Selected Articles, 1985-Present


"Clash in Cambridge," report on first Templeton Journalism Fellowship in Science and Religion, 9/​5.
“Seeking a Better Way to Die,” critique of medical care for the dying, 5/​97, pp. 74-79.
“Profile: Ronald Graham,” juggling mathematician, 3/​97.
“Why Freud Isn’t Dead,” critique of treatments for mental illness, 12/​96, pp. 74-79.
“The New Social Darwinists,” critique of evolutionary psychology, 10/​95, pp. 150-157.
“Profile: Stephen Jay Gould,” evolutionary biologist, 8/​95.
“From Complexity to Perplexity,” critique of complexity studies, 6/​95, pp. 74-79.
“Profile: Brian Josephson,” Nobel laureate in physics and believer in parapsychology, 5/​95.
“Profile: Fred Hoyle,” maverick astrophysicist, 3/​95.
“Profile: Philip Anderson,” Nobel laureate in solid-state physics, 11/​94
“Can Science Explain Consciousness?” report on consciousness studies, 7/​94, pp. 88-94.
“Profile: Andre Weil,” great French-born mathematician, 6/​94.
“Profile: Edward O. Wilson,” ant-man and sociobiologist, 4/​94, pp. 36-41.
“Profile: Subrahmanyan Chandrasekar,” Nobel laureate in astrophysics, 3/​94, pp. 32-33.
“Particle Metaphysics,” report on the search for a grand unified theory, 2/​94, pp. 70-78.
“Profile: Marvin Minsky,” artificial-intelligence pioneer, 11/​93, pp. 35-38.
“The Death of Proof,” report on how computers are subverting mathematical concepts of truth, 10/​93, pp. 92-103.
“Profile: Freeman Dyson,” particle physicist and author, 8/​93, pp. 27-28.
“Eugenics Revisited,” critique of behavioral genetics, 6/​93, pp. 122-131.
“Profile: Paul Feyerabend,” anarchist philosopher, 5/​93, pp. 36-37.
“Profile: Jack Gibbons,” President Clinton’s science advisor, 4/​93.
“Profile: Linus Pauling,” chemist and peace activist, 3/​93, pp. 36-40.
“Profile: Karl Popper,” philosopher of falsifiability, 11/​92, pp. 38-44.
“Profile: Hans Bethe,” Manhattan Project leader and arms-policy critic, 10/​92, pp. 32-40.
“Quantum Philosophy,” report on explorations of quantum mechanics, 7/​92, pp. 94-101.
“Profile: George Smoot,” measurer of the cosmic background radiation, 7/​92, pp. 34-41.
“Profile: Murray Gell-Mann,” co-discoverer of quarks, 3/​92.
“Profile: Francis Crick,” co-discoverer of the double helix, 2/​92, pp. 32-33.
“Profile: Thomas Eisner,” celebrator of insects, 12/​91.
“Profile: Edward Witten,” superstring maven, 11/​91, pp. 42-45.
Articles on the environmental effects of the 1991 Gulf War: “The Danger from Kuwait's Air Pollution,” 10/​91; “The Muddled Cleanup in the Persian Gulf,” 10/​91; “Burning Questions,” 7/​91; “Why Are Data from Kuwait Being Withheld?” 7/​91; “From the Ashes,” 6/​91; “Up in Flames,” 5/​91; “U.S. Gags Discussion of War's Environmental Effects,” 5/​91.
“Profile: John Wheeler,” coiner of “black hole” and the “it from bit,” 6/​91, pp. 36-38.
“Profile: Thomas Kuhn,” paradigm-shifting philosopher, 5/​91, pp. 40-49.
“In the Beginning...”, report on attempts solve the mystery of life’s origin, 2/​91, pp. 116-125.
“Universal Truths,” report on cosmologists’ attempts to explain the universe, 10/​90, pp. 108-117.
“Profile: Noam Chomsky,” radical linguist, 5/​90, pp. 40-44.
“Profile: Benoit Mandelbrot,” inventor of fractals, 4/​90, pp. 30-34.
“Test Negative,” critique of drug testing, 3/​90.
“Profile: Claude Shannon,” father of information theory, 1/​90, pp. 20-22.
“Profile: Roger Penrose,” AI-doubting physicist, 11/​89, pp. 30-33.
“Profile: Clifford Geertz,” postmodern anthropologist, 7/​89, pp. 28-30.
“Profile: Donald Griffin,” discoverer of bat sonar, 5/​89.
“The Violent Yanomamo,” report on debate over an Amazonian tribe, 5/​88.


“More Than Good Intentions,” essay on free will, 12/​31/​02.
“Resolved: Science Is at an End. Or Is It?”, debate with former editor of “Nature” John Maddox, 11/​10/​98.


