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

As Humans Get Smarter, We Also Get Weaker

June 10, 2014, 4:00 PM

What's the Latest?

A new international study that looks at how different species' bodies evolve over time has found that as humans have acquired more brain power, they have lost power in the brawn department. Researchers recently examined 10,000 different chemical compounds across 14 individuals of four different mammalian species. What they found in humans was surprising: the chemical composition of our muscle has changed at a faster rate historically than that of our brains. Indeed muscle and brain metabolism in humans has changed more in the last 6 million years than in the preceding 130 million years.

What's the Big Idea?

The brain's greediness for energy has forced other biological systems to economize, particularly muscle tissue. "Though they constitute only 2% of an adult’s body weight, they consume a fifth of his or her metabolic energy. Indeed, according to a school of thought led by Richard Wrangham of Harvard University, keeping the brain running is so demanding that only the invention of cooking, which makes more nutrients available from a given amount of food than can be extracted from it in its raw state, permitted the neurological expansion which created Homo sapiens."

Read more at the Economist

Photo credit: Ollyy/Shutterstock


As Humans Get Smarter, We A...

Newsletter: Share: