Are humans wired for conflict? Lord of the Flies vs. Charles Darwin

We make school kids read "Lord of the Flies"—but it's only half the story.

  • The iconic novel "Lord of the Flies" paints a picture of human beings as naturally selfish and prone to conflict, but that is not the most accurate depiction of humanity, argues historian Rutger Bregman.
  • Bregman shares a true story from his research about a group of Tongan students who survived on an island together for 15 months in 1965, not through brutal alliances, but by working together and forming a functional community.
  • Darwin's observation of domestication syndrome is apparent in humans, argues Bregman; our evolution into friendlier animals can be seen in our biological features and responses. Evolutionarily speaking, being "soft" is actually very smart, and we evolved to cooperate with one another for mutual gain.
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How humans ended up the most altruistic of animals

Humans help each other in ways animals don't dream of, but why?

  • Humans are more altruistic than any other animal, but why is that?
  • One theory suggests culture and genetics combined to provide groups that worked well together an edge in competition.
  • Others suggest that groups could be subject to evolutionary pressures.
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'Gender Pay Scorecard' grades 50 major U.S. companies

What factors explain the gender pay gap?

Photo By Glen Martin/The Denver Post via Getty Images
  • The report was conducted by the investment firm Arjuna Capital, which has been publishing the Gender Pay Scorecard for the past three years.
  • Only three companies — Starbucks, Mastercard and Citigroup — received an "A", as defined by the report's methodology.
  • It's likely that discrimination explains part of the gender pay gap, but it's a complex issue that often gets oversimplified.

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Evolution: That famous ‘march of progress’ image is just wrong

Some fish evolved legs and walked onto the land. Right?

DEA PICTURE LIBRARY/De Agostini via Getty Images

Evolution explains how all living beings, including us, came to be. It would be easy to assume evolution works by continuously adding features to organisms, constantly increasing their complexity.

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Dad bod & dad brain: How a man's brain changes when he becomes a father

The bonding experience is promoted by important neurological changes.

Photo by Halfpoint on Shutterstock
  • In the first days and weeks of fatherhood, a man's testosterone and cortisol levels decrease and oxytocin, estrogen, and prolactin levels surge, promoting an important bonding experience between a father and his newborn child.
  • One of the most significant changes scientists have observed in the brain of new-dad mice is neurogenesis (the process of new neurons being formed in the brain), directly linked to the time spent with their newborn pup in close proximity.
  • Human males also "bulk" their brains, with areas linked to attachment, nurturing and empathy showing increased gray and white matter.
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