Blame & Punishment

Morality is not like some kind of cosmic bank, where you can deposit good deeds and use them to offset future misdeeds. People ignore heroic pasts when assigning blame.

Being a fine, upstanding citizen with lots of accolades will not help if one is accused of crime — in fact it will hurt, U.S. researchers suggest. "People may come down even harder on someone like the Dalai Lama, than they do on 'Joe Blow,'" says study author Kurt Gray. "However, in our research those who have suffered in the past received significantly less blame — even if such suffering was both totally unrelated to the misdeed and long since past." In the experiments involved in the study, those who highlighted past suffering were held less responsible for transgressions and given less punishment.

Scientists claim the Bible is written in code that predicts future events

The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.

Michael Drosnin
Surprising Science
  • Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
  • The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
  • Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
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How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
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Orangutans exhibit awareness of the past

Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club

(Eugene Sim/Shutterstock)
Surprising Science
  • Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
  • It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
  • This ability may come from a common ancestor
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