Evolutionary psychology, which traces what we do and think to instincts embedded into our ancestors by natural selection, is a dangerous meme. It can make even the smartest intellectuals say not-so-smart things...
When I teach history of science at Stevens Institute of Technology, I devote plenty of time to science's glories, the kinds of achievements that my buddy George Johnson wrote about in The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments (Alfred A...
A recent Scientific American post on lethal chimpanzee violence has me mulling over an incident that took place two summers ago when I was surfcasting for bluefish on Nantucket Island...
My girlfriend, whom I'll call Emily, loves videos of animals, especially cute ones, like baby hippos, talking porcupines, lionesses that nuzzle baby antelopes.
When predicting something that science will never do, it's wise to recall the French philosopher Auguste Comte. In 1835 he asserted that science will never figure out what stars are made of...
I've been bashing determinism and fatalism a lot lately, so I thought I'd write about an "ism" I like: optimism. For most of my career as a science journalist, I've been a pessimist, harping on all the goals that scientists will probably never attain...
I spent this morning pondering whether I should attack neuroscientist Sam Harris for attacking free will. I thought, haven't I spent enough time hassling Harris?
I met Christof Koch in 1994 at the first of series of big conferences on consciousness held in Tucson, Ariz. A professor at Caltech, Koch had helped popularize consciousness as a topic for serious scientific investigation—instead of windy philosophical supposition—through his collaboration with the great Francis Crick, who had already cracked the genetic code and now wanted to solve the riddle of mind as well...
Water, water, everywhere. But will we always have enough to drink? Wash away our waste? Grow crops and raise livestock? Some prominent progressives are warning that, as our population grows and our planet warms, water will become increasingly scarce, and humans will inevitably start fighting over it.War-correspondent-turned-antiwar-firebrand Chris Hedges expressed this idea during a radio interview with Brian Lehrer of WNYC radio, NPR's affiliate in New York City...
Legions of experts are trying to fathom what drove Staff Sergeant Robert Bales to allegedly slaughter 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, on March 11.
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