Humanity Might Have Been Born to Live in Cities

Paleo-Style Sensibilities Aside, Earth's Future Hinges on the Success of Our Urban Spaces

Sometimes it feels like we made a wrong turn a long way back.

Perhaps it was the shift to fossil fuels and scientific medicine that led us to this place, a population of nearly 8 billion crowded onto a warming planet, a terrestrial species melting the ice caps so there is less and less land to inhabit or to grow food.

Or maybe it happened further back, with our jump down the food chain to become growers and eaters of grass (and maize, and rice, and sorghum). Agriculture started the …

How Our Evolving Understanding of Individual Autonomy Led to Human Rights for All

A Cultural Historian Traces Empathy From Epistolary Novels to Abolition to Act Up

In Inventing Human Rights: A History, UCLA historian Lynn Hunt traces the modern concept of Human Rights to a series of mid-18th century epistolary novels with a strong first person …

Sanctuary Is an Integral Part of Human Nature

People Have Always Offered Shelter to the Stranger in Need

Since Donald Trump’s election, I’ve had to change the focus of the talks I give at churches, community events, universities, schools, and bookshops about sanctuary and asylum.

I used to …

VIDEO: What Does Poetry Prove About Humans?

A Philosopher Explains How Romantic Verse Shows the Moral Capacity of Language

In 1798, poet William Wordsworth and his sister took a walk in the Welsh countryside. The poem he wrote about that walk—“Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey”—moved …

Will Modern Genetics Turn Us Into Gene “Genies”?

Recent Discoveries Hold Great Promise for Medical Advancement, and Great Peril for Social Equality

With the ubiquitous ways we apply our knowledge of genetics today—in crop seeds, medicine, space—it’s hard to believe the story of the modern gene did not emerge until the mid-1800s. …

Exits

I saw a woman decaying on the street.
Not waiting for her light. Not looking, not caring and
No one hit her.

Later
I saw a woman with anger crusted
In …