An outline of the themes in 3.8 Billion Years, each followed by links to selected posts.
1. The Cosmos and the Origins of Life. We don’t know exactly how living things got started, but we know a lot about the probable process and approximately when it took place.
2. The First Two Billion Years: Single Cells. The evolution of the groundwork of life was slow, complicated, and vital.
3. Plants and Animals.
4. The Processes: Emergence and Natural Selection.
5. The Human Body. How we evolved and how our body works. First, we walked on two feet—without a tail.
6. Thinking and Feeling. Our brain gets us by, with some help from irrationality.
Steven Pinker on Disgust, Sex, and Happiness
Comparison is the Thief of Happiness
The Biology of Suffering
“The Mind Is Mainly Drawn to the Future”
The Brain Speaks Out
The Gambler’s Fallacy and Other Biases of the Brain
7. Competition and Cooperation. Organisms have been competing against and collaborating with each other for a long time. We often take the second process for granted.
8. Aging and Dying. Death frightens me less when I think about the long linkages of lives of all kinds before me, around me and after me.
9. Religion and Spirituality. Religions can tell us our Story, reassure us about life after death, and guide our conduct. Can Naturalism be as productive and beneficial?