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‘Miracle’ Excavation of ‘Little Foot’ Skeleton Reveals Mysterious Human Relative
Dec 11, 2018

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By Laura Geggel Following an epic 20-year-long excavation in South Africa, researchers have finally recovered and cleaned the nearly-complete skeleton of an ancient human relative: an approximately 3.67-million-year-old hominin nicknamed Little Foot. Little Foot is likely a previously unknown species, the researchers said. In four newly posted studies — all available on bioRxiv, meaning they …


The Mental Health of Atheists and the ‘Nones’
Dec 11, 2018

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By Rob Whitley, Ph.D. Christmas is approaching, and religious people across the world are preparing with the appropriate prayers, observations, and services. However, a growing proportion of the population is non-religious, and for them, Christmas can be a meaningless, empty, and lonely period. Indeed, a small but growing body of research continues to explore the relationship …


Florida GOP Gov.-Elect Appoints Anti-Science Members to Education Committee
Dec 11, 2018

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By Hemant Mehta With Florida’s next governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, ready to take the helm, you can bet science education isn’t on the list of priorities. We saw the first sign of that recently when DeSantis “announced his 41-person team to develop a plan aimed at implementing his education goals.” On that list? Two people who are connected …


Atheists in Egypt ‘don’t exist’ but are still considered a ‘threat’
Dec 11, 2018

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By Amr Ezzat Toward the end of 2009, an Egyptian blogger announced the imminent publication of his book, A Muslim Atheist. The title is reflective of a concept he believes in, based on his experiences: he isn’t Muslim currently; he used to be, but then he became an atheist. However, after a while, he found himself not …


What does Martian wind sound like? Now we know
Dec 10, 2018 · 2 

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By Soo Youn and David Kerley For the first time, humans can hear wind from Mars. InSight, or NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport lander, provided the first “sounds” of Martian winds to human ears on Friday. The spacecraft’s sensors captured a “haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind,” a …


Hundreds of sex abuse allegations found in fundamental Baptist churches across U.S.
Dec 10, 2018 · 5 

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By Sarah Smith Joy Evans Ryder was 15 years old when she says her church youth director pinned her to his office floor and raped her. “It’s OK. It’s OK,” he told her. “You don’t have to be afraid of anything.” He straddled her with his knees, and she looked off into the corner, crying …


California DOJ Allows Catholic Hospital Groups to Merge, Raising Questions About Patient Access
Dec 10, 2018

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By Amy Chen & Hayley Penan Imagine lying in an operating room, bright fluorescent lights shine in your eyes as a blur of health providers move around you preparing the room for emergency surgery. In the midst of this chaos, a nurse asks you why your chart says female when you present as male. The reality …


Trump’s Attorney General Pick William Barr Rejects Separation Of Church And State
Dec 10, 2018 · 1 

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By Michael Stone Theocracy alert: Trump’s Attorney General Pick William Barr is a Catholic conservative who rejects the separation of church and state, calls secularists “fanatics,” and blames secularism for “moral decline.” Earlier today Trump announced he would nominate William Barr to succeed Jeff Sessions as the nation’s attorney general. Barr previously served as attorney general under …


Dr Jones Evolution of Human Skin Color
Dec 10, 2018


Genomic technologies have recently led to a dramatic increase in our understanding of relationships among early members of our species. With access to genetic markers that distinguish different populations, we have been able to reconstruct a much more accurate picture of migration out of Africa and the various paths our ancestors took on the way …


D.C. may soon have America’s toughest conversion therapy ban
Dec 7, 2018

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By Alex Bollinger The D.C. Council approved two pro-LGBTQ bills and one “Sense of the Council” resolution yesterday. The first bill – the Conversion Therapy for Consumers Under a Conservatorship or Guardianship Amendment Act of 2018 – bans licensed mental health professionals from providing conversion therapy for “a consumer for whom a conservator or guardian has been …