"Keeping the Faith in My Doubt," essay on groups for the areligious, 12/​12/​4.
“A Holiday Made for Believing,” essay on agnostic spirituality, 12/​25/​02, p. A23
“Placebo Nation,” critique of antidepressants, 3/​21/​99, p. 14.
“Science Triumphant? Not So Fast,” critique of hype in medical science, 1/​19/​98, p.
“Smarter Than Us? Who’s Us?”, critique of artificial intelligence, 5/​4/​97, p. E15.
“Science Set Free From Truth,” essay on postmodernism in science, 7/​14/​96. p. A17.


“Autopsy of a Medical Breakthrough,” review of “Science Fictions,” by John Crewdson, 3/​3/​02, p. 9.
“Hearts of Darkness,” review of “Darkness in El Dorado,” 11/​12/​00, p. 6.
“Beyond Viagra,” review of “Times of Our Lives,” by Tom Kirkwood, and “A Means to an End,” by William Clark, 8/​15/​99. p. 22.
“Bookend: The Big Bang Theory of Science Books,” critique of modern science books, 12/​14/​97. p. 39.
“It’s Not Easy Being Green,” review of “The Idea of Biodiversity,” by David Takacs,” 1/​12/​97, p. 8.
“A Theory of Almost Everything,” review of “Hidden Order,” by John Holland, “At Home in the Universe,” by Stuart Kauffman, “Are We Alone?” by Paul Davies, and “Frontiers of Complexity,” by Peter Coveny and Roger Highfield,” 10/​1/​95, p. 30.


“Brain Teaser,” critique of neuroscience, 10/​17/​99, p. B1.
“Mind Field,” essay on the persistence of Freudian theories of and therapies for the mind, 10/​11/​98, p. C1.


“The Ultimate Human-Potential Movement,” essay on the implications of cloning, 3/​2/​97, p. M1.

"A Debate on the Future of Science", debate with Floyd Bloom, editor of Science, 2/​18/​98.


Review of “Going Inside,” by John McCrone, month TK/​99.
“Nothing Left to Learn?” review of “What Remains to be Discovered,” by John Maddox, 1/​29/​99, p. 31.
“The Final Framework,” review of “This Is Biology,” by Ernst Mayr, 10/​3/​97, p. 28.


“The Brain: the Final Frontier of Science,” essay on neuroscience, 4/​1/​2000.
“Matters of Mind,” review of “Friday’s Footprints,” by Leslie Brothers; “Figments of Reality,” by Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen; and “The Right Mind,” by Robert Ornstein, 1/​31/​98, p. D1.


“Will There Be Anything Left to Discover?” debate with science journalist Paul Hoffman, 4/​10/​00, pp. 110-111.
“End of the Road?” essay on science’s propsects in special issue on “The New Age of Discovery, Winter 1997-1998, pp. 174-175.


"A New Kind of Memory," about research on an implantable brain chip, 10/​25/​4, p. 66.


“Tripping De-Light Fantastic,” report on psychedelic-drug research, 5/​7/​3.
“Buddhist Retreat,” essay on Buddhism’s growing popularity in the west, 2/​12/​3.
“The Tipping Point,” review of “The Tipping Point,” by Malcolm Gladwell, 5/​13/​00.
“The Mystery of Life,” review of “Climbing Mount Improbable,” by Richard Dawkins, 9/​17/​96.


“Your Analysis is Faulty,” critique of drug testing, 4/​2/​90, p. 22-24.


“Doubts about Doubts about Science,” review of “Fire in the Mind,” by George Johnson, May/​June 1996, pp. 43-48.


"Brain Chips and Other Dreams of the Cyber-Evangelists," essay on books about our bionic future, 6/​3/​5.
"Do Our Genes Influence Behavior?", critique of the "God gene" and other hype in behavioral genetics, 11/​26/​4.
"A Fawning Look at American Innovation," review of "They Made America" by Harold Evans, 11/​5/​04, pp. B 12-13.
"Spirited Rationality,” essay on science and mysticism, 11/​29/​02, pp. B7.
“In Studying the Stubborn Mind, What’s the Upside?”, essay on mind-science, 10/​8/​99, p. A72.
“Facing Up to the Decline of Science,” essay on science’s limits, 6/​13/​97, p. A52.


“Endless Voyage,” essay on mind-science, 9/​18/​99, pp. 48-51.
“Last Words of a Quantum Heretic,” profile of quantum physicist David Bohm, 2/​27/​93, 2/​27/​1993.


"Can a Single Brain Cell Think?", report on experimental evidence for the "grandmother cell" hypothesis, 6/​5.
"Collapse," review of book by Jared Diamond, 2/​5, p. 73.
"The Ancestor's Tale," review of book by Richard Dawkins, 11/​04, p. 88.
"The Myth of Mind Control: Will Anyone Ever Decode the Human Brain?" critique of attempts to decipher the neural code, 10/​4, pp. 40-47.
“Peyote on the Brain,” profile of Harvard psychiatrist John Halpern, 2/​03, pp. 68-74.
“The Universal Wizard,” profile of cosmologist Andrei Linde, 3/​92, pp. 80-85.


“The Twilight of Science,” essay on science’s limits, 7/​96, pp. 50-61.


“Dreams of the End of Science,” essay on science’s limits, vol. 4, no. 3, 1996, pp. 26-33.


“Cosmos, God and Us,” essay on science’s great unanswered questions, 5/​2001, p. 28-29.


“The Undiscovered Mind,” summary of book, 11/​99, p. 47-474.


Precis of “The Undiscovered Mind,” for special issue on the book, vol. 2, 2001, pp. 215-225.


“What’s Wrong with Complexity,” debate with complexity theorist Stuart Kauffman, November/​December 1996, pp. 14-15.


“The Politics of Peace Pacts,” analysis of political obstacles to arms-control treaties, 7/​86, pp. 70-80.
“Chemical and Biological Weapons: The Other Arms Race,” history of American and Russian biological and chemical warfare programs, 7/​86, pp. 78-79.
“Underground Nuclear Weapons Testing,” investigation of U.S. program for testing nuclear weapons, 4/​86, pp. 32-43.
"Bionics: Roboticists Aim to Ape Nature," report on how engineers look to nature for inspiration, 2/​86, pp. 66-71.


"The End of Science Revisited," an update of the original arguments, 1/​04, pp. 37-43.

"War or Peace," an essay on whether science can "solve" the problem of warfare, March 2005.
"The Politics of Science," an essay on the politicization of science, 9-10/​04, pp. 28-31.

Selected Works

McSweeney's Books, 2012.
With Reverend Frank Geer. Edited and with an Introduction by Robert Hutchinson. Brown Trout, 2002. Royalties go to Help the Afghan Children Inc.
Misc. Writings
Review of The Beginning of Infinity, by David Deutsch, Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2011
Review of The Information by James Gleick, Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2011
Review of "The Moral Landscape" by Sam Harris, Globe and Mail, Oct. 8, 2010.
Review of "What Darwin Got Wrong," by Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 27, 2010
Review of "The Shallows," by Nicholas Carr, Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2010.
Article in Slate, Aug. 4, 2009
Review of "Year Million," Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2008
Neuroscientific critique of the Singularity, IEEE Spectrum Magazine, June 2008.
Article in Discover Magazine, April 2008
Review of biographies of Einstein by Walter Isaacson and Jurgen Neffe, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 4, 2007.
A report on "mystical technologies" for inducing religious experiences, Slate, April 26, 2007.
Q&A with Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project, National Geographic, February 2007.
Article on scientific explanations of religious experiences, Discover, December 2006.
Tenth-anniversay update of The End of Science for Discover, October 2006.
Review of The Jasons: The Secret History of Science's Postwar Elite, by Ann Finkbeiner, New York Times Book Review, April 16, 2006.
Essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education, April 7, 2006.
Essay in the New York Times Book Review, January 1, 2006.
Review of The Republican War on Science by Chris Mooney. New York Times Book Review, December 18, 2005
Profile of Jose Delgado, a pioneer of brain implants, Scientific American, October 2005.
An essay inspired by the Centennial of Einstein's revolutionary papers on relativity and quantum mechanics. New York Times, August 12, 2005
Researchers have found evidence for the controversial "grandmother-cell" theory. Discover, June 2005.
An essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education, June 3, 2005
An essay published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, November 26, 2004.
An essay published in the New York Times, December 12, 2004
Cover story for Discover Magazine, October 2004.
A critique of Buddhism, published online by Slate ( February 12, 2003.
Published in Discover Magazine, February 2003. A profile of the Harvard psychiatrist John Halpern and his five-year study of peyote use by members of the Native American Church.
An essay published in the New York Times, December 31, 2002.
An essay published on the oped page of the New York Times Christmas Day, 2002.
A list of articles written for Scientific American and other publications.
Outtakes from Rational Mysticism (published here only)
An account of Horgan's efforts to achieve satori in a Zen class.
A profile of the German anthropologist and authority on shamanism Christian Ratsch.
A profile of Diana Alstad and Joel Kramer, authors of The Guru Papers.
A profile of the Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast.
A profile of the British Buddhist Stephen Batchelor.
A profile of the guru Andrew Cohen, founder of What Is Enlightenment?, with digressions on Yogi Bhajan and Amrit Desai.