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

1

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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

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
Close

No, Humans Are Not Hardwired for War

September 29, 2013, 9:12 AM
War_cemetary

What's the Latest Development?

As war continues to dominate headlines more than a decade into the 21st century, some scientists have claimed that war is a feature of human nature. Some go so far to say war has exerted positive evolutionary pressure. "While it is plausible that Homo sapiens owed much of its rapid brain evolution to natural selection’s favoring individuals that were smart enough to defeat their human rivals in violent competition, it is also plausible that we became highly intelligent because selection favored those of our ancestors who were especially adroit at communicating and cooperating."

What's the Big Idea?

David P. Barash, an evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology at the University of Washington, warns that talking of war as a permanent quality of the human character is dangerous moral ground. Indeed, the rise in popularity of the view that all humans are naturally warlike may have more to do with our desire to avoid moral culpability when we learn of bad news. "The problem with envisioning Homo sapiens as inherently and irrevocably warlike," said Barash, "isn’t simply that it is wrong, but also that it threatens to constrain our sense of whether peacemaking is possible and, accordingly, worth trying."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at the New York Times

 

No, Humans Are Not Hardwire...

Newsletter: Share: