June 19, 2013 The diversity of life on Earth, and its ever-growing complexity, leads many people to think that there must be a purpose to its existence. Commentator Marcelo Gleiser argues that, quite the contrary, the only purpose of life is to preserve itself. There is no hidden hand behind it all.
June 18, 2013 Conventional wisdom holds that men prefer younger women as mates because they're more fertile than older women. But a mathematical analysis suggests that this preference may be the cause of menopause rather than a consequence of it.
June 3, 2013 If you want to go paleo in your diet, invest in a lawn mower. An examination of fossilized teeth from early humans and their ancient forebears reveals our ancestors switched from an ape diet of fruits and leaves to eating grasses and sedges about 3.5 million years ago.
May 13, 2013 Eugenie C. Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), explains in a video how she sees parallels between the rejection of evolution and of the rejection of climate science.
May 5, 2013 British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace warned well over a century ago about the risks to diverse forms of life in places like Indonesia. His words are more compelling today than when he wrote them.
April 17, 2013 Is the importance of life on Earth shrinking as science continually re-defines our world as a meaningless speck in an endless and uncaring Universe? Or is life here a precious thing that grows in importance with our ever-deepening knowledge of the Universe? Commentator Marcelo says it's the latter.
April 9, 2013 Did the seeds of life on Earth begin on Mars? Are we part of Earth's first alien invasion? Adam Frank says we may be looking at a future full of discoveries in our own solar system that could reset our understanding of life and its origin.
March 21, 2013 Morality emerges from our evolved nature: so claims primatologist Frans de Waal, who takes aim in his new book at the view that morality comes from God. Commentator Barbara J. King finds de Waal's argument persuasive.
March 10, 2013 Not only is there no consensus yet on how life might have started on Earth, there is not even any agreement on where it started. But still, many think the mystery of life's origin can be solved. Commentator Wim Hordijk revels in the subject at a conference hosted by Princeton University.
February 22, 2013 A glass of wine can be a welcome sight after a long day watching the kids, but fruit fly moms use alcohol from fermenting fruit to protect their offspring from marauding wasps. That's just one of the ways the tiny flies are using booze to survive the slings and arrows of existence.
February 20, 2013 Scientists say the time-honored calorie is too flawed to give people a good measure of what they're eating. But many nutritionists say calories are still the most useful tool for keeping tabs on food intake and maintaining healthy weight.
February 1, 2013 Why do we reach for that handful of M&Ms and other high-calorie treats under stress? In prehistoric times, such gluttony was probably a useful response to scarcity. That "feast before famine" instinct is less helpful in modern times, when obesity is a bigger health risk than starvation – but evolution hasn't had a chance to catch up.
December 28, 2012 Thousands of years ago, ancient farmers gained the ability to consume milk as adults without getting an upset stomach. A remarkable mutation let some of them digest lactose sugar. But scientists still puzzle over why that mutation persisted and became prevalent in modern humans.
December 11, 2012 What would you want in a national Pledge For Science? How would you balance out the need to keep politicians from waffling on scientific issues as diverse as evolution, climate change and vaccines while separating out issues of research from issues of policy?