#72 | Evolution's Bite: Teeth, Diet, and The Last Foragers Of Africa w/ Peter Ungar

The guest on this episode answers the question: Why do we tend to have so many issues with our teeth and jaws? How many of us have had teeth pulled, such as our wisdom teeth, and have had braces that align our crooked teeth? If we look around at other mammals, we don't see these issues at all. We can even look to our closest relatives the chimp and the bonobo, and we see that there are very few issues that arise in the development of their teeth and jaws. 

To figure this out, I spoke with Peter Ungar, paleoanthropologist, evolutionary biologist, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Environmental Dynamics Program at the University of Arkansas. Peter has spent years studying the Hadza of Tanzania, the last traditional small band hunter gatherer tribe in Africa. He has spent most of his career studying the remains and diets of our prehistoric ancestors. It turns out our diets play a major role in how our jaws develop, and as a result, how our teeth grow in. There are evolutionary reasons why our jaws develop the way they do. 

As someone who has undergone multiple teeth removal operations and has had braces for over two years of my life, I was curious as to how our hunter-gatherer brothers and sisters suffer from so few issues with their teeth and jaws. We get into this, as well how diet plays apart in all this.


Episode Notes:

- Peter Ungar is the author of "Evolution's Bite: A Story of Teeth, Diet, and Human Origins", in which he goes into greater depth regarding the ideas expressed in this episode. More information can be found here: press.princeton.edu/titles/10943.html

- Check out Peter's interview in The Atlantic: theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/04/history-of-teeth/524142

- You can find our more about Peter Ungar's work here: ungarlab.uark.edu/

- Follow Peter on Twitter @petersungar

- The intro drum track was produced by my great and talented friend Nick Archibald.

#69 | The Bow That Is Stable: Wise & Knowledgeable Child Rearing w/ Darcia Narvaez, PhD

Darcia Narvaez is an explorer and visionary. She works as a professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame where she studies flourishing and compassionate moral development and ecological attachment in children and adults. Her earlier careers include professional musician, business owner, classroom music teacher, classroom Spanish teacher and seminarian, among other things. She grew up bilingual/bicultural but calls the earth her home. She is the author or editor of dozens of books, chapters and articles. One of her recent books, Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom won the William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association and from the American Education Research Association’s Moral Development and Education SIG. She is executive editor of the Journal of Moral Education. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association. She also writes a popular blog for Psychology Today called “Moral Landscapes.”

Episode Notes:

- Follow and catch up on Darcia's work on her blog darcianarvaez.com as well as her university website www3.nd.edu/~dnarvaez

- Also check out Darcia's blog "Moral Lanscapes" in Psychology Today psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes

- For more information on Attachment Parenting, go to attachmentparenting.org and askdrsears.com

- Artwork Illustration by Kahlil Gibran.

- Features a section of The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, read by Daniel Gardner:

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, 
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, 
so He loves also the bow that is stable."

- Features  "Ann Arbor Part 3 & 4" by Shigeto and "Beautiful People" by The Books.