July 24, 2020

How the Novel Coronavirus Is Different from Everything That Came Before

For a while the COVID-19 infection rate looked to be stabilizing in the U.S., and the country almost dared to relax a little. Then in late June it went up again—way, way up. In half a year,...

May 21, 2020

Going “COVID Cuckoo” for a Cure

COVID-19 has infected millions people around the globe and has kept billions of others in a state of suspended reality as we worry about ourselves and our loved ones, grieve losses, face financial uncertainty, and long...

March 21, 2018

Pythagoras and the cult of number perfection

For anyone who has taken high school math, the most famous Ionian is likely to be Pythagoras. His name, after all, is attached to the theorem that states: the sum of the areas of the squares drawn...

Anaximenes

March 7, 2018

Anaximenes of Miletus: Moving to purely naturalistic explanations

Anaximenes (c. 585 – 528 BCE) is the third person in a series of philosophers from the Ionian city of Miletus. Thought to have been a student of Anaximander (610 – 546 BCE), Anaximenes has sometimes...

February 21, 2018

Anaximander: Evolution, Earth as a body in space, and the first experiment

Anaximander of Miletus (c. 610 – 546 BCE) is thought to have been a student of Thales, the Ionian Greek philosopher also of the city of Miletus, who started philosophy in the early 6th century BCE....

February 7, 2018

Thales of Miletus: Grandfather of the Age of Science

Thales of Miletus (c. 624 – 546 BCE) is remembered as the first philosopher known to history, but he was also the first scientist, or rather proto-scientist. An early leader in the enlightenment of Ionia, Thales...

The School of Athens

January 24, 2018

Ancient Ionia and the origins of scientific thinking

Science as we know it — complete with the scientific method, formation of hypotheses and systematic subjection of hypotheses to testing with planned experiments — did not take form until recent centuries. But scientific thinking dates...

January 10, 2018

Menstruation and Lunation: Related in culture but not in physiology

Throughout history, there has been a strong cultural connection between reproduction and the moon that is preserved to this day in human languages. Menstruation and menses have common roots in Greek and Latin, due to beliefs...

3 Kingdom tree of life

December 26, 2017

The Tree of Life got a makeover

Long ago, biologists categorized life forms into two divisions: animal and vegetable. Then, they added a category for fungus, and one for microorganisms. Further study revealed that microorganisms must be divided up too. An example of...

July 3, 2017

Preserving specimens in situ for future researchers

There’s an old joke that there were five paleoanthropologists for every hominin fossil. It’s based partly on truth, which should give you an idea of the rarity of such finds. A major part of what we...

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