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The founding moment of the United States brought a society newly freed from religion. What went wrong?
The songs of the wolves
Wolves’ howls are eerie, beautiful and wild. But what are they actually saying to each other?
Magic bowls of antiquity
Ancient Babylonia’s magic bowls offer a glimpse into the society of the Talmud, and today’s shadowy antiquities market
Are dreams predictions?
Dreams might not be omens or prophecies in a mystical sense, but they do have a distinct psychological predictive power
What do clothes say?
Clothes can be forms of thought as articulate as a poem or equation. Why then does philosophy like to dress them down?
The empty brain
Your brain does not process information, retrieve knowledge or store memories. In short: your brain is not a computer
Cruel ships of prosperity
For more than two centuries the huge profits and profound suffering of the Manila Galleons helped create global capitalism
David Z Morris
Half-human soldiers, robot servants and eagle drones – the Greeks got there first. Could an AI learn from their stories?
In praise of patience
Resilience is the fashionable prescription for trauma. But bouncing back is not the only – or best – way to bear sorrow
To save Earth, go to Mars
If head-on problem-solving can’t save the Earth, maybe lateral innovation can. Will low-cost space research pave the way?
Bring them back
Untold thousands of patients misdiagnosed as vegetative are actually aware. Theirs is the civil rights fight of our times
Joseph J Fins
Should we be afraid of AI?
Machines seem to be getting smarter and smarter and much better at human jobs, yet true AI is utterly implausible. Why?
Sunshine in a bottle
Mimic the dance between carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, and you can tap into clean solar energy and ease climate change
More than words
Human communication is a glorious chaos. And images, from art to emojis, sometimes say it so much better than language can
Why is simpler better?
Ockham’s Razor says that simplicity is a scientific virtue, but justifying this philosophically is strangely elusive
A gifted child, an adventure, a dark time, and then ... a pivot? How Silicon Valley rewrote America’s redemption narrative
Why Spinoza still matters
At a time of religious zealotry, Spinoza’s fearless defence of intellectual freedom is more timely than ever
Ghosts and tiny treasures
We are quick to condemn a hunter posing with his prey, but all too slow to cultivate a chronic passion for wild things
Enid Blyton, moral guide
The unfashionable world of Blyton’s school stories still has much to say about what it means to live an ethical life
A science without time
From past to present, into the future: the flow of time is central to human experience. Why isn’t it central to physics?
Why is death bad?
Even without a hereafter, dying gets a bad rap. But why exactly is it no good – because of what happens, or what doesn’t?
In proof we trust
Blockchain technology will revolutionise far more than money: it will change your life. Here’s how it actually works
Red-hot gay marriage
Gay liberation didn’t begin with marches and political rallies, but with a revolution in thought
Did Rousseau have ADHD?
Rousseau’s non-linear style of thought, restless spirit and chaotic mood swings also made him one of history’s greats
Richard W Orange
Male flamboyance does more than ruffle a few feathers – it helps the female choose a mate in top metabolic health
Spare the rod
Christian Domestic Discipline and the erotics of religious submission raise the possibility of a new concept of God
Tara Isabella Burton
Who owns the earth?
Private land ownership is a beautiful dream gone badly wrong. It’s time to reinstate the forgotten ideal of the commons
Gravitational wave blues
For a thrilling moment, it looked as though Joe Weber had bagged the biggest discovery in physics
Bridging the Hellespont
In the light of the Syrian refugee crisis, how long can we cling to our traditional ideas of ‘Europe’ and ‘Asia’?
Hail the maintainers
Capitalism excels at innovation but is failing at maintenance, and for most lives it is maintenance that matters more
Lee Vinsel & Andrew Russell
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