Articles republished from Aeon
Lying and cheating might be indispensable in planning a surprise party, or a surprise heist. Is creativity always a moral good?
Across time and place, our species’ life span is remarkably consistent.
From paper databases to digital analyses, the field's transformation holds lessons for AI and machine learning.
To help us survive, our eyes have to make some sacrifices.
Variability in nature leads to more than teeming jungles and robust coral reefs.
We can measure black holes, but we still can't cure the common cold.
Why did words that end in “tron” once sound so futuristic?
Nations used astronomy as a means of peaceful exchange in the 18th century—until the British Empire stepped in.
Local connections between people could be essential for broader-scale cooperation.
An intense focus on mothers’ caregiving in the 20th century set the stage for a rare disorder.
It’s time to set aside the “Earth Twin” strategy.
Progress in the sciences can only move as fast as humans can think—outsourcing to A.I. could change that.
The universe is just too big.
Jackson Pollock’s paintings mirror nature’s patterns, like branching trees, snowflakes, waves—and the structure of the human eye.
It’s a great physics thought experiment—and an awful accident in 1978.
Adults admire people who overcome temptation, but children judge them for feeling tempted in the first place.
Scientists have been refining their understanding of rainbows’ unusual features since René Descartes first studied them in 1637.
Early apes’ ability to metabolize alcohol increased about 20-fold due to a single-point mutation in their genes.
Science has a history of inflated promises when it comes to disease treatment.
The idea that humans are ephemeral compared to the workings of nature isn’t as persuasive as it once was.
Visions of hairy “man-apes” speak to something deep in the human psyche.