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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Books: Gigantic lumbering metaphors

The Darwin Wars

Wednesday Book: A ride on Darwin's bandwagon

DARWIN'S SPECTRE: EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY IN THE MODERN WORLD

Science: Suicide: Your Life Depends On It

The mysterious voluntary suicide of healthy cells has become the hottest research topic of the Nineties, with pharmaceuticals companies throwing millions at it in the hope that it will lead to cures for our deadliest diseases. Martin Raff reports

Letter: Millennium man

Sir: Humans are the only creatures on this planet who can ask how we came to be here . Only the scientific method offers a way to answer such questions. Of those who have had the greatest impact on the progress of science my own choice for person of the millennium is Charles Darwin. The understanding of evolution is the single most important event so far in our path to understanding of life. In the next millennium the scientific method should yield a full biological understanding of life starting with the description of the sequence of the human genome.

The Critical Condition: How to make a better viewer

In the second part of our week-long series on the culture of criticism, we consider what it means to be a television critic. What is the TV critic's role? What is his relationship with his subject? And what, ultimately, is his objective? By Thomas Sutcliffe

Anatomy of a selfish genius

The Saturday Profile: RICHARD DAWKINS

Essay: Fifteen secular authors could not help finding spiritual resonance in a new selection

There's nothing wrong with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, said a questioner from the floor, it's a very good book. Doris Lessing looked despairing. There could, she said, be no comparison between the kind of literary excellence of the King James Bible and the story of Willy Wonka. To anyone who thought the two might be compared, she said, she had nothing to say.

Books: The unnatural selector

Francis Spufford enjoys a glimpse of the world that evolution killed

Obituary: Professor Peter Thorogood

PETER THOROGOOD was one of the foremost developmental biologists of his generation, gaining respect internationally for his research work on the development of cranio-facial structures in the embryo and foetus, and on the origin of birth defects of the head and neck.

Science: Let there be light

Was the Cambrian diversity of life `switched on'

Science Notes; The myth of Frankenstein

OUR CHILDREN learn that professors are mad around the time they start reading the Beano, imbibing a tradition that goes back to the alchemists. But the 19th century gave us the most memorable mad scientist of all, Victor Frankenstein.

Letter: We are the monsters

Sir: David Aaronovitch's article (16 May) on the extinct Ediacaran way of life was spot on, both as a description for the lay readers, and for the high sense of humour and insight by which he made links to how we view ourselves biologically and ideologically.

The science of human rights: Amnesty's latest fear: how our genes may d etermine our fate

If modern biology can disassemble humanity into a kind of molecular Meccano, what sense does it make to talk about human rights? This question is not new. Its classic expression was in Brave New World (written by the brother of a leading biologist of his day), and the most succinct statement of the problem was made by Stewart Brand in the Whole Earth Catalogue 30 years ago, when he said, "We are as Gods, and might as well get good at it."

FAITH & REASON: Now ghosts are more popular than God

Why is belief in the paranormal rising despite Britain's supposed scientific rationalism? Because, argues Andrew Brown, it offers the illusion of control in a world which seems increasingly wanton.

Science: An expression of the facts

Darwin's masterwork on the unity of the human race went out of fashion and print. Its revival promises to stir up the racial difference debate again
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Louis van Gaal looks dejected after Manchester United's 4-0 defeat by MK Dons on Tuesday night
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Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
businessHow bosses are inventing unusual ways of making us work harder
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Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
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Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?