Touch: The Science of the Sense that Makes Us Human by David J. LindenWhy does holding a hot drink make us like people more?
How can a soldier under fire not even notice hes been shot?
What makes sex so much fun?
Touch is the most important sense we have. Without it, we cannot entirely feel pleasure or pain - we are less than human.
In fact, as David Linden demonstrates in the astonishing stories gathered here, touch is central to who we are - from choosing our partners to comforting us on our deathbeds.
Exploring the many surprising facts and myths about our sense of touch, Linden reveals how it defines us - and how, by understanding it, we can better know ourselves.
What Makes Us Human?
Modern scientific research has identified the major physiological, neurological, and genetic differences between humans and our biological ancestors. In particular, it has been found that the human brain is qualitatively different in terms of the development of the parts of the brain that control abstract reasoning, social behaviour, and manual abilities.
David J. Linden
Top 10 Things That Make Humans Special
The whole matter is so enormous that it ties my brain in knots! Perhaps the fact that I am able to think about the question at all is what makes me human. In the words of Descartes: cogito ergo sum — I think therefore I am. As a species we continually explore the complexities of our own neurology and the mechanics of our human bodies. We learn more every day about the amazing and surprising ways we exist under both favourable and adverse conditions.
Following on from this year's festival, FutureFest curator Ghislaine Boddington explores some of the key takeaways, and asks: what is it that truly makes us human? Here we are, in mid , in globally fluid times where we all are required to deal with changes, nearly daily, in our work and home lives. This is not an easy call, and many of us struggle to remain centred, sorted and strong in the midst of busy schedules and big responsibilities. One of the most exciting and yet also the most challenging debates of our times, and one that was scrutinised thoroughly in many of the debates, experiences, talks and presentations at FutureFest , is that of the integration of automata, machine learning and AI into our daily existences. For several years now media articles detailing the rapid advances of these technologies of today have featured striking headline warnings of 'robots taking over our jobs'. Additionally, pressures from within our workplaces to 'up-skill' in readiness for these new technologies causes stress and anxiety over job security.
Scientists speculated in the s that chimps share almost 99 percent of our genetic makeup. It was a good guess -- research in the following decades proved them right.
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Our work in...
Not so fast, says Melissa Hogenboom, a few things make us different from any other species. The two bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in killed around , Japanese people. No other species has ever wielded such power, and no species could. The technology behind the atomic bomb only exists because of a cooperative hive mind: hundreds of scientists and engineers working together. The same unique intelligence and cooperation also underlies more positive advances, such as modern medicine. But is that all that defines us?