An appeals court panel has ruled unanimously against a family-owned pharmacy suing Washington for an exemption to the state's birth control mandate.
A three judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Ralph's Thriftway must provide birth control items like the Plan B pill, which could be an abortifacient under certain circumstances, reversing a lower court decision.
Arguments were heard last November before Judges Susan P. Graber, Richard R. Clifton, and Mary H. Murguia. Graber authored the panel's opinion. more >>
Cosmologist Stephen Hawking is working with Russian Internet entrepreneur Yuri Milner to launch a $100 million space program that will be the most ambitious hunt for alien life in history.
The New York Times reported on Monday that the money will go into the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI program, and for the next decade will allow astronomers to use a special type of radar to search for alien life from the 1,000 closest stars to Earth.
When announcing the initiative, Hawking said: "In an infinite universe there must be other occurrences of life. Or do our lights wander a lifeless universe? Either way, there is no bigger question." more >>
An anonymous viewer asked The Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye on an Internet forum whether humans' same-sex preferences make sense evolutionarily if it's true that the purpose of a species is to reproduce and survive. He responded with a disclaimer, giving a noncommittal answer.
Nye, who is most famous for the 90s TV show "Bill Nye The Science Guy," was asked this question on Big Think, an online forum. "Are humans the only ones who practice homosexuality? And if so does this mean that homosexuality is a product of human's personal whim as opposed to instinct?" the anonymous viewer added to his question.
Nye, who has criticized the teaching of creationism to young children, arguing it stifles innovation, said, "I'm not an authority on this. I'm an observer of the human condition." more >>
Conservatives have more self-control than liberals, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the result is likely due to conservatives being more likely to believe that they have self-control.
Researchers conducted three different experiments for the study, "The self-control consequences of political ideology."
The first experiment, with 147 undergraduates, found that conservatives were quicker at completing a modified "Stroop test," a common test used in psychology to measure the ability to focus attention on a task. more >>
Editor's note: The following is a chapter from When God and Science Meet: Surprising Discoveries of Agreement. Published by the National Association of Evangelicals, the book has 12 authors total, discussing areas of agreement between science and Christianity. You can get a free download or order hard copies at the NAE website. You can watch a video about the book below.
Is science the only way to reliably know something?
Because science has made such amazing progress in fields like medicine and technology, some people claim that the scientific method is the only way to reliable knowledge. This belief is sometimes called "Scientism." Cambridge University physicist and Anglican priest Sir John Polkinghorne offers a helpful illustration in response: more >>
Scientists are praising Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical on climate change, a major written work calling on Christians to care for the planet and reverse harmful effects, which is set to be released on Thursday.
"The encyclical is going to go out to over 1 billion Catholics — that's a way of getting a message across to a segment of society that the scientific community could never do," said Jeff Kiehl of National Center for Atmospheric Research, according to USA Today. "I mean it's just unbelievable."
NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt added: more >>