The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
Show by  
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>
Topics Filter?
American Nations American Nations Baby Gap Children China Colin Woodard Dysgenic East Asians Eugenics Europeans Evolution Eye Color Fertility Fertility Gender And Sexuality Gene-Culture Coevolution Genetic Pacification Genetics Global Warming Greg Cochran Gregory Clark Hair Color Hajnal Line Hbd Chick Health And Medicine Heredity Homosexuality Human Evolution Ideology And Worldview Immigration Intelligence IQ Iq Mathematics Nature Vs. Nurture Neanderthals Obesity Parenting Political Correctness Polygyny Population Replacement Race/IQ Review Sexual Selection Shorts And Funnies Skin Color Violence Vitamin D 4th Of July 75-0-25 Or Something A Farewell To Alms A. J. West A Savior? A Troublesome Inheritance Abc News Abigail Marsh Abortion About Me Academia Acadia acculturation Acheivement Gap Acid Attacks Addiction Adoptees Adoption Adoption Twins ADRA2b Affective Empathy Affordable Family Formation Africa African Americans African Genetics Africans Agriculture Aha Ain't Nobody Got Time For That. Ainu Alan Macfarlane Albania Albion's Seed Alcohol Alcoholism Alexandr Trubetskoy Alexandre Skirda Algeria All Human Behavioral Traits Are Heritable All Traits Are Heritable Alpha Centauri Alpha Centauri Bb Alpha Males Altitude Adaptation Altruism Alzheimers Amazing Engineering America The Beautiful American Atheists American Flag American Media American Military American Revolution Amerindians Amish Amish Quotient Amoral Familialism Amy Chua Amygdala An Hbd Liberal Anatoly Karlin Ancestry Ancient DNA Ancient Genetics Anders Breivik Andrew Gelman Androids Angelina Jolie Anglican Ann Coulter Anne Buchanan Anne Heche Anthropology Antibiotics Antiquity Antiracism Antisocial Behavior Anywhere But Here Appalachia Appalachians Archaic DNA Archaic Humans Arctic Humans Arguing With Liberals For Their Own Good Arthur Jensen Artificial Intelligence Ashkenazi Intelligence Ashkenazi Jews Asians ASPM Assimilation Assortative Mating Atheism Attractiveness Attractiveness Australian Aboriginals Austronesians Autism Automation Avengers Avi Tuschman Away Baby #2 Baby Boom Baby Bump Backlash Bacterial Vaginosis Bad Flying Bad Science Balanced Polymorphism Balkans Baloney Barack Obama Bariatric Surgery Baseball Basketball Baumeister Beauty Beauty Standards Behavior Genetics Behavioral Genetics Behaviorism Believeing In Observational Studies Is Nuts Bernie Sanders Beta Males Better Than Flowers Big Five Bill Maher Birds Of A Feather Birth Order Bisexuality Bisexuals Bitcoin Black Americans Black Belt Black Crime Black Hole Black Metal Black-on-white Black Women Attractiveness Blacks Blogging Blond Hair Blowing Up Motivated Bs Artists Blue Eyes Bmi Boasian Anthropology Boderlanders Boiling Off Books Border Reivers Borderlander Borderlanders Boston Bomb Bowling For Columbine Brain Brain Scans Brain Size Brain Structure Brainwash Breaking Down The Bullshit Breaking It Down Breeder's Equation Brian Resnick Brighter Brains Bringing Up Bebe Britain Broken Hill Brown Eyes Bruce Jenner Bruce Lahn brussels Bryan Caplan BS Burakumin Burned-over District Busted 'puter C-section Cagots Caitlyn Jenner Cajuns Cameron Russell Can You Smell It Canada Canada Day Canadian Flag Canadians Cancer Candida Albicans Cannabis Cannibis Capital Punishment Capitalism Captain Chicken Cardiovascular Disease Care Package Carl Sagan Castes Cat Wisdom Categories Catholicism Catholics Cattle Causation Cavaliers Censorship Chanda Chisala Changeability Charles Darwin Charles Murray Charlie Hebdo Charlton Heston Cheap Labor cheating Chechens Cherlie Hebdo Child Abuse Child-free Child Labor Child Services Childhood Obesity Chimerism Chinese Evolution Chlamydia Chris Rock Chris Stringer Christian Fundamentalism Christianity Christmas Christmas Tree Chuck Cinema Civil War Clannishness Clans Clark-unz Selection Claude-Lévi-Strauss Climate Climate Change Cliodynamics Cloudburst Flight Clovis Coal Cochran And Harpending Coefficient Of Relationship Cognitive Empathy Cohorts Coldplay Colonists Comedy Central Coming Apart Commenting Commonweal Communism Confederacy Congregationalists Consanguinity Conscientiousness Consciousness Conscripts Consequences Conservative Movement Conservatives Corporal Punishment Correlation Is Still Not Causation Corruption