Transcript: Bret Weinstein and Eric Weinstein on The Portal episode 19
The Portal podcast transcription series
- Peter Thiel
- What is The Portal?
- Werner Herzog
- Timur Kuran
- Rabbi David Wolpe
- Jocko Willink
- Bret Easton Ellis
- Andrew Yang
- Bryan Callen
- Julie Lindahl
- Sam Harris
- Vitalik Buterin
- Garry Kasparov
- London Tsai
- Garrett Lisi
- Tyler Cowen
- Anna Khachiyan
- Eric Weinstein – State of the Portal 2020
- Bret Weinstein
- Sir Roger Penrose
- Ashley Mathews (Riley Reid)
- Ben Greenfield
- Agnes Callard
- Kai Lenny
- The Construct: Jeffrey Epstein
Geometric Unity – a First Look
- James O’Keefe
- Daniel Schmachtenberger
- Eric Lewis
- Jamie Metzl
- Ross Douthat
- Ryan Holiday
The following transcript was generated by a machine and not edited by any human – so it’s full of of errors. I’m posting the transcript because the podcast is excellent and a crappy transcript is better than no transcript. Questions/comments: get me on Twitter @mgmobrien.
Eric Weinstein 0:00
Hello, this is Eric Weinstein. I’m going to be recording a short introduction to this episode because I think it’s probably the most important episode of the portal today. That said, under normal circumstances, I probably would have either edited this heavily or not released it at all. It starts off quite slow and it gets quite awkward before finding its pace. Now, what’s going on is that the interview subject is none other than my brother, Brett Weinstein. In Brett’s case, you probably know him if you know him at all, as the heroic professor who stood up against what can only be described, I swear I’m not making this up as an Maoist insurrection at an American college in the Pacific Northwest, the Evergreen State College. It was a very strange situation because somehow, the national media that we would normally have thought would have covered such a story. For example, the media that covered the takeover of straight Hall at Cornell in the 60s, that media was almost absent completely. At least they were absent for a very long time before they entered late in the game. And why is that? Because the Story ran counter narrative. That is, the students at the Evergreen State College who were behaving in a racist fashion were actually students of color. And this was an exactly counter narrative story. And Brett had acoustics up to this racist insurrection was, in fact somebody with a history of standing up against racism. He had, in fact, been a student at the University of Pennsylvania, my alma mater and Ivy League school, and had had to leave because of death threats when he stood up for women of color who were being abused for the amusement and the sexual amusement of white fraternity students. So Brett was supposed to be familiar to many of you from that from an old national news story. And he was also the hero of a book called The tapers morning bath. But somehow the news media who chose not to report on the Evergreen story was not very interested either in figuring out who Brett was because the stories showed that there was a contradictory problem with the main narrative. In some sense, that’s some sense. That’s going to be recapitulated in this episode. There is an official narrative about what happened in the scientific episode. And there is a narrative which I think is much closer to the truth which I happen to be one of a very small number of witnesses to this alternate story. Now the key question is whether to tell the story or not. And you’re going to see that both of us have a certain amount of trepidation and energy around the question of whether or not to break a long standing public silence. When Brett found himself as Professor in exile, along with his wife, Heather hiding, I had thought that the American biology establishment would realize that one of their own had been thrown overboard as Jetsam, and that he would have been invited to many universities to give seminars in biology. And it took a while for me to understand that because he was found at the Evergreen State College. The people who taught at highly ranked research universities thought that Brett was something more like a teacher rather than a researcher. In fact, he’d been the top student of one of the most recent Important evolutionary theorists, United States, Richard Alexander at the University of Michigan, as well as a student of Bob Trevor’s, formerly of Harvard, arguably one of the greatest living evolutionary theorists, I think presently at Rutgers.
Brett was somebody who had actually done really interesting work in his thesis, and for some reason, the system found it very disturbing to consider the full implications of his work. I think in this episode, we’re going to do something interesting. I see Brett in two separate ways. On the one hand, I view him as a very heroic figure and he’s an absolutely brilliant person. It’s been a pleasure, sparring with him throughout my life. However, I’m also his older brother, and you’re going to hear me it’s sort of my overbearing, best, browbeating him a bit. Now the point isn’t to push him down, but quite the contrary. I’m rather competitive as Brett’s older brother and I don’t want to compete with the weakest version of breath, the professor in exile. Instead, I want him seated. Again inside of the institution where he always belonged. And in order to do that, I want him to tell the tale, not with embellishment. But as it actually happened, because I think it’s one of the most fascinating episodes in modern biology that I’ve ever heard. So I hope that you like it. We’re going to put it in front of you as an experiment. And we’re going to test to see whether or not I’m correct. The portal can be used to augment the usual channels. I believe that a lot of us are sitting on intellectual gold. I don’t think that the story that somebody has worked, didn’t say the light of day or got attributed to somebody else is as exotic as the institution’s would have you believe. In fact, I think it’s quite common. I think many of us find that we don’t have careers inside of science because something goes wrong quite early when we’re quite vulnerable. And my hope is, is that some of you listening, who I know are struggling as graduate students or as postdocs, or as undergraduates, will listen to this and find some courage to stand up for yourself because quite frankly, If you choose not to do it in order to make nice with your fields, the chances are you will probably won’t have a career in the long term, you might as well swing for the fences. And you might as well clear your throat and tell your story as it actually happened. Without fear. I don’t know that this is going to succeed. But we’re going to run an experiment. And I think both Brett and I are up for it to find out wherever it goes. The one thing I would say is that if anyone else in the story wants to tell their version of events, it would be an honor to have you on the portal. There are no bad people in the story. In my opinion, there are a lot of bad incentives. And if we’re going to actually fix the system, we’re going to have to look past the interpersonal but the point of this in my opinion, is that I think it’s sufficient to open the case again and seek Brett Weinstein inside of the university system that is the research university system where he has always belonged. So have a listen. I hope you like it.
Hello, you found the portal. I’m your host, Eric Weinstein, and I’m joined today by none other than my own brother, Dr. Brett Weinstein. Brett, welcome. Thanks for having me. Okay, well, um, what should we do? What do you think?
Bret Weinstein 6:14
Wow. Well, I don’t know, I would imagine a certain fraction of your audience is going through the usual sort of,
Eric Weinstein 6:21
they randomly call us, either Bret or Eric. Yes. So far as I can tell, which our parents also did while we were growing up.
Bret Weinstein 6:27
Suppose that’s true, including the pets names were also sometimes thrown in if I recall correctly. That’s true.
Eric Weinstein 6:35
Okay, so if you don’t mind, I was trying to think about the fact that we have an opportunity to do something that might be slightly different because you and I share a lot and what I thought is that we should begin to really focus on areas of your expertise with respect to biology, rather than the way in which Many people have come to know you. So can I ask you to just quickly dispense with in 30 seconds how the world has come to recognize you if they recognize you at all?
Bret Weinstein 7:11
Sure. To the extent that I’m recognized, it is typically as a result of the meltdown at evergreen and my stance is Evergreen State called Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where I taught for 14 years long with my wife, Heather hiding, who taught there for 15 years, we faced a mob of people who accused me of racism. And these were students, they were students I’d never met. And the event was so colorful, and eventually when the world caught on to the fact that the protesters who became riders had uploaded footage to the net, and so the whole event could effectively be seen from their perspective. It raised interest in some other quadrants. So for example, I ended up on Joe railguns program, which is the place I’m probably most recognized from, and you know, the my first appearance there, we talked about the Evergreen situation. And anyway, that’s, that’s the bulk of how people know me.
Eric Weinstein 8:13
All right. So you were a biologist teaching at a relatively obscure college that had previously been known for social activism. And I didn’t love your introduction, because when you say, well, the students accuse me of racism. That leaves sort of a weird question like, why was he accused of racism? Let me solve the puzzle just immediately. Maybe you can’t do this because that was the closest we’d seen to a Maoist takeover inside of the United States of America ever. Like it was a case of mass insanity. And the videos showed it to be mass insanity and unless you had been indoctrinated to believe that Maoism of some form Maoist reeducation was normal. The rest of the world said OMG, what the heck is going on at this completely insane. It wasn’t just like one of these college craziness pieces. This is really an episode of broad institutional madness that was localized there. And I just, I want to take it to be self evident because it is self evident the video exists. And if you took the people who were trying to pretend that you were a racist in their own terms, that was sufficient to it was like the unreliable narrator they would they were debunking themselves in the eyes of everyone who hadn’t come under the spell of this particular kind of madness.
Bret Weinstein 9:44
But there’s a little little more to it, in the sense that they were entirely unprepared for a white guy willing to say, No, I’m simply not a racist and It just didn’t occur to them that that was going to happen. And it didn’t occur to them, that my own students weren’t going to flee to their side at the point that they leveled their accusation, because those things would have been normal in this environment. But in my case, I grew up in a home. There are plenty of flaws in that home, as you know, but one of the places I don’t think it was flawed was that it was very clear headed about issues of inequality, race, justice. And so I I really have the sense that it’s these issues were really not new to me. And I had a long history at the college. Lots of students of color explaining
Eric Weinstein 10:42
too much, I don’t mean to be rude about it, but they were just crazy.
Bret Weinstein 10:48
They were crazy. But my point is, the accusation is in and of itself, so powerful in modern circumstances, that people the idea of standing up to It doesn’t occur to most people and the fact is, I was not well enough positioned the thing descended into madness it descended into literal anarchy with armed students roving the campus the same mob was looking for me searching car to car, for example is a very dangerous situation baseball bats with us. But, but what I’m getting at is I checked with myself and did not feel vulnerable to this accusation. I felt most people could not endure it, but I was in a position to and
Eric Weinstein 11:34
in an odd way, you’ve been effectively driven out of your own university as an undergraduate, standing up against racism. Indeed, these people had flipped the script and said, if you don’t sign up for our racism, you’re a racist.
Unknown Speaker 11:48
Yeah, they did.
Eric Weinstein 11:49
I don’t, you know, here’s the thing. I have two documents that I’ve studied and have a lot of longevity to them. One begins with We hold these truths to be self evident and the other one begins within the beginning. And I think we’ve made a huge mistake. Taking this as an argument. It’s a non serious position held by morons and idiots or people who’ve been indoctrinated and infected with an idea that there’s something left wing about being a racist. I’m not interested in. And I also think that it’s really important to stop giving these people their due. Like, it’s really important to exclude them from the conversation because if you have to have a three day symposium as to whether or not racism can be redefined in a way that makes it impossible for certain people to be racist, but impossible for other people not to be racist, there’s just no point. There’s just it just needs to be thrown in the garbage because it just it’s a suicide idea that wastes everyone’s time and plunges the world into stupidity, madness and hatred. Well,
Bret Weinstein 12:55
you and I are in total agreement about the necessity to shut the bad actors right. out of the conversation, I do have some concern about a large number of people who fall into one of two camps. They’re either confused, or they suffer from so much cowardice, that they will sign up for ideas that they ought an hour wrong.
Unknown Speaker 13:14
Yeah, but I think you’re not getting the message.
Eric Weinstein 13:18
We’ve made a huge mistake. And I refuse to spend time because these people have decided that this is a text that we should pay that they have a serious point. It’s a non serious point. It’s a terrifying, moronic, non serious point that you can redefine racism to be anti racism and anti racism to be racist.
Unknown Speaker 13:38
Nobody knows this better than me.
Eric Weinstein 13:40
Great. Okay. Are we done? We are good. With that aside, my concern, you know that I play this game, which is called what is the least interesting interesting thing about x where I take a person and I take their top characteristic so for example, The least interesting interesting thing about Dolly Parton
Unknown Speaker 14:03
is that she’s busting.
Eric Weinstein 14:05
The most interesting things is that she’s a genius level songwriter, and a fantastic singer and entertainer and a great businesswoman doesn’t matter. But the key point is we get hung up on some stupid superficial characteristic and we don’t see the actual interest or majesty in a person and I feel like that has happened to you. I feel like at some level, having known you for a very long time, you are an incredibly interesting person for totally different reasons than the reasons for which you have become famous. And I would like to use this this episode and your By the way, you’re welcome back anytime I love to do a series with you love to, you know, make this a regular part of our lives that people like it.
Bret Weinstein 14:43
Cool. I think you know, you and I both hear a lot of curiosity about what our relationship is like and what our discussion sounds like. And so I think there’s lots of remember that
Eric Weinstein 14:53
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Bret Weinstein 17:33
and in fact, Sam, I remember, even the content of his tweet where he entered this discussion, where he suggested that what was necessary was a deprogramming for these people and from living inside of this very confusing scenario, to hear a message of reason from the outside that it was visible. how insane this was. meant a lot to me. Really, it changed things. It was like a real reality check.
Eric Weinstein 18:00
Sam is Sam’s a real hero in that regard. It’s just amazing that he got there early and he got there. Correct. And, you know, more power to him.
