2014, that is.
Happy New Year.
Happy New Year.
Sixty percent of Americans say that "humans and other living things have evolved over time," the telephone survey by the Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project showed (Click here for the full survey).
But 33 percent reject the idea of evolution, saying that "humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time," Pew said in a statement.
Although this percentage remained steady since 2009, the last time Pew asked the question, there was a growing partisan gap on whether humans evolved.
"The gap is coming from the Republicans, where fewer are now saying that humans have evolved over time," said Cary Funk, a Pew senior researcher who conducted the analysis.
Among religious groups, white evangelical Protestants topped the list of those rejecting evolution, with 64 percent of those polled saying they believe humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.
"This has been a staple of evangelical Protestantism for nearly 100 years," said Alan Lichtman, an American University history professor and author of "White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement."
It's not really a reversal [to reinstate Phil Robertson]. We think it's actually a positive outcome, and we want to thank A&E for their attentiveness and collaboration over the course of the last few weeks. We've received assurances also that the Robertson family is now open to working with African-American and (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people to address the real harm that such anti-gay and racist comments can cause. That's been our 'ask' since Phil's comments ran in GQ, and while it's a positive step, it certainly cannot and should not be the last one.
"This pope has successfully, finally shattered the caricature of the church that his predecessors have tried hard to do," Dolan said on ABC's "This Week." "What's that caricature? That the church is kind of mean and dour and always saying no and always telling us what we can't do and always telling us why we should be excluded. He's saying, no, come on in, the church is about warmth and tenderness."
A few days ago we brought you the news story of Mark Zmuda, a Catholic high school vice principal who was fired for marrying his husband and the backlash from students and faculty that resulted. The school maintained the position that it was a mutually-reached decision that Zmuda end his employment with Eastside Catholic High School, but an interview between Zmuda and a former student reveals otherwise. Caterina Crittenden conducted a 45-minute interview with her former vice principal about his employment and termination, and her family has released the first minute of it online, with the rest to follow in the coming days. In the interview, Zmuda revealed that he broke no contract with the school, that his termination was in no way related to his performance, and that he was given an offer that would never have been given to a straight couple: he could keep his job if he dissolved his marriage.Sure -- get divorced (which is also against Catholic teaching) and we'll let you keep your job. For an institution that spends so much time nattering about morality, one would think the Church might take a few minutes to learn what it's about.
The supervolcano that lies beneath Yellowstone National Park in the US is far larger than was previously thought, scientists report.
A study shows that the magma chamber is about 2.5 times bigger than earlier estimates suggested.
A team found the cavern stretches for more than 90km (55 miles) and contains 200-600 cubic km of molten rock.
If the Yellowstone supervolcano were to blow today, the consequences would be catastrophic.
The last major eruption, which occurred 640,000 years ago, sent ash across the whole of North America, affecting the planet’s climate.
May the sun make your days bright,
may the stars illuminate your nights,
may the flowers bloom along your path,
your house stand firm against the storm.
Today Log Cabin Republicans, the only LGBT advocacy organization on the Obamacare Repeal Coalition, denounced a video advertisement by Out2Enroll exploiting gay stereotypes to encourage gay men to enroll in the Affordable Care Act.
“This cynical ad betrays the depths Obamacare advocates will sink to in order to pad their pathetic enrollment numbers,” Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo declared. As a self-proclaimed ‘fierce advocate’ of gay equality, President Obama would do well to distance himself from this nonsense and denounce it immediately.
This ad is also an example of the left promoting harmful stereotypes that gay men are nothing more than sex-crazed lechers. If anyone on the right made such a comparison, liberals would be apoplectic.
At a time when left-wing propagandists are decrying Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson for equating homosexuality with promiscuity and deviance, Out2Enroll and others should take a look in the mirror and ask if the truth is that they are the ones responsible for promoting such harmful stereotypes.”
[State's attorney] Lott gave the example of then-District Judge Vaughn Richard Walker deciding to stay his ruling at the same time he ruled against California’s Proposition 8.
Shelby explained the difference between what happened in that court and why it didn’t happen in this court.
“There was no motion for a stay pending when I made my ruling,” he said. “When Judge Walker ruled, the plaintiffs had filed a motion to stay the ruling in case it didn’t come down their way.”
There was no such motion filed by the State of Utah before Shelby made his ruling.
