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David P 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 P Barash

Is God a silverback? | Aeon
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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

Mind readers | Aeon
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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

Animal magnetism | Aeon
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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

Paradigms lost | Aeon
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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

Only connect | Aeon
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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

Is there a war instinct? | Aeon
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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

The deterrence myth | Aeon
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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

Anthropic arrogance | Aeon
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Cosmology

Anthropic arrogance

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

David P Barash

Life is tough | Aeon
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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



Recent Comments

The deterrence myth

David P Barash

I am very much encouraged by the intelligent engagement shown by many - although not all - of the commenters here, especially those asking for suggestions as to how we could get out of our current nuclear deterrence dilemma. I’d be happy to detail an array of such possible steps, perhaps in a subsequent aeon essay. My purpose in this piece was not to make such proposals, but rather, to begin to show the many inconsistencies behind the widespread adherence to deterrence as a doctrine that supposedly provides security, and that has served as the backbone supporting the entire nuclear weapons regime - while actually undermining national and international safety.

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