Re: What forces have shaped humanity most?

Disease and the various ways that we have dealt with disease has probably had the biggest impact on humanity. Until humanity started figuring methods of preventing and reducing the impact of disease, the world's population (for better or worse) would be nowhere near the present levels.  We have developed a myriad of responses to preventing and treating disease ranging from things as simple as bathing on a regular basis to very complex technologies and surgical procedures.  Without the medical procedures and technologies that have been developed over the ages, the human population would, most likely, be much, much less than it is today.  Cities as we know them couldn't exist without some methods of treating and preventing disease.

Live on Monday: Does the US need one billion people?

What would happen if you tripled the US population? Matthew Yglesias and moderator Charles Duhigg explore the idea on Big Think Live.

Big Think LIVE

Is immigration key to bolstering the American economy? Could having one billion Americans secure the US's position as the global superpower?

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Mystery anomaly weakens Earth's magnetic field, report scientists

A strange weakness in the Earth's protective magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.

Satellite data shows a new, eastern center emerging in the South Atlantic Anomaly.

ESA
Surprising Science
  • "The South Atlantic Anomaly" in the Earth's magnetic field is growing and possibly splitting, shows data.
  • The information was gathered by the ESA's Swarm Constellation mission satellites.
  • The changes may indicate the coming reversal of the North and South Poles.
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Think everyone died young in ancient societies? Think again

In fact, the maximum human lifespan has barely changed since we arrived.

Photo by Juliet Furst on Unsplash
Surprising Science

You might have seen the cartoon: two cavemen sitting outside their cave knapping stone tools. One says to the other: 'Something's just not right – our air is clean, our water is pure, we all get plenty of exercise, everything we eat is organic and free-range, and yet nobody lives past 30.'

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Why social media has changed the world — and how to fix it

MIT Professor Sinan Aral's new book, "The Hype Machine," explores the perils and promise of social media in a time of discord.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images for Somerset House
Technology & Innovation

Are you on social media a lot? When is the last time you checked Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram? Last night? Before breakfast? Five minutes ago?

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Surprising Science

Mars pole may be hiding salty lakes and life, find researchers

Researchers detect a large lake and several ponds deep under the ice of the Martian South Pole.

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