Science Friction: The 226th Evolutionary Lens with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying

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In this 226th in a series of live discussions with Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying (both PhDs in Biology), we talk about the state of the world through an evolutionary lens.

In this episode, we discuss a new breakthrough in plant genetics: polyploid potatoes and corn from Ohalo Genetics, which are claimed to double the harvest from individual plants. Beginning with a discussion of naturally occurring polyploidy in other species, including frogs, we analyze the discussion of Ohalo’s new products with an evolutionary lens. Is it possible that biotechnology can evade trade-offs, or is this utopian thinking in the corporate world? Why do so many mistakes of modernity come in the form of people accustomed to complicated systems, applying their knowledge to complex systems? Finally: does Terrence Howard (recently on Joe Rogan) have a predictive model, or is he just blowing smoke?

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Mentioned in this episode:

Ohalo Genetics: https://ohalo.com

Discussion with Ohalo CEO on The All-In podcast: https://x.com/noorsinghrai/status/1793006932862587370.

Wood et al 2009. The frequency of polyploid speciation in vascular plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of sciences 106(33): 13875-13879. https://www.pnas.org/doi/pdf/10.1073/pnas.0811575106

Otto et al 2007. Climatic variation and the distribution of an amphibian polyploid complex. Journal of Animal Ecology, 76(6): 1053-1061. https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01300.x

Terrence Howard on Joe Rogan: https://youtu.be/g197xdRZsW0?si=DMKHwvPdbnlFt3hJ

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