This program was recorded at the 12th Annual Wonderfest, the San Francisco Bay Area Festival of Science.
Wonderfest's broad goals are best described by its mission statement: Through public discourse about provocative scientific questions, Wonderfest aspires to stimulate curiosity, promote careful reasoning, challenge unexamined beliefs, and encourage life-long learning.
Wonderfest achieves these ends by presenting series of scientific events to the general public. At most of these events, pairs of articulate and accomplished researchers discuss and debate compelling questions at the edge of scientific understanding.
David DeGusta is a Research Paleontologist at the Paleoanthropology Institute.
Henry Gilbert is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at California State University, East Bay.
David DeGusta, Research Paleontologist at the Paleoanthropology Institute, discusses how archaeologists are able to study the origins of human language through the archaeological record. He explains that language seems to have emerged around 50,000 years ago, and could be what helped modern humans triumph over the Neanderthals.
Anthropologists David DeGusta and Henry Gilbert discuss the evolutionary function of artistic expression. Gilbert suggests that artistry may have been a display of mental prowess to attract a mate, whereas DeGusta argues that it possibly served as a tool to promote organization.