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Atheist Richard Dawkins: ‘Indoctrination of religion’ is ‘child abuse’

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on Sunday told a British literary festival that parents who forced their children to believe that religion was a fact were guilty of “child abuse.” Speaking about his family-friendly book The Magic of Reality at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival, the University of Oxford professor warned…

Influenza expert: New bird flu not spreading in ‘sustained’ way between people in China

SHANGHAI — A top WHO influenza expert said Monday there was still no evidence H7N9 bird flu was spreading in a “sustained” way between people in China, despite the possibility some family members may have infected one another. China announced on March 31 that the virus had been discovered in…

Remains of woman adorned with gold beads and buried 4,500 years ago discovered near Windsor

Woman dubbed ‘Kingsmead’s queen’ is found with unusual necklace of gold beads and finely decorated cup The remains of a woman who was buried almost 4,500 years ago has been discovered in a quarry in Berkshire wearing a precious necklace of gold beads – a particularly rare find from a…

‘No frills’ Indian hospitals offer $800 heart surgery

What if hospitals were run like a mix of Wal-Mart and a low-cost airline? The result might be something like the chain of “no-frills” Narayana Hrudayalaya clinics in southern India. Using pre-fabricated buildings, stripping out air-conditioning and even training visitors to help with post-operative care, the group believes it can…

Woolly mammoth, dodo and Neanderthal man: Scientists debate ethics of reviving extinct species

Woolly mammoths stomp through the Siberian tundra as the giant moa strides the forest floor of New Zealand and Tasmania’s dog-like “tigers” stalk their prey under the cover of night. This is not a snapshot of times past, nor next year’s sequel to Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park.” Instead, it is…

Life on Mars to become a reality in 2023 according to Dutch firm

Thousands apply to become one of four astronauts selected to set up a human colony in a plan that comes with snags A few months before he died, Carl Sagan recorded a message of hope to would-be Mars explorers, telling them: “Whatever the reason you’re on Mars is, I’m glad…

Orbital Sciences Corp. takes first step to becoming NASA’s freight carrier

AFP - Orbital Sciences, one of two private US firms chosen by NASA to shuttle cargo to the International Space Station, launched a first test flight of its Antares rocket Sunday. The launch of the two-stage launch vehicle — 131 feet (40 meters) tall and 12.8 feet in diameter — took…

Study finds belief in free market economics predicts rejection of science

A strong belief in a hands off approach to economics is tightly linked to the rejection of scientific facts such as climate change, according to research published in Psychological Science in late March. “The conspiracist ideation that all of the world’s scientific academies have conspired together to create a hoax…

Late 20th century was warmest in 1,400 years

Earth was cooling until the end of the 19th century and a hundred years later, the planet’s surface was on average warmer than at any time in the previous 1,400 years, according to climate records presented on Sunday. In a study spanning two millennia published in Nature Geoscience, scientists said…

Gene wars: the last-ditch battle over who owns the rights to our DNA

A US biotech company is fighting to protect the patents it took out on a test for a cancer-causing gene. Scientists say a win for the firm would set back a growing ability to detect diseases Tracey Barraclough made a grim discovery in 1998. She found she possessed a gene…

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