Monday, February 23, 2009

Are We Alone for 02/23/09 - It's the Science, Cupid!



Are We Alone - "It's the Science, Cupid!"
Love make us feel warm and mushy, but the sweet sting of Cupid's arrow makes a compelling chemistry lesson, too. Research into animal mating and human courtship provides clues to an eternal mystery: what's the purpose of love?

Learn lessons from the family values of field mice, and affectionate same-sex penguin pairs. Plus: Darwin's take on speed dating, and the science of smooching.

Guests:
  • Helen Fisher - Anthropologist, Rutgers University
  • Saraj Woodley - Biologist, Duquesne University
  • Skyler Place - Doctoral Student, Indiana University's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
  • Larry Young - Neurobiologist, Emory University
  • Marlene Zuk - Biologist, University of California, Riverside
You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Are We Alone for 02/16/09 - Life's Stories



Are We Alone - "Life's Stories"
ENCORE PRESENTATION: How did the first cells make the scene? Could there be critters on some newly discovered planets? And what happens if we ever encounter weird life? These may not be the sort of questions you hear being bandied about in your local coffee shop, but they were hot topics at the AbSciCon conference held recently in Santa Clara, California, and sponsored by the SETI Institute.

AbSciCon stands for Astrobiology Science Conference, and Seth was there, talking to researchers about progress in puzzling out how life began on Earth, and where it might have gained a claw-hold elsewhere. Could there be certain parts of our Galaxy that are off-limits for life? Also, hear whether our universe has special properties that render it just dandy for life, and whether we should be looking for viruses on Mars.

Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Are We Alone for 02/09/09 - Skeptical Sunday: Que Sera... No Sera?




Are We Alone - "Skeptical Sunday: Que Sera... No Sera?"
We all want to peek into the future and find out what fate has in store: Will I get that raise? Is love around the corner? What’s the winning combo in Las Vegas? Some people claim the ability to see events before they occur. Find out how accurate their prognostications are.

Plus, how the job market drove the granddaddy of “I told you so” – Nostradamus – into the business of soothsaying.

Also, how the brain misfires to produce déjà vu. Also, how the brain misfires to produce déjà vu. And, astronomical predictions for the final apocalypse … will the world end in fire or in ice?

Guests:
You can listen to this and other episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Are We Alone for 02/02/09 - Feather Knows Best



Are We Alone - "Feather Knows Best"
Can animals think? Merely asking the question was once thought ridiculous. But studies that range from chimps to birds to sea creatures have prompted scientists to reassess the cognitive capabilities of our animal friends. These results challenge not only our idea of intelligence, but man’s unequivocal perch at the top.

Learn the secret communication between camouflaging cuttlefish… how the smarts of Alex the parrot turned “birdbrain” into a compliment… and why brawn sometimes trumps brains in evolution.

Plus, how tool-making made humans smarter: the new field of cognitive archaeology.

Guests:
You can listen to this and other
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episodes at http://radio.seti.org/, and be sure to check out Are We A Blog?, the companion blog to the radio show.