The golden quarter
Some of our greatest cultural and technological achievements took place between 1945 and 1971. Why has progress stalled?
The real problem
It looks like scientists and philosophers might have made consciousness far more mysterious than it needs to be
Die, selfish gene, die
For decades, the selfish gene metaphor let us view evolution with new clarity. Is it now blinding us?
War in the womb
A ferocious biological struggle between mother and baby belies any sentimental ideas we might have about pregnancy
Is this life real?
Philosophers and physicists say we might be living in a computer simulation, but how can we tell? And does it matter?
Does life have a purpose?
Nobody expects atoms and molecules to have purposes, so why do we still think of living things in this way?
The problem with p-values
Academic psychology and medical testing are both dogged by unreliability. The reason is clear: we got probability wrong
Light travels at around 300,000 km per second. Why not faster? Why not slower? A new theory inches us closer to an answer
In the beginning
Cosmology has been on a long, hot streak, racking up one imaginative and scientific triumph after another. Is it over?
Our quantum problem
When the deepest theory we have seems to undermine science itself, some kind of collapse looks inevitable
The mathematical world
Some philosophers think maths exists in a mysterious other realm. They’re wrong. Look around: you can see it
Life is quantum
Weird quantum effects are so delicate it seems they could only happen in a lab. How on Earth can life depend on them?
Trying to resolve the stubborn paradoxes of their field, physicists craft ever more mind-boggling visions of reality
The cold fusion horizon
Is cold fusion truly impossible, or is it just that no respectable scientist can risk their reputation working on it?
The closer you look, the more the materialist position in physics appears to rest on shaky metaphysical ground
The lunar phases influence all sorts of creatures from corals to eagle owls. Does the Moon tug on human behaviour too?
Is there any reason to think dolphins and humans have a special relationship? Sure, but it might not be a friendly one
Too many worlds
Nobody knows what happens inside quantum experiments. So why are some so keen to believe in parallel universes?
Science once communicated in a polyglot of tongues, but now English rules alone. How did this happen – and at what cost?
I feel therefore I am
How exactly did consciousness become a problem? And why, after years off the table, is it a hot research subject now?
The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis
Aliens in our midst
The ctenophore’s brain suggests that, if evolution began again, intelligence would re-emerge because nature repeats itself