June 21, 2012 Our evolutionary history is inscribed on our very skin. The explanation for why diverse skin colors evolved over time makes not only for good anthropology, but also for applied knowledge that may help us keep intact our Vitamin D health.
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
April 20, 2012 Humans and other primates have been omnivores for some time, which may have given us an evolutionary edge over strictly meat or plant eaters, a new study shows. It may have also prompted us to wean our babies faster, another study says.
April 16, 2012 Why is Darwin's "bank of life" tangled? Because, in part, the "arrival of the fittest" is sufficiently likely. Adaptation is able to happen only because of this. Selection winnows, as the wag said, but the abundant possibilities of the ways of life yields the arrival of the fittest.
March 15, 2012 Why would anyone get excited about eating fake meat? If plant-based "meatless chicken" tastes fine, is good for our health and the environment's health, and rescues chickens from slaughterhouse horrors, what's not to like?
March 3, 2012 Bill Nye explains the danger of letting the nation fall behind in science because of evolution denial.
February 16, 2012 Next month, a non-believers' Woodstock comes to Washington. Commentator Barbara J. King considers whether headline speaker Richard Dawkins is the best person to lead The Reason Rally's fight against negative stereotypes of non-believers.
February 12, 2012 Personally I plan on celebrating Darwin Day because when I contemplate the enormity of his insight into the physical world I am awed. But it's interesting to note that not everyone who feels that awe thinks there should be a "Darwin Day".
February 11, 2012 Sunday, February 12th is the 203rd anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Celebrations focus not only on Darwin's brilliant work but also on what we may learn about the world from science more generally.
Koko with a recorder
Ronald H. Cohn/The Gorilla Foundation
February 2, 2012 When Koko the gorilla plays tones on a recorder, she skillfully controls her breathing patterns. Commentator Barbara J. King explains why this is unexpected for a gorilla — and what it may mean for challenging ourselves to learn new skills throughout life.
January 25, 2012 As science advances, it becomes more abstract and distant from people's everyday reality. How do we bridge the gap so that society as a whole can engage in the questions of the day, from global warming to the debate on evolution?
January 18, 2012 Why do some many people have issues with evolution? Does it really need to threaten belief or are there ways of disentangling the two?
Anthropologists say early humans who hunted and gathered had longer jaws to hold all those teeth.
November 21, 2011 Easy-to-chew foods like rice and corn may have influenced the evolution of the human jawbone. New research says it may also help account for the fact that children in the United States often need to have braces because their mouths can't accommodate their teeth.
November 14, 2011 Sometimes, early in a new arena of thought, questions are more important than answers. This is certainly true in the case of enablement and radical emergence.
Cooked meat may be humans' most efficient energy source.
November 9, 2011 Cooked meat delivers more energy than raw meat, which may have given our human ancestors a big evolutionary advantage. It may also explain why today's humans have a hard time keeping off the pounds, according to researchers at Harvard University.
November 7, 2011 Something very big is at stake. It's the question of how our living world works and how we become in it.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor