Tag: MindPage 1 of 5

What the Vai Script Reveals About the Evolution of Writing

Piers Kelly , May 19th, 2022

This handwritten example of Vai script dates to around 1850. British Library/Wikimedia Commons In a small West African village, a man named Momolu Duwalu Bukele had a compelling…


Athletics, IQ, Health: Three Myths of Race

Alan Goodman and Joseph L. Graves Jr. , April 14th, 2022

Our recent book, Racism, Not Race, tackles a big lie: The idea that human beings have biological races. Biological races do not exist in humans. Why, then, do…


Predominantly White Institutions’ Overtures to Black Students OR This Is What They Tell You Without Telling You

Justin D. Wright , April 4th, 2022

Enslaved people built the Rotunda at the University of Virginia in the 19th century. Chrispecoraro/Getty Images Go to undergrad, go to graduate school, get a Ph.D. heft onto…


Meet the Ancient Technologists Who Changed Everything

Nicholas R. Longrich , January 14th, 2022

The idea of crafting and using beads as ornamentation may have spread from North Africa outward to other parts of the African continent and to Europe. Nicholas R….


The Age of Digital Divination

Matthew Gwynfryn Thomas , December 7th, 2021

Divination rituals around the world often include animals, as seen in this early 20th-century painting of fortunetelling using a chicken by Russian artist Konstantin Makovsky. Brandmeister/Wi…


How Human Are We?

Nicholas R. Longrich , November 10th, 2021

Hand axes crafted by Homo erectus required skills and planning—and likely, generational knowledge. Nick Longrich This article was originally published at The Conversation and has been rep…


Why Couldn’t Iron Age People Throw Some Stuff Away?

Lindsey Büster , September 14th, 2021

It is often hard to part with the objects left behind by loved ones—even everyday things. Ashton/Flickr I have been told many stories by people who found it…


Rethinking Masculinity: Fathers as Caregivers

Aaron J. Jackson , July 29th, 2021

The author, Aaron Jackson (center), with Wayne (left), a father whose thoughts about masculinity change as he raises his son Nick (right). Aaron J. Jackson This article was…


What Misspellings Reveal About Cultural Evolution

Helena Miton , July 28th, 2021

[no-caption] DrAfter123/Getty Images Something about me must remind people of a blind 17th-century poet. My last name, Miton, is French, yet people outside of France invariably misspell i…


Five Questions for Gillian Tett

Kathryn Derfler , July 12th, 2021

In this upcoming free live event, Yoli Ngandali, SAPIENS media and public outreach fellow, asks Gillian Tett five questions about her new book, Anthro-Vision: A New Way to…


Finding and Losing the World’s Oldest Art in Sulawesi

Franco Viviani , April 27th, 2021

These handprints were made by blowing pigment around a hand placed against the wall in Sumpang Bita Cave, Sulawesi. Franco Viviani In 2019, I made a trip to…


Can a Robot Guess What You’re Thinking?

Matthew Gwynfryn Thomas and Djuke Veldhuis , August 5th, 2020

What on earth are you thinking? Other people think they know, and many could make a pretty decent guess, simply from observing your behavior for a short while….


What Is Anthropology?

Danilyn Rutherford , May 26th, 2020

The “study of humanity” applies to many fields, but anthropology looks at people in a unique way. Orbon Alija/Getty Images What is anthropology? The word “anthropology” literally means…


The Problem of Imagining the Real

Hugh Gusterson , April 10th, 2020

As the novel coronavirus sent China into lockdown, my wife and I started to carefully follow the news. China was far away, and it was hard to imagine…


Explaining the Emergence of Coronavirus Rituals

Dimitris Xygalatas , April 1st, 2020

People in Rome, Italy, go out on their balconies at a specific time to give one another a round of applause during the coronavirus lockdown. Alessandra Tarantino/AP Photo…


How Did Belief Evolve?

Agustin Fuentes , February 26th, 2020

The Egyptians began constructing Karnak temple around 4,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence suggests large-scale religions arose throughout the world by 4,000 to 8,000 years ago. Christoph…


Your Body as Part Machine

Matthew Gwynfryn Thomas and Djuke Veldhuis , November 15th, 2019

When you hear the word “cyborg,” scenes from the 1980s films RoboCop or The Terminator might spring to mind. But the futuristic characters made famous in those films…


Why Are Languages Worth Preserving?

Anastasia Riehl , November 8th, 2019

This illustration represents how Indigenous peoples around the globe, as highlighted by depictions of a few specific communities, are striving to keep endangered languages alive as dynamic source…


Are Colors Universal?

Daniel Salas , October 8th, 2019

[no-caption] Marcel Hirshegger/SAPIENS Remember the meme #TheDress? Was it white and gold, or blue and black? With the help of Nicola Jones, a freelance science journalist who writes…


Do You Dream What I Dream?

Cay Leytham-Powell , September 10th, 2019

Anthropologist Roger Lohmann sees a ghost in a dream while working in Papua New Guinea. Even though he knows it’s just a dream, he’s scared long after he…


Why Are People Who Use Illegal Drugs Demonized?

Gideon Lasco , August 28th, 2019

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs has targeted alleged drug dealers, such as this 18-year-old man, and left thousands of suspects dead. Noel Celis/Getty Images “It’s our…


Eating Insects and the Yuck Factor

Daniel Salas , July 30th, 2019

[no-caption] Marcel Hirshegger/SAPIENS How come some people think eating insects is disgusting? Join SAPIENS hosts Jen Shannon and Chip Colwell as they dine on many-legged delicacies and …


Stone Age Myths We’ve Made Up

Stephen E. Nash , July 19th, 2019

When most members of the general public think of the Stone Age, they probably envision an adult male hominin wielding a stone tool. That picture is laughably incomplete….


New Hominin Shakes the Family Tree—Again

John Hawks , April 10th, 2019

Homo luzonensis’ teeth are unusual in that the premolars (two teeth on the left) are relatively large, while the molars (three on the right) are smaller than other…