Good news is rare these days, so I'd like to take a moment to celebrate last week's decision by a federal judge that Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage, is unconstitutional...
Inception is an absurdly complicated, clattering contraption of a movie that impresses only in a mechanical, Rube Goldberg–ish way. My intellect had to work so hard to figure out what was happening that my emotions never got engaged...
Obama's choice for warrior in chief, Gen. James Mattis, calls Iraq invasion "the dumbest thing we ever did"
James N. Mattis is the four-star Marine general whom Barack Obama just nominated to head the U.S. Central Command, with oversight of the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Okay, it wasn't George W. Bush himself, just his minions. Here's what happened (and by the way, this is the story I promised to tell in a previous post): In the summer of 2005 a weird e-mail appeared in my inbox...
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.
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