Humans

Harvard Business Review’s recent cover story makes the case for prioritising time over money, and making daily decisions accordingly. Unfortunately, writes Harvard Business School professor Ashley Whillans, most of us do just the opposite. One of the most intriguing points in the article is this: “We overestimate the amount of time needed to enjoy an
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Humans have travelled to the moon and uncovered the secrets of the Taos Hum, the Devil’s Kettle, and maybe even the pyramids of Egypt. But there are still plenty of phenomena that science can’t explain yet. Though scientists may have theories about the following phenomena, no one can say for certain why they occur. Here are nine mysteries
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In the current polarized climate, it’s easy to find yourself in the midst of a political disagreement that morphs into a religious argument. People’s religious affiliation predicts their stances on abortion, immigration and other controversial topics, and disagreements about these issues can seem intractable. The seeming futility in arguing about politics and religion may arise
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Since its discovery in 1938, the drug LSD — that’s lysergic acid diethylamide — has puzzled researchers. They knew the drug had a profound effect on people, causing hallucinations and an altered state of consciousness, but they couldn’t figure out why. Now that could be changing. A research team from the University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich thinks it’s figured out
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One of them is a little green gnome-like figure. The other is half-human, half-Vulcan. Both have pointy ears and considerable wisdom. But which is ultimately wiser? It’s a reasonable thing to wonder, perhaps even logical. After all, Yoda from Star Wars and Spock from Star Trek have come to represent the quintessential archetypes of sage
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One of the biggest cultural shifts in recent years is the rise of fake news – where claims with no evidence behind them (e.g. the world is flat) get shared as fact alongside evidence-based, peer-reviewed findings (e.g. climate change is happening). Researchers have coined this trend the ‘anti-enlightenment movement‘, and there’s been a lot of
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Human sacrifice has been around for centuries – the Maya, Aztecs, and ancient Egyptians killed prisoners of war, volunteers, and slaves over the course of their histories. But child sacrifice, especially mass killings, are incredibly rare. Previously, evidence of the largest youth sacrifice ever – 42 children – was discovered at Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlán,
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Archaeologists investigating a stone circle thought to be thousands of years old in Aberdeenshire, Scotland have been a wee bit chagrined by an unexpected revelation. After reports of the circle’s discovery hit the news, a farmer revealed he actually built the monument just decades ago. The “recumbent stone circle” found on the farm in the
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In November, Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced that he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies. The move was met by a wave of criticism from the scientific community, and the media soon branded him the “Chinese Frankenstein”. Within days, Chinese authorities announced that they were banning He from conducting any further research and launching
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In 2009, supermodel Kate Moss caused a stir when she categorically stated that “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. As jaw-dropping as the sentiment might have seemed to many, Moss’ pithy comment encapsulates a modern Western zeitgeist. From an evolutionary perspective, however, Moss’ statement is ludicrous, if not preposterous. Such a statement could only
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We rarely portray Neanderthals, our close relatives, as telegenic. Museum exhibits give them wild tangles of hair, and Hollywood reduces them to grunting unsophisticates. Their skulls suggest broad faces, tiny chins and jutting brows. But to mock Neanderthals is to mock ourselves: Homo sapiens had lots of sex with Homo neanderthalensis. Neanderthal genes supply between
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An archaeological dig in Suffolk, England has yielded up a Roman-era cemetery treasure: 52 beautifully preserved skeletons dating back to the 4th century. And of those skeletons, many had been decapitated, their disembodied heads placed neatly at their sides or feet for burial, or buried without bodies altogether. Only 17 skeletons had been buried normally.
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After Chinese scientist He Jiankui shocked the scientific community by announcing last month that he had edited the genes of human babies, he mysteriously vanished. And now he’s been found.  The New York Times reports that guards are holding He in a guesthouse at his university, the Southern University of Science and Technology. It’s unclear whether the guards work for the Chinese government, the university,
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Adam and Eve might have managed it in the Bible, but scientifically speaking, would two people be enough to repopulate our world from scratch, despite the inevitable health issues associated with inbreeding and a limited gene pool?  First of all, let’s deal with the obvious problems. The first ‘new’ generation would obviously all be brothers and
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