Can atheists be elected?
Oct 7, 2014 · 25 

Photo credit: Matt York, AP By Tom Krattenmaker Guess how many of the major-party candidates in next month’s congressional elections are openly atheist. Hint: You can count them on one finger. It tells you something that in a time when “no religion” is the category of roughly 20% of Americans, virtually none of the hundreds of …

An Appeal To Reason
Oct 7, 2014 · 19 

By Sarah Jones Four days a week in Warren, Mich., volunteers pray with local residents. But the prayers aren’t happening at a church. Instead, they’re taking place in city hall, at a “prayer station” established for exactly this purpose. Originally created by members of the Tabernacle Church, a local Pentecostal denomination, Warren’s “prayer station” endured …

Chimpanzees develop cultures in the wild like humans
Oct 7, 2014 · 44 

By Sarah Knapton Chimpanzees develop cultures in the wild which distinguish them from other groups, scientists have found. A community of Sonso chimpanzees living in Uganda’s Budongo Forest was filmed using crushed leaves and moss to collect water. During six days of continuous observation, zoologists discovered that the group left their leaf-sponges at their watering …

Football and religion in the South: Still entwined and still embattled
Oct 7, 2014 · 6 

Image credit: WSB-TV By Maureen Downey The debate continues over the Christian-themed monument at the Madison County High School field house. At last week’s home game, football players continued their new and controversial tradition of touching the rock-like monument before the game. Inscribed on the donated monument are Bible verses: Philippians 4:13 “I can do all …

Battle between NSF and House science committee escalates: How did it get this bad?
Oct 7, 2014 · 13 

Image credit: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology By Jeffrey Mervis Four times this past summer, in a spare room on the top floor of the headquarters of the National Science Foundation (NSF) outside of Washington, D.C., two congressional staffers spent hours poring over material relating to 20 research projects that NSF has funded …

Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter tax incentives in jeopardy over hiring discrimination
Oct 7, 2014 · 40 

By Dan Arel According to an article published today in the Courier Journal, Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter may be losing its recent 18 million dollar tax incentive due to the discriminatory hiring practices that were uncovered and highlighted right here. “The Commonwealth doesn’t believe that Ark Encounter, LLC will be complying with state and Federal law in …

No, Seriously, How Contagious Is Ebola?
Oct 7, 2014 · 20 

Adam Cole/NPR By Michaeleen Doucleff Holy moly! There’s a case of Ebola in the U.S.! That first reaction was understandable. There’s no question the disease is scary. The World Health Organization now estimates that the virus has killed about 70 percent of people infected in West Africa. The Ebola case in Dallas is the first one diagnosed …

New Way to Make Oxygen Doesn’t Need Plants
Oct 7, 2014 · 2 

Image credit: NASA By Tanya Lewis Earth’s atmosphere wasn’t always full of life-giving oxygen — it was once a choking mixture of carbon dioxide and other gases, more like the atmosphere of Mars or Venus. It’s widely believed that the rise of plants turned that carbon dioxide into oxygen through the chemical reactions of photosynthesis, in …

Mother with womb transplant says risk paid off
Oct 7, 2014 · 21 

AP Photo/The Lancet By Maria Cheng For the world’s first baby born to a woman with a transplanted womb – a medical first – only a victorious name would do. Which is why his parents named him “Vincent,” meaning “to conquer,” according to his mother. The 36-year-old Swedish mother learned she had no womb when …

The 2014 International Freethought Film Festival Announces its Lineup
Oct 6, 2014

International Freethought Film Festival, presented by the Freethought Film Festival Foundation (FFFF), announced its official selections for its fourth annual event. The 10 scheduled screenings include nine feature-length and 13 short independent films. The films reflect any or all of the mission statement of FFFF of promoting reason, critical thinking, and freedom of inquiry. The …

Last German state abolishes university fees
Oct 6, 2014 · 15 

Image credit: Wikipedia By Rose Troup Buchanan Lower Saxony has become the last German state to abolish tuition fees for university students – even for international students. Gabrielle Heinen-Kjajic, Lower Saxony’s minister for science and culture, said to German Pulse the decision was taken “because we do not want higher education which depends on the wealth of …

Ocean Health Gets “D” Grade in New Global Report Card
Oct 6, 2014 · 2 

Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic Creative By Brian Clark Howard Scientists assigned a grade for global ocean health on Tuesday, giving the world’s waters a “D” on an annual oceans report card, citing overfishing, pollution, climate change, and lack of protections as key problems.  But the score for nations’ territorial waters—generally those that are …