Sharing personal information brings people closer together. But how do you know when you’ve gone too far—or when someone else has ulterior motives?
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Life in full circle
Judith Eve Lipton M.D., David P. Barash Ph.D.
There is a big hullabaloo about service animals. Who has a service animal? Who is entitled to a service animal? What is the social impact of service animals. I say, bring them on!
Each if us is responsible for what we do, and we are barraged with the need to reduce our carbon footprints, and the like. But is there a sneaky downside to this pressure?
People are smart, but so are many animals. Time for us Homo sapiens to "get over it."
Among the persistent arguments for enthroning human uniqueness, intellect has been especially popular. But uniqueness is in the eye of the beholder.
A recent hypothesis suggests that within-group murder may, paradoxically, have made our species less violent.
Psychoanalysis provides a potential window into our deeper selves, and also, perhaps, into the current president.
Biology and Buddhism have converged in many ways, not least when it comes to the science of ecology.
Biology and Buddhism agree: there is no genuine separation between individuals and the rest of the world.
How the explorations and passions of youth protect us as we age. Tai Chi? Music? Literature? Dogs? What you learn and love comes back as a belay in dark times.
In the last of four posts on the "anthropic universe," I discuss quantum queries, Carl Sagan's curious concept, and the natural selection of galaxies.
A bit of painless probability and a mess of multiverses helps provide some insight into the fraught question of whether "our" universe was made for us.
According to some experts, the physical constants of the universe shows that it was made, somehow, for us. Others disagree.
For some people, the strongest argument for god is the "anthropic principle," the idea that if any of the many physical constants were just a bit different, we wouldn't exist.
What to do when you are subject to someone in power who is unstable and possibly dangerous? At least one character in Shakespeare offers an option, although perhaps not the best.
Costa Rica is the largest and oldest completely demilitarized country in the world, population of 4.8 million people. It is also a non-killing society. Peace is possible.
Creating a human-chimpanzee hybrid or chimera could have philosophical as well as medical value.
How do you write a book when your original idea turns out to be worthless? What if Costa Rica is NOT the happiest country in the world, but something even better? Think crocodile.
Only recently have biologists appreciated and identified extremophiles: creatures that live in intense, seemingly impossible environments.
Albert Schweitzer got it right: Life deserves our utmost respect. But it is natural and perseverative, not miraculous.
Advocates of intelligent design claim that organisms generally, and people in particular, testify to a wise creator, but our biology shows that our "designer" wasn't smart at all.
For many people the great fault of materialism is that it denies the existence of a soul. But that's actually one of its strengths.
Good riddance to most of them, especially those that delude us into thinking that human beings—and ourselves as individuals—are so damned important.
We need good writing that combines fiction and nature; fortunately, here are two.
The meaning of life? Here's what seems like a harsh and nihilistic reality: There is none. But in that nothingness reside opportunity and challenge.
No one knows if extraterrestrial life exists, nor does anyone know how our planet's religions might respond; but we can guess.
Our evolutionary history of polygyny helps explain the angry, violent misogyny of the "incels."
Science has done a magnificent job of helping us to question things that seem obvious, but aren't true.
"The more things change, the more they stay the same." True or false?
We're important and special, but as troublesome as we are remarkable.
People keep trying to define themselves as unique, exceptional, discontinuous from the rest of the natural world. But at a strictly organic level, we're not. Get over it.
Judith Eve Lipton, M.D. is a psychiatrist and book author. She and her husband David Barash have written about sex, war, and human nature.
David P. Barash, Ph.D., is an evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology emeritus at the University of Washington. His latest book is Through a Glass Brightly: using science to see our species as it really is.