• Fire Over Ahwahnee: John Muir and the Decline of Yosemite

    In July 1929 a frail, elderly woman quietly processed acorns on the floor of the Yosemite Valley. Her weather worn face appeared thin,...

  • Does Nature Need to be Nurtured?

    “Boys will be boys” is a popular refrain in schools. A bit of rough and tumble at break time? That’s natural. Likewise, “girls...

  • On the Origin of White Power

    Nicholas Wade is not a racist. In his new book, A Troublesome Inheritance, the former science writer for the New York Times states...

  • Freedom to Riot

    Police cars were overturned and shops looted as the mob descended on the city’s central square. Rioters tore the police station’s outer door...

  • Ayn Rand vs. the Pygmies

    Black-and-white colobus monkeys scrambled through the branches of Congo’s Ituri Forest in 1957 as a small band of Mbuti hunters wound cautiously through...

  • Ariel Casts Out Caliban

    In 1607, after being held captive by the Portuguese in West Africa’s Congo Basin for nearly 18 years, the English sailor Andrew Battell returned home with...

  • Women and Children First

    The infants had been arranged into neat rows, swaddled in aseptic white cloth the way precision instruments would be secured for shipping. Masked, hooded and gloved nurses...

  • Helen’s Choice: Female Multiple Mating in the Natural World

    “Helen would never have yielded herself to a man from a foreign country, if she had known that the sons of Achaeans would...

  • Human Nature and the Moral Economy

    In every financial transaction–whether you’re selling a car, paying employees, or repackaging commodity futures as financial derivatives–there are ethical calculations that influence economic...

  • We Contain Multitudes: Walt Whitman, Charles Darwin, and the Song of Empathy

    Dark portents of civil war were looming as the American poet Walt Whitman celebrated the transformative song of empathy. “I do not ask...

  • Truth of the Matter

    In his latest book, The Bonobo and the Atheist, primatologist Frans de Waal describes a forum held at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia...