The Case for Scientific Humanism

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In the April 2001 issue of Scientific American, I began this column with an entry entitled “Colorful Pebbles and Darwin’s Dictum,” inspired by the British naturalist’s remark that “all observation must be for or against...”

What We Say Matters

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"We live in troubling times.  The news in the past months have shown how conflicted our world is and how disconnected we are despite being the most technologically connected ever. In my opinion, it has made the need for..."

(What Makes Us) Trustworthy?

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"It is only natural that we care mostly about ourselves. Our immediate family. Our friends. Maybe our neighbors. And just maybe the community we live in. That’s the way...”

Mind the Gap

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"Mainstream media often delivers an avalanche of bad news, while the abundance of good news goes mostly unmentioned, and thus unheard and unseen. So, the gap between what’s real and what’s perceived...”

Are We Boiling Frogs?

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"Like boiling frogs losing their lives, Something is being stolen from us that many are not aware of losing. Many are being manipulated by the less credible..."

Media Literacy – We Could All Use a Bit More of it!

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"If you believe everything you read and hear about violent conflict, the environment, human health and poverty, you might think that the world has become a very troubled and dangerous place. The facts tell a different story."

Poverty in Perspective

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"Is the world going to starve? Declines in poverty and famine depend on continuing population stabilization, peace and autocracy (lack of dictatorships). The WorldBank reports the rate of poverty is..."

Education – Are We Making Progress?

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"One of the moments I’d like to take back was a teenaged argument with my Dad, when I’d called him ignorant and illiterate. Whether an accurate title or not, Illiterate may be one of the most hurtful words in any language. Due to advances in education around the world, the word applies..."

Healthcare – Are We Making Progress?

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"Because I’m a child of the 60’s, I was raised prior to the mumps or chicken pox vaccines. When I was ten years old, the mumps showed up while I was sitting in a barber’s chair. That was the exact moment..."

The Disconnect Between Pessimism and Optimism

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"According to the latest data, people are living longer and becoming healthier, better fed, richer, smarter, safer, more connected–and, at the same time, ever gloomier about the state of the world. How can we explain pessimism in a world of progress?"