Theories and Discovery

Close-up showing the Archaeopteryx fossil’s skull, neck, spine, rib cage and wing bones. The fossil will go on view at Chicago's Field Museum on May 7.

Chicago Museum Unveils the 'Most Important Fossil Ever Discovered': the Feathered Dinosaur Archaeopteryx

Archaeopteryx provided the missing link between dinosaurs and the avians of today, serving as critical evidence for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution

Michel Talagrand is the 27th recipient of the Abel Prize, which was first awarded in 2003.

Mathematician Who Made Sense of the Universe's Randomness Wins Math's Top Prize

Michel Talagrand took home the 2024 Abel Prize for his work on stochastic systems, randomness and a proof of a physics reaction that many experts thought was unsolvable

Data from the retired Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), a joint venture between NASA and the German Space Agency, led scientists to their discovery.

Scientists Detect Water on the Surface of Asteroids for the First Time Ever

Using data from a retired NASA mission, researchers identified unique signs of water molecules on two space rocks, unlocking new insight into how water may have arrived on Earth

If Yonatan Adler's theory proves correct, then Judaism is, at best, Christianity’s elder sibling and a younger cousin to the religions of ancient Greece and Rome.

Is Judaism a Younger Religion Than Previously Thought?

A new book by an Israeli archaeologist makes the stunning claim that common Jewish practices emerged only a century or so before Jesus

The coastline of Quadra Island in British Columbia. Some scientists believe that prehistoric humans spent thousands of years in the region.

The Story of How Humans Came to the Americas Is Constantly Evolving

Surprising new clues point to the arrival taking place thousands of years earlier than previously believed

Was Alexander the Great Pronounced Dead Prematurely?

A new theory suggests he was only paralyzed when he was declared dead, but it's impossible to prove he had Guillain-Barré Syndrome with the existing facts

"Battle of Mont Saint-Jean or the Battle of Waterloo" by Antoine Charles Horace Vernet (1758 - 1836) and Jacques François Swebach (1769-1823)

Can Napoleon’s Defeat at Waterloo Be Traced to a Volcanic Eruption in Indonesia?

A new study posits that an 1815 eruption caused inclement weather that, according to some theories, led to Napoleon's defeat

A "fossil" that was baked in a lab in about 24 hours.

Scientists Baked a "Fossil" in 24 Hours

The simulation could help researchers gain new insight into the fossilization process—without having to wait 10,000 years

An African grey parrot, probably thinking intelligent thoughts.

Unique Brain Circuitry Might Explain Why Parrots Are So Smart

Their bird brains are not bird-brained

Archangel Gabriel

Is This Painted Tile Da Vinci’s Earliest Known Work?

Two Italian scholars believe the tile was painted by the Renaissance master in 1471, but other experts are not convinced

Apollo 15 Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin salutes the U.S. flag. This photograph was taken by Astronaut David R. Scott, Apollo 15 commander.

Astronauts' Footprints May Have Warmed the Moon

"Lost" data from the 1970s helped scientists solve an enduring lunar mystery

Aplysia californica crawls about in a tide pool in Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, California.

Scientists Say They Have Transferred ‘Memories’ Between Snails

A controversial new study suggests that RNA may play an important role in memory storage

Skeletal remains showing evidence of leprosy from the Odense St. Jørgen cemetery in Denmark, which was established in 1270 and existed until 1560.

Did Leprosy Originate in Europe?

A new study suggests the disease was far more diverse in Europe than previously believed

Shipwrecks discovered off the coast of Western Australia.

Two 19th-Century Shipwrecks Discovered During Search for Flight MH370

The Western Australian Museum has put forth several suggestions for the identities of the sunken vessels

Expressive Eyebrows May Have Given Modern Humans an Evolutionary Edge

A new study explores why ancient humans had pronounced brow ridges, and why they eventually lost them

Did a falling apple really influence Newtonian physics?

Sometimes, a Scientific “Eureka!” Moment Really Does Change the World

Your plastic credit card, microwaveable popcorn and erection enhancers all owe to a fortuitous moment of connection

A Sickly Paleolithic Pupper Only Survived Because of Human Help

The canine wouldn't have been a good hunter, hinting early humans may have loved their pets for more than athleticism

Is the Fall Equinox the Secret to the Pyramids' Near-Perfect Alignment?

One engineer says yes

The Oldest Known Butterflies Existed Before Flowers

A new study raises intriguing questions about the evolutionary trajectory of butterflies and moths

Smithsonian Curator Weighs In on Photo That Allegedly Shows Amelia Earhart in Japanese Captivity

A History Channel special claims that a National Archives photo shows the pilot sitting on a dock in the Pacific, but experts are skeptical

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