December 5, 2013 New research shows that chimpanzees not only enjoy interacting with a humanoid robot, but also work actively to keep the connection going. Commentator Barbara J. King ties this finding to our past and our future.
November 26, 2013 Feeling a little blue recently, commentator Adam Frank retreated to a hilltop and found something he wasn't looking for: perspective. The breadth of time stretched out before him and opened his eyes to our place in an ongoing story.
November 15, 2013 Day after day, workers at Michigan State University care for and feed colonies of evolving bacteria. The original microbes have produced more than 50,000 generations in the 25 years since the experiment began. Despite predictions the bacteria might someday reach a point where they would evolve no more, the results show they keep changing.
November 13, 2013 The first bite of a bitter fruit or nut can be shocking, even revolting. That's led scientists to think that bitter tastes evolved to help us avoid poisonous plants. But a new a genetic study in Africa challenges that notion.
November 11, 2013 It feels natural to say: "huh?" According to a team of linguists in the Netherlands, this word — huh? — is universal. Commentator Alva Noë wonders if that's really possible. Do universal words exists, words common to every language here on Earth?
September 25, 2013 Entelognathus primordialis, which lived some 420 million years ago, is the earliest known creature with a modern jaw. It could upend our understanding of how jawed vertebrates evolved.
September 12, 2013 Revered naturalist and filmmaker Sir David Attenborough recently startled scientists by declaring that humans are no longer evolving. Commentator and anthropologist Barbara J. King offers a clear response: Attenborough is wrong.
August 12, 2013 Religion offers existential and emotional benefits that science can't seem to match. According to Commentator Tania Lombrozo, there's a tension in nature and science between beauty and bleakness. Can a scientific, naturalistic worldview be as fulfilling as religious belief?
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.