Unlike human engineering, which aims for optimal efficiency, failsafe design, and continual progress, evolution has no point. "Whatever works!" might be considered its rallying cry. This leads to some stunning examples of apparently gross and, from a human point of view, tragic waste. To illustrate, I give you the turtles of Heron Island.
The center of the universe might be closer than you think -- in fact, it might be right under your feet. A conservative Catholic crank, Robert Sungenis, is now resurrecting the long-discredited geocentric model in a bizarre movie called The Principle.
Designating the wooly mammoth as South Carolina's state fossil proved to be a no brainer, but not in the usual sense. It was because two senators insisted that if the state were to have an official fossil, the state should at the same time affirm that creatures of the world were created on the sixth day.
If in one of the most defining religious-political texts of the human species we'd been charged with stewardship of the natural world, not some sort of adolescent, consequence-free control over it, what sort of spiritual understanding would have evolved over the millennia?
The true question becomes: Why are so many atoms -- zillions of them -- needed to make up even the very simplest living thing? Why are we so complex?
Your juicer may belong on the shelf next to the other fallen health products. It is a device that takes healthy foods (fruits and vegetables) and renders them less healthy. It eliminates fiber, turns solid food into a liquid and facilitates a huge increase in consumption.
Victor Hugo visited his barber daily; I haven't had a haircut in 15 months. Balzac consumed as many as 50 cups of coffee per day; I recently switched to iced green tea. Every day, Charles Darwin built in three walks and some idleness; I forgot to exercise this week.
Anatomy is for everyone. It is easy to relate to, because we all live in fleshy anatomical bodies that rouse our curiosity from an early age, and everywhere in nature there are surprising parallels with -- as well as bizarre differences from -- our anatomical body-plans.
The oxygen we breathe, the water we drink and the sugar we eat are all chemicals. But somehow "chemical" has become a dirty word, synonymous with "toxin," and "chemical-free" is now a popular, albeit nonsensical, advertising slogan.
The fear of missing out, also known as FOMO, is a real phenomenon. And it only seems to be getting worse as our technology forces us to realize that t...
Traveling to Galapagos Islands has been on my bucket list for a very long time, and I was finally able to cross it off last month. The Islands are undoubtedly the most unique place I have ever been to, and here's why it needs to be on your bucket list, too.
Lisa Feldman Barrett's Feb. 28 New York Times op-ed seeks to undermine the science showing universality in the interpretation of facial expressions. We feel compelled to respond so that the public is not misled and is apprised of the broader, Darwin-inspired science of emotional expression that many scientists are working on.
Isolation, challenging environment, the allure of a biological blank slate -- what's not to love? I found it impossible to explore Heron Island in Australia without coming up against evolutionary questions at every turn.
As you can see, the story of Noah was already borrowed and given a new purpose by Hebrew scribes. It has been retold countless times, and the theme is now being used by filmmaker Darren Aronofsky to tell his own idiosyncratic tale of environmental retribution and redemption.
Even someone like Dawkins, one of the world's greatest champions of scientific reason, recognizes that computer theories of dreaming are inadequate.
The message of Cosmos to people of faith is that divinity is a human exercise; that what makes us special isn't a book; that despite our ultimate insignificance, we can still understand the nature of the universe and our place in it; and that it is not a betrayal of faith to ask questions.