Russia has awarded its largest scientific grant ever to Moscow State University that will allow the school to proceed with a project called "Noah's Ark, "which inspires to be the world's first DNA databank consisting of genetic material from every living and extinct creature, which they will house in a giant ark.
The approval of the approximate $194 million government grant was first reported last week by Russia's English outlet RT, and will require not only building a 430-square-kilometer ark, but also the daunting task of actually collecting DNA from every living creature and the ones that have long been extinct.
"I call the project 'Noah's Ark,'" MSU Rector Viktor Sadivnichy told journalists. "It will involve the creation of a depository — a databank for the storing of every living thing on Earth, including not only living, but disappearing and extinct organisms. This is the challenge we have set for ourselves." more >>
Ridley Scott's latest film "Exodus: Gods and Kings" starring Christian Bale has been banned in Egypt after censors deemed the film historically inaccurate.
The blockbuster was set to premiere in both Egypt and Morocco on Friday, according to several reports. The Egyptian censorship board said that "Exodus," which is based on the biblical book of Exodus, was historically inaccurate since it depicts Jews building the Pyramids, according to the BBC. Moreover, the Hollywood film portrays an earthquake, not a miracle, causing the Red Sea to part.
"It contains historical fallacies," Egyptian censorship board head Abdul Sattar Fathy said in a statement, according to Egypt's news portal, Mobtada. Fathy also cited the film's depiction of Moses that was similar to a general in an army as opposed to the biblical prophet who is highly revered in the Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. more >>
Catholic group the Legions of Christ have reportedly uncovered a 1st-century synagogue in the ancient town of Magdala in Israel, where they say Jesus Christ is likely to have preached to the people.
"Eighty percent of Jesus' public life was here," Father Eamon Kelly said about northern Israel, according to Haaretz.com.
Kelly revealed that his organization uncovered the synagogue after starting archaeological excavations at a site in the town of Magdala, believed to be the home of Mary Magdalene, known as one of Jesus' female disciples. The plots of land are supposed to be used to build a pilgrims' hotel, inter-faith chapel, a restaurant and a women's shelter. more >>
The Islamic State has been selling artifacts from churches and other cultural centers in the nation of Iraq to fund their organization, says a British publication.
ISIS is taking antiquities, including those worth millions of dollars, from the Middle Eastern country and selling them to prospective Western buyers, according to Oliver Moody of The Times.
"Willy Bruggeman, a former deputy director of Europol who is now president of the Belgian federal police council, said that some of the artefacts had almost certainly been sold illegally to buyers in the UK, although none had yet been traced to Britain," reported Moody on Wednesday. more >>
A small village in Japan claims to be the final resting place of Jesus Christ, arguing that the founder of Christianity got married to a local and had children.
Shingo, a rural community of about 3,000, claims to be the sight of Christ's tomb, where local legends say that Jesus came there after He was crucified.
A recent article by inquisitr.com noted that this claim is in "regional apocryphal religious writings known as the Takenouchi Documents." more >>
For some Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a time of mourning, for the meeting between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag began a series of events that led to many tribes being wiped out. But for one Native American pastor, the observance is not a source of historical mourning or regret, rather he celebrated the occasion since a youth growing up on a Virginia reservation.
Ernest Custalow, pastor at Grace Church of Fredericksburg, told The Christian Post that he recalled celebrating Thanksgiving as a child on the Mattiponi reservation. Part of this tradition involved providing a deer and a turkey to officially give to the governor of Virginia to pay their state taxes, a custom that remains to the modern day.
"The way we paid taxes was to kill a deer and turkey to give to the governor of Virginia. We still do that," said Custalow, adding that, "I grew up hunting for the governor." more >>