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

Darwin's Theory, Turbo Edition: Birds Vs. Cars

March 20, 2013, 5:52 PM

What's the Latest Development?

During 30 years of studying a population of cliff swallows in southwestern Nebraska, scientists Charles Brown and Mary Bomberger Brown began to notice that fewer swallows were being killed by cars with each passing year. In a study published this week, the Browns theorize that the reason has its basis in evolution, specifically "vehicular selection": Birds with longer wingspans can't dodge cars as quickly, and as more of those birds died, the number of birds with shorter wingspans -- and better dodging ability -- increased. Over time, the average cliff swallow wingspan went from 111 millimeters to 106 millimeters.

What's the Big Idea?

The study is yet another illustration of how human impacts can affect the environment in relatively drastic ways, says evolutionary biologist John Hoogland: "We humans...are adding a new kind of natural selection to these animal populations." The Browns had not planned on studying roadkill numbers among cliff swallows, who make their nests in highway overpasses, but with these findings, Charles Brown thinks that more work should be done to see if the same pattern exists for other types of birds or even mammals. "[T]here's almost nothing in the literature on historical trends in roadkills," he says.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Wired


Darwin's Theory, Turbo Edit...

Newsletter: Share: