Neolithic Revolution

How Animal Domestication Works

It's strange to hear, but the transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture, including the domestication of wild animals, is the single biggest thing to ever happen to humanity. You can thank it for everything from kingdoms to Ebola.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Each week, Josh and Chuck read tons of articles and plenty of them are good. Here are the best of the bunch.

Doorways and the Mind; or the Deeper Meaning of Walking into a Glass Door

I don't really have much to add to the post that was published on the British Psychological Society's Research Digest blog, but the study they wrote about bears more than just simply passing along the link, I think. The post, "How walking through a doorway increases forgetting," concerns a study out of Notre Dame that sought to get to the bottom of how the mind carves experience up into episodic memory.

How Booze Gave Rise to Civilization

Somewhere around 10,000 or so years ago something big happened to humanity. We stopped wandering around, pulling berries from shrubs and jumping out of trees onto gazelles to feed ourselves. We settled down. We chose the most desirable plants from our surroundings and cultivated them into crops that could reliably produce sustenance for us. We chose the tastiest, least dangerous animals we could find and taught them to stay in pens until we got around to slaughtering them. This moment in human history (a moment that developed over thousands of years) is called the Neolithic Revolution, and not for nothing.