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https://samharris.org/podcasts/the-biology-of-good-and-evil/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

For Transcripts: Waking_Up_91_Robert_Sapolsky_Transcript.docx

You are only required to listen to the fist 30 minutes of this podcast. I encourage you, however, to listen to all of it if you can. Once again – only the first 30 minutes is required.

This is a relatively difficult listen, mostly due to the topics discussed and the fact that it would be helpful to have some basic knowledge of biology, discussions of free will, and neurology in order to better understand it. However, we have covered a lot of this in class and besides, it’s good to take on academic challenges. As always, please come to me for help if you need it.


And follows same rubric as first podcast assignment.

  1. ( Starts withing the first 5 minutes) – Describe what Robert Sapolsky studies. He has two fairly distinct fields of study – how does he “marry” them?
  2. ( Starts within 10 min) – Why does he study baboons and not, say, chimpanzees, given that the latter are more related to us? He mentions both practical reasons and reasons specific to his research interests.
  3. (10-15 minutes mark) – When asked, “how/why did behavior X occur?” -Dr Sapolsky frames his answer in a certain way. Summarize it. Why is this important to frame it this way – when discussing human behavior?
  4. Why is it important to study related non-human primates when studying or trying to explain our own behavior? What are some issues about using non-human primate behavior when trying to explain humans behavior?
  5. (At about 17:00 and the rest of the assigned listening time(they allude to this earlier though))- they start talking about “free will and human behavior” Summarize their discussion on this.
  6. (At 25:00 through the end of the assigned listening time) – What are your thoughts on free will, especially in relation to human behavior and evolution?

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