A reader (I forgot to ask him if he wanted his name used) forwarded me this clip of an NPR show called Radiolab, in particular a clip that he said speaks directly to my Myth of the Middle Class Alpha Male series.
Putting aside the annoyingly nebbish yuppie cadences of the presenters, it makes some great points that speak directly to things I was going to mention in Part 4 of the series. So consider this both an illustration of things described in parts 1-3 and a preview of part 4. I’ll elaborate on the parallels in part 4.
Brian Hare tells us the story of Dmitri Belyaev, a geneticist and clandestine Darwinian who lived in Stalinist Russia and studied the domestication of the silver fox. Through generations of selectively breeding a captive population, Belyaev noticed not only increased docility, but also unexpected physical changes. Why did these gentler foxes necessarily look different than their wild ancestors? Tecumseh Fitch has a hypothesis, something about trailblazing cells and embryonic development. And Richard Wrangham takes it a step further, suggesting us humans may have domesticated ourselves.