How Important Is Freedom?

"The greatest of all freedoms, the one that more people want more than any other, is the freedom from responsibility and consequences," says Theodore Dalrymple.

"Certainly, it does not seem to me that the future necessarily belongs to freedom as we have known it, and such as it was, and that therefore China must break apart under demands for personal liberty. It is a mistake, in my view, to assume that all people want to be free, in the sense of the American pioneers. I think they much prefer to be comfortable. ... It is true that the Chinese have never had the freedoms of speech, etc., that we have enjoyed, and have taken for granted, but I am not sure how much they are missed there. Moreover, I fleetingly, and no doubt dangerously, wonder whether freedom is as importantly a matter of the soul as of political arrangements."

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face."

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
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We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal

The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.

Image credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Greenbelt, MD, USA
Surprising Science

A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.

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New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
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