Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. A new theory aims to make sense of it all.
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Human History as Natural History
Laura Betzig Ph.D.
This week, Hillary Clinton made news; every week, Hillary Clinton makes news. If the historical precedents are right, she might become president.
Etymologically, the word Easter evokes the Latin for gadfly, the Greek for mad frenzy, and old English and Sumerian fertility goddesses. These days, everybody gets an egg.
Once upon a time, one of Henny Youngman's ancestors offered his wife to a pharaoh--and got compensated for it. Since then, history has repeated itself.
Andreas Capellanus drew a line between “pure” love, which omitted the final solace, and what he called “mixed” love, the final act of Venus.
365 years ago, Charles I was led to a scaffold in London, and his head was cut off. That was the beginning of the end of unpopular government.
Last week, the KCNA announced the execution of Jang Song Thaek, who half-heartedly clapped when the supreme leader showed up. As usual, there are precedents for that.
On 22 November 1963, at around 12:30 CST, Mimi Alford was with her husband-to-be, Tony, and she started to cry. “There’s something I have to tell you,” she said.
521 years ago, Columbus boarded his carrack and headed west. The laborers, peasants and convicts on his ships were looking for gold, real estate, and the opposite sex.
Jeffrey Dickemann was the “father” of Darwinian history. Before the study of the past was headed with capital letters, he shed light on the origin of man and his history.
Napoleon Chagnon has lived up to his name. He fought his way into the jungle; he fought off intellectuals. And he lived to write about them both in Noble Savages, his new memoir.
A generation ago, it was all the rage in anthropology to say that fatherhood was what made us human. These days, grandmothers are all the rage. But fathers have always mattered.
Darwin, like his creator, had a passion for beetles. He was otherwise less than godlike; but his autobiography is a good read.
Earlier this month, 3 men were kicked out of Saudi Arabia for being too handsome. There are Biblical precedents for that--and a few precedents in meerkats.
115 cardinals will pick a pope in the Vatican this afternoon. It wasn't always a civilized process. Once, people were suffocated, strangled, urinated on and poisoned.
They’re digging out from under Nemo in the Northeast; and it’s another slushy Sunday here in the Midwest. It might be nice to get off to an island, or not.
Christmas has always been about families and the masses have always been sung by the unmarried. Who live, like White-Fronted Bee-Eaters, as helpers-at-the-nest.
House mice, like us, live under despots when they're hemmed in, closed off or locked up. And nobody gets to vote.
Thousands of years after the Buddha, Arjuna, Confucius, Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad, fewer women are herded into palaces, and fewer men live alone.
The long, hot summer is over. The hardworking men and women of America are taking a day off.
223 years ago, on 14 July 1789, the crowds took to the streets in Paris, the Bastille was stormed, and the French Revolution began.
Over the course of history, there were Fathers of many Countries. And many of them left obelisks.
Most American children were raised by two parents, once. But by last count, more than half of all women under 30 who give birth in the US are without a spouse.
At last count, roughly 1 in 3 Boomers was single. And we're splitting up later in life. Roughly 1 in 4 divorces are now granted to people 50 and older. Why?
It was snowing last week in Rome. The pope made an appearance at St Peter's in a white coat. But in Italy, the middle of February is usually nice time for fertility rites.
Meet a product of Chicago politics, an Illinois state senator, US Senator and President of the United States, without a whiff of scandal about his personal life.
Like his father and grandfather, Kim Jong Un is becoming "a great person born of heaven." There have been other divine kings, in Bethlehem and Rome.
Not so long ago, the middle of Pennsylvania was the middle of nowhere. But institutions tend to grow; and sometimes, bad things happen when they do.
As advertised, on September 17th, the rabble moved into Wall Street. People sleeping in cardboard boxes and tents occupied a space formerly known as Liberty Plaza Park.
The cover of Kathyrn Stockett’s bestseller, The Help, is covered with birds. I wonder if she knows how apt that is. My friend, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, would.
The bad thing about polygamy is that it tends to dissipate wealth. But polygyny—which is all over the place—is much worse.
Laura Betzig, Ph.D., is a Darwinian historian at work on her fourth book, The Badge of Lost Innocence: A History of the West.