By The Leakey Foundation
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What makes us human? How are we different from chimpanzees? Who are our earliest ancestors and how do we know? Origin Stories is The Leakey Foundation’s podcast about how we became human. This award-winning show combines science and narrative to explore our human story and explain why we are the way we are. Listen and explore human evolution one story at a time.
||CleanEpisode 35: From the Archive - Raymond Dart||Raymond Dart was getting dressed for a wedding when he was given two boxes of rocks and fossils. Inside the boxes, he found the first evidence of humanity’s African origins. This episode tells the story of the 1924 discovery of the Taung Child...||2/14/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 34: From the Archive - Margaret Mead||In this never-before-released archival lecture from 1974, anthropologist Margaret Mead discusses the lives of women from prehistoric through modern times. Show Notes The Leakey Foundation is 50 years old this year, and we’re celebrating this...||1/10/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 33: From the Archive - Dian Fossey||In this never-before-released archival lecture from 1973, the legendary primatologist Dian Fossey tells the story of the early years of her groundbreaking mountain gorilla research. Show Notes The Leakey Foundation is 50 years old this year, and...||12/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 32: From the Archive - Carl Sagan||Carl Sagan explores the evolution of human intelligence from the big bang, fifteen billion years ago, through today in this never-before-released archival lecture. Show Notes The Leakey Foundation is 50 years old this year, and we’re celebrating...||11/28/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 31: The Four Year War||A scientist solves the mystery of the only known chimpanzee civil war...thus far. In 1960, Louis Leakey sent Jane Goodall to start her study of chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Her first decade of research led her to think that...||11/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOrigin Stories Season Three Preview||Origin Stories returns November 15th with more stories about how we became human.||11/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 28: What They Left Behind [Rebroadcast]||The stories and songs of prehistoric people are lost. Their art and artifacts are all that remain of their culture. The painted caves of Ice Age Europe are the world's most famous examples of prehistoric art. What does this art reveal about the people..||6/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 30: Tales From the Field [LIVE]||Three true tales about what it's like to do field research. Kelly Stewart, Dorothy Cheney, and Robert Seyfarth share stories of gun smuggling, pet leeches, close encounters with hippos, and fan mail from one of the world's most infamous mass...||12/30/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 29: Rewriting Our Story||For a long time, scientists have been searching for the first Homo sapiens in the Great Rift Valley of Ethiopia. The story we've been telling about the origin of our species has gone something like this: Around 200,000 years ago in East Africa, the...||11/6/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 28: What They Left Behind||The stories and songs of prehistoric people are lost. Their art and artifacts are all that remain of their culture. The painted caves of Ice Age Europe are the world's most famous examples of prehistoric art. What does this art reveal about the people..||9/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 27: Out of Eden the Long Way||Paul Salopek's Walk Around the World||9/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 26: Rising Star||It's not every day you see a Facebook post that changes your life, but that's exactly what happened to Leakey Foundation grantee Alia Gurtov. Gurtov was checking her Facebook feed one morning and saw a post from paleoanthropologist Lee Berger. He was...||9/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 25: Stones and How to Use Them||The paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey described stone tools as “fossilized human behavior.” These rocks, shaped by our human ancestors and found in archaeological sites around the world, can give us clues about how ancient people lived....||9/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 24: Ancestor||Just recently, the news media announced the discovery of a 13 million-year-old fossil ape called Alesi. This remarkable fossil was found in Kenya, and it’s from a time period where there’s a big blank spot in the fossil record of our family tree....||8/31/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSeason 2 Preview||Our new season of Origin Stories is coming soon! This is a sneak preview of the first episode.||8/10/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 23: The Past, Present, and Future of Violence - LIVE||Why do humans engage in violence? Why do we cooperate in peace? How has violence changed over the course of human history? Are we living in unusually violent times? Steven Pinker presents evidence that violence has decreased over time because our...||5/26/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 22: Altruism||Why do people risk their own lives to save a stranger? Why do we share food or give money to charity? The human capacity for altruism has been a puzzle for scientists since Darwin. In this episode of Origin Stories, primatologist Joan Silk explores...||4/6/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 21: Follow the Leader?||Every animal that lives in groups has to make decisions as a group. Even a seemingly simple decision like "where should we go for dinner?" can be complicated to negotiate. Is there a simple rule behind how humans and other animals make...||3/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 09: Did Cooking Make Us Human? (Re-release)||Humans have evolved very differently from other primates. Is there one thing responsible for humans becoming human? Some evolutionary biologists think that the way we process our food, namely cooking it, could explain why our species developed so...||12/30/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 20: The Power Paradox - LIVE||The Power Paradox What is power? Where does social power come from? What happens in our bodies and with our behavior when we have power and when we don't? What can we learn about lasting social power from small-scale hunter-gatherer societies?...||11/7/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 19: Being Human - Born and Evolved to Run||Humans and our recent ancestors have been accomplished endurance runners for more than a million years. Our evolutionary history as runners partly accounts for why aerobic exercise is such a key component of human health. In this talk, recorded in...||10/27/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 18: Empathy||Empathy has long been considered a uniquely human trait, but it's an ability that has also been observed in apes and other animals. Primatologist Frans de Waal says that examples of empathy in non-human primates and other mammals suggest that...||8/25/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 04: How to Document a Society (Re-release)||Every day for 55 years a dedicated group of researchers, students, and field assistants have spent their days crawling through thorns and vines as they follow chimpanzees to observe their behavior. They write everything down in notes and on maps and...||8/12/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 17: Being Human - Speaking of Sex||Humans are very verbal compared to other animals. We talk constantly, and our voices can signal many things beyond the meaning of our words. The human voice is also highly differentiated between the sexes. In this live recording of our...||7/14/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 16: Neanderthals||People have been fascinated with Neanderthals since they were first discovered in the mid-1800s. For a long time, they have been seen as dumb, brutish cavemen. As more discoveries have been made in the past few decades, our picture of who Neanderthals..||6/30/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 15: The Grandmother Hypothesis||When Kristen Hawkes first started to research the foraging habits of the Hadza hunter-gatherers, she noticed that the older women in the society were spending their time collecting food and sharing it with their grandchildren. She started to wonder if..||5/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 14: Being Human - Why Do We Laugh?||Laughter is a universal human behavior. Have you ever wondered why we laugh or what it really means when we do? Greg Bryant of UCLA studies the evolution of communication and vocal behavior, especially of spontaneous vocal expressions such as...||5/17/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 13: Evolutionary Arms Race||In this episode we take a closer look at the evolutionary arms race between humans and the microbes that make us sick. What does each side bring to the fight? Dr. Pardis Sabeti of Harvard University is a computational biologist who uses math and...||4/28/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 12: The Origins of Tuberculosis||Tuberculosis is the world's leading cause of death by infectious disease, and it has been plaguing humanity for a very long time. In the first episode of a two-part series on infectious disease and human evolution, Dr. Anne Stone of Arizona State...||3/24/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 11: Face Mites||The bad news is that everybody has face mites. The good news is that these tiny cousins of spiders and ticks seem to be harmless for the vast majority of us. In this episode, entomologist and evolutionary biologist Michelle...||2/25/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 10: Being Human with Alison Gopnik||A Live Episode||1/19/2016||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 09: Did Cooking Make Us Human?||We humans have evolved very differently from other primates. Is there one thing responsible for humans becoming human? Some evolutionary biologists think that the way we process our food, namely cooking it, could explain why our species developed so...||12/29/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 08: Being Human with Robert Sapolsky||This episode of Origin Stories was recorded live in San Francisco as part of the Bay Area Science Festival. It was the first of The Leakey Foundation and the Baumann Foundation’s new “Being Human” event series. Our speaker was Robert...||12/5/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 07: The Currant Bush of Life with Bernard Wood||In On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin used a sketch of a tree of life to help describe his theory of evolution. In this metaphor, the branches of the tree represent the relationships between all living and extinct creatures. Humans, like all...||11/24/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 06: Being a Nice Animal||For over 35 years Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth have been studying wild African primates in order to better understand the evolution of the human mind. In this episode they tell us about their long-term study of free-ranging baboons in the...||10/27/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 05: Discovery at Ledi-Geraru||Have you ever wondered what it's like to make a major fossil discovery? Arizona State University graduate student Chalachew Seyoum and professor Kaye Reed tell us their exciting story. Seyoum was working as part of a team co-directed by...||8/25/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 04: How to Document a Society||Every day for 55 years a dedicated group of researchers, students, and Tanzanian field assistants have spent their days crawling through thorns and vines as they follow chimpanzees to observe their behavior. They write everything down in notes and on...||8/5/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 03: Jane Goodall||Dr. Jane Goodall is a legend. She is a science hero, a trailblazing researcher who inspires people around the world. In this episode, Jane Goodall shares part of the story of how she went from working as a secretary to becoming the world's leading...||6/30/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 02: Why Do We Get Hiccups?||Hiccups are an annoyance that we all deal with, but don't usually give much thought to. In this episode of Origin Stories, independent producer Ben Nimkin brings us the remarkable story of Charles Osborne, a man who holds the Guiness World Record...||5/26/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 01: On Two Feet||One of the things that makes us different from other animals is the way we move around on two feet. Figuring out how and why our ancestors first stood up is one of the big questions in the study of human evolution. Carol Ward is an anatomy professor...||4/28/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIntro to Origin Stories||The Leakey Foundation Podcast||3/31/2015||Free||View in iTunes|
My new favorite podcast
I literally spend hours each week listening to podcasts and believe me I have deleted many from my list but origin stories will not be one of them. This was well produced and in a narrative format I like. I can't get enough. I hope this podcast will update regularly. Good work!
Exciting New Podcast!
If you love RadioLab and other great podcasts, you should definitely give this one a try! Interesting, well put together, and thought provoking. Looking forward to the next episodes.
An Outstanding Science Podcast!
Origins is one of my favorite science podcasts. It's one of the few to focus on biological anthropolgy, especially primate research. The topics are fascinating and covered in depth. The first person researcher pespective makes the stories more human an interesting. And the production quality is top notch. Highly recommended!