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The Second Word, and the Third and the Fourth and the Fifth...

The First Word reports on what it means to be a human animal, and these days it's rare for a week to go by without an experiment, an observation, or a discovery that illuminates this odd life in new ways. Though there is no simple way to characterize the emerging synthesis of information, I've come to think of it as as a vast, rotating helix, which draws in strands like animal cognition, the science of the oldest human artifacts, the way genes and traits surge through populations, the economics of trust, the evolution of the brain and how symbols, language and languages came to be. This blog tracks the human news, and its spin.