Author Archives: John Horgan

Bizarre Brain-Implant Experiment Sought to "Cure" Homosexuality

In 1970 a psychiatrist at Tulane University electrically stimulated the brain of a gay man while he had sex with a female prostitute

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Lax U.S. Gun Controls Pose a Greater Threat Than Terrorism

U.S.-made guns wreak havoc around the world as well as in the U.S.

 

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Tribute to Jose Delgado, Legendary and Slightly Scary Pioneer of Mind Control

Neuroscientist based at Yale in 1960s controlled bulls, monkeys and humans with brain implants and envisioned a “psychocivilized society”

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The Great Hunger and the Randomness of the World

A science journalist walking through Lower Manhattan ponders the meaning of the Irish Hunger Memorial

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Has the Era of Gene Therapy Finally Arrived?

The FDA just approved the first gene therapy for sale, but such therapies remain far from fulfilling their early promise

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Nuclear Expert Considers Risks of Conflict with North Korea

Nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein also speaks out on nuclear terrorism, proliferation, modernization, eradication and civil defense

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Richard Dawkins Offers Advice for Donald Trump, and Other Wisdom

The biologist and atheist, whose latest book was released this week, talks about the reliability of science, artificial intelligence, religion and the president

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Profile of Claude Shannon, Inventor of Information Theory

Shannon, a pioneer of artificial intelligence, thought machines can think but doubted they "would take over”

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Chimp Guy Knocks Baboon Guy’s Upbeat View of Human War

Harvard’s Richard Wrangham and Stanford’s Robert Sapolsky clash over claim that war has deep evolutionary roots

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The Promise of LSD Microdoses and Other Psychedelic "Medicines"

Psychiatrist John Halpern discusses the psychotherapeutic potential of peyote, ayahuasca, psilocybin, MDMA and other psychedelics

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Tripping on Peyote in Navajo Nation

A journalist exploring psychedelics’ therapeutic potential participates in a ceremony of the Native American Church

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Why We Overrate the Lifesaving Power of Cancer Tests

Science journalist Gary Taubes weighs in on PSA tests and mammograms

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Why I Won’t Get a PSA Test for Prostate Cancer

Physicians are still recommending the blood test for prostate cancer even though it harms far more men than it helps

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How Quarks Turned into Cultures

Big-picture biologist Tyler Volk talks about his book on “How We Came to Be” 

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Second Thoughts: Did Thomas Kuhn Help Elect Donald Trump?

Scholars debate filmmaker Errol Morris’s attack on Kuhn’s influential philosophy of science

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Second Thoughts on Whether Self-Knowledge Is Overrated

Intellectuals defend the value of being intellectuals.

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Did Thomas Kuhn Help Elect Donald Trump?

Filmmaker Errol Morris claims Kuhn’s critique of science paved the way for a post-truth presidency

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Is a Popular Theory of Cosmic Creation Pseudoscience?

Physicists battle over whether the theory of inflation is untestable and hence not really scientific.

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Why String Theory Is Still Not Even Wrong

Physicist, mathematician and blogger Peter Woit whacks strings, multiverses, simulated universes and “fake physics”

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David Chalmers Thinks the Hard Problem Is Really Hard

Consciousness will still mystify us even if we scientifically solve it, philosopher predicts

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Will Neuroweapons, Micro-Drones and Other Killer Apps Really Make Us Safer?

Americans should have a more vigorous debate over Pentagon’s relentless pursuit of “disruptive” innovations

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Polymath Stephen Wolfram Defends His Computational Theory of Everything

Creator of Mathematica and A New Kind of Science remains confident that he can transform science and other realms of knowledge

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Why Freud Still Isn’t Dead

Psychoanalysis still attracts adherents in spite of relentless criticism and the rise of psychopharmacology and other alternatives

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What Is Philosophy’s Point?, Part 4. Maybe It’s Poetry with No Rhyme and Lots of Reason

The line between philosophy and the arts can get awfully blurry

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What Is Philosophy’s Point?, Part 3. Maybe It Should Stick to Ethics

Philosophers keep giving us moral advice in spite of their doubts about all ethical systems

 

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Dear Anti-Trump Protestors, Please Renounce Violence

Protesters who smashed windows and punched police on Inauguration Day are mirroring the violence they supposedly abhor

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What Is Philosophy’s Point?, Part 1 (Hint: It’s Not Discovering Truth)

Philosophy can still serve many purposes, even if it can’t compete with science as a method of accumulating knowledge

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Seeing the Miracle of Existence in the Darkest of Times

A winter solstice ritual helps a faithless science writer appreciate life’s infinite improbability

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Astrophysicist Says Experiments Might Soon Reveal Dark Matter’s "True Nature"

In a Q&A, Priyamvada Natarajan takes multiverses seriously but not cosmos-as-simulation idea

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How Donald Trump Can Become the Greatest Leader Ever

A science writer urges the President-elect to make world peace his number-one mission.

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