Monogamy discussion on the 1585 episode
Okay, so I may be incredibly behind here but I just listened to the show because it got posted online recently...
I think the discussion of monogamy was a tad shallow and was prematurely pegged on religion. Here's my take on the deal: Biologically speaking, it is in a male's best interest to spread his seed far and wide, while a female (human in this case) has a lot more of an energy investment in the deal, so it may be in her best interest to be rather picky about her mate... the first time. Priority one is getting with the best mate, priority two would be in getting pregnant, right? So, first mate would be the local uber-man, then Mr. Great, then Mr. Pretty-Good, and so on, down the line.
Human offspring tend to require a lot of care and feeding, so it becomes in a male's interest to watch out for his mate (while she's pregnant) and do his best to make sure his offspring gets to a certain age. This ups the amount of energy investment required of the male. So, because of this, he wants to make sure that kid is his. The female knows it is her kid for obvious reasons, while the only way the male can is by keeping her from other mates. So religion doesn't have to come into the equation at all.
I'm not taking a stance here on whether monogamy is good or bad, I just wanted to continue the discussion on where it stems from. (And no, I haven't performed any studies on this...)