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The Greatest Unknown Intellectual of the 19th Century

Unlike Charles Darwin and Claude Bernard, who endure as heroes in England and France, Emil du Bois-Reymond is generally forgotten in Germany — no streets bear his name, no stamps portray his image, no celebrations are held in his honor, and no collections of his essays remain in print. Most Germans have never heard of… Continue reading The Greatest Unknown Intellectual of the 19th Century

Recommended Books, November 2019 – Scientific American

Scientific American November 2019 The ecosystem of a crime scene, how undercover patients changed psychiatric care, and more The Nature of Life and Death: Every Body Leaves a Trace by Patricia Wiltshire Putnam, 2019 ($27) Having trouble accessing this article? Please visit our FAQ page for more information Expertise. Insights. Illumination. Discover world-changing science. Explore our… Continue reading Recommended Books, November 2019 – Scientific American

A will to survive might take AI to the next level

Fiction is full of robots with feelings. Like that emotional kid David, played by Haley Joel Osment, in the movie A.I. Or WALL•E, who obviously had feelings for EVE-uh. Robby the Robot sounded pretty emotional whenever warning Will Robinson of danger. Not to mention all those emotional train-wreck, wackadoodle robots on Westworld. But in real… Continue reading A will to survive might take AI to the next level

The Pursuit of Creativity Can Make Algorithms Much Smarter

The steppingstone’s potential can be seen by analogy with biological evolution. In nature, the tree of life has no overarching goal, and features used for one function might find themselves enlisted for something completely different. Feathers, for example, likely evolved for insulation and only later became handy for flight. Biological evolution is also the only… Continue reading The Pursuit of Creativity Can Make Algorithms Much Smarter

People with more empathy may actually increase political divisions

By Leo Benedictus Empathy may not be good for reducing polarisation in politicsChristoph Soeder/dpa/Alamy Live News You might think that a little more empathy would help to heal the divisions in US politics, but it could actually worsen the situation by increasing polarisation. Elizabeth Simas at the University of Houston, Texas, and her colleagues surveyed… Continue reading People with more empathy may actually increase political divisions

For The First Time, Astronomers Witness Colossal Winds Blowing Out of a Distant Galaxy

  For the first time, astronomers have directly observed the massive outflow of gas extending hundreds of thousands of light-years from a galaxy. It is, they say, the first direct evidence of how galactic winds feed the circumgalactic medium – the vast clouds of gas that wrap around galaxies as they float in intergalactic space.… Continue reading For The First Time, Astronomers Witness Colossal Winds Blowing Out of a Distant Galaxy