Are people getting smarter or dumber? Yes.

The Flynn effect shows people have gotten smarter, but some research claims those IQ gains are regressing. Can both be right?

Surprising Science
  • Many countries made incredible gains in IQ scores during the 20th century, averaging three IQ points per decade.
  • Studies out of Europe have shown a reversal of this trend.
  • Such declines are not universal, and researchers remain unsure of what is causing them.
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Field Museum: Beer stabilizes society, keeps 'people together'

New research suggests that a healthy supply of locally-sourced beer helped maintain the unity of the widespread Wari civilization for about 500 years.

Culture & Religion
  • A new analysis of an ancient Wari brewery suggests chicha helped maintain the civilization's social capital for hundreds of years.
  • Civilizations throughout the ancient world used alcoholic drinks to signify kinship, hospitality, and social cohesion.
  • The researchers hope their findings will remind us of the importance in reaffirming social institutions and sharing cultural practices — even if over coffee or tea.
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After Hurricane Maria, these lizards got a serious grip

In response to devastating hurricanes, Dominican anoles have developed a grip that's 10 times stronger. Are we witnessing evolution in real time?

Surprising Science
  • After Hurricane Maria, anole species on the island of Dominica developed super strong grips.
  • This development may be one of the fasted rates of evolutionary change ever recorded.
  • Climate change will likely to result in more intense hurricanes, but not all species will adapt so quickly.
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Are scientists on the brink of discovering a mirror universe?

New experiments look to the interplay between neutrons and magnetic fields to observe our universal reflection.

Photo credit: Jovis Aloor on Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Science fiction has long speculated about parallel universes and what they may be like.
  • Researchers have devised new experiments to look for how a mirror universe may be influencing our own.
  • If such evidence is found, it could bring to light many of the universe's mysteries, such as the nature of dark matter.
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