Palaeo After Dark

The gang celebrates their 7th anniversary by inflicting pain on themselves for your amusement by discussing a classic paper, Gould's "Paradox of the First Tier". They discuss the paper in its historical context, and also how our knowledge of mass extinctions has changed and evolved from this paper. Meanwhile, James comes up with unconventional ways to communicate, Amanda may need some more whiskey to get through this, and Curt is all smiles.


Up-Goer Five (Curt Edition):

Our friends have fun on the day that comes around every year which is when they first started doing this thing. They talk about a paper that is old but looking to the time ahead. This paper is interested in how things die, especially when a lot of things die. There are bad times in the past when lots of things have died all at once. This paper points out that these bad times might be really important. These bad times when lots of things die all at once might act to change the direction of how life is changing through time. Life might be changing in one way and doing just fine, but when one of these bad times happens the things that were doing well might do bad but the things that were doing bad might do really well. Our friends talk about how the ideas brought up in this old paper have changed over time.



Gould, Stephen Jay. "The paradox of the first tier: an agenda for paleobiology." Paleobiology 11.1 (1985): 2-12.

Direct download: Podcast_182_-_The_Pain_Happy_Birthday.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT