. It's definitely gonna give me the chills. So this is actually the economists jazz band. You never gonna guess what they called the visible hands berry clever. Yes, I have run across them before. I need to see them again. Stephen. Thank you very much for, for taking the on that journey. Thank you. It's been a pleasure. That's all for this episode of intelligence, if you like us, give us a rating on apple podcasts, and you can subscribe to the economist at economist dot com slash radio. Offer twelve issues per twelve dollars twelve pounds. See back here on Tuesday.