Zombies Must Be Dualists
What the existence of zombies would do to our philosophy of mind.
The True Story of Medical Books Bound in Human Skin
In 1868, on a hot, midsummer day, 28-year-old Mary Lynch was admitted to the Philadelphia Almshouse and Hospital, the city hospital for the poor, better known as “Old Blockley.” Lynch had tuberculosis, which was soon to be compounded by the parasitic infection trichinosis. She didn’t recover, dying in Ward 27 the following year, weighing just […]
Scientists Have No Defense Against Awe
Eileen Pollack, author of The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science Is Still a Boys’ Club, hinted at the complexity of the relationship between science and the soul in a recent essay: “We need scientists who recognize the reality of this illusion we still call the soul and artists who know how intimately […]
Loneliness Is a Warning Sign to Be Social
In 2002, a group of adults aged 50 and over answered a series of questions about their physical and mental health. A subset of the questions went as follows. How often do you feel … 1) A lack of companionship 2) Left out 3) Isolated from others The adults rated their answers on a scale […]
This Piece of Ocean Trash Criticizes Ocean Trash
Nearly three years ago, George Boorujy took a trip to Wolfe’s Pond Park, on the southeastern edge of Staten Island in New York City, and threw a bottle into the ocean. On a cold, sunny day this February, artist Brigitte Barthelemy, her husband, and their schnauzer, Elton, went for a walk on a beach in […]
A Water World Would Be the Ultimate Surfing Spot
Now that we’re nearly into the second week of our “Currents” issue, I thought it’d be fitting to recall our interview with Lisa Kaltenegger, an astronomer at Cornell University and the director of its Carl Sagan Institute. Before Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar came out, in 2014, Kaltenegger sat down with Nautilus to discuss her work, and she rhapsodized about the physics and […]
Here Are 5 Ways Lightning Shapes Life on Earth
Lightning is the flash and rumble of an electron swarm leaping across the sky. With extravagant swiftness it moves through a cloud, from one cloud to another, or between a cloud and the ground, millions of times every day. The role of lightning in the world’s affairs is much more substantial than its ephemerality might […]
Did Preemies Make Humans Smart?
Our big-brained noggins require us to be born early so we can squeeze through a tight birth canal.
Why Neil deGrasse Tyson Shuns Sam Harris’ Swamp of Controversy
On The Tonight Show, in March 1978, the late astronomer Carl Sagan had lots to talk about. He had just published Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence—which would win the Pulitzer Prize—and Star Wars, released the year before, still captivated the public’s imagination. When Johnny Carson, the show’s then-host, asked Sagan […]
Be Happier By Knowing Your Future Self
Aren’t you positively brimming with joy, now that winter has gone? No? Me neither. Yet several months ago, I couldn’t wait for the Ottawa snow to melt and spring to start. Now that it’s here, though, I can’t really tell what I thought was so exciting. This is because when we imagine the future—like how […]