Unknown Speaker 18:09
Yeah. Okay. I, as you know, I was not happy
Eric Weinstein 18:14
about you being at Evergreen State College long before this problem was occurring. I viewed you as sort of retreating into this very obscure college and using the undergraduates as if they were graduate students teaching very advanced concepts, and running kind of a weird Harvard style program with very adventurous material with no recognition that this kind of unusual educational environment was even occurring. Fair, unfair.
Bret Weinstein 18:50
Well, it’s mostly fair. It was not really an appropriate place. I don’t regret it. I think for the last year or two Heather and I are We’re living on borrowed time that this could have come for us in a worse way. And it could have come for us at any moment, but the thing about the job I had was that it was the upside of a crazy experiment in education. The founders of the college had broken every rule of a Normal University. And half of what they did in breaking, it was crazy. And half of what they did was brilliant. Nobody ever bothered to separate the two from the prototype and, you know, fix the broken part didn’t happen. But the administrators had no power and very little knowledge about what was going on in the classroom, which meant that I could create a learning environment that worked, both from the point of view of students and work from the point of view of me in my objectives to keep advancing a research program that frankly, I would have had no way to keep on at a normal College I would have been so burdened by teaching that I couldn’t have combined the two things. So anyway, I do think one has to figure out how to make their way in the world financially. One has to figure out where to raise their kids and from many perspectives as much of a mismatch as evergreen was for me in some ways in some other ways. It was not a bad place to be. Park it gave me I was anonymous from the point of the world and I could make progress on biology. So I have fewer regrets than I might. Okay.
Eric Weinstein 20:36
This is so uncomfortable, but it is also the real substance of our relationship. I always resented the fact that you really excelled at and enjoyed teaching as much as you did. And you saw this in terms of a place to play with ideas to teach students to have a pleasant and enjoyable Life healthy as it was in the great outdoors, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. And I still see these characteristics in you and it drives me nuts. Because you’re your own worst enemy in some ways to me. What you really are, to me is an unbelievable thinker and researcher and beneath this kind of very nice friendly pedagogue is a thinker that the world doesn’t know. And I watched recently, your interactions with Richard Dawkins. And it was absolutely infuriating. I mean, he’s, you know, he’s very clear as well. Brett is a real heroes as far as free speech and standing up for free inquiry goes, but he’s very confused. Well, no, I don’t think that that’s right. I think that you guys had a really substantive interaction about biology, which I wish he would spend more time on because he’s phenomenal at it when he’s focused on it. And you’re phenomenal and that was supposed to Be a really different conversation. But because we got to know you the wrong way, in my opinion, you’re always the guy who was strong enough to stand up to students at an obscure place. And this completely masks who you’ve always been. And you’re not willing to take up the yoke, which is the more important role for you.
Bret Weinstein 22:21
Well, I don’t know that I’m not willing, I think you and I have a different approach to this. And it may be you know, birth order stuff or whatever. But you know, and I also I have the benefit of you in the world doing what you do, which I do wonder sometimes, what would have happened to me at evergreen had, I only had my own tools at my disposal, it’s quite possible I would have been effectively snuffed out in private and I don’t know what I would be doing at the moment. As it happens, the Evergreen story turned into rocket fuel that propelled me into a strata where There’s lots of interesting things to do. That may not be exactly what you’re talking about. But they they make sense.
Eric Weinstein 23:07
It’s frustrating. I’m trying. I don’t think you understand what it is that I’m trying to do here. I believe that you’re miscategorized. And you’re really not grasping that this is my opportunity.
Bret Weinstein 23:21
No, I am grasping. What I think distinguishes us is that we have very different styles with respect to approaching things. I, for example, take a certain perverse pleasure in watching Dawkins slowly move in my direction, which I believe is happening. Now, I would like him to move faster. He’s not a young man. And I think it’s actually quite important that he recognize where the errors in his own thinking are. And to be honest, I believe I know where at least several major ones live in I know what he would see if he could be brought to understand the nature of those errors and to confront the, frankly, the portal that opens if you walk through a slightly different door than he’s been walking through. But you know, it didn’t work in one evening. I always wondered if it would. But
there is still the possibility that he will have the epiphany that I hope he will have
Eric Weinstein 24:26
I, I really don’t understand even where we are in this conversation.
Unknown Speaker 24:30
Eric Weinstein 24:32
You’re not getting it. You were found at Evergreen State College. That is a communication to the world that you weren’t very good. Yep. And every time I try to say, this is completely wrong. You miss you don’t catch the ball that’s being thrown to you, which is you’re not understanding what you’re up against. He doesn’t take you seriously because you don’t have a list of publications that speaks to who it is. You actually are or what you’ve done or where you’ve been. And as a result, you continue to be the good guy who’s very well spoken, very thoughtful, says very interesting things, and constantly gives away power to other people.
Bret Weinstein 25:13
Hmm, I don’t think so. There’s a question about how to confront the opportunities that you’ve got the hand you’ve been dealt. And I think you and I share a certain delight when we do our homework, and we discover something interesting, and absolutely nobody else gets it. Hmm. That would feel bad to most people because they would feel like what am I doing wrong? Why does nobody else understand this point? to you and me? That feels good it is to know that you have achieved something you have discovered something and that nobody else can even recognize it gives you some sort of sense of how far ahead you might be. The question is what What to do with those things. And there? I think the question is if
I went through something with
I said something in temperate to the new atheists, and suddenly, Steven Pinker, Jerry Coyne, Michael Shermer, Richard Dawkins, and Neil Shubin came at me all at once. Not on the topic that I had caused a fence on a totally different topic. They had picked something off my YouTube channel, Jerry Coyne had claimed to have debunked it. He was wrong, but nonetheless it provided fodder for them to attack. Their point was that I didn’t understand natural selection. And that to the extent I might believe I knew something that other people didn’t know the right thing to do was to submit it to a journal and go through peer review. I pointed out to them that peer review was not Richard Dawkins style and that he in fact advanced the ball for the field substantially, but has barely published a paper that back them off that course and they’re tuned changed to Well, how about a book then that’s what Dawkins did. And to me, that’s a win the idea. I’m not against peer review, I want peers to review my work. But I don’t want it snuffed out in private. And so to the extent that that little battle was a result of them, under estimating me and not knowing that something was going to come back that was cogent and responsive to the world as it actually is, and having them back off their position and say, Yes, actually, a book would be a fine thing. That was positive movement. From my perspective, they underestimated And they had to back down. So I can’t regret that too much to me on a different timescale. I believe I’m making progress toward a goal that you and I agree is the right one. But I’m not sure that coming at it guns blazing is the way to go.
Eric Weinstein 28:16
Well, I’m happy to stop the interview right here and right now, because that’s adorable, and it’s sweet. And it’s incredibly patient. And it’s, it’s a beautiful sentiment. But I also feel like I sat through all of the wars and battles to get your ideas into the world. And I’m not funding that program.
Bret Weinstein 28:39
Does it sound to you like I’m surrendering?
Eric Weinstein 28:42
No, it sounds to me like you’re boring me. Like this is really uninteresting. I think about what actually happened. Yep. This is a miss telling. This is not even honest.
Unknown Speaker 28:53
Okay. floor is yours. Okay.
Eric Weinstein 28:57
I want to talk about something I I’m calling the disc, the distributed idea suppression complex. And it has nothing to do with Richard Dawkins and peer review and Jerry Coyne and a bunch of other things that almost nobody cares about. It has to do with about a 50 year period in which great ideas got buried, no matter where they occurred. Because great ideas were luck, were very likely to be highly disruptive to an institutional order. And between you and your wife and me and my wife, three of our four theses ran into incredible problems, because they were trying to break really new ground, and the amount of delay that you suffered, I mean, you’re now 50 years old. This is a very late start in a career. You’re coming from a very auspicious place you’ve been fitted with a story which is he’s a sweet guy who stood up to a mob. And that’s his claim to fame. And you’re not really understanding that you’re not being taken fully seriously as a biologist. In part, what Jerry Coyne is saying to you is, hey, you’re really unknown to us. I’m in Chicago. Richard Dawkins was at Oxford. You know, he was the simony. Professor for the
Bret Weinstein 30:21
public understanding society.
Eric Weinstein 30:23
Right. The point is, you’re not part of the super club. Don’t Don’t get confused. You’re just some guys stood up. Oh, I understand. That’s what’s being said. Okay. So my point is, I don’t have time for your fairy tale about a healthy and unkind and Sue said
Bret Weinstein 30:37
anything about healthy. Look, I’m interested in winning for a couple of reasons. One, the payload Yeah, the insight that opens the portal to the part of biology we don’t know because we’ve had bad Darwinian tools. And for those who heard that is an attack on Darwinism. It is not Darwinism needs fixing. There’s nothing wrong with what Darwin contributed. It’s what happened after
Unknown Speaker 31:02
we do me a favor. Yeah.
Eric Weinstein 31:05
I really, you’ve got your own podcast. It’s called the Dark Horse, right, the Dark Horse podcast. I think this is a great place for you to explore gradual change, incremental progression. Turning minds around opening hearts, all this stuff. This isn’t your podcast, this is my podcast, right?
Bret Weinstein 31:27
But we’re talking about my life. I’m all right.
Eric Weinstein 31:31
We’re talking about your life. But if that’s what you want to do, I don’t know that I’m that interested in doing what I was going to do, which was to try to get your ideas out into the world curated by somebody who isn’t you. The portal is thrilled to welcome back returning sponsor wine access. Now, in my family’s own tradition, we are more or less mandated once a week to drink. And this gives me the confidence in the era of car service apps to ask the question, is it possible you’re actually getting behind in your drinking? Are you having enough belly laughs? Are you breaking out The guitar is breaking into songs are you dancing with people you love or at least trading stories to bring you closer together. A great bottle of wine is a way to slow down and get off your phone. It marks time and lets you know something important is happening. Now our friends at wine access have an interesting philosophy. They take the most famous vintages and the most famous vineyards and they say can we replace this at a fraction of the cost by sending out our team of geeks to scour the globe for offbeat opportunities. They also send you information to let you know what kind of wine you’re getting. So you’re better educated for the next time you want to repeat the event with wine access.com slash a poodle you’re going to get yourself one hell of a bottle with wine access comm slash
Unknown Speaker 32:39
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Eric Weinstein 32:42
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Unknown Speaker 32:58
Do I take it we are now not In a podcast at the moment,
Eric Weinstein 33:01
we’re in a podcast. Oh, believe me, I’m going to put the hurt on you because you are backing out of your role in history and I’m sick
Unknown Speaker 33:09
of it. Look,
Eric Weinstein 33:12
one of the things I love you like, like you’re my own brother. Amazing. Okay. It is the case that you have always done this. And it means that you’re not taking your place properly. And I had to go to the extraordinary length of tricking your advisor, Richard Alexander, one of the great evolutionary theorists of our times,
Unknown Speaker 33:35
Eric Weinstein 33:36
right. One of the absolute tops, remember the National Academy of Sciences, chaired professor at University of Michigan. I had to trick him into writing a letter of recommendation for you so that we would have some record as he was getting on in years of who you actually were because I knew that evergreen was not going to be it’s not it’s not part of the game. It’s true. Okay, here’s what he had to say about you. Brett Weinstein may well be the brightest graduate student I have ever known. his thesis defense involved only one of his four thesis chapters, and it alone was far more than sufficient as a thesis. I don’t know anyone who knows more than Brett, about not only a wide variety of topics in biological evolution, but the problems and possibilities of cultural change, and the means of bringing people together and solving difficult problems. for 40 years I held frequent, sometimes almost daily seminars with my doctoral students in evolutionary biology. While he was a student, Brett was a major element in all of those seminars. When he spoke, there was almost always respectful silence, even when he was junior to most of the people involved. Brett’s thesis topics are so significant and timely, and so well treated on the lifetime patterns of humans and other species. The function and importance of telomeres and explaining lifetimes as hedges against cancer, and several other important topics such as species diversity and sexual selection that you drove magically converted on the spot to reluctant and by the way, reluctant is British understatement here. I will say mildly and skeptically evolutionist members of the committee. I think that despite his youthfulness in terms of the characteristics I listed earlier, Brett is the best candidate. You were the number one student of Richard Alexander, who ended up at the Evergreen State College, which was a giant mistake. And it was always a mistake. You should never have been there. I was completely right. I’m sorry to be overbearing about it. But like, How many years did I tell you? You gotta get out of that place?
