This week's post is a little shorter, but I tried to make it good regardless. Hope you all enjoy!

Religion and Atheism:

Jerry Dewitt was interviewed on The Morning Joe in regards to his new book where they discuss doubt and faith.

The New York Times asks, "should atheists pray?"

Conye gives his critique on a new paper by Kevin Padian in the journal Evolution: Education and Outreach in regards to how to teach evolution.

At the Friendly Atheist, they point out the fallacious statements and lack of retraction for those statements in Time magazine regarding secular help after the tornadoes in Moore, OK, and break down a survey from a German non-profit regarding religion in the world.

Debunking Christianity has some good links and video to a recent debate titled, "The Status of God in the 21st Century."

Science and Animals:

Science gives a disabled duck a new foot.

Japanese scientists clone a mouse 600 times from a single blood cell taken from the parent mouse.

The National Institute of Health is retiring most of its chimps used in research.


A new discover in how the brain relays sensory information changes the view of how the brain is wired.

Britain may be paving the way for three-parent IFV.


Voyager 1 prepares to cross outside the Heliosphere.

Astronomers have discovered three Super-Earths orbiting in the habitable zone of the star Gliese 667Cd 22 light-years away.

Up in the ISS, they've answered the question, "Does the Five-Second Rule Apply Aboard the Space Station?"

The Past:

Being able to throw was a key evolutionary advantage in human evolution.

The oldest DNA was fully sequenced. It's from a 700,000 year old horse and has given insights in to it's evolution.

Archaeologists have discovered and consequently kept secret an unlooted tomb from the Wari empire which was found in what is now the coast of Peru almost 1,200 years ago.

DOMA and Proposition 8:

As many of you know in the US this past week the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and tossed out the case to uphold Proposition 8 in California. I won't go over what that is, why they did so, or why it matters. Instead I've picked a few pieces about what happened afterwards.

Responses from most conservative politicians has been rather muted although that doesn't mean that people have been silent except in the case of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives where one of the openly gay members was actually silenced.

In the case of Proposition 8, The Ninth Circuit issued a statement saying that same-sex marriages can continue in California, but a challenge was brought, and then it was quickly dismissed by Justice Kennedy. Marriage licenses are now being given to all couples in California who apply, finally.

Questions have been raised about who quickly things will change at the federal level to apply benefits equally. My magic 8 Ball says "outlook good." Green cards are already being issued for married LGBT couples, Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has given a statement saying that benefits will be given "as soon as possible," and the Office of Personnel Management has already given orders for federal benefits to be extended to all federal employees.

CNN and NPR both ask what happens next. The reality is that there will be many drawn out battles in the different states regarding laws and amendments to state constitutions. As noted back in April in this article, it will be a mess.

On a lighter note:

The BBC gives some of the factors that lead to living a happier life. I encourage their practice.

Check this out! It's a sliding scale showing size relation to different things in the universe.

*Thanks to Reg the Fronkey Farmer for some links.*

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Replies to This Discussion

Sagacious Hawk, you rock!  Thank you :)

Wow! The universe sliding scale 2 was awesome!

Thanks, Hawk! :)


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