Week of January 29, 2012

Week of January 29, 2012

The Price of Altruism

Are Humans Innately Good?

January 29, 2012
(was 01.16.2011)

Are humans innately good? Do we have a generosity gene? Is there an inherent desire to help our fellow human beings?

  1. Ron Shaich on Panera Cares Cafe

    Ron Shaich, the founder of Panera Bread Company, has come up with a new business model: cafes where customers pay what they want or can afford.

    Average: 4.5 (22 votes)
  2. Sam Harris on Scientific Morality

    For centuries religions set moral boundaries. In his new book “The Moral Landscape” prominent atheist Sam Harris argues that science should set them.

    Average: 4.6 (18 votes)
  3. Vanessa Woods on Bonobos over Chimps

    Primatologists and evolutionary biologists often point to chimpanzees to explain human nature. But we have another family of ape relatives, the bonobos, who are gentle, pacifist, and matriarchal.

    Average: 4.7 (16 votes)
  4. Oren Harman on the George Price Equation

    If evolution is a game called survival of the fittest, how do you explain altruism? The “altruism equation” is a mathematical rule discovered by George Price...

    Average: 4.9 (58 votes)
  5. Karen Armstrong on the Golden Rule

    Religious historian Karen Armstrong doesn’t like the either/or, good/evil dichotomy. She believes we are hard-wired to be both selfish and kind.

    Average: 4.9 (20 votes)
Image:Flickr Creative Commons

In Pain

January 29, 2012

Imagine living in constant, excruciating pain… and choosing prayer over pain medication. In In Pain, one man prays the pain away while others self-inflict pain in a bid to find God. We also hear from a researcher who’s been hurt by every stinging insect he could find, all in the name of science, and get a chance to laugh when someone else gets hurt.

  1. Justin O. Schmidt on Grading Stings

    Justin O. Schmidt has been stung by nearly every insect with a stinger, from the benign honeybee to the viscious tarantula hawk wasp. He is a research biologist and professor at the University of Arizona school of Entomology and he told Steve Paulson about his creation, the Schmidt Sting Pain Index.

    Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
  2. Laughing at Pain

    Alan Dale says laughing at slapstick is - at its heart - an expression of our sympathy with TV and film characters who get hurt. He says it's also relief that, for once, it's not us in pain.

    Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
  3. Sacred Pain with Ariel Glucklich

    In many cultures, people use pain as a means of coming closer to God.

    Ariel Glucklich talks with Jim Fleming about the history and psychology behind the practices.

    Average: 3.7 (6 votes)
  4. Pain Wars

    Americans spend billions of dollars a year on over-the-counter pain relievers. In fact, all over the world, easing pain is big business. And Aspirin’s one of the top sellers.  Why? Charles Mann, author of “The Aspirin Wars”, tells Steve Paulson what happened when a German company called Bayer came to America:

    Average: 4.9 (9 votes)
  5. Life in Pain

    For most of us, pain is a sign of physical injury. Generally the pain fades as the injury heals. But for people with Behcet's Syndrom pain is a constant companion.

    Jimmy Palmieri tells Anne Strainchamps about his practice of praying the pain away.

    Average: 4.3 (13 votes)