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GOP candidate accused of body-slamming reporter has said retirement is ‘not biblical’

By Jonnelle Marte Greg Gianforte, the Montana Republican candidate charged with assaulting a reporter, has not quite reached retirement age. But based on what he has said in the past, he might never stop working anyway. In a 2015 talk at the Montana Bible College, Gianforte said the idea of retirement doesn’t exactly match his religious beliefs. “There’s nothing […]

By Hemant Mehta When Ark Encounter celebrates its first anniversary this July, atheists and other science advocates will be on hand to protest. And they’re bringing along the same sign that was rejected by billboard companies last year. You might recall the peaceful protest that took place last year near the highway ramp en route to […]

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By Alexandra Witze The sharpest look yet at Jupiter has revealed a number of surprises — including a surge of ammonia welling up from its gassy depths, a startlingly powerful magnetic field and what could be a large, but poorly defined, core. NASA’s Juno mission began to capture these insights on 27 August last year, during […]

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By Allen Downey The number of college students with no religious affiliation has tripled in the last 30 years, from 10 percent in 1986 to 31 percent in 2016, according to data from the CIRP Freshman Survey. Over the same period, the number who attended religious services dropped from 85 percent to 69 percent. These […]

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Fleeting phase of planet formation discovered

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By Ramin Skibba Rocky planets, including Earth, endure violent beginnings. Giant impacts vaporize enormous chunks of protoplanets, surrounding them in a flattened halo of debris. Scientists believe that these disks eventually condense to form planets. Now, improved computer simulations of planet formation suggest that many of these embryonic objects pass through a phase late in their […]

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Texas adoption bill ignores science, parenting experts in favor of dogma

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By Heidi Stevens A gentle reminder. In case the bill Texas senators passed early Monday — the one allowing publicly funded foster care and adoption agencies to turn away non-Christian, unmarried or gay prospective parents — becomes some sort of ugly trend, it’s worth noting a few of the ways it’s wrongheaded. There’s the problem […]

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In ‘Enormous Success,’ Scientists Tie 52 Genes to Human Intelligence

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By Carl Zimmer In a significant advance in the study of mental ability, a team of European and American scientists announced on Monday that they had identified 52 genes linked to intelligence in nearly 80,000 people. These genes do not determine intelligence, however. Their combined influence is minuscule, the researchers said, suggesting that thousands more […]

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The Univ. of Central Florida Now Explicitly Features Resources for Atheists on Its Website

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By Hemant Mehta The University of Central Florida, one of the largest schools in the country with over 65,000 students and 10,000 faculty and staff members, has done something incredibly valuable for people who are not religious: They are making sure that students who are atheists (or part of religious minorities) have access to the […]

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Goodbye smokestacks: Startup invents zero-emission fossil fuel power

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By Robert F. Service Between the energy hub of Houston, Texas, and the Gulf Coast lies a sprawling petropolis: a sea of refineries and oil storage tanks, power lines, and smokestacks, all dedicated to converting fossil fuels into dollars. They are the reason why the Houston area emits more carbon dioxide (CO2) than anyplace else […]

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Light-sensitive E. coli paint a colourful picture

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By Adam Levy To show off the powers of synthetic biology, researchers have engineered a primitive kind of colour vision into bacteria — and got the microbes to paint pictures of what they see. The genetically modified Escherichia coli can sense red, green and blue (RGB) light, and they respond by producing a pigment of the […]

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