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Stories by Lawrence Rifkin

Darwin: the Movie

It’s true, Mr. and Ms. Hollywood Producer, Nash, Hawking, Turing were great and all, and their stories brought big bucks and a few Oscars rolling your way, but come on!

April 12, 2015 — Lawrence Rifkin
The (Linear) Time of Our Lives

The (Linear) Time of Our Lives

I am about to turn 50 years old, a mark of time that perhaps triggered the impetus to try to understand human life in the context of the largest possible backdrop — cosmic time.

March 9, 2014 — Lawrence Rifkin
10 Sublime Wonders of Science

10 Sublime Wonders of Science

Science just gives facts. Our sense of meaning, in the big-picture, must derive from elsewhere. Right? Wrong. Below are 10 sublime wonders of science, to make your mind reel and your emotions swell.

October 8, 2013 — Lawrence Rifkin
The Survival of Humanity

The Survival of Humanity

An existential catastrophe would obliterate or severely limit the existence of all future humanity. As defined by Nick Bostrom at Oxford University, an existential catastrophe is one which extinguishes Earth-originating intelligent life or permanently destroys a substantial part of its potential.  As such it must be considered a harm of unfathomable magnitude, far beyond tragedy [...]

September 13, 2013 — Lawrence Rifkin

My Ancestors Slept Here

When I, mild-mannered guy, journeyed to wild remote Africa, I made sure my mind was revved up with knowledge of evolution, and my body was revved up with vaccinations of typhoid, yellow fever, hepatitis A, tetanus, polio, meningococcus, and measles.With the best of romantic intentions, in a small gift box, I had surprised my wife on our 25th wedding anniversary with two blank airplane tickets and pencil.

July 23, 2013 — Lawrence Rifkin

Is the Meaning of Your Life to Make Babies?

What can -- and cannot -- be learned from evolution From an evolutionary gene's-eye perspective, the genes are immortal, and our role, the meaning of life, is to perpetuate the genes.

March 24, 2013 — Lawrence Rifkin

Amoxicillin-Humdrum? Or Miraculous?

Busy primary care doctors, especially those who see children, prescribe it ten times a day, sometimes more. For over thirty years it's been our old steady friend, our go-to medication for bacterial ear infections, pneumonia, strep throat, and sinusitis.

February 1, 2013 — Lawrence Rifkin

Patients and Evolutionary History

Evolution has revolutionized our modern scientific understanding of natural history and how our bodies came to be. Yet evolutionary insights regarding health and disease are not typically emphasized with patients.Medical education focuses on proximate causes of disease -- infection, trauma, cellular regulation, etc.

January 25, 2013 — Lawrence Rifkin