The death of dinosaurs allowed mammals to ditch nocturnal behavior, study finds

Have you ever wondered why modern-day mammals have adaptations for nighttime activity? A new study suggests dinosaurs might be the reason.

Jurassic Park
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Surprising Science

A Surprising Strategy Makes Kids Persevere at Boring Tasks

Kids say the darndest things. They're also far more adept at workflow management than adults are. What can we learn from them? 

Most likely, you don’t need to be convinced in the utility of perseverance - the ability to stick to a boring task, despite the fact that the Facebook tab is blinking with notifications in your browser. Implementing tactics that help us resist distractions in order to work towards long-term goals is crucial for success. Now, researchers have found an interesting strategy that has been proven to work for kids - imagining they're Batman. The study was published in the journal Child Development.

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Surprising Science

Is Race Genetic or Socially Constructed?

Is race a trivial quality of humans, or of deep social importance? Who gets to decide whether race exists or not?

How many different races are there? Pick a number, any number, says philosophy professor Philip Kitcher. Wherever there is an agenda there is a division to be made; race is a social construct with scientific levers. "If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from biological science and psychological science over the last century, it’s that there’s an enormous amount of variation within the groups that we’ve traditionally thought of as races, far more than there is between the groups we’ve traditionally thought of as races." This makes sense; historically, we've drawn the line wherever it has suited the mainstream agenda. Humanity can be divided into two races, which would see Africans, Europeans and most Asians as one unified race. Or it could be divided into three races, which would separate Africans into their own group. You can keep dividing humanity down into more and more refined biological groups until you have 10 or 20 or 30 different races. But what would be the purpose? Our mistake has always been confusing groups for classes anyhow. Philip Kitcher is the co-author of The Seasons Alter:How to Save Our Planet in Six Acts.

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Extending Descartes to Embody Our Social Rational Souls

Descartes’ solitary, inward-facing mindset misconstrues the social nature of our thinking. Social Cartesianism better captures the soul of what matters in distinguishing humans from animals or machines.

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Surprising Science

Humans and Supernova-Born Neutron Stars Have Similar Structures, Discover Scientists

Physicists discover strikingly similar structures in human cells and neutron stars.

As atoms in our bodies were made in stars millions of years ago, it’s been common to propose that we are, in fact, made of stars. Now comes news of another mind-blowing cosmic relationship as physicists conclude that human cells and neutron stars share structural similarities, which look like multi-story parking garages.

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Culture & Religion