Episodes
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Kathryn Paige Harden about genetics and their interactions with the environment. She explains her background and reasoning for writing her book. They lay the groundwork for the conversation by considering why it is important to study human variation at all and give the framing for why genes can be seen as luck or a lottery. They discuss the differences between genetic variance vs. genetic shift and why this can be contentious at times. They...
Published 09/27/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Nick Pyenson about whales and their environment. They begin the conversation by talking about the importance of science communication and Nick's role in science communication with his research and book. They discuss the various ways in which scientists obtain whale data and talk about the evolution of whales. They talk about the two phases of whale evolution from land to water and provide a natural history of whales through different periods...
Published 09/23/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Richard Prum about aesthetics, birds, and the evolution of beauty. They provide an overview of sexual selection and the aspects of sexual ornamentation and mate choice. They discuss Fisher’s two-factor model of evolution and use the example of the great Argus pheasant to describe Richard’s idea that beauty happens. They discuss the co-evolution of beauty and how sexual selection is not only about adaptation. They mention the subjective...
Published 09/20/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Courtney Crosby about sexual arousal, desire, and disgust. Courtney provides some of her background and how she became interested in evolutionary psychology and studying sexual disgust. They define disgust, seeing it as its own emotional system and discuss how disgust fits with other emotions. They discuss the different elements of core disgust and some of the associations between disgust and norms, judgments, and attributions. They also...
Published 09/16/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Amity Shlaes about the 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. They discuss Coolidge’s background and environment raised to be frugal and fiscally conservative. They talk about his path to the presidency and his state vs national views on progressivism. They focus on how Coolidge’s emphasis as president was on a balanced budget and reducing the debt. They talk about his handling of the Mississippi floods and why he did not...
Published 09/12/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla had a dialogue with Jonathan Marks about liberal education and how educational institutions need reform. They discuss his main thesis of the book and why he decided to write the book. They define and discuss the origins of liberal education. They define the terms “liberal” and “conservative” and why it’s important to defend a liberal arts education. They talk about rationality and why that’s important for educational institutions. They mention the impact that...
Published 09/09/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Patrick Roberts about tropical forests and their impact on the planet and for humans. They begin with a historical overview of the earth’s periods and how tropical forests are seen in each period. They define tropical forests and describe their general composition. They talk about Pangaea and Gondwana and some of the angiosperm in the early periods that contributed to animals and life on earth. They discuss the importance of early mammals in...
Published 09/06/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Shioma-Lei Craythorne about Body Dysmorphic Disorder and some of the research on this disorder. They provide a definition of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) along with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders– Fifth Edition (DSM-V) criteria and description. They talk about the differences between pathological and non-pathological features with one’s body and appearance. They explain some of the diagnostic differential with...
Published 09/02/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Nadia Gill concerning truth, persuasion, and culture in documentary filmmaking. They talk about her background and shift from law to documentary filmmaking. They discuss the importance of telling the truth in documentaries and whether persuasion or propaganda is implicating in some documentaries. They also talk about showing a perspective vs. describing objective truth about reality in documentaries. They ponder if the responsibility for...
Published 08/30/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Carole Hooven about the hormone Testosterone and its impact on men and within society. They discuss her new book and reasons for writing the book. They talk about sex hormones and the sexual reproductive system as well as the impact of sexual selection on both. They provide definitions of male and female within a biological framework including discussions on the genetics, hormones, and gametes. They talk about the impact of culture and...
Published 08/23/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Charles Love about education, Black history, and current political challenges. The talk about his background and work in education. They talk about the challenges with the current Critical Race Theory (CRT) rhetoric that dominates conversation in education. They discuss how to have a balanced approach in teaching and learning Black history in education. They explain how learning about all aspects of Black history is very important. They...
Published 08/19/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Yasmine Mohammed about the complexities of Islam around the world. They begin with a synopsis of Yasmine’s story with Islam and how she responds to her story not being representative of Islam. They discuss the cultural vs. religious claims for some practices. They talk about the various interpretations of Islam and how it is best perceived as a continuum. They discuss the convergent and divergent ways that Muslims in Muslim majority...
Published 08/16/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Simon Critchley on continental and analytic philosophy, the philosophy of Levinas, and applied philosophy. They discuss what continental and analytical philosophy are and their similarities and differences. They discuss how to accurately understand postmodernism and deconstructionism. They talk about the philosophy of Levinas and his understanding of phenomenology. They mention why the biography of philosophers is important for understanding...
Published 08/12/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Lucy Foulkes around mental illness and some of the facts and messaging regarding this topic. They define mental illness and discuss the differences between acute and chronic symptoms. They talk about how to understand the conceptualization of mental disorders along with the distinctions between pathological and non-pathological symptoms. They spend time discussing de-stigmatization and how this works for athletes and public figures. They...
Published 08/09/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Allen Buchanan about the origins of tribalism and morality. They discuss his reasons for writing about tribalism and ideology along with providing a definition of tribalism and how it manifests in society. Allen provides his critiques of the evolutionary models for morality and how he finds cooperation incomplete. They discuss the current evolutionary and psychological theories about cooperation and how they interact with his criticisms....
Published 08/05/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with June Tangney about shame and the various components of this emotion. They provide a definition of shame and how it is a distinct emotion from guilt. They discuss how the same event can be implicated with different emotional reactions. They talk about how to understand negative shame and hubristic pride along with the differences between public and private shame. They discuss the adaptive aspects of shame and how shame may present in other...
Published 08/02/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Kevin Mitchell on genetics, neuroscience, and variation in development. They discuss why developmental variation is important to understanding genes and environment through the trajectory of the lifespan. They talk about how a person responds to the environment and why this is a key essential feature for gene and environment interaction. They talk about the genome as a system or program that can interact with other "noise" in the system....
Published 07/26/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Kathryn Gordon about the challenging topic of suicide. They discuss the current data and statistics on suicide in the United States. They talk about the connection between suicide and mental illness and how to spot warning signs for suicide. They discuss the appropriate ways to ask if someone is suicidal along with the differences between passive and active suicidal ideations. They distinguish what is different between a safety contract and...
Published 07/22/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Inger Burnett-Ziegler about the emotional lives of Black women and how Black women can have authenticity and empowerment. They discuss Inger's background and her reasoning for writing her book. They discuss the origins of the norm that Black women must be strong and not expressive with vulnerabilities. They talk about the current internal and external barriers for Black women being able to express their positive and negative experiences....
Published 07/19/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Jonathan Rauch about the constitution of knowledge and how to defend against illiberalism. They discuss Jonathan’s background and how we have arrived to many of the societal themes today. They discuss the distinctions between truth and knowledge and how Jonathan modeled his constitution of knowledge from the US constitution.  They talk about the central thesis of compromise and how it’s possible to scale the constitution of knowledge to all...
Published 07/12/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Luis Lopez-Portillo about behavioral and cultural change for self-improvement. They begin the dialogue with an overview of Luis' personal and professional background. They talk about his background and training in journalism and communications and his switch to public relations. They talk about his time as Press Secretary for one of the former Presidents of El Salvador. They discuss his post-government work with his consulting company...
Published 07/08/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Alentina Vardanyan about the organizational behavior and ethics of artificial intelligence (AI). They discuss her transition from psychology to behavioral approaches within AI. They define intelligence and the different forms of artificial intelligence. A brief history of AI is discussed and they dialogue about the various ethical challenges with AI. They talk about the ethics of various applications and the larger theme of reality vs....
Published 07/05/21
In this special episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Angel Eduardo about many of his recent essays on starmanning, race, and Superman. They are joined by cameos from Christopher Ferguson, Wilfred Reilly, and Stephen Clouse about these topics. The first part of the conversation focuses on Angel's concept of starmanning and his origins for coming up with the term. They discuss the differences between the strawman, steelman, and starman arguments. They talk about some of the criticisms of...
Published 07/01/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Susan Mattern about menopause. They start by discussing her reasons and motivations for writing her most recent book, The Slow Moon Climbs: The science, history, and meaning of menopause. They explain the two definitions of menopause and the origins of menopause. They spend considerable time discussing the importance of the grandmother hypothesis and the role of mother-in-laws. They also talk about how humans evolved into a patriarchal...
Published 06/28/21
In this episode, Xavier Bonilla has a dialogue with Joseph Henrich about WEIRD people and cultural evolution. They start the conversation by defining what WEIRD means and some of the essential features of WEIRD people. They talk about cumulative cultural evolution and how this works in tandem with natural and sexual selection. They discuss some examples of individualistic and collective cultures and some of the similarities and differences. They engage with each other about whether culture...
Published 06/21/21