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Cross-Check

Critical views of science in the news

Pssst! Don't tell the creationists, but scientists don't have a clue how life began

Exactly 20 years ago, I wrote an article for Scientific American that, in draft form, had the headline above. My editor nixed it, so we went with something less dramatic: "In the Beginning…: Scientists are having a hard time agreeing on when, where and—most important—how life first emerged on the earth." That editor is gone now, so I get to use my old headline, which is even more apt today...

February 28, 2011 — John Horgan

A modest proposal for curbing homicides: Socialism

If responses to my last post are any guide—including a diss from one of my own students!—many readers reject gun controls as a way to reduce shootings like the recent massacre in Arizona and other gun-related homicides...

January 24, 2011 — John Horgan

Freeman Dyson, global warming, ESP and the fun of being "bunkrapt"

Should a scientist who believes in extrasensory perception—the ability to read minds, intuit the future and so on—be taken seriously? This question comes to mind when I ponder the iconoclastic physicist Freeman Dyson, whom the journalist Kenneth Brower recently profiled in The Atlantic 's December issue...

January 7, 2011 — John Horgan

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Depressed by Our Devices?

Depressed by Our Devices?

How Smartphones Affect Mental Health