1. Ann Ross is a forensic anthropologist (yes, like you’ve seen on CSI) and she spends her day reading skulls. She and her colleagues invented a piece of software that compares digital scans of unidentified skulls to a database of other skulls. What comes back is eerily specific

    The secret language of skulls

     

  2. "I would wager that if an average citizen from Athens of 1000 BC were to appear suddenly among us, he or she would be among the brightest and most intellectually alive of our colleagues." 

    Gerald Crabtree, a developmental scientist at Stanford University, counterintuitively argues that our ancient ancestors were much smarter than we are. According to his theory, advances in technology and medicine have masked an “underlying decline in brain power” that, in the future, will continue to contribute to the “dumbing down” of our species.

    Are the comforts of modern life making humans dumber? 

    Photo: Thinkstock/iStockphoto

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  3. "As weird and stringy as panda meat sounds, those cute black and white critters of prehistoric times were not quite the same as the gentle, giant bears we know today."

    According to one Chinese scientist, ancient remains of pandas suggest that prehistoric man used to brutally hunt them — and then eat them.

    Photo: Li Qiaoqiao/Xinhua Press/Corbis

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  4. "I came into this project wanting to understand the question: How are rational, sensible, educated people able to sustain faith in an invisible being in an environment of skepticism?" — Tanya Luhrmann, anthropologist 

    Luhrmann attended Sunday church where members danced, swayed, cried, and raised their hands as a sign of surrender to God. She attended weekly home prayer groups whose members reported hearing God communicate to them directly. She hung out, participated, took notes, recorded interviews, and “tried to understand as an outsider how an insider to this evangelical world was able to experience God as real and personal and intimate.” Members told her about having coffee with God, seeing angel wings, and getting God’s advice on everything from job choice to what shampoo to buy.

    Luhrmann’s provocative theory is that the church teaches those who pray to use their minds differently than they do in everyday life. They begin by holding conversations with God in their heads, modeled on the kind of chummy conversations they’d have with their best friends. As they talk to Him, tell Him about their problems, and imagine His wise counsel and loving response, they are training their thoughts, much as people use weights to train their muscles. The church encourages them to tune in to sounds, images, and feelings that are louder or more intense or more unfamiliar or more powerful — and to interpret these internal cues as the external voice of God.

    How evangelicals hear the voice of God

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  5. Do women prefer to date nerds? A new analysis by researchers at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville suggests that long ago, women started turning down strong, confident Alpha males in favor of Beta men who were more devoted. 

    Here, a concise guide to why women prefer geeky guys.

    (Source: theweek.com)