Why “survival of the fittest” is wrong

He's studied apes for 50 years - here's what most people get wrong.

  • Frans de Waal has studied the behavior of primates for five decades. Some of his many important observations center around the evolution of morality and just how much we have in common with the animal kingdom.
  • The idea that animals are always in conflict with one another and competing for resources is "totally wrong," de Waal says.
  • Other primates, specifically chimpanzees and bonobos, have demonstrated a range of traits and tendencies typically regarded as human, including empathy, friendship, reconciliation, altruism, and even adoption.

Moral enhancement explained: Can science make us better people?

Could a pill make you more moral? Should you take it if it could?

  • Moral enhancement is the idea that technology can be used to make us more moral people.
  • Proponents argue that we need to be better people in order to solve global problems.
  • Ideas on how to use this ethically abound, but no solid consensus exists yet.
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Why large groups of people often come to the same conclusions

Study confirms the existence of a special kind of groupthink in large groups.

Credit: Kaleb Nimz/Unsplash
  • Large groups of people everywhere tend to come to the same conclusions.
  • In small groups, there's a much wider diversity of ideas.
  • The mechanics of a large group make some ideas practically inevitable.
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The 3 keys to solving complex global problems

We have the money to change the world. What's standing in the way?

  • What does it actually take to drive large-scale change? Co-Impact founder and CEO Olivia Leland argues that it takes more than money, voting in elections, and supporting your favorite nonprofit. Solving complex global issues takes philanthropy in concert with community advocacy, support from businesses, innovation, an organized vision, and a plan to execute it.
  • Leland has identified three areas that need to be addressed before real and meaningful change can happen. To effectively provide support, we must listen to the people who are already doing the work, rather than trying to start from scratch; make it easier for groups, government, and others to collaborate; and change our mindsets to think more long-term so that we can scale impact in ways that matter.
  • Through supporting educational programs like Pratham and its Teaching at the Right Level model, Co-Impact has seen how these collaborative strategies can be employed to successfully tackle a complex problem like child literacy.

Warrior women: New evidence of ancient female big-game hunters

Turns out gender assumptions have been going on for quite some time.

Photo: hibrida / Adobe Stock
  • A recent archaeological dig in the Peruvian mountains uncovered evidence of ancient female big-game hunters.
  • This adds to a growing consensus that women played a much bigger role in hunting than previously assumed.
  • Gender assumptions are a constant throughout history, with culture often playing a more important role than biology.
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