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NASA Has Committed to a Rocket for the Europa Mission—and It Won’t Be Ready on Time
Aug 21, 2019

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By Jillian Kramer Just weeks after NASA’s Europa Clipper mission quietly received a formal commitment to a final cost and timeline from the agency, it looks increasingly like the spacecraft will not fly on its legally mandated megarocket, the Space Launch System (SLS)—at least, not in the timeline outlined by Congress—documents and experts confirm. Because of the …


Southern California Atheist Group Raising Funds To End Alzheimer’s Disease
Aug 21, 2019

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By Richard Wade For the last 11 years, the Santa Clarita Atheists and Freethinkers (SCAF) has gradually grown in size and vitality, and I have had the great privilege to be the group’s leader for the last three of those years. Even in “liberal” southern California, not believing in the local god can have serious social and …


Court upholds convictions against highest-ranking Catholic official jailed on charges of child sex abuse
Aug 21, 2019 · 2 

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By A. Odysseus Patrick The most senior priest jailed for child abuse in the 2,000-year history of the Catholic Church failed to convince an Australian court on Wednesday that he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice. Australian Cardinal George Pell will have to continue to serve his six-year jail term for sexually assaulting …


Conservative Evangelicals Aren’t Hypocrites, They’re Sadists
Aug 21, 2019

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By Daniel Schultz Late last week, my friend John Stoehr made a daring argument: “white evangelical Christian support for Donald Trump isn’t rooted in hypocrisy, contradiction or merely straying from the straight and narrow,” he said. “The reason they support a fascist president is simple: They’re sadists.” You have to read the article to capture the …


Why Stowaway Creatures On The Moon Confound International Space Law
Aug 20, 2019 · 1 

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By Loren Grush This month, space enthusiasts were shocked to learn that an Israeli lunar lander that crashed into the Moon’s surface in April actually had some passengers aboard: a tiny capsule filled with dehydrated microscopic organisms known as tardigrades. These little “water bears,” known to withstand very extreme environments, may have survived the wreck. Almost no one …


Trust and Mistrust in Americans’ Views of Scientific Experts
Aug 20, 2019

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By Care Funk, Meg Hefferon, Brian Kennedy, and Courtney Johnson In an era when science and politics often appear to collide, public confidence in scientists is on the upswing, and six-in-ten Americans say scientists should play an active role in policy debates about scientific issues, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. The survey …


Why Secular Humanism can do what Atheism can’t.
Aug 20, 2019

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By Scotty Hendricks People aren’t as religious as they used to be. The decline of these traditional belief systems is a tragedy for some and a cause for celebration for others. There is an element of it that causes a problem for everybody, though. As the old religious ties that bind decline, the communities associated with …


Why Some Christians ‘Love the Meanest Parts’ of Trump
Aug 19, 2019

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By Emma Green Ben Howe is angry at evangelicals. As he describes it, he is angry that they didn’t just vote for Donald Trump in record numbers, but repeatedly provide moral cover for his outrageous failings. He is angry that leaders of the religious right, who long claimed to be the champions of American morality, …


Christian Right Loves Labor’s ‘License to Discriminate’ Rule
Aug 19, 2019

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By Trudy Ring Leaders of the Christian right are loving the Department of Labor’s announcement that it wants to let companies with government contracts discriminate against those who offend a contractor’s religious beliefs. The DOL’s proposed rule, announced Wednesday, met with outrage from LGBTQ and other civil rights groups, which say it would allow even for-profit companies …


A Controversial Ten Commandments Monument Will Go Up at a PA Catholic School
Aug 19, 2019

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By Hemant Mehta A giant Ten Commandments monument will go up outside Mary Queen of Apostles School in New Kensington, Pennsylvania in the coming weeks. That wouldn’t normally be a story — if anything, the most noteworthy thing about it is that a religious monument is going up outside a religious school for once — …