New evidence shows Neanderthals got 'surfer's ear'

Our relationship with water still matters.

Photo: Eric Cabanis/AFP/Getty Images
  • According to new research, half of Neanderthal skulls studied had exostoses — aka "surfer's ear."
  • The condition is common in mammals that spend a lot of time in water.
  • Though today we are largely disconnected from nature, the consequences of our relationship to it are still felt.
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Smart drugs: All-natural brain enhancers made by mother nature

Can nicotine keep Alzheimer's at bay? Dave Asprey explains how natural drugs can create super humans.

  • Nootropics are colloquially known as 'smart drugs' – substances that increase cognitive function in healthy people. The word nootropic is a combination of two Greek words, noos meaning 'mind' and tropein meaning 'towards'.
  • Dave Asprey discusses two naturally occurring smart drugs: Caffeine and nicotine. The latter might be a surprise, but while smoking, chewing tobacco and vaping have negative health consequences, there's evidence to suggest microdosing one milligram of nicotine, about 5% to 10% of a cigarette's worth, may protect against Alzheimer's.
  • Beyond naturally occurring smart drugs, Asprey discusses aniracetam, a pharmaceutical cognitive enhancer pioneered in Russia that may improve memory input and recall.
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Did we evolve to see reality as it exists? No, says cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman.

Cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman hypothesizes we evolved to experience a collective delusion — not objective reality.

Image source: Photo: Flickr)
  • Donald Hoffman theorizes experiencing reality is disadvantageous to evolutionary fitness.
  • His hypothesis calls for ditching the objectivity of matter and space-time and replacing them with a mathematical theory of consciousness.
  • If correct, it could help us progress such intractable questions as the mind-body problem and the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics.
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Tiny parks for bees line the streets of this Dutch city

Atop hundreds of bus stops, rest stops for bees.

Clear Channel
  • A Dutch city is creating tiny parks on top of bus stops to house bees.
  • It's part of a larger initiative to create a healthy urban living environment.
  • Urban beekeeping serves an important ecological function.
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Quantum Darwinism, which may explain our reality, passes tests

A mind-bending physics theory may explain why we have one reality instead of many.

Pixabay
  • Quantum Darwinism, a theory created by Wojciech Zurek, may explain decoherence.
  • The theory looks to reconcile quantum mechanics with classical physics.
  • Three recent studies support the theory.
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