LOVE + EVOLUTION in Madison

Thursday night, I headed out into the Wisconsin chill to see To The Best of Our Knowledge‘s live radio show called LOVE + EVOLUTION at the Majestic Theater. I was introduced to the glories of radio in college and have discovered so many amazing shows over the years so, of course, I had to support me some local Wisconsin radio! 💕

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The show was structured like many podcasts: several stories, comics, interviews, and lectures on a common theme. The night’s theme was inspired by Valentine’s Day, but with a bit of an intellectual twist: the show explored the connection between love and science.

Are we biologically programmed to love? Is love just a means to procreation? If so, how does non-heterosexual sexuality fit in? Is altruism an extension of love? You know, real casual stuff…

But the one question I kept returning to is one that I’ve been grappling with for years: can science really explain the experience of love? I used to get so upset when people would say that “love is just chemicals firing in your brain” and “love is just biological programming to keep the species going”. And obviously those things are very true! But to break it down into a formula or a genetic code makes love feel fake to me – like you could engineer it in a lab or cook it on a bunsen burner.

One biologist answered my question (and I’m paraphrasing): It depends on your definition of explain. Yes, science can offer a subjective explanation of love and how it came to be evolutionarily, but can it explain the experience and sensation of being in love? No. He likened it to humor – you can study humor and what makes something funny, but you can’t explain to someone what it’s like to laugh.

Needless to say, the whole night pulled at my mind and my heartstrings and I really hope they do another show like it soon!

In the meantime, I’m excited to listen to this episode on why it’s good to be alone (lol happy valentine’s day!) and to ask my next date these 36 questions… I’ll be sure to post the podcast when it comes out.❤️

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