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We Are Viral From the Beginning

Carl Zimmer - Discover Magazine Blogs - 15 June 2012 13 Comments

We all started out as a fertilized egg: a solitary cell about as wide as a shaft of hair. That primordial sphere produced the ten trillion cells that make up each of our bodies. We are not merely...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, EVOLUTION

The Dark-Matter Ages

Lawrence M. Krauss - Slate - 14 June 2012 28 Comments

The U.S. may be losing its place as the world leader in frontier physics research. Ron Sowers and Kim Reller at the 6950 Level in the Sanford Underground Lab Photograph by Tom...

TAGGED: LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS, SCIENCE

Unbelieving preachers get help to 'come out' as open atheists

Dan Merica - CNN - 14 June 2012 15 Comments

Some of the 2,791 comments on CNN are great. Minister-turned-atheist Jerry DeWitt speaks at ReasonFest in Kansas earlier this year. (CNN) – Jerry DeWitt entered the ministry when he was...

TAGGED: ATHEISM, RELIGION

Belief In God Plummets Among Youth (CHART)

Sahil Kapur - TPM - 13 June 2012 47 Comments

The younger generation is abandoning God in droves. A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that belief in the existence of God has dropped 15 points in the last five years among...

TAGGED: ATHEISM, RELIGION

The Dawkins Challenge

William E. Carroll - The Catholic Thing - 13 June 2012 103 Comments

The noted atheist Richard Dawkins has been very active recently in his campaign to discredit religious belief, in particular Christianity, and Roman Catholicism has been a special target. He had a...

TAGGED: VATICAN/ROMAN CATHOLICISM

Cleric says polio vaccination 'un-islamic', warns of jihad against docs

- - The Indian Express - 13 June 2012 37 Comments

A cleric in Pakistan's Punjab province has warned that a jihad would be launched against polio vaccination teams at a time when the World Health Organisation has expressed concern at the emergence...

TAGGED: ISLAM

Where We Split from Sharks: Common Ancestor Comes Into Focus

University of Chicago Medical Center - Newswise - 13 June 2012 22 Comments

The common ancestor of all jawed vertebrates on Earth resembled a shark, according to a new analysis of the braincase of a 290-million-year-old fossil fish that has long puzzled paleontologists. ...

TAGGED: EVOLUTION

Why smart people are stupid

Jonah Lehrer - The New Yorker - 13 June 2012 106 Comments

Here’s a simple arithmetic question: A bat and ball cost a dollar and ten cents. The bat costs a dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? The vast majority of people respond...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, CRITICAL THINKING

Former Louisiana pastor tells humanists about his conversion to nonbelief

Bruce Nolan - The Times-Picayune - 13 June 2012 13 Comments

Among 325 or so atheists, agnostics, humanists and other nonbelievers gathered here at a convention of the American Humanist Association this weekend, Jerry DeWitt of DeRidder was just a face in...

TAGGED: ATHEISM, RELIGION

Genetically-modified mosquito designed to avoid malaria spread

Liat Clark - Wired.co.uk - 13 June 2012 14 Comments

A model for a genetically-modified mosquito that produces malaria-combating antibodies and fails to transmit the disease has been developed. The modified Anopheles stephensi mosquito, a...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, SCIENCE

Gorillas Seen Using "Baby Talk" Gestures—A First

Christine Dell'Amore - National Geographic News - 13 June 2012 4 Comments

Gorillas use a nonvocal form of "baby talk" to communicate with infants, a new study says. A first among primates, the discovery may give insight into how similar human communication evolved. ...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR

Church accused of 'scaremongering'

Martha Linden, Joe Churcher - The Independent - 12 June 2012 60 Comments

The Church of England has been accused by gay rights campaigners of orchestrating a "masterclass in melodramatic scaremongering" after it warned that same sex marriage could threaten its...

TAGGED: HUMAN RIGHTS, LAW, RELIGION, SEXUALITY

Church pastors become atheists

- - click2houston.com - 12 June 2012 19 Comments

Houston-area pastor one of first to make decision public More than 200 church leaders across the country now say they no longer believe in God, including a Houston-area pastor who was one...

TAGGED: ATHEISM, RELIGION

My Journey

Eliza Goroya - YouTube - ElizaGoroya - 12 June 2012 10 Comments

A self-portrait. My journey to Atheism. http://goroyesque.blogspot.com

TAGGED: ATHEISM

A Moment of Science

Phil Plait - Slate - 11 June 2012 18 Comments

Many years ago, on a crisp winter’s night, I stood in my family's Northern Virginia driveway. Though I was 5 years old, I remember the moment with startling clarity. At my father’s urging, I walked...

TAGGED: EDUCATION, SCIENCE

Search for truth leads to rejection of religion

Joshua Everett - LaCrosseTribune.com - 11 June 2012 34 Comments

Joshua Everett is a member of the La Crosse Area Freethought Society. I am an ordained, fundamentalist evangelical Christian minister — and an atheist. It might seem counterintuitive to read such...

TAGGED: ATHEISM, RELIGION

Major Threat to Religion? Clergy People Coming Out as Atheists

Greta Christina - AlterNet - 11 June 2012 30 Comments

A burst of media attention has been focused on atheists of an unexpected stripe -- clergy members. Could non-believing clergy change how we see religion? And what happens when he says it out loud?...

TAGGED: ATHEISM

Galapágos menaced by tourist invasion

Carole Cadwalladr - The Raw Story - 11 June 2012 14 Comments

Opening what looks like the drawer of an office filing cabinet, Gustavo Jimenez, a scientist at the Charles Darwin Foundation on the Galápagos, reaches inside, rummages around for a bit, and then...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, GENERAL INTEREST

Parasitic Plants Steal Genes from Their Hosts

- - Science Daily - 10 June 2012 19 Comments

New research published June 8 in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Genomics reveals that the Malaysian parasitic plant Rafflesia cantleyi , with its 50cm diameter flowers, has 'stolen' genes...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY

Birds Ended Reign of Giant Insects

John Shanks - Sci-News.com - 09 June 2012 10 Comments

This fossil wing of Stephanotypus schneideri from the period about 300 million years ago when insects reached their greatest sizes, measures 19.5 cm (8 inches) long. The largest species of that...

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, PALEONTOLOGY