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Stories by John Horgan

Evolution

The Weird Irony at the Heart of the Napoleon Chagnon Affair

I have a few things to get off my chest regarding Napoleon Chagnon, who is back in the news with a score-settling memoir, Noble Savages . On Sunday, Savages was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review , and Chagnon was profiled in a Times Magazine article: "How Napoleon Chagnon Became Our Most Controversial Anthropologist." Both pieces focus on the 2000 book Darkness in El Dorado by Chagnon's nemesis, journalist Patrick Tierney...

February 18, 2013 — John Horgan
Environment

Psychedelic Prophet of 2012 Doom Was Goofing! But For a Good Reason

It's the day before the doomsday, as supposedly prophesied by ancient Mayans. Scientific American has been dutifully mocking the prediction, while also cannily capitalizing on it by offering discounted subscriptions in an "End of the World Flash Sale." Brilliant!I figured I'd take advantage of apocalypse fever by reprinting something I posted last June about a prominent popularizer of the 2012 meme, psychedelic scholar-entertainer-guru- Scientific-American -fan Terence McKenna...

December 20, 2012 — John Horgan
Health

Will Connecticut Massacre Give Politicians the Guts to Take on the Gun Lobby?

It's happened again: a lone gunman has carried out a massacre, this time in an elementary school in Newtown, CT. A young man killed 18 children and eight adults, reportedly including his mother, a teacher at the school, before taking his own life.And so once again I'm dragging out my plea for gun control, just as I did last summer, after James Holmes shot 12 people to death in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and in January 2011, after Jared Laughner killed six people and wounded 14 others, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, in Tucson, Arizona.Every time a deranged American male goes on a rampage, shooting down dozens of people, gun lovers trot out the familiar excuses: Guns don’t kill people, people do...

December 14, 2012 — John Horgan
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