The Creativity Of Scientists

Photo: mclephan

People sometimes argue about which scientific discovery or advance ranks as the greatest, as the most significant in the history of humankind.  Popular answers include electricity, computers, immunizations, and antibiotics.  Yet I would argue it’s none of these, but rather the scientific method of inquiry itself.

The scientific method only came into being relatively recently in human history as people began to become interested in proving all the things that other people believed (for example, that the sun rotates around the Earth, the Earth is flat, and the Earth is only 5,000 or so years old). Continue reading…

I’ve Achieved My Greatest Dream…Now What?

As long as I can remember (so the cliche goes), I’ve wanted to be a writer.  I wrote my first short story when I was five.  It was called “Horse’s Birthday Party” and was, you won’t be surprised to learn, about a horse having a birthday party.  I drew a cover (with a horse on it), taped the pages together, and handed it to my parents.  They praised it to the skies, and I was hooked.

Since then, no matter what I was doing (going to college and then medical school, trying to survive a medical residency, practicing medicine as an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago), I’ve always thought of myself first and foremost as a writer—even though all throughout those years nothing of mine was ever published. Continue reading…

The Exact Date Of Your Demise

Photo: beatplusmelody

Human beings are the only living creatures endowed with a full awareness of their mortality, a wound so painful that they’re driven to pull every cognitive trick in the book to deny it.  As with any skill, some of us are far better at this than others, yielding a wide range of conscious reactions to the notion of personal non-being. Continue reading…

How To Grow Up

Photo: amyelyse

How often do you become irrationally angry, and even though you fully recognize you’re overreacting, still find yourself unable to stop? Do you find yourself hurt by a careless word or gesture and find yourself acting petulantly in hopes the person who hurt you will recognize the damage they’ve done without you having to tell them how you feel? How about feeling jealous or insecure and showing off for someone you want to impress or make like you? Continue reading…