Fewer ideas have been more toxic or harmful than the idea of the biological reality of race, and with it the idea that humans of different races are biologically different from one another. For this understandable reason, the idea has been banished from polite academic conversation. Arguing that race is more than just a social construct can get a scholar run out of town, or at least off campus, on a rail. Human evolution, the consensus view insists, ended in prehistory. Inconveniently, as Nicholas Wade argues in A Troublesome Inheritance, the consensus view cannot be right.
Just in the last three years a flood of new scientific findings, driven by revelations discovered in the human genome, has provided compelling new answers to many long-standing mysteries about our most ancient ancestors, the people who first evolved in Africa and then went on to colonize the whole world. Nicholas Wade weaves this host of news-making findings together for the first time into an intriguing new history of the human story before the dawn of civilization.
For at least the last fifty thousand years, and probably much longer, people have practiced religion. Yet little attention has been given, either by believers or atheists, to the question of whether this universal human behavior might have an evolutionary basis. Did religion evolve, in other words, because it helped people in early societies survive?
"If you're religious or into religion read this"
"Modern Technology Unlocks Secrets of a Damaged Biblical Scroll" is from the September 21, 2016 Art section of The New York Times. It was written by Nicholas Wade and narrated by Fleet Cooper.
The separation of Britain from Europe, set in motion by Prime Minister Theresa May last week, began a historic process but one not as abrupt as the first Brexit. That was the catastrophic destruction of the land bridge that for 10 million years had joined Britain physically to the Continent.
"When Britain Split From Europe, in a Big Way" is from the April 04, 2017 World section of The New York Times. It was written by Nicholas Wade and narrated by Keith Sellon-Wright.
For years, North Korea has rattled the world with its nuclear tests and its threats to visit a nuclear holocaust upon the United States. Now, the finding by Malaysian police that Kim Jong Nam was assassinated with VX nerve agent is a stark reminder of the North’s lesser-known weapons of mass destruction: a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.
"In Kim Jong Nam’s Death, North Korea Lets Loose a Weapon of Mass Destruction" is from the February 24, 2017 World section of The New York Times. It was written by Richard C. Paddock, Choe Sang Hun and Nicholas Wade and narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel.