Sex vs. Gender Debate: Gender Isn’t Biological

Sex vs. Gender Debate: Gender Isn’t Biological

Is there a difference between “sex” and “gender”? What is it? What is the “sex vs. gender” debate? Sex is determined by a person’s genes, whereas gender is determined by whether you fit society’s mold of “man” or “woman.” Although related to sex, gender isn’t determined by your genes. We’ll cover the sex vs. gender debate and why this distinction has been so hard to grasp throughout history.

Christopher Columbus’s Voyages Showed the Value of Ignorance

Christopher Columbus’s Voyages Showed the Value of Ignorance

How did Christopher Columbus’s voyages to the new world revolutionize the world? How did it contribute to the rise of capitalism and our attitude toward our own ignorance? We’ll cover how Christopher Columbus’s first voyage and “discovery” of America forced people to confront their own ignorance. Then, we’ll look at how it spawned the marriage of capitalism and imperialism, forces that have defined our modern world.

History of Human Evolution: How Bad Genes Became Assets

History of Human Evolution: How Bad Genes Became Assets

In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari uses concepts from physics, chemistry, biology, and history to tell the story of us, Homo sapiens, and the history of human evolution. The history of early human evolution is punctuated by advances in language and technology, and the evolution has been both biological and social. Some social advantages started out as biological disadvantages. We’ll look at each revolution and how it dramatically redirected the course of human history. 

Future of Humanity: Will Science Worsen Inequality Forever?

Future of Humanity: Will Science Worsen Inequality Forever?

The future of our species may be relatively short, not because we cause ourselves to go extinct, but because we become an entirely new species. This is the future of humanity. We’ll cover the various scenarios of intelligent (man-made) design replacing natural selection: biological engineering, cyborg engineering, and inorganic life engineering. Then we’ll discuss the ethical problems that we face today, and we’ll face even more urgently in the future, as the future of humanity is increasingly dependent on the expert few.

History of Racism in America: Its Roots May Not Be Racist

History of Racism in America: Its Roots May Not Be Racist

What is the history of racism in America? Where did it start? The history of racism in America starts with the European sugar plantations there. Europeans didn’t want to pay for labor since this would have made the sugar too expensive to buy back on the continent, and, by a historical accident, they went to Africa for their unpaid labor. We’ll look at the early history of racism in America, from the first sugar plantations to discrimination in the 1950s.

Surprising Benefits of Imperialism: Empires United the World

Surprising Benefits of Imperialism: Empires United the World

We tend to think that “imperialism” is a bad word, but were there any benefits of imperialism? What are the legacies of imperialism today? The benefits of imperialism included the shrinking of the world and the dissolution of cultural divides. Among the many tragedies of European empires, the Age of Imperialism also connected disparate nations and cultures. We’ll cover the surprising benefits of imperialism and how they’ve shaped our world today.