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Top stories: Average penis size, the oldest Homo fossil, and supernatural punishment
(Left to right) Alberto Loyo/Shutterstock; Kaye Reed; Nguyên Khôi Nguyên

Top stories: Average penis size, the oldest Homo fossil, and supernatural punishment

How big is the average penis?

Probably smaller than you think! A new study reveals what may be the most accurate penis-size measurements to date. Let’s cut to the chase: According to the team’s analysis, the average flaccid penis is 9.16 cm (3.61 inches) long and the average erect penis is 13.12 cm (5.16 inches) long.

Fossil pushes back human origins 400,000 years

Researchers have discovered a 2.8-million-year-old jawbone that is not just the oldest Homo fossil ever—it also pushes back the origins of our genus by 400,000 years.

Does high-salt diet combat infections?

Conventional wisdom holds that too much salt is bad for you. But now, a new study shows that dietary salt could actually be an immune-booster. Researchers report that high levels of salt in mice’s skin help them fight off bacteria—and that humans may also stockpile salt at infection sites.

White House issues veto threat as House prepares to vote on EPA 'secret science' bills

The U.S. House of Representatives could vote to approve two controversial, Republican-backed bills that would change how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uses science to inform its policies. Many Democrats, scientific organizations, and environmental groups are pushing back, calling the bills thinly veiled attempts to weaken future regulations and favor industry. White House advisers say they will recommend that President Barack Obama veto the bills if they reach his desk in their current form.

To foster complex societies, tell people a god is watching

People are nicer to each other when they think someone is watching—especially if they believe that someone can punish them even after they’re dead. That’s why some scientists think that moralizing religions helped people cooperate and encouraged societies to grow. Now, a study suggests that an omniscient, moral god isn’t necessary to keep people in line—all you need is the threat of supernatural punishment.

Happy 100th birthday, General Relativity!

Einstein’s general theory of relativity turns 100 this year, and just wait until you see our birthday present. Check out how scientists are still testing the theory; learn about the search for gravitational waves; and find out how well you remember the man himself with our quiz about Einstein’s most famous quotations. And best of all, meet the world’s newest superhero: General Relativity!