Corruption Perception Index Costa Concordia Cousin Marriage Cover Story Cowboys Craniometry Creationism Crime Criminality Crops Crowded Crowding Cryme Tyme Cuba Cuckold Envy Cuckservative Cultural Evolution Cultural Marxism Cut The Sh*t Guys Dads Vs Cads Daily Mail Dalliard Damn Technology Dan Freedman Daniel Callahan Danish Daren Acemoglu Dark Ages Dark Tetrad Dark Triad Darwin Darwinism Data Posts David Frum David Hackett Fischer David Katz Davide Piffer Death Death Penalty Declaration Of Universal Human Rights Deep Sleep Deep South Democracy Democrats Demographic Transition Denisovans Denmark Dennis Mangan Depression Deprivation Desired Family Size Destruction Detroit Development Developmental Noise Developmental Stability Diabetes Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders Dialects Dienekes Diet Different Peoples Is Different Discrimination Discrimination Paradigm Diversity Django Unchained Do You Really Want To Know? Dogs Doing My Part Doing What You Gotta Do Doll Tests Donald Trump Donate. Donations Dopamine Dr James Thompson Draftees Drd4 Drew Barrymore Drinking Drought Drugs Dry Counties DSM Dunning-kruger Effect Dusk In Autumn Dust Bowl Dustin Hoffman Dylann Roof E. O. Wilson Eagleman East Asia Eastern Europe Eastern Europeans Ebola Economic Development Economics Economists Economy Ed Miller Education EEA Egypt Elijah Armstrong Ellen Walker Elliot Rodger Elon Musk Emil Kirkegaard Emmanuel Todd Empathy Energy England English Civil War Entrepreneurship Environment Environmental Estrogens Environmentalism Episcopal Estrogen Ethiopia Ethnic Genetic Interests Ethnic Nepotism Ethology EU Eueueueueueueu ;) Eugenic European Union Everything Everything You Need Evil Evolution Of Language Evolutionary Biology Evolutionary Psychology Exercise Explain The Goddamned Evidence Extrasolar Planets Extraversion Extreterrestrials Eyes Face Recognition Face Shape Facebook Faces Facts Fallacies fallout Family Studies FAQ Far West Farmers Farming Fast Food Fat Head Fat Shaming Father Absence fde Female Deference Female Homosexuality Female Sexual Response Feminism Feminists Fetish Feuds Fields Medals Fifty Shades Of Grey Finland First Law First Principles Fitness Flag Flags Flattr Fluctuating Asymmetry Flynn Effect Food Fossil Fuels Fourth Of July Fracking Fragrances France Francesco Schettino Francis Fukuyama Frank Salter Frank Sulloway Frantz Fanon Franz Boas Fred Reed Free Speech Free Will French French Canadians French Paradox Friendly & Conventional Frost-harpending Selection Fukushima Fulford Funding Funny Fuzzballs G G Spot Game Gardnerella Vaginalis Gary Gary Taubes Gay Germ Gay Marriage Gays/Lesbians Gcta Gender Gender Gender Confusion Gender Equality Gender Identity Disorder Gender Reassignment Gene-environment Correlation Gene Expression General Intelligence General Social Survey General Theory Of The West Genes Genes: They Matter Bitches Genetic Diversity Genetic Divides Genetic Engineering Genetic Load Genetic Similarity Genetics Of Height Genomics Geography George Bush Germ Theory German Catholics Germans Germany Get It Right Get Real Get Your Stuff Straight Getting History Right Getting Up Globalism Globalization Go Away Trolls God Bless The First Amendment God Bless The Usa God Delusion Going Too Far Gone Dark Good Advice Good Puritan Values Google Gordon Gallup Great Depression Greater Appalachia Greece Greeks Green Energy Greensleeves Greg Clark Gregory B Christainsen Gregory Cochran Gregory House GRF Group Intelligence Group Selection Grumpy Cat GSS Guilt Culture Guns Gynephilia H.B.O. Hair Lengthening (Half) Joke Posts Half-siblings Half Sigma Halloween Hamilton's Rule Hans Zimmer Happiness Happy Turkey Day ... Unless You're The Turkey Harald Eia Hatemi Have A Good Summer Have A Great Holiday! Havelock Ellis Hbd HBD Denial Hbd Fallout Hbd Readers Head Size Health Care Health Wisdom Healthcare Heart Disease Heart Health Heartiste Heather Norton Height heiner-rindermann Helmuth Nyborg Help A Brother Out Help Fight The Good Fight Help The Fight The Good Fight Hemoglobin Henri De Man Henry Harpending Heritability Hexaco High Iq Fertility Hillary Clinton Hispanic Crime Hispanic Paradox Hispanics Historical Genetics History Holiday Homicide Homicide Rate Homo Altaiensis Homophobia Honesty-humility House M.d. House Md Human Biodiversity Human Genetics Human Genome Human Genomics Human