What makes a right universal?

Universal human rights should be derived from the nature of normal genetic humans, enabling their normally expressed social and individual potential and agency: People should be free to express themselves in ways that damage neither society nor others. Humans need food, drink, shelter, clothing, education, social comfort and groups, movement, expression of artistic and creative impulse, cooperative or solo work, health, and play. And freedom from religious institutions.

There's no need to seek divine approval. Governments should avoid looking anywhere but in human structure and structures, both physical and social, for their clues. Governance is as hard as you make it. Don't get too abstract in your guides. Normal people should understand their rights.

No one has a right to put religious ideas in young children's heads. Kids have a right to a working mind, with no closed sections reserved for fear of an unknowable authority figure. Life's hard enough already.

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
Keep reading Show less

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.

Keep reading Show less

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.
Keep reading Show less