Thousands of years ago, a mutation in the human genome allowed many adults to digest lactose and drink milk. hide caption

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Can our nation afford political waffling on issues of scientific consensus? Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

The first prehistoric chef who looked out at a field of grass in Africa and said, "dinner!" may have helped our ancestors use new resources in new locations. Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

Blaine Badick walks through floodwaters with her dogs in Hoboken, N.J., on Wednesday. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Actors Stan Laurel and Edna Marlon play at socializing around the campfire. It turns out that early man's brain developed in part thanks to cooking. Hulton Archive/Getty hide caption

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Hulton Archive/Getty

Megan Lutz, left, and Justin Chun react to amateur comedian Robert Lynch at the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan, N.Y. Lynch is an anthropologist researching what laughing reveals about us. Melanie Burford for NPR hide caption

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Melanie Burford for NPR

An Anthropologist Walks Into A Bar And Asks, 'Why Is This Joke Funny?'

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Gorillas are fine with being herbivores, like this one at a Seattle zoo. But humans evolved as omnivores. Is diet destiny? Ted S. Warren/AP hide caption

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Ted S. Warren/AP