" When I wrote vN, I did it in part because because I wanted to tell a story in which the humans were meat. I was sick of humans being so fucking special all the time. [...] Nobody ever pulled Dostoyevksy aside and said: "Hey, Fyodor. So, are we as a species just toast, or what?" But science fiction writers enjoy the…

» 4/23/14 1:57am Today 1:57am

Neil's a smart guy but he's an astronomer. The lead in the water theory has long been discredited. If it played a part—and I'm not saying that it didn't—it was only one of many, many factors. The decline of the Roman Empire was a staggeringly complicated thing. » 4/22/14 1:54pm Yesterday 1:54pm

And note these estimates are based on criteria centered around "biology as we know it." That might broaden over coming decades of new biological discoveries. Things like radiotrophic fungus and deinococcus radiodurans tend to broaden our definitions of life as we know it. » 4/22/14 9:25am Yesterday 9:25am