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

Why Waging War May Not Be in Our Genes

July 20, 2013, 12:24 PM

What's the Latest Development?

A cursory look at history might seem to confirm that war and aggression are part of humanity's genetic code. Added to that, anthropologists have observed that primitive tribes and primate communities also engage in warfare. But a new review of 21 hunter-gather societies indicates that competition for territory may drive conflict, and that when territory is not up for grabs, widespread aggression generally does not occur. "Murderers, this research suggests, humans may often be. But they are not the died-in-the-wool warriors of anthropological legend."

What's the Big Idea?

Perhaps the most famous study suggesting that our genetic ancestors are conflict prone was Jane Goodall's observations of Tanzanian chimpanzees, who were often aggressive, sometimes engaged in cannibalism, and even stole and killed others’ infants. "A second study, though, conducted in Congo-Brazzaville...came to contrary conclusions. It found chimps to be peaceful creatures. For a while, that confused primatologists." A review of the studies has found that Tanzanian chimps were crowded together as a result of deforestation, so land became scarce, while those in the Congo did not suffer in that way.

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at the Economist


Why Waging War May Not Be i...

Newsletter: Share: