On the show this week we talk to cognitive scientist Paul Bloom about the morality of babies. Most of us think of babies as selfish, impulsive, and for the most part out of control. We tend to think of their morality as shaped by experience—by society, by their parents, by early childhood events. But Bloom and his collaborators at Yale have some pretty compelling evidence that at least some parts of our moral compass are innate—that is that babies are born with the capacity to tell good from bad just as they are born with a capacity to develop motor or language skills. And by understanding how our morality develops throughout childhood, we can gain some insight into how our own gut feelings and biases shape our moral lives as adults.
We also welcome guest-host Kishore Hari, director of the Bay Area Science Festival, to talk about, among other things, a recent study involving brains and spiders.