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Balance

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    The Case for More Intellectual Humility

    I can remember, almost a decade ago, when I was convinced out of my “Young-Earth” Creationism. It was almost a process of de-radicalization. During high school I was a generic Christian, but then some friends suggested I watch a video of a pastor online and, well, you can guess the rest. The message encouraged spreading […]

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    There’s Mysteriously Large Amounts of Methane on Mars

    The mystery isn’t just that we see methane when we shouldn’t. It’s also that, in a sense, we see too much of it. If you want to detect life on another planet, look for biomarkers—spectroscopic signatures of chemicals that betray the activity of living things. And in fact we may have already found a biomarker. […]

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    It Might Be Time to Stop Touting Eco-Friendly Messages

    In this climate, you might wonder whether it’s still possible for companies to tout a “green” message at all. Maybe it’s dead.Photograph by Florida Sea Grant / Flickr In his modestly titled 2010 book Beyond Business: An Inspirational Memoir From a Visionary Leader, John Browne, the former CEO of Beyond Petroleum (BP for short), recounted […]

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    Are We Being Too Superficial About the Gender Problem in Science?

    Hope Jahren, a geobiologist at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, is “very cynical about efforts to get girls into science.”Photograph by GSK / Flickr Why should the share of women in a given occupation affect its average pay? It’s a curious inverse relationship. Census data show that when the former increases, the latter decreases—when […]

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    New Exoskeletons Will Harness the Subtle Anatomy of Human Balance

    The bones and bodies of the Kenyan women had adjusted to perfectly support the head weight in the most energy efficient manner, aligning in an ideal formation to keep the weight off the muscles.Photograph by Kim Steele / Getty In the 1980s, a bioengineer named Norm Heglund was doing field work in Kenya, hoping to […]

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    What to Do When Your Girlfriend Is 70 Times Bigger Than You

    Out in the clear waters near the Great Barrier Reef, a common blanket octopus male swims toward a female. This male need not worry about showing his brightest colors or engaging in a showy battle of strength in hopes of winning the female’s permission to approach. In fact it’s unclear if the female even notices […]

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    Meet Seven Extraordinary Women Scientists

    A neuroscientist turned designer has created a unique celebration of women’s history month.

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    Survival of the Friendliest

    It’s time to give the violent metaphors of evolution a break.

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    Can Dark Energy Kill Galaxies?

    The surprising importance of a dark-energy selection effect.

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    Live Tiny, Die Never: Behold the Toughest Animal on Earth

    Extremophiles raise the prospect that perhaps life first emerged in what we—sunny children of a relatively easy, superficially life-friendly environment—have until recently considered impossible conditions.Photograph by Nicole Ottawa & Oliver Meckes / Eye of Science / Science Source Images With global climate change, habitat loss, poaching, pollution, and environmental abuse of all kinds, these are […]