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Turbulent environment set the stage for leaps in human evolution and technology 320,000 years ago
Oct 22, 2020

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By Richard Potts People thrive all across the globe, at every temperature, altitude and landscape. How did human beings become so successful at adapting to whatever environment we wind up in? Human origins researchers like me are interested in how this quintessential human trait, adaptability, evolved. At a site in Kenya, my colleagues and I have been working …


How Should an Atheist Think About Death?
Oct 22, 2020 · 1 

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By George Yancy In five previous interviews in this series we’ve explored the Buddhist, Jain, Taoist, Jewish and Christian views on death and the afterlife. But what about those without any religious faith or belief in God? Why not, some readers have asked, interview an atheist? So we did. Today’s conversation is with Todd May, the author …


Sean Feucht’s worship protest gets green light in DC, despite fears of ‘superspreader’ event
Oct 22, 2020

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By Jack Jenkins Christian recording artist Sean Feucht is slated to bring his worship protest tour to the nation’s capital this Sunday (Oct. 25) despite concerns around mass gatherings during a pandemic. Feucht’s tour has received widespread criticism from public health officials and other faith leaders who challenge the wisdom of hosting events where neither …


James Randi, Magician Who Debunked Paranormal Claims, Dies at 92
Oct 22, 2020 · 1 

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By Margalit Fox James Randi, a MacArthur award-winning magician who turned his formidable savvy to investigating claims of spoon bending, mind reading, fortunetelling, ghost whispering, water dowsing, faith healing, U.F.O. spotting and sundry varieties of bamboozlement, bunco, chicanery, flimflam, flummery, humbuggery, mountebankery, pettifoggery and out-and-out quacksalvery, as he quite often saw fit to call them, …


The false promise of herd immunity for COVID-19
Oct 21, 2020

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By Christie Aschwanden In May, the Brazilian city of Manaus was devastated by a large outbreak of COVID-19. Hospitals were overwhelmed and the city was digging new grave sites in the surrounding forest. But by August, something had shifted. Despite relaxing social-distancing requirements in early June, the city of 2 million people had reduced its …


N.Y. Accuses Christian Group of Misleading Consumers on Health Coverage
Oct 21, 2020

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By Reed Abelson New York State accused a major Christian group on Tuesday of deceiving customers by illegally offering health insurance to as many as 40,000 residents since 2016. The state filed civil charges against Trinity Healthshare, the Christian group, and Aliera, a for-profit company that markets the plans. The state insurance regulators’ complaint included a list …


Aides complained about Pompeo event with Florida group that backs gay conversion therapy
Oct 21, 2020

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By Michael Wilner, Bryan Lowry, and Alex Daugherty State Department employees complained this month after members of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s advance team discovered overtly anti-gay flyers when scoping out the site of a Florida event with a conservative Christian group that promotes conversion therapy for LGBTQ individuals. Pompeo’s decision to address the Florida …


Pope endorses civil union laws for same-sex couples
Oct 21, 2020

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By Delia Gallagher Pope Francis has declared support for civil unions for same-sex couples for the first time, according to the Catholic News Agency. The Pope made the historic remarks in a new documentary film, “Francesco,” which was released in Rome on Wednesday. “Homosexual people have a right to be in a family. They’re children of God and …


The very first forms of life may have been more animal-like than we ever realized
Oct 20, 2020

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By Tessa Koumoundouros Early life may have been far more like animals than we thought, suggests new research that shows bacteria can ‘develop’ like an embryo. When bacteria band together, they ooze out a protective communal home of slime to form thriving, densely packed colonies known as biofilms. Together these teeny organisms are more powerful. …


I am Mohamed and I am an Egyptian atheist
Oct 20, 2020 · 1 

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By Mohamed Hisham I am Mohamed, an Egyptian human rights activist. When I was a small child, my parents had a keen interest in my religious education. I attended a school to learn the Koran by heart and I prayed several times a day in a mosque.  Islam took over much of my childhood and …