February 6, 2003

Scientists are now turning to the seas to find treatments and medicines for human ailments. William Speck, a pediatrician and director of the Marine Biology Laboratory in Massachusetts, talks with Todd about what they are learning from the underwater dwellers. He talks about the medicines that could be derived from the creatures of the deep, and the benefits of studying the make-up of underwater creatures.

Todd is joined by Juan Cole to discuss naming protocols in the Middle East. Cole, Professor of Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan, tells Todd about first names, the different meaning behind surnames, and the cultural importance of clans.

Dr. David Sloan Wilson of Binghamton University joins Todd to discuss his theory of religion as an evolutionary advantage. Sloan, an evolutionary biologist, proposes that religion is an adaptation: a trait that evolved because it bore advantages to those who participated. Sloan is author of "Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion and the Nature of Society."

The Listener Recommended "Well Read" List