David Barash
Professor of Psychology emeritus, University of Washington

David P Barash is an evolutionary biologist and emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle. His most recent books are Through a Glass Brightly: Using Science to See Our Species as We Really Are (2018), and with his wife, the psychiatrist Judith Eve Lipton, Strength Through Peace: How Demilitarization Led to Peace and Happiness in Costa Rica, and What the Rest of the World Can Learn from a Tiny, Tropical Nation (2018).   

Written by David Barash

Coloured scanning electron microscope (SEM) of a water bear (Paramacrobiotus craterlaki) in moss. Photo by Eye of Science/Science Photo Library

Essay/
Evolution
Life is tough

Human life is fragile but tardigrades and other extremophiles show that life itself is in little danger of disappearing

David P Barash

Donnie McBurney (left) and Chris Welch, both of Merrit Island, Florida, watch as the space shuttle Discovery lifts off from Cape Canaveral on 29 October 1998. Photo by Gregg Newton/Reuters

Essay/
Cosmology
Anthropic arrogance

Claims that the Universe is designed for humans raise far more troubling questions than they can possibly answer

David P Barash

Detonation of nuclear device ‘Annie’ during Operation Upshot-Knothole, 1953, Nevada. Courtesy Wikipedia

Essay/
War and peace
The deterrence myth

Nuclear deterrence continues to dominate international relations. Yet there is no proof it ever worked, nor that it ever will

David P Barash

Virunga National Park, 2013 in Bukima, DR Congo. Photo by Brent Stirton/Getty/WWF-Canon

Essay/
Religion
Is God a silverback?

Protective, omnipotent, scary and very territorial. The monotheistic God is modelled on a harem-keeping alpha male

David P Barash

Tyrannosaurus rex, a feathered beast. Illustration by Richard Wilkinson

Essay/
Biology
Paradigms lost

Science is not a ‘body of knowledge’ – it’s a dynamic, ongoing reconfiguration of knowledge and must be free to change

David P Barash

At the zoo. Photo by Lisi Niesner / Reuters

Essay/
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

Yanomami Indians from two different villages meet in Novo Demini on the border between the states of Amazonas and Roraima, 15 October 2012. Photo by Odair Leal/Reuters

Essay/
Evolution
Is there a war instinct?

Many evolutionists believe that humans have a drive for waging war. But they are wrong and the idea is dangerous

David P Barash

Are you thinking what I am thinking? From Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957). Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Essay/
Consciousness and altered states
Mind readers

Human awareness of our own minds and others’ is unlike that of any other animal. But why did consciousness evolve?

David P Barash

Vultures wait to eat a corpse during a celestial burial ceremony on 29 October 2006 in Dari County of Guoluo Prefecture, Qinghai Province, northwest China. Photo by China Pictures/Getty

Essay/
Ecology and environmental sciences
Only connect

Buddhism and ecology both refuse to separate the human and natural worlds – and demand that we act accordingly

David P Barash

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