In this 92nd in a series of live discussions with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying (both PhDs in Biology), we discuss the state of the world through an evolutionary lens.
In this episode, we discuss childhood. Beginning with an excerpt from chapter 9 (Childhood) of our forthcoming book, A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century, we discuss what childhood is, what other organisms have it, and why it is important. We discuss plasticity in development, and the need to develop flexibility as a growing human. We discuss Lenore Skenazy (America’s Worst Mom!), and Let Grow, an organization dedicated to helping kids build real-world confidence, competence and openness. We discuss the need for play—real, unstructured play without interference from adults—and for risk. And we discuss the adaptive underpinnings of play.
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Theme Music: Thank you to Martin Molin of Wintergatan for providing us the rights to use their excellent music.
Q&A Link: https://youtu.be/bsNfjGVrZOA
Mentioned in this episode:
A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century: https://huntergatherersguide.com
Skenazy, L., 2021 (2nd ed). Free-range kids, giving our children the freedom we had without going nuts with worry. John Wiley & Sons.
Skenazy, L. 2008. Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone. The New York Sun, April 1, 2008. https://www.nysun.com/opinion/why-i-let-my-9-year-old-ride-subway-alone/73976/
Let Grow: https://letgrow.org
Gray, P. 2013. Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. Basic Books.
Martini, M. (1994). Peer interactions in Polynesia: A view from the Marquesas. In J. L. Roopnarine, J. E. Johnson, & F. H. Hooper (Eds.), Children’s play in diverse cultures (pp. 73-103). Albany: State University of New York Press.
Lancy, D.F., 2014. The anthropology of childhood: Cherubs, chattel, changelings. Cambridge University Press.
Spinka, M., Newberry, R.C. and Bekoff, M., 2001. Mammalian play: training for the unexpected. The Quarterly review of biology, 76(2): 141-168. https://www.journals.uchicago.ed
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