Varieties Humor Hunter-Gatherers Hurricane Hurricane Harvey Hydrogenated Oils Hypocrisy I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It I Love Italians I.Q. Genomics Ian Deary Ibd Ibo Ice T Iceland I'd Like To Think It's Obvious I Know What I'm Talking About Ideology Idiocracy Igbo Ignorance Imagine Dragons immigrants Immigration In The Electric Mist Inbreeding Income Independence Day India Individualism Inequality Infection Infection Theory Infectious Disease Infidelity Internet Interracial Marriage Introgression Inuit Ioannidis Ioannis Metaxas Iosif Lazaridis Iq And Wealth Iraq Ireland Irish Is It Racist? Is It Really Good For You Islam Israel It Happens Italians Italianthro Italy It's Determinism - Genetics Is Just A Part It's Merry Christmas Damn It It's Not Nature And Nurture Iwo Eleru Jack 'o Latern Jamaica Jamaican Jamaican Accent James Horner Jamie Foxx Japan Japanese Jared Diamond Jared Taylor Jason Collins Jason Malloy Jayman Jr. Jayman's Wife Jennifer Raff Jensen Jesse Bering Jesus Jews Jim Crow John B. Watson John Derbyshire John Durant John Hawks John Hoffecker John Ladue John Tooby John Williams Joke Posts Jonathan Mark jonathan-wai Joshua Zeidner Judith Harris July 1st Junk Food K.d. Lang Kanazawa Kanye West Katy Perry Kay Hymowitz Keepin It Real Keeping Smart Liberals Going Kennewick Man Kevin Mitchell Key & Peele Keystone Pipeline Khazars Kimberly Noble Kin Altruism Kin Selection Kink Kinship Kissing Kiwis Kkk Klingon Korea La Terre Tremblante Lactose Lady Gaga Langauge Language Larry Summers Latitude Latvia Law Laws Of Behavioral Genetics Lead Poisoning Leap Day Baby? Leda Cosmides Lee Greenwood Left Coast Left/Right Lenny Kravitz Lesbians Lester Holt Let's Move Liberal Creationism Liberalism Liberals Libertarian Wackyness Libertarians life-expectancy Life In Space Life Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happyness Lifestyle Light Skin Preference Literacy Locus Of Control Logical Fallacies Long Ass Posts Longevity Look AHEAD Los Guerreros Lots O' Kids Love Love Dolls Low-carb Low-fat Ludwig Lutherans M Factor M.g. Machiavellianism Maine Male Homosexuality Malleability Man Needs A Blog Mangan Manor Manorialism Manosphere Mao-a Maori Map Posts maps Marijuana marines Market Economy Marriage Martin Luther King Marxism Mary White Ovington Mass Shootings Mate Choice Mate Value Math Matriarchy Meaning Of Life Measurement Error Medicaid Mediterranean Diet Mega-Aggressions Mega-anlysis Megan Fox Melanin Memory Meng Hu Menstrual Cycle Mental Health Mental Illness Mental Traits Merry Christmas Mesolithic Meta-analysis Meth Mexican Michael Jackson Michael Lewis Michael Moore Michael Woodley Michele Bachmann Michelle Obama Microaggressions Microcephalin Middle Ages Middle East Migration Mike Huckabee Military Mind Minimum Wage Minnesota Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study Mirror Neurons Misdreavus Mitt Romney Mlb Mlk Moderation Modern Humans Monogamy Moral Absolutism Moral Universalism Morality More Kids Mormons Mortality Mountains Moxie Mrs. Jayman MTDNA Multiregional Model Music Muslim Muslims Nancy Segal Nascar National Differences National Wealth Nationalism Native Americans Natural Selection Navy Yard Shooting Nazis NBA Nbc News Nbc Nightly News Neandertal Admixture Nelson Neocons Neoconservatives Neolithic Neuropolitics Neuroticism Never Forget The Genetic Confound New Atheists New Cold War New France New French New Netherland New Rules New Theme Newfoundland Nicholas Wade Nick Fury Nigeria Nightly News No Free Will nobel Nobel Prized North Africa North Korea Northwest Europe Norway Not My Car Nra Nubia Nuclear Energy Null Result Nurture Nurture Assumption Nutrition Nuts O Mio Babbino Caro Obama Obamacare Occam's Razor Occupy Wall Street Oceania Oil Industry Olfaction Omega Males Ominous Signs Once You Go Black One-child Open Borders Open To Experience Openness To Experience Operational Sex Ratio Opiates Origin Of Life Orthodoxy Ottoman Empire Our Political Nature Out Of Africa Model Out Of Wedlock Births Outbreeding Oxtr Oxytocin Paekchong Palatability Paleoamerindians Pamela Druckerman Parasite Parasite Burden Parasite Manipulation Parent-child Interactions Parenting Parenting Behavioral Genetics Paris Attacks Paris Spring Paternal Investment Pathogens Patois Patrilocality Patriotism Paul Ewald Paul Lepage Paypal Peace Index Peak Jobs Peak Oil Pedophilia