Human evolution


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Evolution
War in the womb

A ferocious biological struggle between mother and baby belies any sentimental ideas we might have about pregnancy

Suzanne Sadedin

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Language and linguistics
Real talk

For decades, the idea of a language instinct has dominated linguistics. It is simple, powerful and completely wrong

Vyvyan Evans

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Meaning and the good life
Natural-born existentialists

Ethics cannot be based on human nature because, as evolutionary biology tells us, there is no such thing

Ronnie de Sousa

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Values and beliefs
Human nature matters

The only way to construct a robust philosophy for life is to have a clear and realistic picture of what makes humans tick

Skye C Cleary & Massimo Pigliucci

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Family life
The marvel of the human dad

Among our close animal relatives, only humans have involved and empathic fathers. Why did evolution favour the devoted dad?

Anna Machin

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Social psychology
Disgust made us human

Our ancestors reacted to parasites with overwhelming revulsion, wiring the brain for morals, manners, politics and laws

Kathleen McAuliffe

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Genetics
Unified theory of evolution

Darwin’s theory that natural selection drives evolution is incomplete without input from evolution’s anti-hero: Lamarck

Michael Skinner

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Demography and migration
The future is mixed-race

And so is the past. Migration and mingling are essential to human success in the past, the present and into the future

Scott Solomon

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Human evolution
The Neanderthal renaissance

Handprints on a cave wall, crumbs from a meal: the new science of Neanderthals radically recasts the meaning of humanity

Rebecca Wragg Sykes

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Sex and sexuality
How sex rules our dreams

Gritty, emotional, smelly and dirty: new evidence supports Freud’s long-debunked theory that sex fuels our dreams

Patrick McNamara

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Food and drink
Against the grains

A carbs-rich diet has been blamed for the alarming explosion of obesity and chronic disease. What does the science show?

Melinda Wenner Moyer

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Human evolution
In to Asia

New evidence about the ancient humans who occupied Asia is cascading in: the story of our species needs rewriting again

Christopher Bae

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Mathematics
How natural is numeracy?

Where does our number sense come from? Is it a neural capacity we are born with — or is it a product of our culture?

Philip Ball

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Social psychology
Masters of reality

The trances and healing powers of shamans are so widespread that they can be counted a human universal. Why did they evolve?

Thomas T Hills

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Biology
Coincidental killers

We assume that microbes evolved to attack humans when actually we are just civilian casualties in a much older war

Ed Yong

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Evolution
The first smile

Why do laughter, smiles and tears look so similar? Perhaps because they all evolved from a single root

Michael Graziano

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Love and friendship
Why women stray

Evolutionary theory says men stray to increase offspring, but what motivates women? Enter the mate-switching hypothesis

David Buss

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Human evolution
Sex makes babies

As far as we can tell, no other animal knows this. Did our understanding of baby-making change the course of human history?

Holly Dunsworth & Anne Buchanan

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Human evolution
Imagination is ancient

Our imaginative life today has access to the pre-linguistic, ancestral mind: rich in imagery, emotions and associations

Stephen T Asma

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Human evolution
To automate is human

It’s not tools, culture or communication that make humans unique but our knack for offloading dirty work onto machines

Antone Martinho-Truswell

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Animals and humans
Animal magnetism

Humans are fascinated by our fellow animals – is that just an evolutionary hangover or something more profound?

David P Barash