Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is a cognitive scientist at Harvard. His latest book ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature; A History of Violence and Humanity’ is published by Penguin in paperback

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Daredevil Felix Baumgartner on the ground

This week's big questions: The end of men, vegetarianism and is Baumgartner a show off?

Is meat-eating uncivilised? Can we ever stop genocides? Are drone attacks justified?

Psychological Notes: The Stone Age mental toolbox we inherit

THE HUMAN brain is an extraordinary organ. It has allowed us to walk on the moon, to discover the roots of matter and life, and to play chess almost as well as a computer. But this virtuosity raises a puzzle. The brain of Homo sapiens achieved its modern form and size between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago, well before the invention of agriculture, civilisations and writing in the last 10,000 years. Our foraging ancestors had no occasions to do astrophysics or play chess, and natural selection would not have rewarded them with more babies if they had. How, then, did our outsize, science-ready brain evolve?

Ins and outs of the meaning of `is'

Linguistic Notes
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