Peers People From Away Personality Peru Peter Frost Peter Turchin Pfir Phil Rushton Physical Anthropology Pierre Van Den Berghe Pietro Piigs Pioneer Hypothesis Pioneers PISA Planets Planned Parenthood Plasticity Please Help Pleiotropy Politics Poll Results Polls Polygenes Polygenic Polygenic Score Population Pornography Portugal Post 198 Post 199 Post 201 Post 99 Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc Pot Prehistoric Shoreline Prenatal Hormones Presbyterian Prescription Drugs Presidential Victory Pretty Graphs Prince Harry Probability Profanity Progressives For Immigration Reform Prostitution Protestantism Proud To Be Black Psychology Psychology Today Psychometrics Psychopaths Psychopathy Pubertal Timing Public Schools Puddle Of Mudd Pumpkin Punishment Puritans Puritans Being Puritans Pwc Qnexa Quakers Quantitative Genetics Quantum Mechanics Quebec Quebecois Race Race And Crime Race And Genomics Race And Iq Race And Religion Race And Violence Race/Crime Race Denialism Race Inheritance Iq FAQ Rachel Dolezal Racial Intelligence Racial Reality Racism Racist Brain Radical Islam Ralph And Coop Ralph Nader Rating People Rationality Razib Khan Reaction Reaction Time Reading Real Women Really Stop The Armchair Psychoanalysis Reciprocal Altruism Red Hair Red State Blue State Red States Blue States refugees Regional Differences Regional Populations Regression To The Mean Religion Religion Religion And Philosophy Religulous Rena Wing Reprint Reproductive Strategy Republican Jesus Republicans Responsibility Revolutions Richard Dawkins Richard Lewontin Richard Lynn Richard Pryor Richard Pryor Live On The Sunset Strip Richard Russell Rickets Rikishi R/k Theory Robert Lindsay Robert Plomin Robert Putnam Robert Reich Robert Stark Robocop Robots Roman Empire Romulan Ron Unz Rooshv Rosemary Hopcroft Ross Douthat Rotherham Rural Liberals Rushton Russia Russians Ruth Benedict S.h.i.e.l.d. Sam Harris Sam Kevorkian Same Sex Attraction Same-sex Marriage Same-sex Parents Samoans Samuel George Morton Samuel L Jackson Sandra Beleza Sandusky Sandy Santa Sarah Palin Satoshi Kanazawa Saudi Arabia Saying What You Have To Say Scandinavia Scandinavians Schizophrenia School Science Science: It Works Bitches Scientism Scotch-irish Scotland Scots Scots Irish Scrabble Seduced By Food See Ya Semai Separating The Truth From The Nonsense Serenity Serenity Prayer Sex Sex Differences Sex Ratio Sex Ratio At Birth Sex Recognition Sex Work Sexism Sexual Antagonistic Selection Sexual Dimorphism Sexual Division Of Labor Sexual Fluidity Sexual Identity Sexual Maturation Sexual Orientation Sexual Revolution Sexually Transmitted Diseases Shame Culture Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Shared Environment Shyness Siberia Simon Baron Cohen Single Men Single Motherhood Single Mothers Single Women Singularity Sisyphean Sizes It All Up Skin Bleaching Skin Tone Slate Slave State Slave Trade Slavery Slavs SLC24A5 Sleep Smart Fraction Smell Smoking Snow Snyderman Social Constructs Socialism Sociobiology Sociopathy Sociosexuality Solutions Sometimes You Don't Like The Answer South Asia South Korea Southern Italians Southern Poverty Law Center Space Space Space Images Space Program Space Race Spain Spam Spanish Paradox Speech SPLC Spock Sports Sports Teams Spread The Word Squid Ink SSSM Staffan Stanislas Dehaene Star Trek Star Trek Ii Star Trek Iii State Formation Statement Statins Statistics Statue Of Liberty Stealing The Enterprise Stephan Guyenet Stephen Jay Gould Stephen Wolfram Stereotypes Steve Hsu Steve Sailer Steven Pinker Still Not Free Buddy Stolen Generations Stroke Belt Sub-replacement Fertility Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africans Subprime Mortgage Crisis Subsistence Living Suffrage Sugar Suicide Summing It All Up Sunset Super Bowl Superheroes Support Support Jayman Support Me Support The Jayman Supression Sweden Swiss Syria Taiwan Take Care Tale Of Two Maps Tales Of Maps Talkin' Turkey Tamerlan Tsarnaev Tangerine Dream Tard Tarder Sauce TAS2R16 Taste Tastiness Tatars Tatu Vanhanen Tau Ceti Taxes Tea Party Team Performance Ted Ted Cruz Tell Me About You Tell The Truth Terman Terman's Termites Terrorism Terrorists Testosterone Thankgiving Thanks Everyone! Thanksgiving The 10000 Year Explosion The Blank Slate The Breeder's Equation The Daily Caller The Dark Knight The Dark Knight Rises The