The top unanswered science questions

Science is running a series on the top 125 unanswered questions in science, in honor of their 125th anniversary. The top 25 of them have short essays devoted to them.

Needless to say, the top 25 questions in science include a lot having to do with human evolution, including:

  • What is the biological basis of consciousness?
  • Why do humans have so few genes?
  • To what extent are genetic variation and personal health linked?
  • What genetic changes made us uniquely human?

Happily, nothing about the fate of the Neandertals merited this treatment. The extended list of 100 more questions includes these:

  • How many kinds of humans coexisted in the recent past, and how did they relate?
  • What gave rise to modern human behavior?
  • What are the roots of human culture?
  • What are the evolutionary roots of language and music?
  • What are human races, and how did they develop?

These along with many medical related questions are an interesting set of what people are working on, and what they aren't but maybe should be. Nothing really new, in terms of the short descriptions of the top problems, but the questions in other fields might interest you also.