Canine Update

On this momentous day, in which the very nature of American politics may be defined anew for the foreseeable future, Jonah wanted to have on Razib Khan, director of science at Insitome, to talk about the most relevant, up-to-the-minute, topical subject so that, in this consciousness-shifting moment, we may be able to hold on for dear life and come up with a coherent worldview amidst the chaos. That subject, you ask? Dog genetics. How did Man’s Best Friend become such a highly variegated species – some big, some small, some smart, others dumb, and on and on with countless other variables? Razib fills us in on the state of research into canine development over the last 10,000 years, why the regional variations between lineages of dog are so distinct, and how the new frontiers of this genetic research seek to address “how these animals became what they are, and how they evolved alongside humans in response to environmental pressures.” We also get to hear Razib voice what may be the most controversial statement of our political era: “Wolves are smarter than dogs.” Tune in to hear Razib defend this heretical stance.

Show Notes:

Razib’s freshly-minted newsletter

Get tickets for The Dispatch’s event, “What’s Next: Election 2020 and Beyond”

Razib in Quillette: “The Evolutionary History of Man’s Best Friend”

The Remnant with Cass Sunstein

Eusocial animals

The Invaders: How Humans and Their Dogs Drove the Neanderthals to Extinction

Przewalski’s Horse

Origins and genetic legacy of prehistoric dogs

NYT Science writeup of the magazine article

Ancestry’s German-turned-Irish guy

Border Collie intelligence

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