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Humans Evolved to Believe In God, This Theory Argues

More than eight in ten people worldwide believe in some form of religion.<p>More than eight in ten people worldwide have some sort of religious belief, according to a Pew Research Center study. Approximately one third of those people are Christian.<p>Even though the percentage of people who identify as …

Pew Research Center

Why too much choice is stressing us out

From jeans to dating partners and TV subscriptions to schools, we think the more choices we have the better. But too many options create anxiety and leave us less satisfied. Could one answer lie in a return to the state monopolies of old?<p>Once upon a time in Springfield, the Simpson family visited a …

Peter Thiel

Lactation in mammals: humans, whales, seals, bats, and echidnas.

My wife has amazing breasts.<p>I should explain that I’m talking about her mammary glands, in particular. (All mammals have mammary glands, though not …

Marine Mammals

Google Tricks That Will Change the Way You Search

Google Search's learning curve is an odd one. You use it every day, but still all you know is how to search. But the search engine has plenty of …

AdWords

19 Banned Books That Actually Changed Your Life

"I can honestly say that reading it for the first time saved my life."<p>*The following books were banned by the user's town, school, or library.<p>Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Books

10 apps that should be core smartphone features

So I trawled the hundreds of apps I’ve installed, and compiled a “top 10” of the ones I feel wouldn’t look out-of-place integrated into a phone’s inner workings.<p>It’s worth noting here that these aren’t necessarily the best built or designed apps out there — it’s more about the core functionality. …

Apps

LSE anthropologist: microcredit only adds to poverty

Far from being a panacea, <b>small loans add to poverty and undermine people by saddling them with unsustainable debt</b>, argues anthropologist Dr. Jason …

Microfinance

Why scientific truth may hurt

The underlying realities of the world – from Earth’s rotation around the sun to Darwin’s theory of evolution – are rarely obvious or expected<p>All is not what it seems. Much of the universe – from the unimaginably small to the cosmological – is not how it appears to us, and our view is lamentably …

Nobel Prize

The origin of biological clocks

The Earth has rhythm. Every 24 hours, the planet pirouettes on its axis, bathing its surface alternately in sunlight and darkness.<p>Organisms from …

What’s in a kiss? Nothing less than the very essence of what it is to be human

As new anthropological research shows the different ways we express love, Sheril Kirshenbaum, author of The Science of Kissing, takes a romantic trip through history and around the world<p>One of my favourite historical accounts of kissing comes from the 1864 book <i>Savage Africa</i>. The British explorer …

Anthropology

Will autocomplete make you too predictable?

Computers can now identify what you will say before you know yourself, and as philosopher Evan Selinger argues, this could subtly shape your conversations without you realising.<p>Do you know what you really want? Right now, there are computers all over the world busily trying to tell you the answer – …

Text Messaging

The surprising downsides of being drop dead gorgeous

Good looks can get you far in life, but psychologists say there are unrecognised pitfalls for the beautiful. David Robson reports.<p>Can you be too beautiful? It is hardly a problem that most of us have to contemplate – as much as we might like to dream that it were the case.<p>Yet the blessings and …

Psychology

“What would happen if women could order Brad Pitt’s sperm?”

Evolution and the “sexy geek” syndrome: What if humans could re-evolve — and be perfect?<p>The founding director of the Harvard Business School’s Life Sciences Project, Juan Enriquez, posed a question at a TEDxSummit in Doha, Qatar, in April 2012. Enriquez’s question was one that he had been …

Singularity

How to overthrow a Martian dictatorship

The governments we create on other worlds might turn nasty. Richard Hollingham meets a group plotting revolution in space.<p>Two short blocks from the London headquarters of Britain’s security service, MI6, a group of 30 men and women is plotting to overthrow the government.<p>Not – and I should make …

Non-violence

A five-step guide to not being stupid

Even the smartest people can be fools. David Robson explains how to avoid the most common traps of sloppy thinking.<p>If you ever doubt the idea that the very clever can also be very silly, just remember the time the smartest man in America tried to electrocute a turkey. Benjamin Franklin had been …

Self-improvement

Can a machine ever think?

