TGA Podcast: Episode 126

This week, Carisa joins me as we try and answer your questions in the latest mailbag episode. We cover queries from how everything on earth has a common ancestor, to my favorite brand of beer (that is named after a stellar phenomenon). Don’t miss out.

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**NOTE** If you love Carisa be sure to vote for her in this picture contest. If she wins, she gets to have a whole bunch of toys to play with. Pretty awesome, no?

Comments (13)

  • avatar

    drew davey

    loved the show – thanks for answering my questions

    next time carissa is on the show – can she tell me where to find an atheist girl – hotter than a 6 but not hotter than an 8 – i figure im a 7 or so

    keep up the great work

  • avatar

    AJ Buwalda

    “If she wins, she gets to have a whole bunch of toys to play with. Pretty awesome, no?”

    Well, isn’t this suggestive. Can’t blame me, though! My 7 year relationship came to an end about a month ago; all of the sudden I see sexual innuendo in everything. My ex is a Christian too, which as you might imagined didn’t help things either. Now I just go out and hook up with ladies which is strange after being out of the game for 7 years. But hey, who am I to complain, eh?


  • avatar

    Jack Avery

    Hey Jacob,
    I love your show but I don’t like being tied to my computer. Is there anyway you can get the free bonus shows in itunes? Sorry if you’ve already been asked this a billion times… not really cos if you’ve been asked a billion times, then you must have just got a sudden and massive rise in listeners, some of whom must have the money to pay you… 😀 but sorry if you haven’t just got a billion more listeners and every other listener has already asked you that… 🙁
    btw I hope my attempts at the funny made up for what could be misconstrued as insolence 😛

  • avatar

    Carisa Hendrix

    Hey Jack,

    If you follow the steps in the tutorial we put up on the membership page about adding your member’s feed to iTunes it will show you step by step how to get your free shows in your feed.

    Hope that helps.

    Aj, It does sound dirty it’s not just you 🙂

    Drew, Atheist dating tips, I think Jake would be almost too into that idea.

  • avatar


    G’day Jacob and Carisa

    Yes to be totally fair I was nit picking 🙂

    And after hearing my poorly worded comment read I realise I may have been difficult to understand

    However incase either of you are interested (Carisa mentioned an interview that had lead her to believe otherwise) here are a couple of journal articles you could check out that explain why sexual selection in humans occurs via both male and female choice

    Beauty and the beast: mechanisms of sexual selection in humans
    David A. Puts, Evolution and Human Behavior 31 (2010) 157-75

    The evolutionary psychology of physical attractiveness: sexual selection and human morphology
    Nigel Barber, Ethology and Sociobiology 16:5 (1995) 395-424

    A quick search of google scholar should find them

    However I do agree that female choice tends to be dominant in many other species, probably the most obvious in many reef fishes (although I am a biased marine biologist) that even go so far as to voluntarily change their own sex when they determine that they would be the most attractive male (Labridae, Scaridae and Gobidae are especially cool)



  • avatar


    Hi Jacob.

    I’ve been listening to your show for a week and I enjoy your show immensely.

    Where I come from it’s relatively non-religious (I live in Sweden). Still I feel as if religion is constantly permeating the society here and as soon as you comment anything people get crazy. Eaven though the most people are atheistical no one wants to talk about religion. It’s like religion is something we shouldn’t talk about and something you can’t tuch.

    This episode (125) were very gender based which is a field that I’m very interested in. During the episode you mentioned that we are part of the mechanism that makes sexism systematic. Well, in some parts of the world women are subservient to men (well, depending on how you se it you can se it in modern societies as well as in poor countries) which is a sad fact. But it is because we all dont’t do anything about it, we let it be that way. You should read a little about “male hegemony”, it seems like you already know things about it and I think you might enjoy it.

    I regard gender as a social construction, something that is shaped by society’s norms and that it may change over time. The same applies to the inequalities that exist.

    I find it really difficult speaking with especially
    religious people since they don’t have this attitude. The ones that I’ve met think that gender is based on the genitalia of a person. Because when you are born and have a penis you are a boy and due to that you act in a certain way “naturally” – boys should play with cars and not wear fake eye lashes. But I say Fuck that! It’s a bigger difference within the sexes then between the sexes.

    Sorry if I write poorly in English.

  • avatar

    J.N. Hudson

    In regards to resurrecting Da Vinci, not only would there almost immedietly be a cult worshiping him, there would also be hundreds or thousands of websites, podcasts, and forums devoted to some sort of “Da Vinci Truth” movement that would spring into life to question the “official story” of Da Vinci’s resurrection.

  • avatar


    An entertaining episode. It’s too bad Carisa is less than keen on the mailbag episodes, because she certinally makes a valuable contribution.

    Regarding the issue of atheists refering to ourselves by some other term, I can understand where Sam Harris is coming from. First, in the United States at least, there are negative connotations associated with atheism, so perhaps a rebranding isn’t such a bad idea. Also, atheism only speaks to a specific lack of belief in any sort of deity, while I think most of us can agree that our reason based skepticism extends to more than just deities, but also any sort of afterlife, supernatural powers and phenomena, etc.

    While I do agree with Hitchesn and Jacob that perhaps “bright” isn’t the best replacement, I do like “pearlist”, where pearl stands for Physical Evidence And Reasoned Logic. Not sure of it’s origins, but I do feel it better represents the outlook of any of us who might refer to ourselves as atheists simply out of convieniance and familarity.

    Of course, it’s that convieniance and familiarity which will prevent the widespread adoption of any new terminology any time soon.

    And for Brandon, if you read this comment and you’re genuinely interested in the family — or phylogenetic — tree of all life on Earth, a decent place to start might be this wikipedia page:

    Here’s the phylogentic tree by Hills,Zwickil and Gutell, which features some 3,000 different species; less than .2% of the total number of species believed to exist on Earth:

  • avatar


    Good show Carisa and your sidekick 😉

  • avatar

    Infinite Monkey

    I’m listening to this episode right now, and I just got to the Sam Harris discussions. To call this a stupid idea is an understatement. When has “rebranding” worked? Look at the gay movement. Gay was a slang term for those darm homosexuals. But, the gay movement took that term and ran with it. They didn’t say “I prefered to be called…” Well, for all of about 10 seconds, queer was a prefered term for the stylish gays, but that died fast. We took this term and owned it. Then, once we owned it, we redefined it. 20 years ago, gays were synomous with girly guys. Now, not so much. There’s much more variety in what someone thinks a gay man should look like then ever before.

    If the atheists want to move to a place like the gays, where they are more accepted than they currently are, then maybe we should own our title also. Then, we can redefine it. Once atheists have become well known enough, have dawkins and harris sit down, and let a new generation of atheists take the reigns, and help redefine what atheists look and sound like.

  • avatar


    Sorry about the lack of a question.

    I’ll be sure to choose something less inarticulate.

  • avatar

    Ryan E

    Great mailbag show! Epic question dodge re: Ryan’s whereabouts 😉 That answer definitely did not pass the smell test. The plot thickens…!

    Regarding finding a tech-savvy marketing person who’ll work for cheap, I suggest you peruse the NSpire conference. It’s a Canadian organization for tech-y entrepreneurs. Check it out –

    Finally, can you post a link re: your assertion that we start off with monkey fur then drop it? I’m a bit skeptical…

  • avatar

    Karyn Wittmeyer

    Carisa is awesome. More of her, plsthx.

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