I have brought up Paul Ehrlich a lot lately. And this morning Razib emailed me a link to an interview of Ehrlich by Carl Zimmer on Bloggingheads.tv, so I felt compelled to share the interview with you.
In the discussion, Zimmer and Ehrlich discuss Ehrlich’s new book, “The Dominant Animal, the ‘overrated idea of a meme,’ why the study of cultural evolution needs its own theoretical framework aside from evolutionary biology.
I’m particularly interested in the last topic, which comes in at the 20 minute mark, since Ehrlich coauthors links to natural selection in his latest PNAS paper but advocates that social scientists need to step up to the plate and explain why cultures have evolved. The most noteworthy remark Ehrlich makes on this topic is,
“The ball is really in the court of social scientists today. They’ve got to get reorganized and particularly get rid of their preposterous disciplinary boundaries. How can you possibly be a political scientists without knowing economics and sociology and vice versa.”
The two also talk about other selected topics on population growth and the nuances that come with it.