Human UniquenessNew Search
Culture and the Mind: A New Theory of Human Intelligence
What role might culture play in intelligence? And how does human culture differ from culture found in other animals?
Science Weekly, The Guardian
Unlike Humans, Bonobos Shun Helpers and Befriend the Bullies
Given a choice, bonobos tend to prefer people who act like jerks and dominate. That’s very different than humans, who even as infants consistently prefer people who are cooperative and not mean.
Who First Buried the Dead?
Evidence of burial rites by the primitive, small-brained Homo naledi suggests that symbolic behavior is very ancient indeed.
Human Nature: Paleolithic Emotions, Medieval Institutions, God-Like Technology
Creativity might just be the defining trait that makes us human, says E.O. Wilson, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and acclaimed ‘Father of Biodiversity.’ But what exactly is the modern Homo sapiens, anyway?
Less Unique Than We Think
The idea that humans are special bumps up against Darwin’s great insight: the continuity of all life. David Barash reviews The Creative Spark by Agustín Fuentes and Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony by Kevin N. Laland.
The Wall Street Journal
Ravens Can Plan for the Future
They join an elite group of animals that includes great apes, but not monkeys or 3-year-old human children.
Chimps Pass Knowledge Along From Generation to Generation
Humans aren’t the only species that passes knowledge along to the next generation. A new study by primatologists at the University of St. Andrews discovered that chimpanzees also engage in “cumulative practice,” a process that allows subsequent generations to build on the skills honed by their elders.
Raising Good Robots
We already have a way to teach morals to alien intelligences: it's called parenting. Can we apply the same methods to robots?
Who and What Are We? And When Did We Get Here?
The modern human’s capacity for symbolic information-processing truly is unique among living creatures. And this, of course, invites us to inquire just when our precursors acquired such exceptional cognitive traits. Do these traits have deep roots in the past, having emerged insensibly under natural selection as hominid brains enlarged? Or did they appear suddenly and all at once? And, if so, when?
Big Questions Online
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