What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Animals Give Virgin Birth, So Why Not Humans?

June 3, 2014, 12:30 PM

What's the Latest?

Fatherless pregnancies happen more frequently in nature than we once realized, enabling species to survive harsh events when males are not present to procreate. This kind of asexual reproduction among species who would otherwise have sex to procreate is called parthenogenesis. Female sharks do it, as do female komodo dragons, so is it possible for humans? Very likely yes, says Dr. Allan Pacey, a reproductive biologist at the University of Sheffield. In the lab, female stem cells have been coaxed into becoming sperm cells, though this is something that would never occur in nature. 

What's the Big Idea?

While it might be possible for humans to use modern medical science to procreate asexually, it is probably a very bad idea for evolutionary reasons. Having a diverse gene pool is an important biological trick that weeds out genetic abnormalities, such as the kinds that plagued inbred European royalty for generations. "If you chose to reproduce entirely on your own, your child would only have one parent, and thus half the genetic diversity available to a normal child." In some inconceivable emergency, however, a generation or two could be sustained by asexual reproduction. 

Read more at BBC Future


Animals Give Virgin Birth, ...

Newsletter: Share: