Archaeologists have reported on an "extraordinary discovery" in France after finding several man-made circular structures, or rings, they say date back 170,000 years to the time Neanderthals lived in the area.
The rings were constructed out of stalagmites from the Bruniquel Cave in France's south, and excavators believe they might have been used for some sort of ritual at the time of their creation.
The 400 stalagmites were presumably broken off from the sides of the cave and arranged in two circles, one larger one and a smaller one, as well as several organized piles throughout the cave. more >>
Japan is looking to go beyond having a massive pyrotechnic display to open up the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Thanks to a homegrown startup company, spectators from every corners of the world might finally see a man-made meteor shower falling in the heavens during that day.
The company responsible for honoring the event is the Japan-based tech firm Star-ALE which, in collaboration with partner corporations, universities, and research institutions, is hoping to develop "cutting-edge technologies" in "space-age entertainment," as stated in their official website.
The artificial meteor display is called the Sky Canvas light show and it involves launching microsatellites carrying about 500 to a thousand pieces of advanced objects called "source particles." When these particles are released and eventually re-enter the Earth's atmosphere during the occasion, they are expected to ignite and begin "plasma emission" to become a shooting star, Star ALE further explained the mechanism. more >>
Creationist Ken Ham has invited Bill Nye, known as "The Science Guy," to tour the Ark Encounter in Kentucky, the life-size Noah's Ark replica that is due to open on July 7, explaining that he wants to be friends with Nye, not adversaries.
"I want to publicly invite Bill Nye to come visit the Ark, I want to show him personally, or just show him where the entrance is, and let him go on his own, whatever he wants to do," Ham said in a video message posted on Facebook on Monday.
"I'd be thrilled to be able to show Bill Nye through the Ark, and so I'll be interested to know if people out there think Bill Nye will take up my invitation. I hope that he does," he added. more >>
Some scientists in the United States are working to make embryos that are part human, part animal in an attempt to save the lives of people suffering from various diseases. But other scientists warn that such experiments could damage people's sense of humanity, NPR reports.
Such embryos are called "chimeras," named after creatures from Greek mythology and which are created artificially by combining genetic material from different species into a single embryo. The adult animals that develop as a result have different populations of cells that reflect different contributions from the species from which they were produced.
"We're not trying to make a chimera just because we want to see some kind of monstrous creature," NPR quotes Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist at the University of California, Davis, as saying. "We're doing this for a biomedical purpose." more >>
In a letter sent to schools last week, President Obama explained that longtime bans on Creationism in public schools violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Title VII specifically prohibits among other things employer discrimination on the basis of religion and demands that employers give proper accommodation for religious beliefs.
"While until five minutes ago no one considered Title VII applicable to teaching Creationism, we realize that laws are not set in stone and in fact need to develop — but definitely not evolve — with the times," read the letter. more >>
Billboard companies have told an atheist group they won't run its ad next to the entrance to the Ark Encounter theme park being built in Williamstown, Kentucky, that reads "Genocide & Incest Park ... celebrating 2,000 years of myths."
"We tried with everyone we could think of, and these were [billboard] companies that originally were in agreement to do business with us," Jim Helton, the president of the atheist group Tri-State Freethinkers, which created an Indiegogo fundraising page in March to pay for anti-BIble billboards, tells ABC News.
"We're just looking for someone to take our money," adds Helton, whose Union, Kentucky-based group plans to put up billboards near the entrance of the Ark Encounter, a life-size Noah's Ark exhibit spearheaded by Young Earth Creationist Ken Ham, president and CEO of Answers in Genesis, that's slated to open July 7. more >>