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Complementarity: Approaching Reality Through Paradoxes

“The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”  ― Niels Bohr Sometimes when we run into complexity in the world, we react…

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Are Emotions Hard-Wired or Constructed?

There’s a scene in the movie Star Trek III where Spock, a logical and rational Vulcan, is relearning how to be himself after having his mind transferred back into his body. His training involves answering rapid-fire…

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Balancing the Material and Transcendent in Our Lives

Science enables us to study the world with precision and order, breaking it down into its component parts. At the same time, the phenomena that we examine—from the smallest fluorescent sea creatures to the largest expanding…

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Physicists Entangle Particles Across Time

“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” ~ Albert Einstein If you thought that the quantum phenomena of particles being “entangled”…

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The Chance Events That Gave Rise to Humans

Humans are the only creature on Earth to have left the planet, trading our comfortable terrestrial existence for the snug confines of a rocket, shuttle, or space station orbiting in the vast emptiness above. As far…

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Homeostasis, Feelings, and the Rise of Culture

When people talk about the evolution and development of all that makes humans “unique,” one thing that often gets overlooked is our feelings. For neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, though, there can be no conversation about our humanity…

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The Many Ways We Deceive Ourselves

One of the central goals of yoga is seeing the world clearly. But when it comes to knowing ourselves, we often lack self-awareness about our real nature. In the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, this misperception is…

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All Life Needed to Get Started Was Good Old Physics

Two new papers published by Massachusetts Institute of Technology biophysicist Jeremy England provide support for his 2013 theory that life arose simply as the result of thermodynamics. He proposed that given the right conditions, atoms can…

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