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.
Science asks big questions about the nature of the universe, the nature of the mind and what it means to be human. Understanding how to interpret the answers often takes us into the realm of philosophy, the underpinning of scientific exploration.
Is it really possible that the civilizations that grew up in the "other" hemisphere have nothing useful to say about value, the categories of experience or the nature of mind? No. Luckily, we may be on the cusp of a new global era for philosophy.
Academic philosophy is an outlier within the humanities, with fewer than 20 percent of full-time faculty positions occupied by women. Commentator Tania Lombrozo discusses some recent findings that might help us understand why.
We face a paradox: Although we lack sufficient reason to believe in the consciousness of others, it would be plainly unreasonable for us to give up this commitment.
Science is often accused of extinguishing our enchantment with the world, of being too cold and rational. Quite the opposite is true, says Marcelo Gleiser. Modern science has restored a sense of wonder to the world with its revelations of objects unseen and realities unknown.
Some people believe that the recipient of an organ transplant will take on characteristics of the organ donor. Commentator Tania Lombrozo considers what this reveals about the way we conceptualize ourselves and our bodies.
Robot-assisted surgeries have changed the medical landscape for patients with certain diagnoses, including some types of cancer. Commentator Barbara J. King looks forward to meeting her robot surgeon next week and getting the job done.
Physicist Marcelo Gleiser recalls his early interest in competing interpretations of the quantum world. Now a successful researcher in his own right, he wonders if it's time to switch gears and turn his casual interest into a professional pursuit.
Sacks turns 80 this year. Philosopher Alva Noë asks the question: What makes Sacks' work so important?
The quantum world is mysterious. It behaves in ways that just don't match up with what we see in the larger world. Commentator Marcelo Gleiser probes the space between what we see and what we know in search of a bridge between both realities.
Refining our capacity to notice is an act of reverence that we can bring to everywhere and everywhen. It's an invitation, bringing the world's most basic presence into view, opening our horizons and restoring our spirits.
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.
What can we say about how the brain creates our sense of self? A lot and yet surprisingly little, as it turns out. Commentator Marcelo Gleiser ponders the many challenges scientists face to make sense of our mind.
Are you one of the last humans who will ever live? Commentator Adam Frank takes us through the famous Doomsday Argument and what it means.