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.

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Surprising Science
  • 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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The invention that made us human: Fire

Did fire change the development of the human brain?

Surprising Science
  • The earliest evidence for fire dates back nearly 440 million years.
  • Our hominin ancestors first used natural wildfires to flush out prey and forage for food.
  • Richard Wrangham's cooking hypothesis suggests that a ready supply of cooked food allowed the Homo lineage to develop its large, complex brains.
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10 new things we’ve learned about cancer

Cancer's sweet tooth. Turning cancer cells into fat. Unveiling genetic secrets. Scientists are learning about cancer every day.

Surprising Science
  • Cancer is a leading cause of death among Americans, second only to heart disease.
  • Researchers are unearthing cancer's genetic secrets and, with it, potential new treatments.
  • Their efforts have seen the cancer death rate for men, women, and children fall year after year between 1999 and 2016.
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7 things everyone should know about autism

Autism is a widely misunderstood condition surrounded by falsehoods, half-truths, and cultural assumptions.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Mind & Brain
  • Autism-spectrum disorder covers a wide range of neurodevelopmental conditions that are highly individualized.
  • The prevalence of autism continues to increase in the United States, not due to vaccines but increased awareness and improved diagnosis.
  • Autism awareness is crucial as treatment strategies are more effective if accessed early.
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