Have We Found Alien Life?

Yale postdoctoral astronomy fellow Tabetha Boyajian calls the star KIC 8462852 the most mysterious star in the universe. Boyajian and her colleagues have been studying the star for several years and have observed abrupt dimming on multiple occasions.

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Weekend Reads 12/3/16

'Alt-right' online poison nearly turned me into a racist

About a week before the US election, I heard one of these YouTubers use the phrase "red-pilled" – a term from the film The Matrix – in reference to people being awakened to the truth about the world and SJWs. Suddenly I thought: "This is exactly like a cult. What am I doing? I’m turning into an arsehole."

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The Days of Genesis 1, part 2

In the previous post I concluded the story of Genesis 1 describes creation in six days. But if we want to understand this first creation story in Genesis, we can't ignore the second creation story, the story of Adam and Eve, of the garden and the serpent, which says all of creation—from forming the heavens and the earth to making the first human—happened in a single day.

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The Days of Genesis 1, part 1

One of the biggest disputes between young-earth creationists (YEC) and old-earth creationists (OEC) is the meaning of the word "day" in the first chapter of Genesis.

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Weekend Reads 11/26/16

Why the White Working Class Abandoned the Democratic Party

Coelho’s Democrats soon achieved a rough parity with Republicans in contributions from corporate and Wall Street campaign coffers, but the deal proved a Faustian bargain as Democrats become financially dependent on big corporations and the Street.

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Mainstreaming Racism

To say Donald Trump made a controversial pick when he named Steve Bannon his chief strategist is an understatement. Bannon runs the website breitbart.org, which is in Bannon's own words "a platform for the alt-right."

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Election Pre-mortems

In the days leading up to the election, pundits of all political stripes reached a rare consensus: Donald Trump would lose. They just couldn't agree about why he would lose.

Jonathan Chait, writing for the Daily Intelligencer, found a clip of Donald Trump in 2012 recommending the Republicans get on board with immigration reform. Chait relished the irony.

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Two Men and a Chimney

a retelling of a Jewish parable

A young man went to a Rabbi and said, "I wish to study Talmud."

The Rabbi asked, "Do you know Hebrew or Aramaic?"

"No," replied the young man, "But I wish to study anyway."

"Have you studied Torah?"

"No, but I graduated summa cum laude from Berkeley with a philosophy degree, and got my master's from Harvard. I'd just like to study Talmud to round out my education."

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Weekend Reads 11/12/16

Scientists discover a lake under the sea: Those who swim there never come back alive

The water in the "lake within the sea" is about five times as salty as the water surrounding it. It also contains highly toxic concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide and can thus not mix with the surrounding sea.

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