“I had no authority to rule on a temporary stay,” he explained.
|Judge Robert Shelby|
Judges Jerome Holmes and Robert Bacharach, in an order signed by court clerk Elisabeth Shumaker for the court, held that the because the state’s request “does not meet the requirements of the Federal or local appellate rules governing a request for a stay,” the court was denying the motion.
“Defendants-Appellants acknowledge that they have not addressed, let alone satisfied, the factors that must be established to be entitled to a stay pending appeal,” the court held. The factors include a showing by the party asking for a stay that they are likely to succeed on appeal, that they would suffer “irreparable injury” if they do not get a stay, that other parties would not injure other parties, and an assessment of where the “public interest” lies.
The judges wrote that the state could refile a similar motion at a later point so long as it complied with the court’s rules.
So if you ask the long-haired wild-bearded Southern hillbilly redneck biker-wannabe Jesus freak from the reality show about long-haired wild-bearded Southern hillbilly redneck biker-wannabe Jesus freaks about gays, it turns out he has long-haired wild-bearded Southern hillbilly redneck biker-wannabe Jesus freak opinions. Who’d a thunk it?
Bradley Strode, the president of the senior class, told ABC News that out of the 600 students who attend Eastside Catholic, more than 450 walked out of class. Bradley:
“The Catholic teaching is to unconditionally love and support all members of a global community, people from all backgrounds, as Christ did in the gospels. If Jesus were here, he would have been sitting in with us at Eastside Catholic because we are sticking up for what we believe in and not just abiding by institutional laws.”
Sister Mary Tracy met with the students explaining:
“It was clear that this is the teaching of the church. I know what we need to do.”
The students were unimpressed.
In this land of fire and ice, where the fog-shrouded lava fields offer a spooky landscape in which anything might lurk, stories abound of the "hidden folk" — thousands of elves, making their homes in Iceland's wilderness.
So perhaps it was only a matter of time before 21st-century elves got political representation.
Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from to the tip of the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. They fear disturbing elf habitat and claim the area is particularly important because it contains an elf church.
In a paper in the journal Nature, scientists reported that they had retrieved ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years.
The fossil, a thigh bone found in Spain, had previously seemed to many experts to belong to a forerunner of Neanderthals. But its DNA tells a very different story.
It most closely resembles DNA from an enigmatic lineage of humans known as Denisovans. Until now, Denisovans were known only from DNA retrieved from 80,000-year-old remains in Siberia, 4,000 miles east of where the new DNA was found.
The mismatch between the anatomical and genetic evidence surprised the scientists, who are now rethinking human evolution over the past few hundred thousand years.
A federal judge struck down Utah's same-sex marriage ban Friday in a decision that brings a nationwide shift toward allowing gay marriage to a conservative state where the Mormon church has long been against it.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling Friday saying Utah's law passed by voters in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples' rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.
Shelby said the state failed to show that allowing same-sex marriages would affect opposite-sex marriages in any way.
"In the absence of such evidence, the State's unsupported fears and speculations are insufficient to justify the State's refusal to dignify the family relationships of its gay and lesbian citizens," Shelby wrote.
Michael Adam Ferguson and J. Seth Anderson may well be Utah’s first gay couple to legally marry in the state of Utah. The couple, hearing that U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby has declared Utah’s Amendment 3 as unconstitutional, went to Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen’s office asking for a marriage license.
“Our application for a marriage license was just accepted by the state of Utah,” Ferguson wrote on his Facebook wall.
Deputy Salt Lake County Clerk Wany Morrison was in tears as she handed the couple their license to marry. As the couple was awaiting an officiant, Morrison told the couple she would marry them, but was pulled out of the ceremony by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, who said he wanted to wait on official notice from the state.
QSaltLake reporter Bob Henline, who is also an official marriage officiant, married the couple on the spot.
The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday ruled in favor of same-sex couples, granting them all the same rights of marriage enjoyed by heterosexual couples.
The court’s 31-page opinion states, in part, that: “All rights, protections, and responsibilities that result from the marital relationship shall apply equally to both same-gender and opposite-gender married couples.”
[. . .]
Justice Edward Chavez, who authored the unanimous opinion, rejected arguments made during an October hearing by opponents of same-sex marriage.
“Procreation has never been a condition of marriage under New Mexico law, as evidenced by the fact that the aged, the infertile, and those who choose not to have children are not precluded from marrying,” Chavez wrote in his opinion.
When government is alleged to have threatened any of these rights, it is the responsibility of the courts to interpret and apply the protections of the Constitution. The United States Supreme Court explained the courts’ responsibility as follows:Pp 6-7 of the opinion. Emphasis added.
The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.
W. Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 638 (1943).
"I'm on the Agriculture Committee, we have jurisdiction over the school lunch," Rep. Jack Kingston explained to the Jackson County Republican Party in a clip obtained by The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel. "School lunch program is very expensive."
"But one of the things I’ve talked to the secretary of agriculture about: Why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch?" he suggested. "Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria -- and yes, I understand that that would be an administrative problem, and I understand that it would probably lose you money."
"But think what we would gain as a society in getting people -- getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch," Kingston added.
While campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in 2011, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also floated the idea of replacing unionized janitors with children during a talk at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
He later told a crowd in Iowa that poor children were basically lazy.
“Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday,” the Georgia Republican insisted. “They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash, unless it is illegal.”
Gingrich suggested to supporters in South Carolina that children as young as 5 years old could get “an education in life” by working.
Rion Holcombe, age 20, has Down Syndrome. His dream is to be a college student.
A few days ago he got “the letter.”
The LGBT lobby has warped my relationship with students, my relationship with gay friends, my relationship with the press, my relationship with bosses at the university, my relationship with readers, and saddest of all, my relationship with my own family.
Relying on econ growth alone to hold down unemployment (and thus inequality) is like a cancer cell assuming its host will live forever.
1:55 PM - 15 Dec 2013
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Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) wants Congress to take action against President Barack Obama for moving his administration in the direction of an "imperial presidency."
Rice introduced a House resolution that directs the chamber "to bring action for declaratory or injuctive relief to challenge certain policies and actions taken by the executive branch." The resolution is cosponsored by a number of House lawmakers including Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Tom Price (R-GA), Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Ted Yoho (R-TX).
The lawmakers want Congress to take civil action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for aspects of Obamacare as well as the Obama administration's deferred deportation policies for certain immigrants living in the country illegally.
At precisely 10am GMT on 20 January next year, a tiny electronic chip inside Europe's Rosetta spacecraft will flicker into life. The robot probe will then be several hundred million miles from Earth, an orbit that will be bringing it closer and closer to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a massive ball of ice, dust and organic materials that orbits the Sun every six and a half years.
Rosetta's electronic wakeup call will trigger circuits, heaters and instruments and bring the probe, which has been in hibernation for two and a half years, slowly back to life in preparation for its landing on the comet, one of the most spectacular feats of space exploration ever planned.
|An artist's impression of Rosetta on the surface of its target comet. Photograph: J. Huart/Corbis|
Then, as the comet – which is about 2.5 miles wide – makes its closest approach to the Sun in August 2015, Rosetta will analyse the plumes of water vapour and gas and the geysers of organic material that will erupt into space as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko heats up and sends out a great glowing tail of gas and filaments behind it.
"Rosetta is going to be the first spacecraft to track the life of a comet as it arcs towards the Sun," says Paolo Ferri, head of solar and planetary operations for the space agency. The resulting data and images promise to be dramatic, to say the least.
Tom Daley came out because his father died so Jamaica should keep its buggery law
I used to think that the people who created (South Africa's) laws that effectively suspended the rule of law were moral barbarians. Now I know they were just pioneers ahead of their time.
The controversial discovery of 68 million-year-old soft tissue from the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex finally has a physical explanation. According to newly published research, iron in the dinosaur's body preserved the tissue before it could decay.
The research, headed by Mary Schweitzer, a molecular paleontologist at North Carolina State University, explains how proteins — and possibly even DNA — can survive for millennia. Schweitzer and her colleagues first raised this question in 2005, when they found the seemingly impossible: soft tissue preserved inside the leg of an adolescent T. rex unearthed in Montana.
"What we found was unusual, because it was still soft and still transparent and still flexible," Schweitzer told LiveScience.
Iron is an element present in abundance in the body, particularly in the blood, where it is part of the protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Iron is also highly reactive with other molecules, so the body keeps it locked up tight, bound to molecules that prevent it from wreaking havoc on the tissues.
After death, though, iron is let free from its cage. It forms minuscule iron nanoparticles and also generates free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules thought to be involved in aging.
"The free radicals cause proteins and cell membranes to tie in knots," Schweitzer said. "They basically act like formaldehyde."
Importantly, Schweitzer and her colleagues have figured out how to remove the iron from their samples, which enables them to analyze the original proteins. They've even seen chemical reactions consistent with the presence of DNA, though Schweitzer is quick to note that she and her colleagues haven't proven that DNA is actually present. Even if there is DNA, researchers would have to show that it's dinosaur DNA rather than contamination.
|Speaking of T. rex, Chicago's very own Sue.|
Back in 2011, I put my tin foil hat on and suggested that perhaps ALEC was promoting coordinated attacks on unions, schools, and health care across the nation. At the time, there was certainly a sense that they were, but no hard evidence.
Hard evidence has now arrived in the form of a revealing and rage-inducing set of documents published in The Guardian on Thursday.
Conservative groups across the US are planning a coordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers' compensation and the environment, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.
Many reports have taken speculation about who Tom Daley is dating as gospel, and some have gone further to bring up old issues over past private issues.
Until one of the pair decide to confirm reports, and make a statement about their relationship, PinkNews will not report or speculate about it, in the same way that (after some lessons quickly learned) we would not apply a label to his sexuality.
Working in this industry it is easy to lose track of things, or make snap decisions in following a big story (trust me, I’ve had to make a few), but what this comes down to is that Tom Daley is a 19-year-old dealing with coming out, with the added pressure of attention from the world’s media.
I commend him for making the decision to publicly reveal that he is dating a man, but who that man is is only his business, unless an announcement is made.
“Gay weddings will be done soon.” Prime Minister Bettel promised. “At the moment in Luxembourg, we have to change the situation of marriage, religion and divorce laws. But I don’t think it’ll be in the next five years – it’ll be next year.”
People are going to have their own opinions and I think people are going to make a big deal over this. Is it a big deal? I don’t think so. I wanted to say something and I wanted to do it.
In time for World AIDS Day on Sunday, Dec. 1, one of the world's largest collections of AIDS posters is now complete and available online, marking the culmination of a multiyear project launched in 2011 during the 30th anniversary year of the identification of HIV/AIDS. Thanks to catalogers at the University of Rochester, more than 6,200 posters from 124 countries in 68 languages and dialects can be viewed by anyone.
The posters were donated to the University's Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation by retired physician Dr. Edward C. Atwater, M.D., '50, an emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Atwater, who began collecting the posters in 1990, donated the artwork with the stipulation that it be digitized so the public could view the collection in its entirety. "My hope is to show people the responses from various societies to a deadly disease. Looked at chronologically, the AIDS posters show how social, religious, civic, and public health agencies tailored their message to different groups," said Atwater, 87, who lives in Rochester, N.Y.
The posters provide a visual history of the first three decades of the HIV/AIDS crisis from 1981 to the present. Depending on their audience, creators of the posters used stereotypes, scare tactics, provocative language, imagery, and even humor to educate the public about the disease. Selections of the posters were previously on exhibit at colleges, high schools, public libraries, and museums such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
"We've been caricatured as being anti-gay," Dolan said in an interview airing Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. "And as much as we'd say, 'Wait a minute, we're pro marriage, we're pro traditional marriage, we're not anti anybody,' I don't know. "When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion-molders that are behind it, it's a tough battle," he said. The legal battle over same-sex marriage has moved to states, following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision striking down a tenet of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. "I think I'd be a Pollyanna to say that there doesn't seem to be kind of a stampede to do this," Dolan told David Gregory of Meet the Press. "I regret that. I wish that were not the case for the states."
Malta’s Auxiliary Bishop has spoken out to express his displeasure at the lack of a clear difference between marriage and civil partnerships in the debate around civil partnerships for same-sex couples in Malta, saying that gay people do “not produce offspring” so do “not have a role in society”.
Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna made the comments on PBS’s Dissett, during an interview with the PBS Head of News Reno Bugeja.
“While the sexual activity of heterosexual couples has a fundamental role in producing future members of the society, that of same-sex couples does not have a role in society as it does not produce offspring,” he said.
An exploded star some 3.8 billion light-years away is forcing scientists to overhaul much of what they thought they knew about gamma-ray bursts – intense blasts of radiation triggered, in this case, by a star tens of times more massive than the sun that exhausted its nuclear fuel, exploded, then collapsed to form a black hole.