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The Goodness Paradox

A sculpture of a gun with it's barrel knotted up
Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd

Monday, we're talking about this strange mix in human nature of virtue and violence. The anthropologist Richard Wrangham is fascinated by how and why humans evolved to be both so nice and so brutal.

RadioWest divider.

For the past 250 million years, humans have become increasingly peaceful animals. By and large we get along. We care for and help each other. And then there are the acts of extraordinary aggression. Brutality. Bloodshed. But why? Why are we both virtuous and violent? The anthropologist Richard Wrangham is fascinated by this paradox. In a new book, he climbs through our evolutionary family tree and delves into our deep past to better understand the dueling angels of our nature.

Richard Wrangham is the Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology at Harvard University. His new book is called The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution [Indie bookstores|Amazon|Audible].

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.