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Dark Horse Podcast


Dark Horse Podcast

Some podcasts make us laugh, some motivate us, while some others make us think. Dark Horse, hosted by Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, falls under the third category. This article discusses everything you need to know about the podcast, and why you should listen to it.

Dark Horse Podcast is a weekly podcast on scientific exploration hosted by Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying who are two politically liberal former college professors and evolutionary biologists. The podcast consists of them having open-minded wide-ranging discussions about several topics, all through an evolutionary lens. They aim to make scientific thinking accessible to the masses. 

The podcast gained popularity among all kinds of people because it encourages listeners to welcome new perspectives, teaches them how to think, and, more importantly, how to disagree with another person’s view with respect and love.

The Creators Behind Dark Horse 

Dr. Bret Weinstein is an evolutionary biologist and holds a PhD from the University of Michigan. He is a recipient of the Don Twinkle award which he received for his distinguished work in Evolutionary Ecology. He used to be a professor at Evergreen College for 14 years. His current work entails the study of large scale patterns in human history to research the evolutionary meaning behind them. 

The Dark Horse podcast was started in 2019 to explore important issues and questions through an evolutionary lens. The pair believe that evolution reveals a unifying logic that can explain the problems that plague us today. Through their podcast, they wanted people to realize this and feel hopeful.

Themes and Topics Covered in The Dark Horse Podcast 

In the podcast, the hosts talk about the questions that matter regarding the state of our world. They look at these questions from an evolutionary perspective and try to find patterns in human nature. Apart from their discussions with each other, every week, Bret also invites a guest – someone who has demonstrated unusual insight – and holds an in-depth discussion with them. 

For example: the state and future of human civilization, scientific experiments and discussions about new medicines, the meaning of life and the quest for truth are some of the topics that you can expect to see. 

According to the duo, science and evolution can be used to make sense of the world around us. But, science has a tendency of excluding a large part of the population who are not “scientifically inclined.” Through this podcast, they want to make the scientific way of thinking accessible to everyone. 

Let’s analyze three of their podcast episodes to understand the content better!

Episode #128: Life, Death, and Meaning 

In this episode, they start off by talking about Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning.” This book chronicles Frankl’s experiences in a Nazi concentration camp and talks about how he used to identify his purpose in life to feel positive during the war. Bret and Heather use this book to discuss what it means to be human and how we can find purpose, hope, and meaning in our lives, no matter how dark the present seems. 

Other topics discussed in episode #128 includes Bret talking about how people should be responsible for the consequences of their arguments – such as medical claims. The pair also discuss how homelessness is, largely, a crisis of identity and meaning. 

Jan 21, 2023: Beavers? 

Here, Bret speaks with Jakob Shockey, founder of the Beaver Coalition, about beavers. Jakob has spent years understanding beaver habitats in order to preserve them. In this episode, he tells Bret about the impact that beavers have on the world, and all the consequences we will face if they go extinct. 

Nov 1, 2022: With Bridget Phetasy 

In this episode, Bret holds a discussion with Bridget on motherhood and parenting in the modern digital era, including how the internet has impacted relationships and parenthood. 

The podcast has gained prominence among all types of listeners, from conservatives to liberals and religious folks to atheists, because it gives people a place to listen to ideas and perspectives that no one else is willing to talk about. Whether you agree with them or not, they will make you think.

Reach of Dark Horse 

Bret Weinstein has 14.7k followers on Instagram and 880k followers on Twitter. Heather Heying has 228k followers on Twitter. The Dark Horse YouTube account has 436k subscribers. 

On YouTube, where view statistics are readily available, it appears that the average episode receives between 2.5k to 35k views, with some episodes receiving as much as 200k views!

As of January 2023, Dark Horse was ranked as #24 on Apple Podcasts under the science category. 

Based on this analysis, we estimated that Dark Horse receives 20-30k listens each time an episode goes out across Apple, Google, Spotify, and YouTube podcast networks. 

The Format of The Podcast 

Each episode of the podcast begins with a lengthy introduction, followed by talk about the episode’s sponsors. After that, the pair discuss a set of topics each week and give their own perspectives and thoughts on the same. All the topics discussed in a certain episode are interconnected. 

Every week, Bret also holds discussions with a different guest, and these sessions are released as separate un-numbered episodes. The guests all hail from different fields and backgrounds. Some of them are well-known, while others are more obscure. But all of them have unique insights to offer on the topics at hand. 

In the past year, Bret has invited several medical professionals such as Dr. Aseem Malhotra, an NHS Trained Consultant Cardiologist, Dr. Geert Vanden, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine who specializes in virology and vaccinology, and Dr. Mike Mew, who is a dentist practicing orthotropics. 

Some of his other guests include military whistleblowers, people knowledgeable about governance such as Dr. Vandhana Shiva, Brian Peckford, and Michael Shellenberger, Mattias Desmet, a professor of Clinical Psychology, among many others. Even American businessmen such as Jim Rutt, and symbolic thinkers such as Jonathan Pageau have been featured as guests. 

Reception and Impact 

The Dark Horse podcast has been received wonderfully by all kinds of people – those who are scientifically inclined, and those who are not. The really amazing part is that the show has several conservative right-wing listeners who are open to hearing perspectives that differ from their own.

This is one of the main goals of the podcast – to get people to disagree while being respectful and to think. So, it is safe to say that the show has been successful in what it set out to achieve. 

Whether you hold the same views or not, we encourage you to give it a listen to the podcast and decide the “truth” for yourself. Who knows? You might be pleasantly surprised!
Listen to the Dark Horse podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and Google Podcasts.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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