Man running on a paved road.
Man running on a paved road.

Born to Run Farther with Dr. Irene Davis and Chris McDougall

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About This Episode

Why do humans have butt cheeks? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly learn about the biomechanics of running with professor and running specialist Dr. Irene Davis, featuring Neil’s interview with Born to Run author, Chris McDougall. 

Are we living the lives our bodies have adapted us to lead? We discuss the “mismatch theory of evolution” and the biological markers that enable us to become good runners. If our feet have adapted for running does that mean they’re perfect? But aren’t we slower than most of the animal kingdom? We break down the history of running shoes and how they impact our performance and injuries. 

You’ll learn about barefoot running, ancient and modern. Are we trying to retrofit evolution? Find out about Neil’s father’s running career and what the proper running form looks like. Are you a heel-striker? Discover how our bodies differ from one another, and the motions that can cause injury. What do a Greek urn and the Boston Dynamic robot, Atlas, have in common? 

Are we in the pocket of Big Shoe? We talk about running shoe addiction and how we can get out of it without getting “sensory input” all over our feet. Can people with fallen arches change their feet? Can a shoe really make people faster? What about those weird toe shoes? How can lessons from running help us in other places? All that, plus, Neil’s convex feet and whether we are trying to out-engineer the human body!

Thanks to our Patrons Stephan Hoffmann Arvidsson, Louis Palen, Kara Young, Nick Skibicki, Jennifer Magnus, Ceasar Perez, Cameron Bishop, dniel, Pouneh Golabian, and Coleman for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.

About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.


In This Episode

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