Is Nature Continuous or Discrete? How the Atomist Error was Born.

Opening from Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura at the Cambridge University Library, manuscript dated to 1563. / Wikimedia Commons The modern idea that nature is discrete originated in Ancient Greek atomism. By Dr. Thomas Nail / 05.18.2018 Associate Professor of Philosophy University of Denver The modern idea that nature is discrete originated in Ancient Greek atomism.[…]

70 Years of Instant Photos, Thanks to Inventor Edwin Land’s Polaroid Camera

It’s been 70 years of instant photography, thanks to Edwin Land, on the left. AP Photo Whether at a family gathering or in a research lab, getting access to images immediately was a game changer. And Land’s innovations went far beyond the instant photo. By Dr. Ann E. Elsner / 05.18.2018 Professor of Optometry Indiana University It probably happens every[…]

Exquisite Rot: Spalted Wood and the Lost Art of Intarsia

Geometric figure (1537), intarsia by Fra Damiano da Bergamo, from the Museum of the Basilica of Saint Dominic, Bologna, Italy — Wikimedia Commons The technique of intarsia — the fitting together of pieces of intricately cut wood to make often complex images — has produced some of the most awe-inspiring pieces of Renaissance craftsmanship. Daniel Elkind[…]

Ancient Human Bone Reveals When We Bred with Neanderthals

Behold the femur. Bence Viola, MPI EVA Radiocarbon-dated to around 45,000 years old. By Dr. Daniel Zadik / 10.24.2014 Postdoctoral Researcher in Genetics University of Leicester When a human bone was found on a gravelly riverbank by a bone-carver who was searching for mammoth ivory, little did he know it would provide the oldest modern-human genome yet sequenced. The[…]

How Tiny Black Spots Shed Light on the Homo Naledi Mystery

A replica of a Homo naledi skull. GCIS/Flickr, CC BY-ND New evidence suggests that Homo naledi didn’t deliberately deposit their dead in a hidden chamber. By Dr. Francis Thackeray / 07.27.2016 Phillip Tobias Chair in Paleoanthropology Evolutionary Studies Institute University of the Witwatersrand Many questions have been thrown up by the discovery in South Africa of a previously unidentified human relative,[…]