Can you step in the same river twice? Wittgenstein vs. Heraclitus

Imagine Heraclitus spending an afternoon down by the river...

Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash
'I am not a religious man,' the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said to a friend, 'but I cannot help seeing every problem from a religious point of view.'
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How high did our ancestors get? We might soon be able to tell.

Traces of heroin and cocaine have been found in the tartar of 19th-century Dutch farmers.

Photo: Elena / Adobe Stock
  • Archaeologists can now tell what drugs our ancestors used thanks to tooth tartar.
  • For this study, they tested 10 cadavers and discovered 44 drugs and metabolites.
  • This new method will offer us insights into the types of drugs our ancestors used.
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Did early humans hibernate?

New anthropological research suggests our ancestors enjoyed long slumbers.

Credit: Gorodenkoff / Adobe Stock
  • Neanderthal bone fragments discovered in northern Spain mimic hibernating animals like cave bears.
  • Thousands of bone fragments, dating back 400,000 years, were discovered in this "pit of bones" 30 years ago.
  • The researchers speculate that this physiological function, if true, could prepare us for extended space travel.
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An ancient migration across the ocean was no accident

A new study shows that at least one long-ago journey would have required deliberate navigation.

Credit: Yosuke Kaifu/University of Tokyo
  • Historians have wondered whether ancient mariners drifted from Taiwan to Japan or navigated there on purpose.
  • The passage between Taiwan and the Ryukyu islands contains one of the world's strongest currents.
  • Thousands of buoys suggests that the journey was anything but an accident.
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What the Greek classics tell us about grief and the importance of mourning the dead

The rites we give to the dead help us understand what it takes to go on living.

Photo by Stavrialena Gontzou on Unsplash

As the coronavirus pandemic hit New York in March, the death toll quickly went up with few chances for families and communities to perform traditional rites for their loved ones.

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