Bret Weinstein 35:36
Well, look, first of all, Dick was very clear with me about the fact that were he trying to compete in the modern Academy, he did not believe he would have succeeded. And he he was clear about the fact that there was no good solution to the problem. So you know, I can I can’t say that I’ve ever heard that letter. I believe you have quoted parts of it to me
Eric Weinstein 36:06
yet, because because you’re going to do this thing where you downplay your gift. And I’m sick of it. I’m tired of it. I’m just I’ve had it. And part of it, what happened is that you are now distorting the history of science. You have a place in the history of science, that you’re not taking up. You’re not advocating for there’s something that you don’t like about this. No, no, I don’t I
Bret Weinstein 36:28
don’t think this is true. I just think I’m pursuing it. And maybe I’m pursuing it in a way that it doesn’t work out in the end. Or maybe I’m pursuing it in a way that it would maybe there’s more than one
Eric Weinstein 36:36
I’ve been through too much. Helping you trying to make this happen, where people become aware of the complex of ideas that you’ve been pushing out. And my feeling about this is that you maintain this very beautiful, very calm position. And it’s enough already, like you have, you have a story and that story. explosive strength, I’m happy to bury this podcast so that nobody ever hears. But I want to actually explore the truth rather than this extremely good for you high fiber. You know, low, low sugar bowl of granola,
Bret Weinstein 37:17
I just don’t think that’s where we are. I’ve been very clear and very public about the fact that I think my entire field is spinning its wheels that they’ve gotten caught by a few bad assumptions and that they are spending decades in the weeds for no good reason that there is a way out that I didn’t know what it was for a long time. I did figure out what it was and getting their attention on the question of what they’re doing wrong is a Herculean task. I’ve made that clear. The question is, what is the best use of the opportunity that I’ve got the cards that I hold? And we have a difference of opinion about what that might be? And you may be right i’m not saying you’re not right, but I am saying that there’s at least a discussion to be about what the best way to play the
Eric Weinstein 38:01
Why don’t we have that on your podcast? I accept your invitation to come on. This is my podcast. We’re going to do it my way. Let’s do it your way. All right. I’m the older brother.
Bret Weinstein 38:08
I’ve noticed. I have the ultimate Marsha Marsha Marsha problem. All right,
Eric Weinstein 38:13
Brett, this is not the story of your career in your life. What happened is that you got stuck at the University of Michigan for a very long period of time, because you made people very uncomfortable. What he’s saying in that letter of recommendation is that you wrote four different theses so far as I can remember, and they were on wildly different topics. Furthermore, here’s an interesting one. No one that I know of despite the amount of discussion that’s been spilled in ink over evergreen has put you together with the hero of a book called The tapers morning bath that
Unknown Speaker 38:54
appeared years earlier.
Unknown Speaker 38:56
Like odd that it never shows up,
Eric Weinstein 38:58
right. It never shows up and then you We’re also the recipient of the Golden Gazelle award, I think of the national organization of women for standing up to zbt at the University of Pennsylvania and you got ejected effectively from an Ivy League school due to, like threats of physical violence for standing up for black women being exploited by white men. I mean, like, then you’re like the the field assistant and main student as an undergraduate of another legendary evolutionary theorist, Bob Trevor’s. And somehow, you know, Richard Dawkins is treating you as a guy who isn’t really his equal. He’s, you’re not really a major theorist. You’re very confused, and you need to learn more about the extended phenotype and all this kind of nonsense. And you’re so polite, that you’re not even it’s just, I don’t know, I think you’re out to lunch. No offense,
Unknown Speaker 39:54
I get it. I get it. And you know, like I said, You may be right
Eric Weinstein 39:59
okay. I want to talk about the subjects that you’re most associated with starting with your thesis. And I want to get into the science of it using the portal podcast. If people get left behind, they get left behind. Okay? Okay. Now, Dick Alexander is a legend in evolutionary theory because it, it’s very hard to use evolutionary theory to make predictions that can be verified in the world. It’s sort of like this loose amorphous collection of techniques and viewpoints, and people sometimes think it’s not even a theory because it doesn’t seem to be predictive. And then there are a few predictions. So am I right? Darwin started this game off by predicting that there would be a moth with a really long tongue because there was a flower that had a really long distance to go before you could get the nectar out of
Bret Weinstein 40:50
Yeah, he had been sent an orchid by Bateson maybe with a foot long Carola tube, and he reasoned, very straightforwardly that it would make no sense for this plant to have invested in this very long structure if there were not a tongue that could reach down to gather the nectar. And I believe he did not live to see the discovery of that animal but know that, but he, he was absolutely correct. There is a moth that has this beautifully long tongue. It’s a spongy Hawkmoth, one of these sort of Hummingbird esque moths. And anyway, yeah, it’s one of the major predictions, demonstrations of evolutionary theory actually can be used to predict phenomena that you haven’t been able to observe.
Eric Weinstein 41:35
Okay. And, you know, Darwin famously couldn’t, for example, like I don’t know how much I’ve talked about this in the open, but my favorite Darwin book is the one he wrote after Origin of Species which is on the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilized by insects. It makes absolutely no sense as a title because I think that’s what’s so funny about it. And but because orchids are so highly speciated Turned out to be the perfect place to explore the consequences of evolution. And he couldn’t figure out my favorite I don’t whether it’s clade or group is pretty safe yeah clade of orchids the ovaries system, which is just unbelievable because it mimics the pollinators, the female of the pollinator species using farnum, pheromones and some sort of replica, good enough to fool males into copulating with the lower pedal of an organ. It’s a sturdy
Bret Weinstein 42:29
replica of the female. Yeah, that smells like her. And it just so happens that when the male lands on it to copulate, he gets these pollen packets glued to him. And then he screws up and makes the same mistake at another flower and he may he may or may not put it this way, only the ones that screw up twice get to get to fertilize. The reason that it gets glued to him is that it has worked enough times for the strategy to have been so beautifully refined, right?
Eric Weinstein 42:56
So Darwin saw that there was this mimicry going on between couldn’t put it together he split the pages and pages, not getting it. So I think it’s very funny. So he predicts some things, but he can’t predict something else is very closely related system. Okay, fast forward, Dick Alexander comes out with a crazy prediction which I still don’t fully I mean, it’s just amazing that he made it where he says I bet that you will find the kind of behavior we associate with wasps and bees, which is in this clade called Hyman Opteron ants of use social breeding patterns in an organization, but in mammals that will live underground.
Bret Weinstein 43:37
So I think the way this story actually worked, he didn’t say you will find or you could fuck what he said is, in principle, there’s no reason that a US social animal has to be an insect, that in fact, you could get such a thing in a mammal and then he predicted I forget how many characteristics there were, but he named some
Eric Weinstein 43:59
there’s something funny About the system of ants, bees, wasps, which is that they’ve got this very strange haploid diploid chromosomal characteristic. Do you want to say a word about that? Because that makes the prediction more Sure.
Bret Weinstein 44:11
So, it has long been understood that the human opera behave in this incredibly cooperative fashion, which effectively all of the workers of the colony forego reproduction in order to advance the reproductive interests of the queen. And it was late discovered that actually their genetic system is unlike our genetic system, and that males have basically half a full complement of jeans. They have enough greens to function but they have half the female complement of jeans. And for reasons that are mathematically slightly complicated and require a chalkboard. The females are more closely related to the daughters produced by their mother than they would be to their own office. Spring there three quarters relatives to her offspring in there, they would be 50% relative to their own offspring. So they are actually evolutionarily favored by very standard mechanisms. Once you understand the crazy genetics underlying the thing, they are favored to engage in behavior where they forego reproducing and
Eric Weinstein 45:19
positive once you understand the chromosomal difference of the system, it is far less surprising that it would behave as a loosely coupled in some way Don’t over Don’t overreact. unified organism, which is distributed, that there’s a way in which and that there are ways in which the hive behaves as a super organism. And there are ways in which it does not Yeah,
Bret Weinstein 45:40
well, all I want to say is, I’m not sure how clear we have the story with respect to what proceeds what it’s completely plausible that the behavior proceeds the evolution of the genetic system. Right. And I actually frankly, just don’t know where that research stands at the moment. We have found many other insect systems that have have various versions of this. Interestingly, though, the termites are not Hyman optra, right? And the termites
Eric Weinstein 46:06
engage in this behavior, right? Are you social, but they’re not happy. They’re
Bret Weinstein 46:10
us socially behave very much like ants, okay? But they don’t have the strange genetic system proving that the the behavior can evolve even in the absence of this genetic system. Well,
Eric Weinstein 46:20
the reason I bring this up is that if you if you look at, for example, Prince Peter kropotkin, the great anarchist theorist, he was obsessed by finding analogues in nature of preferred human structures. And so it’s very simple to say, why can’t we work together the way an ant colony all works together? And then there’s a counter to that, which is, well, they have different chromosomal structures. And then you say, well, but yes, but that’s a kind of a cheap way of achieving you sociality. There are other ways of so we, through this crazy kind of investigation, we get to dick Alexander, who and I think you’re quite quite correct says there is nothing prohibiting us from finding out mammalian species that exhibits Ant and wasp like behavior. And it would have it would be likely to have these characteristics it would live underground and
Bret Weinstein 47:13
yeah, underground. I believe eating tubers was a it was a crazy lift raising. And you know, my understanding from from Deke Deke is now unfortunately dead he died a couple years ago but my understanding from him was that he didn’t actually expect to find such an animal. He was speaking very abstractly, just completely theoretically and at the point that he unleashed this idea may even have been in a talk rather than a paper. The information made it back to him, actually, what about naked mole rats they match your characteristics and study reveals then that actually they are you social, they behave very much like ants, bees, wasps, termites, etc. And
Eric Weinstein 47:57
this is like one of the great moments in modern science.
Bret Weinstein 48:00
I really think it is. It’s it’s certainly the moment that people who know who dick Alexander was referenced as sort of the high watermark because it’s comprehensible. You know, Dick did a lot of things. He was very interested in people and other things. But this particular demonstration was so it would be impossible to have predicted such a thing and have gotten lucky. He had to have understood some things that were extremely deep in order for that to have worked out. And so yeah, it’s really I don’t know of another example, in in, in evolutionary theory of a prediction that clean of something that obscure
Unknown Speaker 48:38
I know one.
Unknown Speaker 48:40
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Eric Weinstein 48:45
I once heard a story about a graduate student who predicted that the breeding protocols of laboratory rodents would come compromise the laboratory system in terms of its relationship to so called wild type versions of the same species, so you have the bred rodents, and you have the wild rodents, and that they would be distinguished by virtue of the fact that the non coding nucleotide sequence At the end of the chromosome known as telomeres would be wildly different in length. If the prediction were true from pure evolutionary theory. Wow.
Unknown Speaker 49:34
Bret Weinstein 49:36
Yeah, that story that didn’t happen exactly the way you said it. But you know, it’s been a lot of years and
Eric Weinstein 49:42
take Well, I can get back there. Yeah. I mean, it’s, you did that.
Bret Weinstein 49:46
Yeah, I did that.
Eric Weinstein 49:48
And that story, unfortunately, has not really been told. And it is, in some sense, your central origin story. As a biologist,
Bret Weinstein 49:58
it’s a pretty good one and it definitely changed the way I saw myself in a way that has been very productive.
Eric Weinstein 50:04
Okay. I want you to talk to me about that story. And I will, because I lived with you. I know that it happened and I know that it got buried. And I know that it’s part of what I’m calling the distributed idea suppression complex, because, quite frankly, you were not the only person who was a part of the story. And the story had to die because it said something, which is that the power of your theory was sufficient to predict from first principles, a manifestly observed and surprising result with in molecular biology from pure evolutionary principle.
Unknown Speaker 50:47
Yep. Alright. I’ll try to do a short version of it.
Eric Weinstein 50:51
You know, this is long form podcasting. And you tell however long The story is. I guarantee when people finally figure out Then it may be that the rodents that we’ve used to test drugs on, let’s say, might be compromised and compromised in a way that would be potentially extra permitting of potential toxins in the form of pharmaceuticals, I think that it’s going to be fascinating. It’s going to be repaid. It’s going to repay the study that it will take to understand the story. The floor is yours.
Bret Weinstein 51:26
All right. So let me just set the stage a little bit. Evolutionary Biology behind me a favor.
Eric Weinstein 51:34
Yeah. I, you can get into a very patient careful pedagogical mode. This is an exciting story. Tell it the way it actually I’m going to tell it the way it actually occurred. And I’m going to be careful, I’m going to try not to be
Bret Weinstein 51:51
there are parts of it that were for a very long time kind of emotionally fraught. But anyway, I think I think I remember it well. Enough. Do a sparse but complete version. Okay? evolutionary biology has long been biased in the direction of abstraction. Rather than thinking about mechanism that is to say, we deal in the phenomenology of things, we talk about gross patterns that we see in nature rather than talking about the fine detail of what drives them. That has been changing in recent decades. But it has a long history. And it comes from a very mundane place, that mundane place is that we just haven’t had the tools to look, for example, inside of cells. And we haven’t been able to read genomes, you know, we could been able to read a gene here and there at great expense. But the ability to peer into genomes is pretty new. The ability to peer into these molecular pathways is pretty new. So anyway, there’s a historical bias in evolutionary biology, against mechanism and in the direction of phenomenology. I have never been particularly fond of that bias. I’ve always been interested in mechanism. I’m interested in the phenomenology too, but I’ve always kept my foot in the door with respect to mechanism. And as an as a undergraduate, I took lots lots of mechanism classes, I took a development class. At the time developmental biology was in my opinion, a bit stuck. It is now unstuck in a very dramatic way. But anyway, I took a developmental biology class, I took some immunology or amino biology. And anyway, I was armed with these things in an environment in evolutionary biology, where most people were not most people were in the phenomenology. And one day I happened to be in a seminar. Nick Alexander was running a seminar for graduate students and a student was there who was very out of place. He was studying cancer, and he, on a lark decided to take an evolution seminar that looked good to him in the catalog. And it wasn’t right for him and he gave a talk at some point. And his talk was on his work with cancer. And frankly, because all the other people in the room were evolutionarily oriented. Nobody was really tracking what he was saying. But what he said struck me like a bolt of lightning. He said that in the realm of cancer research, people were looking at telomeres, which are these repetitive sequences at the ends of chromosomes. And they were toying with the possibility that the fact that these telomeres shorten every time a cell divides, that that is providing a resistance to tumor formation, very straightforward. Counter counts down and that would prevent so
Eric Weinstein 54:38
just for the audience that maybe needs a tiny refresher. We’re taught in general that DNA is a string of letters, called nucleotides, AC T and G and that in general, three of those that are adjacent to each other Form words called code ons. And for every word, there is an amino acid or an instruction to stop coding for amino acids. So this is the instruction tape that tells us how to string together amino acids into proteins to make machines, molecular machines. This is some weird, different thing, where the region of DNA could be interpreted as coding for a protein, but in fact, might be instead just counting how many nucleotides are at the end, so it comes across as a counter,
Bret Weinstein 55:35
it’s a little better. It was known not to be a coding sequence. It wasn’t a use case. So what you had is a bunch of DNA at the ends of chromosomes that just repetitive and the length of the number of repeats varies, and the number of repeats correlates with basically how many times the cell can divide before it refuses. This being interpreted as a cancer prevention thing made perfect sense, but the reason struck me like a bolt of lightning was that I was well aware of the existence of tumors and their implication in something entirely different. What they had been implicated in, as far as I was aware, was something called hayflick limits, which were the tendency of perfectly healthy, happy cells to grow and grow and grow and grow in a petri dish until they hit some number of divisions and then to stop without apparent dysfunction.
Eric Weinstein 56:23
So, so this was the theory of Leonard hayflick.
Bret Weinstein 56:26
Yep. That was the discovery of Leonard hayflick, who basically overturned the prior wisdom about cells, which was that they would grow indefinitely as long as you kept feeding them and making an environment that was conducive to division. So I don’t exactly know why that result had been misunderstood. At first, maybe somebody had a cancerous cell line and so they got the wrong idea and it just spread, but hayflick checked it and it turned out to be false. Turned out there was a number of cell divisions that healthy cells would go through, and then they’d stop The mechanism was not obvious to hayflick. But later it became clearer and clearer that the mechanism was these sequences at the ends of chromosomes, which shorten each time the cell divides. And the implication was that potentially this was a cause of what we call senescence Well, in common parlance, would often be called aging, the tendency to grow feeble and inefficient with age, if your cells are each in a cell line, and that line has a fixed number of times that it can replace itself before it has to stop, then some point your repair program starts to fail. And that repair program failing across the body looks like what you would expect aging, aging follows the pattern you would expect if cell lines one by one stopped being able to replace themselves.
Eric Weinstein 57:51
So we know that there’s a special sort of I don’t want to call it cell on because you keep correcting me for every tiny mistake. I make it speech. But if we divide our body into two kinds of cells, Soma and germ where germ lines are that which has a hope of immortality through reproduction, then it’s the somatic cells that have finite limits on their ability to undergo mitosis and cellular repair and whatnot.
Bret Weinstein 58:24
Yeah, and the germline can’t because if it did you, your lineage would go extinct as a result of small, smaller, smaller denim. So it’s the soma, the parts of your body that don’t go on to produce babies that have this effect. The reason it struck me like a bolt of lightning was that I was aware of another very elegant piece of research done by a guy named George Williams. George Williams had finally one of the greatest of modern one evolutionary one of the greatest modern evolutionary biologists. I actually knew him a bit too. He is also now gone, unfortunately, but George Williams laid out in a beautifully elegant paper, the evolutionary theory of senescence, it is an absolutely elegant argument that says that in a lifetime, there are, well, let’s start somewhere else. A creature is built of parts and traits. It has a relatively small genome and a relatively high complexity. At the time, it was thought there might be 100,000 genes or something and you have maybe 30 trillion cells with a conic complexity. In order to get that small number of genes to dictate how to produce a creature that complex. The genes are doing multiple things. Williams point was when a gene has multiple effects, what we call apply a trophy. Those effects may be good or bad. If effects are good early in life, by good, we mean contributing to fitness fitness enhancing traits at some cost late in life, then they will tend to be accumulated by selection. And the reason for that is because, well, there are two ways to think of it really, if a trait occurs, if a negative trait occurs very late in life, then a large number of individuals who have the gene for that trait will not live long enough to experience the harm. So if it came down to a positive thing early in life, and you’re dead before the late life, harm accrues, you got away with it. Right? So Williams point was, and he was building on earlier work of mattawa. But let’s skip that for the moment. his point was, because of trade offs, you will have lots of traits that are good early and bad late selection sees the early traits much more clearly than it sees the late traits and it prioritizes them because of the discounting that arises because so many individuals aren’t around to experience the late life. harm. And if they are around to experience late life harm, a lot of their reproduction is behind them anyway. So they count less selection counts more early in life. And this timer starts at the moment of first reproduction, the usual moment of first viability for your species. So, this was a beautiful hypothesis, and it was beautifully articulated with many predictions, which is the way really good work is done. And we knew at the point that I was entering graduate school, we knew that the hypothesis was right. It was a theory and the reason that we knew it was really
Eric Weinstein 1:01:38
a hypothesis is the antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis.
Bret Weinstein 1:01:41
antagonistic pleiotropy hypothesis for senescence, we knew that it was right, because it predicted so many phenomena in nature that we could readily go out and measure and this is again where the phenomenology versus mechanism comes in. Okay. We know that creatures that are poisonous or have a shell that protects them or can fly away from danger are disproportionately long lived. For their size, small creatures tend to live shorter lives than, than large creatures. But if you can fly, then you’re off the line of the other creatures of your size. For example, they’re small bats who have been recovered after 30 years in the wild. So creatures that have special protections have disproportionate longevity. This matches Williams hypothesis because it is their ability to fly away from danger that makes the likelihood of their experiencing late life costs go up. So selection sees their late life more easily than it sees a small group.
Eric Weinstein 1:02:40
I just want to say something. Yeah, this is a podcast. It’s a unusual podcast, and we can talk science and I’m thrilled. But we always have our colleagues and our minds when we’re talking to a general audience and the colleagues are always in a gotcha mode. Well, you forgot about this. You didn’t mention that. I’m even interjecting Little Bits because I want to make sure that you’re immunized from all the bullshit, that the accident. So I just want to make a general statement, which is we can come back and get into any level of specificity that somebody wants to if they want to take you down. I don’t care. What I’d love to do is to tell the story with enough punch, that people understand what happened. So
Bret Weinstein 1:03:18
we’re about to jump into the let’s do the meat of the matter. The theory of antagonistic pleiotropy was well established. But in four decades of research on the genome, nobody had found a gene that matched it so that we knew that this explanation was right. But we couldn’t find the genes that caused it. The mechanism was missing.
Eric Weinstein 1:03:40
So anyway, to be a gene, it has to be protein coding.
Bret Weinstein 1:03:43
Yeah. Anyway, I
knew this was sort of I was well familiar with Williams paper at the point that I saw this talk on cancer and I knew already about the question of senescence. Everything came together. This was obviously the answer where the missing player trophy was, well, the missing player trophy had to do with a telomere which wasn’t exactly a dream. It was genetic. It was DNA, but it wasn’t a gene. But it was perfectly capable of producing exactly the effects that we see in senescence across the body tissue counter, not a protein could be the answer right. Now, I saw this instantly at the point I heard this talk, I raised my hand and I tried to articulate what was so obvious in that moment, and I couldn’t compel a single person in the room. They couldn’t even understand what I was trying to say. And that is bizarre. It was bizarre. I mean, Dick was in the room. And you know, Dick was very broad minded, and I just couldn’t make it clear. Okay.
Eric Weinstein 1:04:45
Let me just interject something you can correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression of it is that it was a very simple idea, attended to buy an outrageous amount of irrelevant complexity that had to be Very carefully pried off of the central idea.
Bret Weinstein 1:05:04
Yeah, I think I think that’s well, well said. So anyway, I left the room feeling like I had just glimpsed something so important to me. You know, I wondered, could it be right? And I started to just do the first bit of library research to figure out whether somebody else knew what I knew, or
Eric Weinstein 1:05:23
so I’m not even sure that you fully set it, I want to make sure that I’m even clear on it. And I’m gonna, I think I’m right, but correct me if I’m wrong. What you’re saying is, what if the hayflick limit is a protection against dying from immortality, at a psychological level? That is some cell gets a dream of immortality that it shouldn’t have, because let’s say it’s a somatic cell. And it says, Okay, I just want to keep dividing and dividing, dividing nature knows how to do this. And that immortality, which sounds good at first is actually called cancer. Yeah. And so In computer science, we would say, Okay, you’ve introduced a recursion limit into a while loop or a for loop to make sure that you don’t have a resource leak, which is what a tumor is.
Bret Weinstein 1:06:11
Yeah. So let me say it this way, if you have a damage to a tissue cut on your arm or something, the cells on both sides of that cut suddenly become aware that there is a problem a gap, because they can’t hear a neighbor on one side of them. And their natural reaction is to start growing into the gap until they can hear a neighbor which is designed to stop if you imagine that something like that is occurring in every tissue, or almost every tissue. The problem is that that means that every tissue in your body for which that story is about right is in danger of having damage from radiation or whatever. Turn it death to its neighbors. A single cell that has turned Deaf to its neighbors will suddenly start replicating and if it is deaf to its neighbors, then there’s no message that it’s going to hear that’s going to tell it to stop So that thing, imagine any cell in your body just taking off and growing and growing and growing because
Eric Weinstein 1:07:04
this is terrifying. What you’re saying to me is, is that if I’m comprised of, let’s say 30 trillion cells, and I view them as each, let’s say, sub routines, any sub routine that is not d nucleated. Right? Like this wouldn’t happen in the, in the lens of your eye because the nucleus has been removed, but any other reasonable cell is potentially your assassin. Because it’s mitosis process might completely go rogue
Bret Weinstein 1:07:38
can run away, okay. And so the rather elegant and very simple idea is that there would be a hard limit so that any cell that had become damaged so it started down this path would just simply run into the number of cell divisions. It was allowed in a lifetime and it would stop so like the moles on my face that some of my less Cuf commenters love to talk about.
Eric Weinstein 1:08:00
Yep, are effectively attempts to kill me that may have stopped and that the perimeter where they stop is where the hayflick limit took over and said, this, the cell line must die so that the patient will live.
Bret Weinstein 1:08:11
Yeah, the name I gave him was proto tumor. And the idea is a proto tumor is a patch of cells arrested at their hayflick limit, because they had become unregulated. If you go to the dermatologist and you say, What do I look for, you know, they tell you certain things to look for. So around patch of cells that suddenly becomes irregular in shape. Well, that’s what would happen if you took one of those cells and gave it a second mutation and it started growing again. Got it, right. So anyway, the idea that a limit on cellular reproduction yet is adaptive to protect you from cancer is
Eric Weinstein 1:08:42
a little bit of a mind Bender, because what you’re telling me is that I’ve got to avoid immortality which can kill me, and that the solution to not dying is death.
Bret Weinstein 1:08:53
Yes, and that what selection does is it balances these two competing forces to give you as much vigor and longevity So
Eric Weinstein 1:09:00
all of the other diseases and insults and things that I can die from, sort of start to fade away. And at the complete core of biology in this theory, there are two things that I can’t get away from one of which is death by a mortality. And the other one is death by recursion limit. That’s, that’s a very elegant thing. And now the problem is, is that there’s all this weird attended complexity that you had to deal with. So right like stem cells versus germ versus.
Bret Weinstein 1:09:32
So when I went into the literature, what I found was that people had played around in the neighborhood, but that there was a particular fact which blocked every attempt to make sense of what was going on. And the fact was that rodents were understood to have ultra long hyper variable telomeres. And I didn’t know what that meant at first, but the more I looked into this possibility, the more I read realized that dozens of long standing problems would be solved if my hypothesis was true, but that my hypothesis couldn’t be true. Because basically, mice have long telomeres in short lives.
Unknown Speaker 1:10:15
Why is that?
Bret Weinstein 1:10:17
And I banged my head on the table for a couple weeks trying to figure out what was going on. Yes, maybe even literally on occasion. But the question was, I began to wonder if there was something wrong with the idea that mice had long telomeres. Sometimes, like in hay flicks case, turned out that a bunch of people were copying some wrong result in it. So it seemed like a lot of people had seen it, but only one hand I checked. Was it true that there was something that everybody was parroting one study that said mice had long telomeres and it turns out, lots of people had tested it, mice have long telomeres like 10 times the length of human telomeres just didn’t fit. So finally, It occurred to me that it was possible that what was going on, I discovered something in trying to figure out what they meant by mice. Right? My there’s a lot of species of mice but all the mice that we use in the lab with rare exception are from one genus and often from a particular target species. You were focused if I recall correctly on Muse spiritus No, no musculus, mass muscular, muscular, still common one. Yeah. What shocked me was that it turned out all the mus musculus that were being used in labs across the country, and in many cases farther afield than that. We’re coming from one place, which I had no idea there was one. I remember getting a phone call when you said what do you know, but the jacks lab did Jack’s lab in Bar Harbor, Maine, right. They seem to be the source of everybody’s mice. And so it began to be it was a possibility. I could not shut down in my mind that there was something about what was going on at the Jack’s lab that had resulted in the mice that were being sent out. All these other
Eric Weinstein 1:12:01
lines that are were representative animals,
Bret Weinstein 1:12:03
right? These are model organism people. We’re just using mice because my sort of convenient mammal, but they’re all coming from one place. And it began to occur to me that that one place was not just a source of mice in the sense that we might think it. It was actually a selective environment that was impacting those mice. And when I dug deeper, it turned out that the mice had all they were descendants of a long lineage that had lived in captivity under conditions at the Jack’s lab. And at some point, I realized that the most likely thing going on was that there was something about this environment that had wildly elongated the telomeres of these mice, and that was simultaneously an unbelievable idea, but the only one I could think of that made sense of everything I had seen. And so
Eric Weinstein 1:12:53
it’s unbelievable because the consequences. I mean, look, I have not even heard whether anyone is saying Yeah, we did that we screwed that up. But it is like your mark your favorite model organism from a million trials being screwed up by a central facility. Because also, there’s this weird thing where medical people very often stop taking into account evolutionary theory, because they treat that as well. That’s that class I took in college or the beginning of graduate school.
Bret Weinstein 1:13:27
Right. So I began to focus on this question, and I did something that was the right thing to do, but I did it in a way I will forever regret. I found somebody who was represented in the literature, who I regarded as very well versed. They made sense to me their papers. Her name was Carol grider. Carol grider is now a Nobel laureate. She was not at the time. She was the CO discoverer of the enzyme telomerase, which is the enzyme that elongates telomeres. When that occurs
Eric Weinstein 1:14:00
with the famous and co Nobel recipient that she was the student of Elizabeth Blackburn, Elizabeth Blackburn. Exactly.
Bret Weinstein 1:14:07
She was her student and they shared the Nobel Prize with shostack. In any case, her work seemed good to me. I called her up cold. You know, I went into the insect division office and I sat down to the phone I called her I said, Carol, you don’t know me. I’m a graduate student at Michigan. I’m an evolutionary biologist. I’m racking my brains trying to understand something. Can you tell me Is it possible that mice don’t have ultra long telomeres that it’s only a laboratory mice to do? And she said, Hmm, that’s really interesting. I’m pretty sure that mice have long telomeres universally but it is odd that if you order mosquitoes instead of mus musculus, and you order from European suppliers, the links are very different than what you get if you order mus musculus from the tactics lab.
Unknown Speaker 1:15:01
I said, well, and she said, yeah, that’s really interesting. And then she said,
Bret Weinstein 1:15:07
I can’t remember if it was the same phone call or if we had a second phone call, but she said she was going to put her student or graduate student, Mike Heyman, who I think is now an MIT on the project. And he was going to do a little work to figure out whether there was anything to this. And Mike did some work. They sourced some different strains of mice that were they were actually not wild mice, my wild mice would have been the right test, but couldn’t get wild mice for obvious reason. This was right, exactly. And so she got several different strains of mice that had just been in captivity, much less time, she actually got one strain of mice that was treated very differently in captivity, but never mind. She put a graduate student and he measured their telomere lengths, and I get this excited email. Mike even sends me an email email, it says effectively, whoa, the hypothesis is true. mice have short right?
Eric Weinstein 1:16:01
I’m sorry, this is like as close to a whodunit. Discovery J’accuse, the mice. You know, I remember you were over the moon,
Bret Weinstein 1:16:11
I still am, I still can look at this email and it is the moment at which I realized a. There’s no way I’m kidding myself about how well I understand this. Right, right that predicts you
Eric Weinstein 1:16:24
now, or when you get this email,
Unknown Speaker 1:16:27
I got that email. I was I was 1999 98, something like that. Okay.
Unknown Speaker 1:16:38
So over 20 years ago,
Unknown Speaker 1:16:39
yeah. So I get this email.
Unknown Speaker 1:16:42
And by the way, that puts you at about 30.
Eric Weinstein 1:16:46
You’re at the beginning of your career. And you in this story, you’ve just predicted
Bret Weinstein 1:16:53
this. It’s a stunning coup for a graduate student, and it wasn’t in my advisors. wheelhouse. So that was clearly my own work, right? Dick was great about not
Eric Weinstein 1:17:05
okay. dirty dog liar, and right there at the time.
Unknown Speaker 1:17:10
Yeah. Or are both dirty dog liars about his particular story.
Eric Weinstein 1:17:15
Or, or one of the great moments in evolutionary theory, which is in let me just curate this because I’m not a biologist. But I think, more or less get this because it’s a breeding protocol that is the alteration in the evolutionary landscape for these laboratory mice. And because it’s acting on a non protein coding region, the adaptation to a change in the breeding protocol, can be extremely rapid. It doesn’t have to undergo some sort of completely crazy typical Darwinian story about random mutation and some of them being ready And others being rejected, it’s it’s even better
Bret Weinstein 1:18:03
than that the creatures are presumably. So we haven’t gotten to what the breeding protocol is to do with this but the creatures are built in some sense to detect how dangerous their environment is. And to the extent that the level of extrinsic danger changes, their telomeres respond quickly so that they are better adapted to the environment. So they’re built to detect the environment and then what is actually a strict matter of market forces Okay,
Eric Weinstein 1:18:32
so there are no predators in this environment, no predators in this environment and we were not killing them. particularly early based on their skills of environmental insult is sort of absent
Bret Weinstein 1:18:44
environmental insult is more or less absent. What we are doing is imposing an economic rule on breeding, so that we can maximize the rate at which we turn mouse Chow into mice, which is obviously economically the right thing to do. If you Selling mice to all these labs, you want to produce as many mice as cheaply as possible. So producing as many mice is to use
Eric Weinstein 1:19:05
Bret Weinstein 1:19:06
It’s the genius of the market. So in order to produce as many mice as cheaply as possible, what you do is you don’t breed animals past eight months. They breed faster when they’re younger, because of senescence. And so you don’t breed older mice, you throw them out and you replace them with younger mice who breed faster. What that effectively did was it eliminated the selection against cancer, and it turbocharged the selection in favor of youth.
Eric Weinstein 1:19:35
I get this. In general, almost all cancer like cancer of the germline happens early in life, but all the other cancer in general is much more common later in life.
Bret Weinstein 1:19:48
I got a pause I realized I forgot to tell you one thing Carol told me in my first phone call. Sure that’s vital. In addition to telling me that there was something funny about my spiritus She told me that With the hypothesis that I was conveying to her, that all my style of cancer, she said, If you let them live long enough, and then you do the necropsy, you find cancer of one kind or another. And that was perfectly consistent because they had these wildly long telomeres and no cancer protection. That would be the prediction that translation, it’s not really all mice, it’s all mice that we see in the lab, which happens to be the mice that are ordered, right, she was still speaking from the mindset of somebody who thought that the mice she was getting in the male represent representative of mice in the wild God. Okay, so let me clear up why the breeding protocol, and I should say that it is the breeding protocol that is causing this. That part, I would say is still a hypothesis. It has not been directly tested by anybody. But what I would say is many hypotheses were tested in the aftermath of the discovery that that lab mice have bizarrely long telomeres and wild mice don’t and no other hypothesis has stood up to scrutiny. So just the last hypothesis standing and I’m all but certain that it will turn out to be true. Yeah. The reason that the breeding protocol has this weird effect is that when you throw out the mice at eight months of age, you eliminate selection against cancer, you turbocharge selection in favor of that when
Eric Weinstein 1:21:18
you throw out the mice for breeding purposes at eight months, right,
Bret Weinstein 1:21:21
okay, throw them out for breeding purposes, at eight months of age, you are increasing the importance of their early life breeding. And you are discounting anything related to their ability to fend off cancer because they don’t live long enough in that period of time to get cancers that kill them. And so what has happened, according to this hypothesis, is that the mice that have longer telomeres have driven out the other animals from the colony, the trait of having long telomeres has swept through the colony and the telomeres have been elongated to an absurd degree, creating animals that do all die of cancer and interesting Enough. Another thing that’s evident from the literature is that if you look at their tissues, their tissues do not age in the way that a normal mammals tissues age, they remain young. Well, so
Eric Weinstein 1:22:12
there’s one aspect of aging but that there’s a far darker interpretation of what you’ve just said. If I’m understanding correct me, I’ve never taken a class in biology, but I live this adventure with you. Those tissue have at a histological level, the level of how cells are organized. The possibility of radical histological repair,
Bret Weinstein 1:22:39
yes, radical, effectively indefinite capacity to repair which is going to come back in the story in the worst possible way.
Eric Weinstein 1:22:47
So this is like a I mean, I just forget how great of
Bret Weinstein 1:22:50
me to I go years sometimes without telling the story about it, right? Yeah. Okay, so the story now gets kind of ugly. I recognize I’ve got all the pieces of the puzzle necessary to tell the story correctly. I have taken on a co author, we found the literature necessary to do it in proper scientific
Eric Weinstein 1:23:11
form that this came from you, but I want to mention your co authors name.
Bret Weinstein 1:23:14
Yeah. Debbie seasick, okay. And Debbie was an excellent co author, strong contributor to the paper. Anyway, we put together over the course of a year I took a break from effectively my real dissertation work and wrote a paper. Dick thought it was a fantastic paper. He was blown away by as a blog, remember the revisions? And I remember this was like,
Eric Weinstein 1:23:37
I mean, if I think about what’s on the line, like this combines one of these freak situations where you’re using evolutionary theory to protect to predict something. And in this case, it’s at the level of molecular biology. So with Darwin’s orchid it’s a tongue with dicks thing is behavior and naked mole rats. This thing is actually at a molecular level. Yeah. It couldn’t be more important if mice are going to be the major system in which we are going to test drugs which are highly sensitive to what histological repair.
Bret Weinstein 1:24:11
Yep. It’s, it’s so profound on several different levels that I’m super energized about getting this into the world. It’s transformative. Dick looks at the paper. He says this is fantastic. He puts me through the wringer to get it really tight. We get it tight. We send it to George Williams. The the
Unknown Speaker 1:24:35
the number one guy in the
Bret Weinstein 1:24:36
world number one senescence guy, the evolutionary level in the world. He writes a beautiful recommendation letter for this piece. We’re going to send it to nature, George Williams tells nature you need to take this piece very seriously.
Unknown Speaker 1:24:53
We send it to nature.
Bret Weinstein 1:24:55
And they send it back with one of their absurd form letters. That says that the nature of the article is such that it’s probably not admitted interest to their readers and we’re you know, I mean, we had a good laugh about that, you know, it’s cancer it’s senesce
Eric Weinstein 1:25:12
it’s it’s it’s it’s so bad, like this is a response that indicates either malfeasance or an Eliza program or the the janitor ended up responding didn’t know any by
Bret Weinstein 1:25:29
some of the things the craziest thing and you know, the cherry on top is that they’re turning down George Williams recommendation like how Craig did they know who he is like what were in what on what plan on what planet? Do you turn down his recommendation to look at something about senescence. So anyway, I get back this rejection, and I have purposefully not shown Carol grider the paper in preparation which I am afraid she might have written Read some way. The reason I didn’t show it to her was because I wanted to preserve her independence as a reviewer for the paper. I was hoping, because I still thought she was an ally of mine. I was hoping that nature would send it to her to review and that she would look favorably on it. Especially since it was you know, very clear that she does her
Eric Weinstein 1:26:21
was her lab. Right It was made the confirmation.
Bret Weinstein 1:26:25
Yeah. And I Another thing I forgot I asked her at some point, something that now rings in my ears. I asked her, Carol, you’ve now got this result about no actually lab lab mice have long kilometers but wild mice have short telomeres. That’s a big result a hell of adult Where are you going to publish it so that I can cite it? Right I paper which is the natural thing to do? And she says, We’re not going to publish it. We’re going to keep the information in house. That was her phrase. I was too young to understand what the hell she was talking
Eric Weinstein 1:27:00
I’ll be honest, I’m 54. And I don’t quite understand it myself,
Bret Weinstein 1:27:03
Well, it’s so heartbreaking. What she has effectively done is decided I could publish this result. And then everyone would have huge but then I’m on a level playing field with everybody else. If I don’t publish this result, I have a stream of papers I can get,
Eric Weinstein 1:27:20
then I can start predicting other results. Nobody will know how I am doing that thing. I will look like a super genius. And so holding it in house is a mechanism for a whole slew of papers to be to be 100. You can afford to bend over backwards and not make inferences. Let’s say the following. holding it in house is any seemingly inexplicable decision in science but for for the fact that it fits at least one story of this kind, which is that it is consistent with wishing to publish a stream, rather than the source of the information that will allow you so you can either do one discovery or you can do a stream of predictions. And that makes a certain amount of sense given the ruthlessly competitive grant winning environment. And we don’t know exactly what happened, but there is no world that I know of in which you’re allowed to hold back, that kind of information. Because in part of what’s on the line,
Bret Weinstein 1:28:35
Eric Weinstein 1:28:37
I mean, this is not just a question of academic interest, no, because these mice are used for medical
Bret Weinstein 1:28:44
testing, not even that it’s medical testing, but it’s also all of the science relative at least to cancer, senescence, wound healing, all of the science that is stacked right on these mice right is contingent on their function relative to their two Yeah, it’s all compromised, right? You’re letting year after year of this stuff accumulate it’s malpractice at an incredible level. So, I don’t know that she has turned on me. But I call her up and I say, Carol, we are stunned to find that our paper was turned away without review from nature. Without review without review. We need your help. Can I send you the paper? And have you look at and she says yes, and I send her the paper and she sends back the paper with an unbelievable number of intense criticisms that are not sensible. She pans the paper does not believe it. We’re still have. I have that paper. I have that paper with her handwriting. I believe I also have the FedEx envelope in which she sent it to me but She hates the paper. And I have now forgotten a bit of the sequence. But as I am attempting to fix this up for another journal, oh, here’s Sorry, I hate to tangle this story, but it’s
Eric Weinstein 1:30:22
to get it right hold this in enough.
Unknown Speaker 1:30:23
I haven’t told it in a very long time
Bret Weinstein 1:30:26
after the rejection from nature after Carol has seen the paper and said it’s cruddy. I get a letter I don’t expect from a journal. I don’t. I know it exists, but I’m not super familiar with it. Because like our mental gerontology experimental gerontology says, We are the editors of experimental gerontology. We’ve heard a rumor of your work. We’re very interested. Would you be willing to submit a version to our journal? And oh, this is this is happening prior to Cara looking at my paper in panic.
Eric Weinstein 1:31:03
The only way they would have known about this would have been from nature or from dick or
Bret Weinstein 1:31:08
we don’t even know I’m pretty sure I know based on what they again, I was too young to sort out really what they were saying but they indicate that they’re fans of antagonistic ply a trophy. Right. So what happened was George Williams having heard that regedit got rejected contacted some friends of his and was like, you should really take a look at this.
Unknown Speaker 1:31:30
Bret Weinstein 1:31:34
I begin the process of revising it. I’ve shown it to Carol, she’s panted. I send the revised version to experimental gerontology. They send it out for review. As you know, review is blind. You don’t know who your reviewers are. But you can often tell who they are. It’s not as obscure dependents, a small field Yeah. So they read the acknowledge and acknowledgments of my paper, which are now on alert about Carol. I have to thank her in the paper for the work she did. But I’m now on alert that she’s gone strange on the subject matter of this paper. And so I’ve broken her out separately in the acknowledgments. I don’t want to be as gracious to her because she’s being hostile to me, right. I don’t want to not acknowledge her. So I acknowledge her separately. Experimental gerontology then I am 99% sure sends the paper to her as the reviewer. She pans it absolutely brutal critiques, just pages and pages and pages of them. They are not high quality critiques. I could go through every single one of us. This is a podcast. No, I can’t do it here but I could have been No, but I didn’t know what to do because she was in line for a Nobel prize that was well understood. I didn’t want to accuse a leading light of the field of
Eric Weinstein 1:32:59
Okay, this is exactly why I got angry with the beginning of the podcast, you moron. No, no offense, you were in line for a Nobel Prize. You didn’t I mean, I’m sorry. There is an aspect of this of like giving away your power. before you’ve even acumen I’m just
Bret Weinstein 1:33:14
you don’t even have a PhD. I’m just saying at the time, if you mentioned her name, yeah, I would say I am, or Nobel Prizes one of these years, right. So my point was, I was in the awkward position, I didn’t understand what I was supposed to do. I didn’t want to send back a review that said, I don’t know who the person is, who reviewed this, but they don’t understand the material and all of their critiques suck. Because I didn’t want to accuse somebody who was that powerful of not
Eric Weinstein 1:33:36
getting I mean, here’s the problem. What do you do? You don’t actually have evidence in the hard right form where like, you have got videotape. But on the other hand, these are small worlds this all of this is preposterous,
Bret Weinstein 1:33:50
right? So I sit on the review for too long, not
Eric Weinstein 1:33:54
knowing what you don’t know how to I don’t know how to handle it. I’m sorry, but like, I have no advisor Your advisor was not equipped for the modern era,
Bret Weinstein 1:34:03
he wasn’t equipped for the modern era, he wasn’t equipped for Molecular Biology. That’s true. I finally settled on a strategy that I can live with. And I send back a note, I send back the review. And my note says, I don’t know why. But the this entire list of critiques is not high quality. If you would like to point me to any of the critiques in this list that you would like me to address, I am more than happy to do it. But I don’t think it makes sense to address the entire list. And as I recall it, I hit send on the email. And within minutes, maybe it was an hour. I got back a response. Your paper has been accepted for publication, which blew me away because it makes no sense according to regular protocols, right. It makes no sense because clearly they’re supposed to send it Review the reviewer supposed to say whether it’s supposed to get published if you were said it shouldn’t be published I said I refuse to address these critiques unless you asked me to. The editors have overwritten the reviewer. They understood the reviews were cruddy. They needed me to say that in order to justify the move that they wanted to make, they knew the paper was good, and the review was crap. So they effectively overrode normal peer review. Was my paper peer reviewed
Eric Weinstein 1:35:25
Well, it was by the editors who were experts but let me jump in. Peer review is a cancer from outer space. It came from the biomedical community, it invaded science. The old system because I have to say this because many people who are now professional scientists have an idea that peer review has always been in our literature and it absolutely motherfucking has not
Unknown Speaker 1:35:49
Eric Weinstein 1:35:51
Used to be that the editor of a journal took responsibility for the quality of the journal which is why we had things like nature crop up in the first place. Because they had courageous, knowledgeable, forward thinking editors. And so I just want to be very clear because there’s a mind virus out there that says peer review is the cynic qua non of scientific excellence yada yada yada bullshit, bullshit bullshit. And if you don’t believe me go back and learn that this is a recent invasive problem in the sciences,
Bret Weinstein 1:36:23
recent invasive problem that has no justification for existing in light of the fact
Eric Weinstein 1:36:28
anomaly does have no justification for existing. When Watson and Crick did the double helix, and this is the cleanest example we have the paper was agreed should not be sent out for review, because anyone who was competent would understand immediately what its implications were. There are reasons that great work cannot be peer reviewed. Furthermore, you have entire fields that are existing now with electronic archives that are not peer reviewed. Peer review is not peer review. It sounds like period. It is peer injunction is the ability for your peers to keep the world from learning about your work. Keep the world from learning about your work, because peer review is what happens. Real peer review is what happens after you’ve passed the bullshit thing called peer review.
Unknown Speaker 1:37:17
Yes. Okay, so
Bret Weinstein 1:37:21
the paper was accepted by experimental gerontology they went on to publish it. This is called Life slow fuse, no life slow fuse was the title as sent to nature. And I changed the title because I did not want to compromise the store. I didn’t want to confuse the
Eric Weinstein 1:37:39
single original submission was called Life slow fuse, right? We probably have a copy of that, of course. All right. Then the Geron experimental gerontology paper, what is it called?
Bret Weinstein 1:37:49
The Reserve capacity hypothesis, okay, because a much less catchy title, but, nonetheless, the paper. I’m very proud of how it’s written, people read it who were not expert could understand the abstract is extremely clear. And it ends with the clear point that because we have unearthed we have predicted and Carol grider has shown that wildlife telomeres are short, and that telomeres have been elongated by captivity, that there is a clear danger that the mice we are using for drug safety testing are biased in an egregious way and the bias would look like this. A mouse that has very long telomeres has an indefinitely large capacity to replace damaged tissue and it has a vulnerability to cancer that is preternaturally high. So we may be overriding for use these mice we may be overriding the danger of causing cancer and vastly underrating the danger of toxic toxicity and in fact, one of the things So the point was you give a mouse who’s got a effectively infinite capacity to replace its tissues, a toxin, and either the toxin is so deadly that it dies right away. But if it doesn’t die right away, it just eats up the insult.
So those animals would lead us to release drug
Eric Weinstein 1:39:18
I insult What you mean is cellular necrosis damage.
Unknown Speaker 1:39:21
Bret Weinstein 1:39:24
What this would cause us to do is release drugs onto the market for human use that are highly toxic across the body. And it’s like,
Eric Weinstein 1:39:32
if, if the mice if the mouse standard was the last standard? Well,
Bret Weinstein 1:39:38
no, even if it’s not the last standard, but because to say this, the problem is, I mean, you you can imagine how hard it is to test on large slowly reproducing animals
Eric Weinstein 1:39:50
well, so the ethics of testing on humans is very absolutely restricted. So Mandel is the last cheap place. It’s the last
Bret Weinstein 1:39:58
large end data Not only large n, but it’s the one place that you can make the following move. You can imagine that in many circumstances, the accelerated lifespan, the accelerated lifecycle of mice allows you to see long term damage as it would accrue in humans on a very short timescale. That doesn’t work with monkeys. It doesn’t work with human patients. It works with mice, maybe. But in the case of mice with ultra long telomeres, those insults will be invisible.
Eric Weinstein 1:40:31
Let’s just I want to back up because I think this is a really important part of the story. What you’re saying is if you take an organism that has an expected, let’s say, 40 year lifetime, it’s very expensive timewise to say, We ran this experiment and found that there was no immediate damage that was visible but towards the very end of their lives, we saw a market increase in more Are
Bret Weinstein 1:41:00
Yeah, I mean, if you took a drug and it knocked 15 years off your life on average that might not show up in any notable way, in a short term studies pressure to write, and nobody is gonna want to let drugs you know, you don’t want to wait 4050 years to find out what happens to these patients. So what we do is we make the assumption that if we give large amounts of a drug to an animal that lives a very short life, we will see those effects early. And if the animal happens to have ultra long telomeres, you won’t see those effects early. So it’s a perfect storm for causing us to release drugs that should never have been released into public and you think, Oh, I sure can. Vioxx, for example. So Vioxx was discovered to do heart damage, right heart damage, how do you Why do we know that it’s hard damage. Well, the thing about hearts a hearts for reasons we can get into Maybe another time. hearts have a very low capacity for self repair right? That’s why they’re meant to hard turnover, not much capacity for repair, not much turnover. Now there there’s an adaptive reason for that, but but hearts don’t repair themselves very well in a healthy person. And when they fail, it’s hard to ignore. Right? If somebody who’s 30 has their heart fail, there’s questions asked, right? So anyway, Vioxx was released into the public having passed drug safety. And this isn’t
Eric Weinstein 1:42:26
the only system that doesn’t have a lot of mitosis. Like for example, neurons.
Bret Weinstein 1:42:32
Neurons don’t have a lot of cartilage doesn’t have a lot of your eye cells don’t Now note all of the tissues I’ve just mentioned. The last time you heard about anybody having you know, cancer of the cartilage of their knee cancer of the heart.
Eric Weinstein 1:42:48
Nope, they get brain cancer tends to be glial cells,
Bret Weinstein 1:42:50
glial cells. Exactly. So the tissues at a very low capacity for self repair, right do tend to wear out and they don’t tend to get cancer which is exactly one of the predictions of my paper. Right. Okay, so Vioxx is known to do heart damage that created a big scandal because How the hell did it get through drug safety testing? Turns out a lot of drugs have done this. We’ve seen it. Gleevec fen fen erythromycin, your doctor probably still doesn’t know they’re rats or mice and does heart damage right there’s all of these cases of drugs that were released and then later understood to do heart damage and my claim is they don’t actually do heart damage. They do cellular damage and they can be only saying Yeah,
Eric Weinstein 1:43:31
geez This is like another layer of this. It’s like a
Bret Weinstein 1:43:36
huge fucking nightmare,
Eric Weinstein 1:43:38
right? Because bit of business thing about like perseverance, a disagree ability. You’ve got all sorts of things that sound like something that invalidates the theory and then it sort of theories upon theories that allow you to see the original simplicity of the idea. I see. The original idea is very simple. Yep. But if you know a lot of like, weird facts About what you think are just mice or something about hearts, you can’t put together what is going on the idea that the ambient damage is only manifest in the heart because that’s the one system, you know, or the neural system that like really doesn’t have a lot of mitosis.
Bret Weinstein 1:44:17
So well piece of advice to anybody who finds themselves in remotely similar waters. The signal that you are on the right track is that stuff starts canceling complexity in the story which has accumulated because something was missing starts disappearing and you begin to take on a model anyway. So yes, we’ve got a situation where we’ve got a bunch of drugs mysteriously producing damage.
Eric Weinstein 1:44:43
They’ve got a paper that’s out, you’ve got a real world application. You’ve got an theory coming out of evolutionary theory, it’s making a molecular prediction. Yep.
Bret Weinstein 1:44:54
Successfully predicts mouse Tila Maris,
Eric Weinstein 1:44:56
one of the world’s leading labs has confirmed the prediction Yep. Where are we now? What do you What year is? it? Well, let’s see the paper came out and my recollection and to just to be horrible about this is that your fucking department at the University of Michigan which has some great people is also holding you back and enervating you year after year by not allowing, because this is this is groundbreaking stuff. This is no Bell quality work at least one or two times over in my opinion. Now I could be wrong. I’m biased because of your brother. I’m your brother. But what concerns me here is that you are not comfortable with what this story really might be.
Bret Weinstein 1:45:39
No, I’m not. It’s not my it’s not mine to judge. I’m very proud of this work. And
Eric Weinstein 1:45:44
the problem Brett is is that Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins did not know the dick Alexander Leonard hayflick George Williams, yeah, we’re all on this thing because that community had broken down.
Bret Weinstein 1:45:59
You know, the irony is I sent a letter to Dawkins when this was going on asking for his help. And he sent back a letter saying, This is very interesting. It’s not my area of specialty, you should talk to Bill Hamilton. And I was in the process of writing a letter to Bill Hamilton on, on Dawkins suggestion, at the point that bill Hamilton came back from Africa having he was pursuing a remote hypothesis about humans having accidentally unleashed aids into the world with polio vaccine. But anyway, Bill Hamilton, I’m sorry, did
Eric Weinstein 1:46:40
not everybody’s gonna know this guy came up with inclusive fitness. Yes,
Bret Weinstein 1:46:43
he was one of the great geniuses of evolutionary biology in the late 20th century.
Eric Weinstein 1:46:50
He was held back by john Maynard, right.
Bret Weinstein 1:46:53
I don’t know that story.
Eric Weinstein 1:46:55
You know, Maynard is interviewed on web of stories. We Maynard Smith. Yeah, sorry. Yeah, Maynard Smith. Right. Yeah. And Maynard Smith talks about, like, you know, it’s very unfortunate. I didn’t really understand who he was. You should check it out. It’s pretty amazing.
Bret Weinstein 1:47:10
Well, as long as we’re doing this, yeah, years after the story had cooled, yeah, I ran across a paper from john Maynard Smith that I now don’t remember exactly what its nature was, but it appeared to predict my whole story. Right. And john Maynard Smith was dead. I couldn’t contact him. I really wanted to say, Oh, my God, you nailed it, right. But anyway, um, so I was in the process of writing to Bill Hamilton to get his help. You know, he was sort of on a par with George Williams, and he went into a coma on his trip back from Africa having contracted malaria. And then there was, I think, complication with the aspirin that he took or something and he never woke up from his coma and he died tragically. So he never got the letter. Who knows what he would have done bulky. But
Eric Weinstein 1:48:02
that’s that’s, that’s a tragic and interesting story. But hayflick was positive towards you Williams was positive towards you. And dicta Alexander, those were the three that blew me away. That’s a huge amount of fights a
Bret Weinstein 1:48:15
lot of firepower and it wasn’t enough. But here’s the punchline to the story at the point that my paper is out, right, and it very directly alleges the danger with these drugs being released when they’re not safe. And the drugs have started emerging and turning out. And the government is now really interested. Okay, what’s going on? The government puts together a FDA commission to study the question
Unknown Speaker 1:48:40
Bret Weinstein 1:48:42
book that they put out and literally a book that they put out at the end of their study is called the future of drug safety.
Unknown Speaker 1:48:48
Humans a blue ribbon panel, it
Bret Weinstein 1:48:53
it’s not exactly clear what it was. What is clear is that you can search the manuscript of this book. Nowhere does it mention Mouse
Eric Weinstein 1:49:01
Bret Weinstein 1:49:02
doesn’t mention antagonistic pleiotropy. It doesn’t mention the genus mass. It doesn’t mention telomeres.
It’s not in there. It’s alleged in the literature in broad daylight that this is what is causing it. Yeah.
Eric Weinstein 1:49:16
And well, now you’re see this is the vampire effect where you don’t exist if nobody reacts, right.
Bret Weinstein 1:49:21
And so I start going to members of the press. I think this is a huge goddamn story, somebody who’s gonna make promote career on it. And I call it members of the press. And it’s always the same,
Eric Weinstein 1:49:34
right? Always the same, always the same. They’re very excited about
Bret Weinstein 1:49:37
Eric Weinstein 1:49:38
Additionally, right, the reporter, the reporter is excited.
Bret Weinstein 1:49:41
Yep. And then the reporter
Eric Weinstein 1:49:44
talks to someone talk
Bret Weinstein 1:49:45
to someone and then either they stop returning your call Yes. Or they say,
I’m sorry, the story doesn’t hang together.
It’s again and again and again. And this time Just nothing you can do what I said about the the distributed idea suppression complex? Yeah. And the people who who manage it don’t even know what they are for most of them. They don’t know
Eric Weinstein 1:50:10
what role they’re playing with. Look, you see the same thing with like string theory because none of the reporters are actually string theorists. So they’re dependent upon this. You saw this with this woman alleging that she had the Epstein story through three years earlier, but that the editors said, Well, we might lose access to the baby pictures of the Royal grandchildren. Like, you know, you’re seeing this with catching kill. There’s this. I mean, I want you to take this seriously. You’re just showing a part of what I’m calling the disc, the distributed idea suppression complex. We have 50 years of such stories. And it happens that in our family, three out of four of us created such a story trying to get a PhD. And the idea for me is that every time you have to go into some closed system Like there’s a committee meeting, or there’s a Blue Ribbon Commission, or there’s a peer review process or there’s a, what do they call them the panels, study groups for grants. That’s where the disc lives, we know that it’s localized to the things that protect the integrity of science. It’s an autoimmune disease, where what we have is an ability to stop highly disruptive ideas, from getting a hearing in the general population of experts, by virtue of the fact that a carefully chosen group of experts can stop publication because look, if you if you’re wrong about this stuff, there’s a cost Yeah, it’s not it’s not cheap.
Bret Weinstein 1:51:50
No, I mean, in fact, would have been career ending I I’m pretty sure and I’ve
Eric Weinstein 1:51:56
been I don’t know that it would be career ending if it was done in good faith. But you know, this is my my problem with this is that you’re sitting on one of the great scientific stories, I would say that I’ve ever heard. But you know, I’m sort of kind of saying, well print what happens next, you know, obviously know a lot of this stuff. I forgotten it. But I live this with you. Yeah. And this is I can vouch that this is more or less the order of events as it was taking place as we didn’t understand what was happening.
Bret Weinstein 1:52:25
Yeah. So I have to go through the final Carol grider chapter. In order for this story to fully make sense a Nobel Prize is given. That’s the that’s the very tail end. Make sure you include that. Okay. So at the point that my relationship with Carol is changing, its tenor and she is becoming hostile and I’m not clear on what’s going on. I contact her and I discover through talking to her that she and Mike are about to publish their paper. The long tail of mirrors of laboratory mice.
Eric Weinstein 1:53:02
So this is the delta between wild type and laboratory mice.
Bret Weinstein 1:53:07
Yeah. And I’m shocked because she’s told me they’re keeping it in house. And instead they’ve got a paper that there she says in final revisions there that day submitting their final revisions to nucleic acid research with their paper. And I say, Carol, can I see the paper? And she says, yes. And she sends me a manuscript, not the preprint of the paper, he sends me a manuscript of the paper, no acknowledgments, no fingers, and I contact her and I said, Can I see the acknowledgments and the figures? She sends them to me, and I contact her and I say, Carol, I’m disturbed. This was my hypothesis that you were testing. I should probably be an author on this paper, but at the very least, I need to be an acknowledgement In this paper so that I can go back and point to it
Eric Weinstein 1:54:02
and say, which is everything that it was a prediction. It wasn’t just something that was stumbled upon. Absolutely. Yeah.
Bret Weinstein 1:54:08
And her response is, I have been through my email and I see no evidence of the communications you’re talking about. Now when I said at the beginning that hold her I had called her that was my that was my air.
Eric Weinstein 1:54:25
This is such fucked. I mean, I don’t swear a lot on this program. Yeah, but this is such a fucking academic petty, stupid ass bullshit. This is one of the great stories of all times
Bret Weinstein 1:54:37
one of the great stories of all time, maybe and human life hangs in the balance. Right. Okay, so Carol does get awarded the Nobel Prize Carol grider, Elizabeth Blackburn and shostack showstopper stack who mentions at the point that the Nobel Prize is awarded He was shocked as all hell to get a Nobel Prize because his work was so deep in the history of telomeres that we just didn’t expect it. And suddenly,
Unknown Speaker 1:55:08
no, I should say I want to be very clear, right?
Eric Weinstein 1:55:12
All of these people have made fantastic, Nobel worthy discoveries. There’s zero allegation that these people
Bret Weinstein 1:55:22
weren’t deserving No, absolutely not. And they, you know, Carol and Elizabeth got their Nobel Prize for the discovery of telomerase, which is a huge, huge progress. So anyway, I don’t deny that they were worthy of this prize. But what Carol Greider does with her Nobel lecture, right Nobel lecture being the biggest lecture of scientists will ever give the lecture and filmed and filmed it she delivers a paper in which she very oddly, has now embraced my entire set of hypotheses about the effect she has come over from the comparison In between the paper of mine that she panned and said didn’t make any sense, she is now a total convert to the idea that senescence across the body is being caused by hayflick limits that are telomere basic.
Eric Weinstein 1:56:11
And this is the first public incident that we know of, in which the delta between the negative comments
Unknown Speaker 1:56:22
about you on your paper,
Eric Weinstein 1:56:25
which is not an anonymous peer review, we have that bit habit, you know,
Bret Weinstein 1:56:29
out of love from her
Eric Weinstein 1:56:30
got it. And it’s immediately after the Nobel Prize, that the wisdom of that line of thinking is embraced,
Bret Weinstein 1:56:43
right, but there’s more to the Nobel lecture. So she spends her Nobel lecture on what is admittedly a very beautiful presentation of the connection between telomeres and senescence. She goes through tissue after tissues cirrhosis of the liver is what happens when you have short telomeres in the liver, etc. She goes through tissue after tissue. She projects, the data, the blot, actually from the paper with my keemun the paper that I should have been a co author on Yeah, she projects it on the screen. But she does some weird freaking dance where she, instead of describing the long telomeres of laboratory mice as a major bug in the system, she describes it as a happy accident effectively, because it allows us to test certain things like, Oh, isn’t it delightful that they have long teamers? It’s like, What the hell are you doing? There’s so much riding on correcting this and you’re presenting it like it just a bonus. And she in her presentation. She’s got several experiments that I did not know she had run that I had suggested to her. I said you know things like Carol, do you have any idea If a cell has many different telomere lengths, is it the shortest telomere that controls how many reproductions a cell can do? She’s run that experiment. Interesting. Lo and behold, it’s the shortest telomere. It’s a good guess. But anyway, so she goes through this, there’s no mention of me. There’s no mention of the actual implications of the long telomeres for things like science and safety testing and all of that. And I can’t seem to raise the issue of the safety question with anybody. Right. At best, I get journalists who are interested until they call somebody and the somebody on the other end, I know what they say. They say, everybody knows that mice aren’t great models. In fact, there’s a paper out there that says something like the mice lie. It’s not about this issue. It’s just about the fact that mice are in a perfect match. The issue in question could be solved it could be addressed thoroughly and for all I know, once the jacks lab figured out what they were We’re doing for all I know, they quietly have fixed this and there was a private You know, I’ve heard that there was a private meeting in which they decided,
Eric Weinstein 1:59:07
look, this is the thing. Yep. You see something like this in statistics, everybody knows that most distributions that are bell shaped are not normal. Right? Yeah. And on the other hand, we all use normal distributions. And as a result, there are lots of things that at one level, everybody knows, yeah. But don’t percolate down to the important layers in which we test things and I don’t know where, like you and I have never been able to fully put together because we’re not molecular researchers. And I’m not even a biologist. How important are these results? how robust are they has there been a change? This is a quiet world at some level.
Bret Weinstein 1:59:48
It’s a quiet world. But I think what I have concluded, yeah, working backwards from the phenomenology of the field and how it reacts to this problem. Is that There’s a tremendous amount resting on failing to acknowledge the error, even though the error was obviously an honest error to begin, right? They would rather sweep it under the rug. I mean, imagine you’ve got all these knockout mice, right? These knockout mice, there’s a major investment in them, it takes a lot of work to do knockout number two, you’ve got
Eric Weinstein 2:00:21
a central you’ve got a single point of failure, right? Whose projections are tendrils into everything
Bret Weinstein 2:00:29
right? And you’ve got how many careers built on papers that are now
Eric Weinstein 2:00:33
this is like an error. This is like a centralized your reproducibility crisis?
Bret Weinstein 2:00:37
Yes. It’s it’s that bad or worse, okay. And, and, you know, what happens if, let’s say, somebody hears this podcast and they check into it and they find out lo and behold, the story is true. Yeah. Well, now the FDA has problem with it.
Eric Weinstein 2:00:54
I don’t want to get too far out over our skis. We have enough listeners that people will We’ll get a chance to hear an unbelievable story. And if there are things in the story that are not true or miss remembered or unkind or there have been changes, or maybe we don’t really fully understand how the drug testing works, I’m open. And I want to be very clear, and I want this in the podcast, I’m open to the idea that the most straightforward implications of the story
Unknown Speaker 2:01:28
are subject to adjustment. However, having lived the story,
Eric Weinstein 2:01:33
I can say that this was an egregious story at multiple points, with conflicts between the evolutionary community, the biomedical community, the professional publishing community. This is a terrible story. And it’s also an amazing and beautiful and wonderful stream. You know, I felt really lousy at the beginning of this podcast goading you and prodding you But I am so bored of you. No offense is the guy who stood up to the funny kids at evergreen. And, you know, we know what’s in the heads of these people. If you’re at evergreen, you’re not that good. Yeah. Right. And that was like, This is the, I just want to be open about it.
Bret Weinstein 2:02:17
I look, I appreciate it. And I and I, I’m glad to have this story out. The story has many different layers of meanings. I know I remember where I was, when I finally sat down to watch Carol grinders Nobel lecture. And I had one of the oddest experiences of my life.
I was, I was actually in a hammock,
watching her lecture watching her present
my hypothesis without my name anywhere on it. And then she projects this image from her paper with my keemun and I was floored. With two simultaneous emotions that are just completely incompatible, right, I’ve never felt anything like it. I was absolutely elated to see my work projected on a Nobel stage right? That changed me,
Eric Weinstein 2:03:16
you know, called the horse and rider pro Pro. Now, the point of the official complex of science is to knock the writer and take the horse or the horse is the theory. And the writer is the attribute.
Bret Weinstein 2:03:31
Well, this was it. I was elated and livid simultaneously, and I can still almost feel what it was almost like my body was trying to fear of one half supposed to feel one thing and the other feels the other. But
this story has many levels of importance personally.
Unknown Speaker 2:03:52
It gave me the ability
Bret Weinstein 2:03:56
I was already as you are very good at Not being persuaded by the fact that everybody else disagrees with you that that has an implication, every great idea starts with a minority of one. And you have to be able to endure a boy alone with a great idea in order to advance the ball significantly. This story was so extreme and so clear in the end, that just left no doubt. And I must say, I don’t know how young students can arrange to confront material so that if they’re really good, they get a clear demonstration like this, that they’re really good. So they need to keep going.
Eric Weinstein 2:04:40
I think you’re selfish, and I don’t mean to be horrible about it. I think the story is an inspiration. I’ve lived the story with you. I have my own version of the story where instead of it being the slide from the paper of grider and him in its equation equations that are known as the Seibert Witten equations and you see what you did. with somebody else putting you know, putting it up on a board, it starts to change the field you suddenly say, you mean I’m not an idiot, right? And what I’m claiming is that the next layer of this is well, why don’t you just submit a paper if you have ideas submit a paper submit a paper submitted paper? Who is this fucking supposed to fool?
Unknown Speaker 2:05:23
Well, right and this this,
Eric Weinstein 2:05:24
I mean, I just I think the idea is that if you have a seat on the exchange, yeah, you know that by submitting a paper your paper will get reviewed because you have you present a credible threat. It doesn’t occur to you that what you’re saying is effectively like let them eat cake. Right somebody whose paper is going to be reviewed by the person who’s like holding them back
Bret Weinstein 2:05:46
now this is exactly when Jerry Coyne came at me with you know, Brett doesn’t understand is explorer mode stuff is nonsense. And then Richard Dawkins echoed it Brett doesn’t understand natural selection. You know if he did, he’d submit a paper. My feeling is I live this story, and you’re going to pretend that there is even a mechanism. Look, here’s my purpose to get a proper hearing
Eric Weinstein 2:06:12
right now. I think that you, pa and myself are indicative of an entire layer of Gen X, academicians, and now probably millennial academicians whose work was suppressed. And we’re don’t feel comfortable saying these words, which is that the purpose of the university system in the time that we were there was in large measure, to make sure that big, disruptive new ideas did not upset the applecart because there was the ability to deny, I mean, this is what you guys call interference competition, which is that you keep people from sitting down in the chairs in a game of musical chairs and then the idea is we have lovely parting gifts. For our contestants, Doug pressure who did green fluorescent protein ends up driving a shuttle bus in Huntsville, Alabama. features in this, you know, was the front page of the science times. A year later, he’s still driving a fucking shuttle bus in Huntsville, Alabama. Meanwhile, we’re being told that Americans don’t care about STEM. We’re not really good at science. But thank God, thank God, our friends in Asia are amazing at science because as bad as our children aren’t thinking for themselves, we’ve got huge numbers of people who want to come from China, South Korea, India and Taiwan, in order to do the study in the labs, which is actually work, and I’m the guy who found the secret study in 1986, which says, Hey, we’re gonna have to pay these American academicians over six figures very soon, because of the supply demand relationships and then they took away the demand curves And they only showed the supply curves. They said it was a demographic rather than an economic analysis of price and wage certainly didn’t enter into it. Like, our problem is that the American scientific enterprise headquartered in the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences and our university systems is fraudulent. And that serves to suppress radical new ideas. And I’m not saying that everything is guaranteed to be right about your story. But this is a story that you and Carol should have worn out in public. Without you’re submitting into a system where you don’t know who reviewed this, you don’t know how to respond to the comments. You can’t measure the Delta, or somebody in one year says this is crap. And the next year they say, this is my theory. Right? And what I want, I would love to invite Carol grider on to this program, because I think she deserves the right to rebut what you’re saying.
Unknown Speaker 2:08:58
Yep, that’d be cool. And
Eric Weinstein 2:09:01
then Elizabeth Blackburn is fantastic. I’d love to it. These are great sites this frankly,
Bret Weinstein 2:09:07
you’re gonna say this is me being too nice. Yeah, I’d even like Carol to come clean and just put this behind us. I’m not, you know, at
Eric Weinstein 2:09:14
this point, it’s not a question of that. But there is. You have the right to offer somebody a hand up. Yeah. But you’re skipping the step of let me be blunt. How many universities offered you a position after you were run out of this crappy Evergreen State College by a weak president, who refused to stand up for academic freedom, freedom of speech in anti racism, which you exemplify
Unknown Speaker 2:09:48
Eric Weinstein 2:09:50
How many biology lecture lectures, were you invited to give at top tier a University’s American Association of Universities? Not Association of America. Okay, what the fuck is that? I mean, let’s let’s just say the word fucked up because I had Andrew Yang in that chair. I don’t say fuck a lot. Yeah. Okay. So the idea is you can have a Maoist insurgency against a student of dick Alexander, who’s supported by George Williams, with support from Leonard hayflick. He’s predicting something from evolutionary theory registers in molecular biology, it may have drug testing implications. And, like nothing silence and you’re terrified to talk about this.
Bret Weinstein 2:10:34
I don’t think I’m terrified to talk.
Eric Weinstein 2:10:35
Well, I’m sorry. Can you tell me something? Where have you told you? You have a podcast? Yeah. Where is the story written up? Where is the story lodged, you and I have the ability to lodge it. I’m forcing you to do this on my podcast. I haven’t heard you do a podcast about this. I hear you talking about free speech. I hear you doing things with the heterodox Academy. I hear you doing things in the intellectual darkweb something with Andy No. So Within Tifa, okay, the whole purpose of the intellectual dark web is to keep the channel open based on merit. Because if we do something like the diversity of ideas, you know, for all I know, the people who are suppressing, you are more diverse than you are, you know, okay. These are ideas that needed to come out there are health implications, potentially of these ideas. This is not ethical to suppress, in effect, it’s not ethical for you not to talk about not to be rude. No, no, look, I get this.
Bret Weinstein 2:11:33
I tried for a decade to get this story to come out. Now. I’m sure I would have been less aggressive on the social front. I would have let Carol go in order to get the story out and get the drug safety issue addressed. I don’t know. I don’t know what you regard that as maybe that’s
Eric Weinstein 2:11:52
on this question of this. Look, there is a Carol grider and Elizabeth Blackburn and everybody else in like senescence And Judith campisi, who knows? Everybody’s got a problem, which is there’s way too much transparency, and there’s too little funding. And there’s not enough autonomy. And there’s too much peer review. And for whatever reason, a new game has cropped up where everybody says we need more transparency, more diversity, we need to make sure that we’re not wasting taxpayer dollars. We have, you know, ever more oversight. All of this is the nature in our society. We have to compete with China now we’re gonna have issues with Iran and Russia. And we’re losing our minds because we are serving a baby boom group. Almost like you pick a leading University. It is headed currently by a baby boomer. It’s almost true without even telling if I asked you Hey, Brett, picking University Don’t tell me which one it is. I will tell you that the number of administrators that that university has soared above the level Have admissions. The tuition has soared above medical inflation which is above regular inflation. If I asked you about the grant structure, older professors are winning more grants and younger people are winning fewer grants. This is a giant complex I am going to have somebody from sugar baby University, which is a subset of seeking arrangement because the baby boomers made student debt non dischargeable in bankruptcy. And now this group is offering older men the ability to date younger women with an allowance right so we’re we’re starting to get into gray area sex work. Were the baby boomers to keep this lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed are effectively enslaving.
Bret Weinstein 2:13:44
Well, they’re hoarding well being on every front including the sexual which is no surprise
Eric Weinstein 2:13:49
at all. Here’s my claim. We’re in a holding pattern. I’m in my 50s you’re in your 50s I’ve done work that has never seen the light of day you’ve done work that’s never seen the light of day P is done work. There’s never In the light of day, I don’t know about Heather. My claim is, it’s time to crash land the planes into the control tower. It’s enough.
Unknown Speaker 2:14:10
Unknown Speaker 2:14:11
Eric Weinstein 2:14:15
It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the portal come back anytime. I want to say that anybody who is Miss portrayed by this podcast is welcome. We are not claiming to have absolute and universal knowledge. You’re more than welcome to correct the story if you have knowledge about this that checks out. And but the problem is, is that this is a story that needs to be told. It’s like the story of Margo O’Toole. And David Baltimore that played out at MIT, when I believe that she found that she couldn’t reproduce the work of Dr. Mindy Shikari. And, of course the system turned on the person who is trying to say, Hey, I’m seeing irregularities. I’m seeing problems. We have a bias Medical complex that needs whistleblowers. It needs iconoclast. It needs challengers. The food pyramid has been off for years, our health recommendations are completely off. I think that this is an essential story, you need to move out of intellectual dark web stuff, which is about keeping the pipe open. Let somebody else do that. And it’s time to hire you as a professor at a top tier University. And I’ll be happy to talk to you about what happened when you and Richard Dawkins encountered each other on stage in Chicago. Because I think in terms of pure evolutionary theory, it is time to boost a young Richard Dawkins, who contributed two of the most important ideas in the form of extended phenotype in the mean, which, largely dislodged as the old Richard Dawkins and his hatred of religion, which has appeared to take over his thinking as regards his own contributions to biology. We got a lot of work to do
Bret Weinstein 2:15:55
Unknown Speaker 2:15:56
All right, my friend. Well, thanks for having me.
Eric Weinstein 2:15:58
Thanks for coming. You been through the portal with Dr. Brett Weinstein, professor and exile from the Evergreen State College. Please subscribe on Apple or on Stitcher or on Spotify. Wherever you listen to podcasts navigate over to our YouTube channel. And not only subscribe, but remember to click the bell icon to be notified when our next episode drops. And hope to see you back on the next episode of the portal.
The Portal podcast transcription series
- Peter Thiel
- What is The Portal?
- Werner Herzog
- Timur Kuran
- Rabbi David Wolpe
- Jocko Willink
- Bret Easton Ellis
- Andrew Yang
- Bryan Callen
- Julie Lindahl
- Sam Harris
- Vitalik Buterin
- Garry Kasparov
- London Tsai
- Garrett Lisi
- Tyler Cowen
- Anna Khachiyan
- Eric Weinstein – State of the Portal 2020
- Bret Weinstein
- Sir Roger Penrose
- Ashley Mathews (Riley Reid)
- Ben Greenfield
- Agnes Callard
- Kai Lenny
- The Construct: Jeffrey Epstein
Geometric Unity – a First Look
- James O’Keefe
- Daniel Schmachtenberger
- Eric Lewis
- Jamie Metzl
- Ross Douthat
- Ryan Holiday