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Weekend Reads 1/4/20

DNA tests can’t tell you your race

In the past few years at-home genetic testing has grown into a billion-dollar industry; since 2013, more than 26 million people have sent in their DNA for analysis. And while companies like 23&Me, AncestryDNA, and MyHeritage claim to be able to tell your “ethnicity”—a word they know many people will read as a synonym for “race”—none of them explicitly offer to tell consumers their racial make-up. There’s one simple reason for that: The science just doesn’t exist.

How Close Did Russia Really Come to Hacking the 2016 Election?

To this day, no one knows definitively what happened with Durham’s poll books. And one important fact about the incident still worries election integrity activists three years later: VR Systems had been targeted by Russian hackers in a phishing campaign three months before the election.

'The Two Popes' Explores the Failures, Humanity of Benedict and Francis

The Two Popes is also a criticism — of an insular Catholic Church and the real suffering that type of entrenchment can cause. I am not a Catholic, but the film could honestly be a fair critique of Protestant and evangelical churches as well. The film humanizes the two popes, while exploring their different ecclesial emphases: church as an inward-facing haven from the world or church as an outward-facing sojourner.

Climate change is the one area of science Republicans tend to doubt

Put aside Evangelicals, who often vote Republican and stereotypically express skepticism in a range of scientific conclusions. The people in the Pew study, by and large, accept the conclusions of medicine, of basic physics, of organic chemistry. But even though the methods and philosophies that produced those conclusions are the exact same methods and approaches climate scientists use, if you’re a Republican, odds are you don’t buy it.

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