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The Michael Shermer Show

A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

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EPISODE # 147

David Barash — On the Brink of Destruction

  • 2020 as the most momentous year of the past half century,
  • judging historical figures based on modern morals (e.g., race and slavery),
  • whether humans are naturally gullible or skeptical,
  • the evolutionary logic of deterrence,
  • how animals deal with threats,
  • how humans deal with threats,
  • game theory of deterring threats,
  • nuclear deterrence (Mutual Assured Destruction) as a threat strategy,
  • the motives behind nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
  • the U.S. arms race against the U.S.S.R.,
  • the arms race within the U.S. between the Army, Navy, and Airforce,
  • close calls with nuclear weapons and why this is not a sustainable strategy,
  • how to deal with threats like Iran, China, Russia, and North Korea,
  • Trump and what he did right with regard to North Korea.

David P. Barash is an evolutionary biologist and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Washington. He has written more than 280 peer-reviewed articles and 40 books. Barash has penned op-eds in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune, as well as numerous pieces in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nautilus, and Skeptic.

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This episode was released on December 15, 2020.

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