Dark Triad The Death Penalty The Deep South The Devil Is In The Details The Dustbowl The Evidence And Lots Of It The Facts The Facts Are The Facts The Far West The Future The Great Plains The Left Coast The Next Generation The Pursuit Of Happyness The Real Polar Express The Rock The Son Also Rises The South The Stark Truth The Wide Environment The World Theoretical Physics Things Going Sour Thomas Aquinas Thomas Talhelm Those Damn Yankees those-who-can-see Tidewater Tiger Mom Time Preference Timmons Tom Naughton Tommy Lee Jones Tone It Down Guys Seriously Top 1% top-schools Tourists Toxoplasma Gondii Traffic Fatalities Tragedy Trans Fat Trans Fats Trans-Species Polymorphism Transgender Transracial Transsexual Transsexuals Tropical Humans Trump Trust Truth Tuberculosis Turkheimer Twin Study Twins Twins Raised Apart Twintuition Twitter Twittter Ukraine Ulster Scots Un Pellegrino Unemployment United Kingdom United States Unity Universalism Unwed Motherhood Upper Paleolithic Utopian UV Vacation Land Vaginal Yeast Vassopressin Vdare Veep Victor Canfield Victorian England Vikings Vioxx Visual Word Form Area Vwfa W.E.I.R.D. W.E.I.R.D.O. Walter Bodmer WasPage WASPs We Are What We Are We Can Never Be Equal We Don't Know All The Environmental Causes Wealthy Weight Loss WEIRDO Western Europe Western European Marriage Pattern What Can You Do What Is This Hbd Stuff About Anyway What The F---? What's The Cause Where Do Institutions Come From? Where They're At Where's The Fallout White Americans White Conservative Males White Nationalist Nuttiness White Nationalists White Privilege White Slavery White Wife Why French Parents Are Superior Why They Hate You Why We Believe Hbd Wild Life William D. Hamilton Windsor ON women-in-combat Women In The Workplace Woodley Effect Words Of Wisdom WORDSUM Working Memory World Population World Values Survey World War II Wresting Writing Wwe Y Chromosome Yankeedom Yankees Yes I Am A Brother Yes I Am Liberal - But That Kind Of Liberal Yet Another Jayman You Can't Handle The Truth You Don't Know Shit You're Telling Me? Zika Zika Virus Zones Of Thought
Nothing found
Authors Filter?
John Derbyshire
Nothing found
 Most RecentScience Archive
/
Review

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language, John H. McWhorter
Chinese has an extraordinary number of verbs meaning “carry.” If I carry something on a hanging arm, like a briefcase, the verb is ti; on an outstretched palm, tuo; using both palms, peng; gripped between upper arm and body, xie; in my hand, like a stick,wo; embraced, like a baby, bao; on my back, bei;... Read More
The title I wanted for my 2009 call to pessimism was We Are Doomed, Doomed. The publisher thought that was too dark, though, so I settled at last for just one “Doomed.” A good thing, perhaps, as the original title is now available to authors reaching for a deeper level of despair. David Archibald might... Read More
Pieces of Light: How the New Science of Memory Illuminates the Stories We Tell About Our Pasts, by...
How far back is your earliest memory? What age? In a recent Canadian study cited by Charles Fernyhough, the average was four and a quarter years. “Very few memories dated from before the age of about two and a half.” I’m out in the early tail of that distribution. My family moved from cramped rented... Read More
The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity, by Pedro G. Ferreira
On November 25, 1915, Einstein presented his new equations to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in a short three-page paper,” this author tells us. Thus was the General Theory of Relativity born, after of course some years of gestation inEinstein’s remarkable brain. With the centenary of that event almost upon us, a historical survey is... Read More
What Should We Be Worried About? Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night, Edited by John Brockman
Fifty-five years ago British novelist, mandarin, and ex-scientist C.P. Snow gave a lecture at Cambridge university titled "The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution." Snow deplored the mutual aloofness that, he said, existed between scientists and those educated in the humanities. The lecture set off a major public debate, and the phrase "two cultures" was... Read More
The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom About Children and Parenting, by...
