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Chris Hadfield
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Where do human rights and animal rights diverge?

Question: Where do human rights and animal rights diverge?

 

Ingrid Newkirk: I think that question has been asked about rights for all beings. For example back in Sojourner Truth’s time – and she is a heroine of mine – when she fought for the rights of Black people to be emancipated, she was jeered at. The buildings in which she was staying was sometimes burned because people could not imagine that here was not only a Black person, but a Black woman daring to talk to what were then audiences of White males about what a Black person, or a Black woman, or any individual wanted. So I believe that we have to look at it in that context of it doesn’t really matter who it is. It only matters what we do and what we feel is just.

Maybe at some point your interest would converge or contradict the interests of another human being. You weigh it. If a dog attacks you, you’re going to have to take some action against that dog. But you don’t necessarily have to shoot the dog in the head. You don’t have to torture the dog. You can take aversive action. If you can’t, maybe you do have to shoot the dog in the head. If a mugger is coming at you, you shouldn’t kill them. Hopefully you’ll be able to take an aversive action or do the least damage that you need to do. But you might have to. So it really depends on the circumstance. It’s not really a question of species. It’s a question of how can you do the least harm. How can you avoid doing the most harm?

 

Recorded on: November 12, 2007

 

Both are founded in justice, Newkirk says.

Remote learning vs. online instruction: How COVID-19 woke America up to the difference

Educators and administrators must build new supports for faculty and student success in a world where the classroom might become virtual in the blink of an eye.

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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • If you or someone you know is attending school remotely, you are more than likely learning through emergency remote instruction, which is not the same as online learning, write Rich DeMillo and Steve Harmon.
  • Education institutions must properly define and understand the difference between a course that is designed from inception to be taught in an online format and a course that has been rapidly converted to be offered to remote students.
  • In a future involving more online instruction than any of us ever imagined, it will be crucial to meticulously design factors like learner navigation, interactive recordings, feedback loops, exams and office hours in order to maximize learning potential within the virtual environment.
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Has science made religion useless?

Placing science and religion at opposite ends of the belief spectrum is to ignore their unique purposes.

Videos
  • Science and religion (fact versus faith) are often seen as two incongruous groups. When you consider the purpose of each and the questions that they seek to answer, the comparison becomes less black and white.
  • This video features religious scholars, a primatologist, a neuroendocrinologist, a comedian, and other brilliant minds considering, among other things, the evolutionary function that religion serves, the power of symbols, and the human need to learn, explore, and know the world around us so that it becomes a less scary place.
  • "I think most people are actually kind of comfortable with the idea that science is a reliable way to learn about nature, but it's not the whole story and there's a place also for religion, for faith, for theology, for philosophy," says Francis Collins, American geneticist and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "But that harmony perspective doesn't get as much attention. Nobody is as interested in harmony as they are in conflict."

Signs of Covid-19 may be hidden in speech signals

Studying voice recordings of infected but asymptomatic people reveals potential indicators of Covid-19.

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
Coronavirus
It's often easy to tell when colleagues are struggling with a cold — they sound sick.
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Octopus-like creatures inhabit Jupiter’s moon, claims space scientist

A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
Surprising Science
  • A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
  • Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
  • The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
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Supporting climate science increases skepticism of out-groups

A study finds people are more influenced by what the other party says than their own. What gives?

Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study has found evidence suggesting that conservative climate skepticism is driven by reactions to liberal support for science.
  • This was determined both by comparing polling data to records of cues given by leaders, and through a survey.
  • The findings could lead to new methods of influencing public opinion.
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