Why does everyone, of every faith and none, feel immortal?
Life without boredom would be a nightmare
Why do archaeological fraudsters work so hard to deceive us?
Should we harvest organs from patients who are not dead yet?
We have this powerful sense that death is a transition, not an end. Why can’t we imagine a world without us?
The quiet alarm
Just like pain, boredom is an aversive and unpleasant experience that we need to have in order to truly live well
What lies beneath
Why do archaeological fraudsters work so hard to deceive us? Because bad science makes for good stories
To honour donors, we should harvest organs that have the best chance of helping others – before, not after, death
Into the deep
Just when you crave one more sensual hit, the void of the float tank stops time, strips ego and unleashes the mind
To heaven and back
Is the heaven tourism memoir spiritual kitsch for the superficial seeker, or an earnest attempt to wrestle with death?
You can do it, baby!
Our culture is rich with esteem-boosting platitudes for young dreamers, but the assurances are dishonest and dangerous
Life without design
Constructor theory is a new vision of physics, but it helps to answer a very old question: why is life possible at all?
Are professional ethicists good people? According to our research, not especially. So what is the point of learning ethics?
Where’s Bobbi Fischer?
Little girls sign up to play chess in droves. So why are so few of the world’s top players women?
We could build an artificial brain that believes itself to be conscious. Does that mean we have solved the hard problem?
Alien life forms might be living right under our noses, but how can we find them if we don’t know what we’re looking for?
Adversity in childhood can create long-lasting scars, damaging our cells and our DNA, and making us sick as adults
Shadow and substance
Hannah Arendt knew how to be a pariah. Is that the key to being a 21st-century cosmopolitan?
Sonifying the world
When Chris Chafe translates data into music, listeners sway to the beat of seizing brains, economic swings and smog
Return of the king
The ‘cosplay Caliphate’ of ISIS is a deadly fantasy, but a familiar one in the West. It feeds the same urges as Tolkien
Last hominin standing
Was human evolution inevitable, or do we owe our existence to a once-in-a-universe stroke of luck?
Humanist among machines
As the dreams of Silicon Valley fill our world, could the dowdy historian Arnold Toynbee help prevent a nightmare?
Why things happen
Either cause and effect are the very glue of the cosmos, or they are a naive illusion due to insufficient math. But which?
Critics say that porn degrades women, dulls sexual pleasure, and ruins authentic relationships – are they right?
The orangutan trap
An orangutan steals crops from a poor farmer in Indonesia and is shot in retribution. Who is to blame?
How could they?
Some people are ruthless. Some lose control. Yet most violence remains unfathomable. A new theory lights up the darkness
The comic’s quandary
Does heckling let the real comedian stand up and shine, or does it trample a punchline and mangle a routine?
Rise of the ripped
With bodies sculpted to look like comic-book heroes, today’s muscle men create an impossible template for masculinity
When we meet aliens, it won’t be a friendly encounter nor a conquest: it will be a gold rush. Can we make sure it’s ethical?
See through words
The metaphor designer isn’t trying to make something beautiful. She wants to change your view on things. Here’s how
Travel is supposed to make us feel more alive so why is the hotel room a place of such loneliness and despair?
Losing the thread
Older than bronze and as new as nanowires, textiles are technology — and they have remade our world time and again