In journalism you look for one thing and find another that confounds your expectations. It's what make makes this gig so frustrating and fun. I went looking for reassurance in Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding (Harvard University Press, 2009) by the anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy and found something scary...
Last year, on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origin of Species , Darwin's stock soared higher than Apple's. It's 2010—time for a market adjustment.
Quitting the hominid fight club: The evidence is flimsy for innate chimpanzee--let alone human--warfare
Extraordinary claims, Carl Sagan liked to say, require extraordinary evidence. Here is an extraordinary claim: "Chimpanzeelike violence preceded and paved the way for human war, making modern humans the dazed survivors of a continuous, five-million-year habit of lethal aggression."
The anthropologist Richard Wrangham of Harvard University made this statement in his 1996 book Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (Houghton Mifflin, co-written with journalist Dale Peterson) and has reiterated it ever since...
The New York Times Sunday business section recently ran an enormous puff piece on Ray Kurzweil and the "Singularity" cult (my term, not the Times 's).
I don't believe in God—at least, not any version I've encountered so far—but I do believe in free will. Free will, which I define as our capacity to recognize and act on choices, is what makes life meaningful...
In a previous post, "Grassroots spying will make world peace possible," I argued that the spread of technologies that allow us to spy on each other might also make us safer.
In a post on Asperger's syndrome, my fellow blogger Karen Schrock manages to knock both religious believers and nonreligious rationalists in just a few paragraphs.
Craig Venter is the Lady Gaga of science. Like her, he is a drama queen, an over-the-top performance artist with a genius for self-promotion. Hype is what Craig Venter does, and he does it extremely well, whether touting the decoding of his own genome several years ago or his construction of a hybrid bacterium this year...
In Isaac Asimov's science fiction series Foundation, the mathematician Hari Seldon invents a method, called psychohistory, that predicts social behavior as accurately as statistical mechanics predicts the behavior of gases...
Scientists are on the verge of building an artificial brain! How do I know? Terry Sejnowski of the Salk Institute said so right here on ScientificAmerican.com .
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