If David Barash, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Washington, has his way, chimeras will soon be a reality.” No restrictions exist in federal law that can stop the experiments and Barash argues at Nautilus: “I propose that generating humanzees or chimphumans would be not only ethical, but profoundly so, even if there were no prospects of enhancing human welfare. How could even the most determinedly homo-centric, animal-denigrating religious fundamentalist maintain that God created us in his image and that we and we alone harbor a spark of the divine, distinct from all other life forms, once confronted with living beings that are indisputably intermediate between human and non-human…
- March 15, 2018
My brother-in-law recently died after a brutal fight with cancer. At 48 years of age, he left behind two young children, a loving wife and a thriving real estate business he built himself. After the funeral and burial of the body, I was given some of his best suits and jackets to wear. I took them not only to use them, but possibly to give them back to him in the future. As a secular transhumanist—someone who advocates for improving humanity by merging people with machines—I don’t believe in death anymore. At least, I don’t believe in biological death’s permanency the way most people do […] As someone who disbelieves in formal deities like the Christian God Jehova—but was formally raised a Catholic in my youth—I can’t help but ponder if the microprocessor is the real savior of our so-called souls—and the baptism of it can only be achieved by code.
The next time a hazardous asteroid lines Earth up in its crosshairs, we may be ready for the threat. Scientists and engineers with the U.S. government have drawn up plans for a spacecraft that could knock big, incoming space rocks off course via blunt-force impact or blow them to bits with a nuclear warhead, BuzzFeed News reported. The researchers announced the concept vehicle, known as the Hypervelocity Asteroid Mitigation Mission for Emergency Response (HAMMER), in a study in the February issue of the journal Acta Astronautica. And the team will discuss HAMMER at an asteroid-research conference in May…
Sicilian priest and long-time exorcist Father Benigno Palilla recently told Vatican Radio that requests for exorcisms had tripled in the past few years. There were now, he said, 500,000 alleged cases of demonic possession recorded in Italy each year. Why the sudden increase in possession by the Devil? Palilla attributes it to an increase in practices that “open the door to the Devil” – such as people seeking out wizards and fortune tellers, reading tarot cards, and generally dabbling in magic and the occult. It is not merely Catholics who apparently become possessed. Conservative evangelical Protestantism, particularly in its Pentecostal forms, has also seen the need for “deliverance ministries” for those who have become infested with demons whether from dabbling with the Devil in occult and magical practices or simply as a result of the Devil’s increased activity as the end of the world approaches.
- March 15, 2018
It was a group of boys out hunting for rabbits who found the coffins one summer’s day in 1836. They were roaming a rocky peak known as Arthur’s Seat that overlooks Edinburgh, Scotland, when their attention was caught by a small cave, its entrance carefully covered with pieces of slate. After pulling back the slabs of stone, the boys found 17 coffins, each about 3.7 inches long, arranged in three tiers—two rows of eight, and a solitary coffin at the start of a third row. Inside each was a small wooden doll, its face carved with wide-open eyes, dressed in plain cotton clothes that covered the thin body from bare head to flat feet. The question of who carved the figures and coffins—and why—has been a mystery ever since. Were the objects tools of witchcraft, part of a pagan ritual, or a memorial to one of the era’s most notorious killing sprees?
Disney’s ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ Erases The Book’s Bible Quotes, Cuts Jesus And Christian Figures From HistoryMarch 15, 2018
As Disney adapted the beloved children’s book “A Wrinkle in Time” (1962) into a major motion picture — with no less than Oprah Winfrey on the star-studded cast list — the studio cut out a great deal along the way. Bible quotes, a reference to Jesus, and even Christian historical figures all got the boot. Could the excising of God help explain why the movie is projected to struggle at the box office? In the transition from book to movie, many aspects get left on the cutting-room floor. Even so, these omissions proved particularly egregious, partially because they involved rewriting history. The battle between good and evil (light and darkness) forms a central theme in “A Wrinkle in Time,” and both book and film mention many historical figures who fought the darkness on behalf of the light. Disney seemed zealous to excise any hint of Christianity from the film, going so far as to cut even historic…