Would a supersmart AI have a conscious experience like us? As Marcus du Sautoy demonstrates, you can fake intelligence.<p>Imagine we had invented a computer that could act like a human in every possible way. Every decision it made, every word it spoke, seemed to be the same as a living, breathing …

American Philosophy

How robots mess with our minds

Robots can make you do surprising things, says Alexander Reben, whose talking bots have elicited secrets from passers-by, festival-goers and even astronauts.<p>One day in April 2010, a man in his mid-30s happened to wander into the Media Lab at MIT in Boston and encountered a friend of mine. After …

Robots

Human hands more primitive than chimp hands

Jennifer Viegas<p>Hand evolution <b>The development of an opposable thumb that enables humans to grip and manipulate objects is widely believed to give us</b> …

Anthropology

Your New Ride To Space

You don’t need a rocket to leave Earth. There’s a slower, gentler trip in the works—and it comes with a cocktail.<p>When Alan Eustace lifted off into space from the New Mexico desert this past October, it was with a quiet whoosh, and a slight jostle of his harness. The 57-year-old computer scientist …

Can Mars One colonise the red planet?

Alexandra Doyle has signed up for a one-way trip to Mars. What makes her, and 99 others, so ready to leave Earth behind? Meet the red planet’s would-be pioneers – and the man who promises he can get them there<p>When Nasa’s first rover set down on the surface of Mars in 1997, its streamed colour …

Space Science

How Facebook Mastered the Art of Survival

When a notable startup threatens Facebook, one of two things happens: Mark Zuckerberg will attempt to buy the company. Or he will threaten to destroy …

Ken Burns' Magisterial 'Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies'

The 6-hour Ken Burns and Barak Goodman television documentary “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” shown earlier this week on PBS, is an extraordinary event and demonstrates what television can deliver at its best. Based on the best-selling 2010 book by Siddhartha Mukherjee <i>The Emperor of All</i> …

Cancer

The seven ways to have a near-death experience

Seeing a light and a tunnel may be the popular perception of death, but as Rachel Nuwer discovers, reports are emerging of many other strange experiences.<p>In 2011, Mr A, a 57-year-old social worker from England, was admitted to Southampton General Hospital after collapsing at work. Medical personnel …

Inflammation

How extreme fear shapes what we remember

Many of us will experience a significant trauma in our lives, says Lesley Evans Ogden. Yet could there be ways to avoid reliving the memories?<p>It was no ordinary honeymoon. After boarding their flight in Canada on the evening of 23 August 2001, newlyweds Margaret McKinnon and her husband were …

The Brain

To build an interstellar society, we'll need to beat space contagions and killer robots

In the summer of 2012, the 1,592-pound space probe Voyager 1 became the first man-made object to exit our solar system. NASA had launched the probe …

Paul Krugman

Psychology: the man who studies everyday evil

Why are some people extraordinarily selfish, manipulative, and unkind? David Robson asks the scientist delving into the darkest sides of the human mind.<p>If you had the opportunity to feed harmless bugs into a coffee grinder, would you enjoy the experience? Even if the bugs had names, and you could …

Psychology

The man who can send you to Mars

Think you’ve got the right stuff to make it to Mars? Richard Hollingham talks to the man selecting astronauts for a privately funded mission to the Red Planet.<p>This is the pitch: a perilous one-way journey to a dead, distant world, leaving your family behind for the rest of your life, before dying …

Chronic Disease

If Earth falls, will interstellar space travel be our salvation?

Some climatologists argue it may be too late to reverse climate change, and it’s just a matter of time before the Earth becomes uninhabitable – if …

Jesus' Marriage to Mary the Magdalene Is Fact, Not Fiction

The publication on Nov. 12, 2014 of the book I co-wrote with Prof. Barrie Wilson, The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus' Marriage to Mary the Magdalene, has caused a worldwide theological firestorm, including demonstrations in India. I was even the butt of one of Bill …

Theology

These Ancient Condoms Will Make You Realize How Far Safe Sex Has Come

Once you consider what our ancestors had to deal with.

Condoms