Derived from a Latin word meaning "custom," morality is a system of behavioral conduct that classifies intentions, decisions, and actions as either good or bad—or right or wrong. Though often thought to be the realm of theologians and philosophers—who call it ethics—morality is also studied by psychologists, who examine how morals change throughout individual's lives, and anthropologists, who research how morals differ between cultures. How do neuroscientists study morality?
Back in the day
On the morning of June 3, 1998, the Munich-Hamburg Inner City Express train derailed near the village of Eschede, Germany, while traveling at 124 mph (200 km/h). One of the train cars hit a bridge, causing it to collapse. The cars behind jackknifed into the wreckage, while the front part of the train detached, coming to a stop well past the Eschede station. More than 100 people died as a result of the crash. Investigators later determined that the crash had been caused by what single problem?
Born on a day like today
Hale was a church pastor in nearby Beverly, Massachusetts, during the Salem witch trials in the late 17th century. Initially, Hale supported the prosecutions of the alleged witches. Once his second wife was accused of witchcraft, however, he had a change of heart, denouncing the practice of witch hunts in his book A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft. A fictional portrayal of Hale appears in Arthur Miller's famed play The Crucible. What happened to Hale's wife?