"Jane Goodall hasn't found the missing link, but she's come
closer than nearly anyone else. The primatologist says the
only real difference between humans and chimps is our
sophisticated language. She urges us to start using it to
change the world."
"Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical
times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem
illogical and even obscene, given Iraq and Darfur, we are
living in the most peaceful time in our species'
"Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few
brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she
realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened
-- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one,
speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and
remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about
how our brains define us and connect us to the world and
to one another."
"What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Buddhist
monk, photographer and author Matthieu Ricard has devoted
his life to these questions, and his answer is influenced
by his faith as well as by his scientific turn of mind: We
can train our minds in habits of happiness. Interwoven with
his talk are stunning photographs of the Himalayas and of
his spiritual community."
"Why do people see the Virgin Mary on cheese sandwiches or
hear demonic lyrics in "Stairway to Heaven"? Using video,
images and music, professional skeptic Michael Shermer
explores these and other phenomena, including UFOs and
"Author Robert Wright explains "non-zero-sumness," a game-
theory term describing how players with linked fortunes
tend to cooperate for mutual benefit. This dynamic has
guided our biological and cultural evolution, he says --
but our unwillingness to understand one another, as in the
clash between the Muslim world and the West, will lead to
all of us losing the "game." Once we recognize that life is
a non-zero-sum game, in which we all must cooperate to
succeed, it will force us to see that moral progress --
a move toward empathy -- is our only hope."
"Novelist Amy Tan digs deep into the creative process,
journeying through her childhood and family history and
into the worlds of physics and chance, looking for hints
of where her own creativity comes from. It's a wild ride
with a surprise ending."