Child-raising is something everyone can have an opinion about. We were all children once. We interacted with other children—siblings, classmates. If we are middle-aged, we have probably raised children of our own. Many of us have worked as teachers, struggling to engage with half-formed juvenile minds. Practically everyone has a good base of experience to... Read More
Thinking: The New Science of Decision-Making, Problem-Solving, and Prediction, edited by John Brockman
Before mass media came up in the mid-twentieth century there was the public lecture, at which some person of eminence or accomplishment would address a hall full of curious citizens. The Internet equivalent is supplied by nonprofit foundations like Edge.org and TED.com, which spread interesting ideas by inviting thinkers to give online talks. Thinking is... Read More
Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences, by John R. Hibbing,...
The sentry in Iolanthe wondered at how “Nature always does contrive / That every boy and every gal / That’s born into the world alive / Is either a little Liberal / Or else a little Conservative!” He was right to wonder. For most of the past few decades, however, his suggestion that our personal... Read More
In a recent edition of Radio Derb I mentioned the advantages of moving to Iceland but added: “The downside is, you have to not mind living on a volcano.” One listener—there’s always one—saw my volcano and raised me a supervolcano, attaching this news clip: This hasn’t actually happened since 637,987 BC, but the boffins reckon... Read More
Computing: A Concise History, Paul E. Ceruzzi
This time last year all I was hearing about was MOOCs—Massive Open Online Courses, in which university-level instruction, sometimes by big-name lecturers, is provided free over the Internet to anyone who wants it. Some visionaries were talking about MOOCs eventually bankrupting traditional universities. Apparently that’s not going to happen. There is a niche for MOOCs,... Read More
Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search for Life Among the Stars, by Lee Billings
In The Principles of Philosophy (1642) Descartes lamented: "We do not doubt but that many things exist, or formerly existed and have now ceased to be, which were never seen or known by man, and were never of use to him." Descartes didn't know the half of it. As our understanding of the natural world... Read More
As a science geek from way back—Andrade and Huxley were favorite childhood companions—I try to keep tabs on that side of things. This can be disheartening. To quote from that intergalactic bestseller We Are Doomed: Scientific objectivity is a freakish, unnatural, and unpopular mode of thought, restricted to small cliques whom the generality of citizens... Read More
The Milky Way: An Insider's Guide, by William H. Waller
A Palette of Particles,...
The British philosopher J.L. Austin coined the handy phrase "medium-sized dry goods" to describe the world of everyday phenomena that the human nervous system is best suited to cope with, phenomena ranging in size from a grain of dust to a landscape. Within that range our senses and cognition are at home. All our intuitions... Read More
Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe, by George Dyson
This year marks the centenary of British mathematician Alan Turing, whose researches in the unlikely and very abstruse field of mathematical logic did much to create the world in which we now live. In 1936 Turing published a paper titled "On Computable Numbers" in the Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society. The paper received almost... Read More
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker
In this, his most ambitious book to date, Steven Pinker describes, and attempts to explain, a curious historical phenomenon: the decline in all kinds of violence among human beings, from pre-civilized times to the present. The first thing one wants to ask is: Has there actually been such a decline? Given the tremendous wars and... Read More
The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance, by Jim...
I used to attend regularly at an office of the New York City government to transact some business with a very pleasant young female African American city employee. On the wall of her office was a poster listing, in quite small print, all the scores of inventions and discoveries that, according to the poster, African... Read More
The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement, by David Brooks
If the proper study of mankind is man, it has taken a remarkably long time to get that study on a truly scientific footing. From the founding of the Royal Society to the present has been more than 350 years, yet only in the last 50 of those years have quantified, replicable results about human... Read More
Galileo: Watcher of the Skies, by David Wootton
Galileo, by J.L. Heilbron
I didn't make it to the First Annual Catholic Conference on Geocentrism, held in South Bend, Indiana on the November 6 weekend. I was interested, and badgered some editors to expense the trip, but no one thought it worth their funds. Nor have I read the 1,048-page, two-volume book Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was... Read More
The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett III, by Peter Byrne
Quantum mechanics (hereinafter QM) is famously odd. As Peter Byrne notes in this book: The measurement problem is especially knotty. Down in the subatomic realm, each of the particles that constitute matter is smeared out over a volume of space in a manner described mathematically by a "wave function." When an observer interacts with this... Read More
The Movie: Waiting for Superman, directed by Davis Guggenheim
Being at a loose end Monday afternoon, I took a subway down to the Landmark Sunshine movie theater on East Houston Street, nostalgically close to my first foothold in the U.S.A. I was curious to see this new education movie, Waiting for Superman, and Landmark Sunshine was one of only two theaters in New York... Read More
Bad Students, Not Bad Schools, by Robert Weissberg
Front page headline in my New York Post this morning: The accompanying story describes a further dumbing-down of state math tests for kids in grades 3 to 8. Half marks are given for fragments of work; also for wrong answers arrived at via correct methods: "A kid who answers that a 2-foot-long skateboard is 48... Read More
It's always stimulating to discover a quality writer you didn't know before. For a conservative, it's doubly stimulating if the discoveree is of the same persuasion. And in an age when the middlebrow novel is as close to extinction as … well, as the Book of the Month Club, a conservative middlebrow novelist is water... Read More
The Faith Instinct: How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures, by Nicholas Wade
With this new book, New York Times science reporter Nicholas Wade positions himself as a serious challenger to Steven Pinker for the title Best Living Popularizer of the Human Sciences. Wade's 2006 book Before the Dawn was a masterly survey of current knowledge about our deep ancestry, informed by recent discoveries in genetics and archeology.... Read More
Plastic Fantastic: How the Biggest Fraud in Physics Shook the Scientific World, by Eugenie Samuel Reich
Like other complex human enterprises, science has a "front" and a "back." The model here is a restaurant. In the front, waiters in spotless uniforms glide between tables murmuring suggestions and delivering exquisitely arranged platters. Meanwhile, the kitchen — the back — is a chaos of noise, heat, haste, breakage and rancor. Now and then... Read More
The Man Who Loved China, by Simon Winchester
One of my schoolmasters was fond of saying that there are only two worthwhile forms of worldly immortality: to get a poem in the Oxford Book of English Verse, or to have a mathematical theorem named after you. The British scholar Joseph Needham (1900-1995) was no better than a passable amateur poet, judging by the... Read More
The Art Instinct, by Denis Dutton
Modernist composer Anton Webern predicted that mailmen on their rounds would one day whistle his atonal non-melodies. Three-quarters of a century later I see the following in a 2006 report from the National Academy of Sciences. The report labors under the title Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and... Read More
The Numerati, by Stephen Baker
The world is buried in data, great banks and drifts of the stuff. In recent years a new technology has emerged: computer programs that will drill through it all to pick out hidden patterns and trends — information that may be useful to marketers, politicians, employers, doctors, match-makers, or national-security analysts. Such programs are extraordinarily... Read More
Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics, by Gino Segrè
Who can ever tire of learning about the great discoveries in physics during the first forty years of the twentieth century, and about the men and women who were responsible? The benchmark texts are the surveys and biographies written by the late physicist and historian Abraham Pais, though all the essentials are gathered in a... Read More
American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau, edited by Bill McKibben with a foreword by Al Gore
"In Nature," said Coleridge, "there is nothing melancholy." I don't know about that. I suppose there are lots of people who will greet American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau with joy, but both politics and temperament predisposed me against the book. I had agreed to review it in a moment of weakness, but when it... Read More
I Am a Strange Loop, by Douglas R. Hofstadter
Consciousness — what on earth is it? Most of us, if pressed on the matter, would confess a vague dualism. There is, we would say, mind-stuff and matter-stuff. Though non-physical, mind-stuff can push matter-stuff around somehow. Further, mind-stuff comes in discrete units, each unit attached in some more or less inextricable way to the brain... Read More
The Poincaré Conjecture: In Search of the Shape of the Universe, by Donal O'Shea
It is a well-known fact that our universe has three dimensions of space. Imagine for a moment that it had only two, like E.A. Abbott's Flatland, or A.K. Dewdney's Planiverse. What shape might it have? Well, it might be flat, like an infinite sheet of paper on an infinite tabletop; or it might curve round... Read More
Before the Dawn, by Nicholas Wade
"The proper study of mankind is man." The application of scientific method to that study has, however, proved to be much more difficult than an English gent of the 1730s could reasonably have anticipated. Our common sensibilities rule out all but a very limited range of planned experiments on our fellow humans. Observation and classification,... Read More
Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis, by Dan Rockmore
The author of a pop-math book must decide, before he sets finger on keyboard, how much he is going to demand of his readers in the way of willingness to engage with actual mathematics. As is often the case in writing, what is easier for the author is more difficult for the reader, and vice... Read More
Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics, by David Berlinski
The relevant library shelves in the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences hold no less than eighteen different general histories of mathematics in English. The author setting out to write yet another such book must therefore have an angle (so to speak), some original approach to the topic. What is David Berlinski's angle? "Short" doesn't cut... Read More
Ideas: A History of Thought and Invention, from Fire to Freud, by Peter Watson
Peter Watson's long book covers the entire history of humanity, in the tradition of H.G. Wells's Outline of History (1920) and Hendrick van Loon's The Story of Mankind (1922). His approach, as the book's title tells us, is to present the whole immense story as one of intellectual development, driven by changes in the way... Read More
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World, by Nicholas Ostler
Most of us have, at one time or another, puzzled over such historical-linguistic conundrums as: Why did only Britain, of all the Roman provinces overrun by Germans, end up speaking a Germanic language? Why did the Portuguese language "take" in Brazil, but not in Africa, while Dutch "took" in Africa but not in Indonesia? If... Read More
Madame Bovary's Ovaries, by Daniel P. Barash and Nanelle R. Barash
It is 41 years now since zoologist William D. Hamilton worked out the evolutionary mathematics of kin altruism, demonstrating that even behavior that seems to belong to the moral and educational superstructure of human nature can be explained by natural selection. Sociobiology was on the march. That march did not, of course, go unopposed. The... Read More
Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel, by Rebecca Goldstein
Out in the remotest regions of mathematics, far from the bustling and long-populated center, out where this great thriving empire adjoins the windswept badlands of philosophy, is the topic called Foundations. Here mathematicians use the techniques of their discipline to inquire into the nature of that discipline itself, into the very fundamentals of math: number,... Read More
Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe, by Simon Singh
I had better declare an interest right away. Simon Singh is the British author of the 1997 book Fermat's Last Theorem, after the publication of which the phrase "math best-seller" was no longer an oxymoron. He thus opened up for lesser drudges the opportunity to actually make some money by writing popular books about mathematics,... Read More
Galileo's Pendulum: From the Rhythm of Time to the Making of Matter, by Roger G. Newton
Draw a large circle on the ground. Now walk clockwise round the circle at a steady four miles per hour. What does your motion look like to a person watching from some distance away on ground level at (say) the west? Well, you will appear to him to be moving at four miles per hour... Read More
Secrets of the Soul, by Eli Zaretsky
In forming the way we think about our human nature, the three great names of the modern age have of course been Darwin, Marx, and Freud. Each placed the main action of the human drama on a different stage. Darwin set it on the greatest stage of all, that of Nature herself. For Marx it... Read More
Homosexuality and Civilization, by Louis Crompton
We are, as everyone knows, living in the, or a, "gay moment." One of the consequences is that we have to put up with a great deal of homosexualist propaganda. (I favor the usage "homosexualist" for people who are activist about their sexual orientation, versus "homosexual" for people who are merely, and privately, homosexual. I... Read More
The Science of Good and Evil, by Michael Shermer
The God of the Gaps had a hard time of it in the 20th century. By 1900 thoughtful people had long since reconciled themselves to the fact that the Sun is not the chariot of a god, but a ball of incandescent gas whose apparent motions follow natural laws. They knew that lightning and thunder... Read More
The New Brain, by Richard Restak
Most of us carry around a standard model of how our mind works. Our thoughts happen in our brains, we assume. Some of them just buzz around in there inconsequentially; others actually cause us to do things. Most of the things they cause us to do are trivial, but a few are tremendous. Human thoughts,... Read More
Are Universes Thicker Than Blackberries?, by Martin Gardner
To get the title question out of the way up front, Martin Gardner says no, they are not. The book's title refers to the topic of the first essay in this collection: the "Many Worlds Interpretation" (MWI) of quantum mechanics. This is the theory that everything that might conceivably happen at any instant does actually... Read More
The Man Who Would Be Queen, by Michael Bailey
Sexual eccentricity raises difficult philosophical issues for conservatives. On the one hand we have a core belief in the individual and his privacy. Since no form of activity is more private than sex, our instinct is to let people follow their inclinations, within obvious legal constraints against, for example, the corruption of minors. Further, we... Read More
Our Final Hour, by Sir Martin Rees
As NRO's designated pessimist, I feel it is incumbent on me to seek out news items, points of view, books and movies that will make your flesh creep. Well, I have found a real doozy: Sir Martin Rees's new book Our Final Hour. In Britain the book sells under the title Our Final Century, which... Read More
The Art of the Infinite: the Pleasures of Mathematics, by Robert Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan
Mathematicians are uncomfortably aware that theirs is a "cold" subject. Though full of wonders and delights, it has little appeal to the tender side of human nature, little connection with the clayey appetites and longings of our everyday lives. There is a story about the great German mathematician David Hilbert. Noticing that one of his... Read More
Newton: The Making of Genius, by Patricia Fara
I picked up this book thinking it was a biography of Newton. Thus disposed, I picked it up with some reluctance — and then, only after two or three weeks of procrastination. That Sir Isaac Newton was a tremendous genius, there is no doubt at all. There are excellent arguments for the proposition that, so... Read More
Knots, by Alexei Sossinsky
I was in the Army Cadets at school, but my best friend was in the Sea Cadets, and for a year or so I crossed over to join him. This phase of my life came to an end when I failed the oral exam for promotion to the rank of Leading Seaman. The exam was... Read More