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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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A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
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A boy holds a chick during the Russian National Agricultural Exhibition Golden Autumn 2014 in Moscow on October 9, 2014.
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War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot