An analysis of 583 cultures shows that challenging environmental conditions, such as floods and famines, lead cultures to adopt beliefs in moralizing, high gods. The research may help explain how and why certain religions emerged, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
What exactly is the half-life of celebrity? A new field called culturomics has the answer. Using the largest linguistic database ever created - Google Books - culturomics experts track things like "lexical dark matter," and how long fame really lasts.