Big Think Newsletter


 

THE BIG IDEA

 

We overwash our bodies because bad odors are uniquely disgusting

When I was a kid, I remember seeing a TV commercial for Zest soap. As people laughed, danced, and toweled off, the choir sang: You’re not fully clean unless you’re Zest-fully clean! (Who knew taking a shower could be so much fun?!) Well, it was all a lie — sort of. Sure, using soap can make you fragrant and clean, but science suggests that may not be the best for our health. We are so obsessed with “germs” and odors that we overwash ourselves, to the detriment of our skin.

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THE BIG DISCOVERY

 

Clovis debunked: America’s first settlers did not take the ice-free corridor

A long-standing hypothesis posited that North America was first populated about 13,000 years ago when our ancestors crossed the Beringia land bridge and traversed what is modern-day Canada through a corridor in the ice sheets. But a new study, which shows that North America was already populated when the corridor became ice-free, proves the hypothesis wrong. Perhaps our ancestors migrated down the Pacific Coast, instead.

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13.8

 

Science vs. God: Understanding reality is not a battle between reason and faith

In their focused and relentless pursuit for answers, scientists often come off as cold and aloof, disconnected from the world around them. As a result, many people perceive science to be an enterprise devoid of emotion and meaning and, consequently, an enemy of religion. But this is not true. The choice between science and faith is a toxic and false dichotomy.

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Alex Berezow is the executive editor of Big Think. He holds a PhD in microbiology and has over a decade of experience in science journalism.