Marriage is what happens when the state gets involved in endorsing and regulating personal relationships. It's a bad idea.
War, famine and persecution inflict profound changes on bodies and brains. Could these changes persist over generations?
Fantasies about new power sources for human ambitions go back a century or more. Could these past visions energise our own future?
Cows don’t belong to the natural world, because they owe their existence to our selective breeding, not evolution. So what happens if we stop using them for meat and dairy products?
When you are obsessed with projects, ceaselessly replacing old with new, satisfaction is always in the future. Or the past.
Medieval people feared death by celibacy as much as venereal disease, and practiced complex sexual health regimens.
Nuclear deterrence continues to dominate international relations. Yet there is no proof it ever worked, nor that it ever will.
Money and brains are both quantum phenomena — so it's not surprising that economics is overdue for a quantum revolution.
Thought experiments played a crucial role in the history of science. But do they tell us anything about the real world?
Western liberalism is not the apex and terminus of human history, and it ought not to serve as the measure of Islam.
Atoms and astronomical phenomena — the very small and the very large — can be quite basic. It's everything in between that gets tricky.
The idea that the Maya or Easter Islanders experienced an apocalyptic end makes for good television but bad archaeology.
In its first century the American higher-education system was a messy, disorganised joke. How did it rise to world dominance?
This heightened and delighted attention to the ordinary, which manifests in someone new to a place, does not seem to have a name. So I have given it one: allokataplixis.
Fixing chronic back pain is possible only when patients understand how much it is produced by the brain, not the spine.
How can you go about finding "who you really are" if the whole idea of the one true self is a big fabrication?
It took a polymath to pin down the true nature of "information." His answer was both a revelation and a return.
Fantasies about the future have a troubling effect on achieving actual goals. If positive thinking doesn’t work, what does?
Before fathering psychoanalysis, Freud first slayed the dominant Cartesian intellectual tradition of mind-body dualism.
As far as we can tell, no other animal knows that sex makes babies. Did our understanding of baby-making change the course of human history?