Ex-cardinal’s letters to victims show signs of grooming
Aug 7, 2019

By Nicole Winfield At first glance, the handwritten postcards and letters look innocuous, even warm, sometimes signed off by “Uncle T.” or “Your uncle, Father Ted.” But taken in context, the correspondence penned by disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to the young men he is accused of sexually abusing or harassing is a window into the …

Christian ‘Purity’ Guru’s Loss of Faith May Signal a Coming Reckoning For Conservative Christianity
Aug 7, 2019

By Elizabeth Shively Joshua Harris, who literally wrote the book on Christian purity in the 1990s, announced in July on Instagram that he and his wife, Shannon, were separating after more than 20 years of marriage. Less than two weeks later, the author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye (IKDG) dropped a second bombshell—he no longer identifies as a …

A Crashed Israeli Lunar Lander Spilled Tardigrades on the Moon
Aug 6, 2019

By Daniel Oberhaus IT WAS JUST before midnight on April 11 and everyone at the Israel Aerospace Industries mission control center in Yehud, Israel, had their eyes fixed on two large projector screens. On the left screen was a stream of data being sent back to Earth by Beresheet, its lunar lander, which was about to …

For Marianne Williamson and Donald Trump, religion is all about themselves
Aug 6, 2019

By Tara Isabella Burton On the surface, dark horse Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson and President Trump could not be more different. The president tweets insults, stokes crowds into a rage and rattles the sword. He uses the often-jingoistic language of muscular Christianity (“In America we worship God, not government”) to evoke the vision of a …

Tomorrow’s Gods: What is the Future of Religion?
Aug 6, 2019 · 3 

By Sumit Paul-Choudhury Before Mohammed, before Jesus, before Buddha, there was Zoroaster. Some 3,500 years ago, in Bronze Age Iran, he had a vision of the one supreme God. A thousand years later, Zoroastrianism, the world’s first great monotheistic religion, was the official faith of the mighty Persian Empire, its fire temples attended by millions …

Questions You Should Never Ask an Atheist: Towards Better Measures of Nonreligion and Secularity
Aug 6, 2019

By Ryan T. Cragun Abstract As interest in the nonreligious has grown, attention has turned to how to measure both the growth of and variation within the nonreligious. This interest has also revealed that prior measures of religiosity are often problematic. In this research note, I detail some of these problems. For instance, some measures …

‘I prefer non-religious’: why so few US politicians come out as atheists
Aug 6, 2019

By David Smith The 2020 presidential election has produced the most diverse field of candidates in history. There are women, people of color and an openly gay man. There are billionaires, socialists and a self-help guru. The Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’ view of religion is not particularly clear but there are no known atheists. Non-believers remain …

Darwin’s Ideas on Evolution Drive a Radical New Approach to Cancer Drug Use
Aug 6, 2019

By James DeGregori and Robert Gatenby This year at least 31,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer that has spread to other parts of their body, such as bones and lymph nodes. Most of them will be treated by highly skilled and experienced oncologists, who have access to 52 drugs approved …

GOP Lawmaker Blames Mass Shootings On Drag Queens, Video Games, Marijuana
Aug 6, 2019

By Michael Stone The stupids, it burns: Ohio Rep. Candice Keller blames mass shootings on Obama, gay marriage, drag queen advocates, video games, and recreational marijuana; but never once mentions guns, or the racist policies of the GOP and the White-Supremacist-In-Chief. In an obnoxious Facebook rant Republican lawmaker Candice Keller from Southwest Ohio complains about …

What Conservative Pastors Didn’t Say After El Paso
Aug 6, 2019 · 1 

By Emma Green On Sunday morning, some of America’s pastors made no mention of the horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed at least 31 people and injured dozens more over the weekend. Other Church leaders, however, knew they could not ignore the events. “Our pulpit is not one that …

Video Game Violence
Aug 6, 2019

By Steven Novella Recent mass shootings have once again fueled discussion about the role of video game violence (VGV) and aggressive behavior. This is an enduring controversy, which is a real scientific controversy (not just a political one) because the research is highly complex. Part of that complexity is that there is just one question, …

An Asteroid Bigger Than the Empire State Building Will Pass Earth Soon. But Don’t Worry.
Aug 5, 2019

By Chelsea Gohd Another asteroid is passing close by Earth but, no, it won’t hit us. On Aug. 10, Asteroid 2006 QQ23 will fly within 0.049 astronomical units (4.6 million miles) of Earth at about 10,400 mph (16,740 km/h). This might not seem close, but it is close enough to classify the object as a near-Earth …