Best. Science. Fiction. Show. Ever.

"The Expanse" is the best vision I've ever seen of a space-faring future that may be just a few generations away.

Credit: "The Expanse" / Syfy
  • Want three reasons why that headline is justified? Characters and acting, universe building, and science.
  • For those who don't know, "The Expanse" is a series that's run on SyFy and Amazon Prime set about 200 years in the future in a mostly settled solar system with three waring factions: Earth, Mars, and Belters.
  • No other show I know of manages to use real science so adeptly in the service of its story and its grand universe building.
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Thinking thresholds: Is science the only source of truth in the world?

Adam Frank, a card-carrying atheist and physics professor, wonders if there might be more to life than pure science.

Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images / Big Think
  • With all due respect to Copernicus, writes Adam Frank, humans are at the center of it all.
  • Science is just one of many sources of truth in the world. The lived, subjective experience of humans creates reality, and when science excludes subjective experience, we end up with a less useful kind of science.
  • Can science and philosophy form a union that gets us to a far richer account of the world and a far richer science?
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13.8: Why we’re here

Welcome to the 13.8 relaunch, a new Big Think column led by physicists and friends Adam Frank and Marcelo Gleiser.

Credit: Adobe Stock/Big Think
  • 13.8 is relaunching on Big Think today! Visit 13.8 every week to join physicists Adam Frank and Marcelo Gleiser as they tackle the big, serious, silly, and small questions in science.
  • What will you learn at 13.8? Adam and Marcelo will look critically at straight-up science news, from life in the universe and cognitive science to particle physics and everything that blows their minds.
  • They're also going to spend a lot of ink on where science and culture meet. That means book and movie reviews, pieces on the overlap between Buddhist views on mind and current neuroscience, and how we can tackle climate change in the face of science denial.
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What is the ‘self’? The 3 layers of your identity.

Answering the question of who you are is not an easy task. Let's unpack what culture, philosophy, and neuroscience have to say.

  • Who am I? It's a question that humans have grappled with since the dawn of time, and most of us are no closer to an answer.
  • Trying to pin down what makes you you depends on which school of thought you prescribe to. Some argue that the self is an illusion, while others believe that finding one's "true self" is about sincerity and authenticity.
  • In this video, author Gish Jen, Harvard professor Michael Puett, psychotherapist Mark Epstein, and neuroscientist Sam Harris discuss three layers of the self, looking through the lens of culture, philosophy, and neuroscience.
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Warrior women: New evidence of ancient female big-game hunters

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

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  • 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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