An American academic in England has proposed how the recently discovered "Gospel of Jesus' Wife", the papyrus fragment that made news in September, could have been forged using some modern-day technology.
Andrew Bernhard, Master of Studies at Oxford University, discovered a typo carried in one of the most widely distributed electronic copies of the authentic Gospel of Thomas is present in the Jesus' wife document. The academic argues in a 15-page paper how the fragment is a direct cut-and-paste from sections of the Gospel of Thomas by analyzing translations of Coptic and ancient Greek.
"Certainly, rigorous examination of the recently discovered papyrus fragment by specialists in Coptic papyrology and scientists able to evaluate the age of the manuscript and its ink will provide important information about whether Gos. Jes. Wife could be an authentically ancient text," Berhard begins in his written proposal. "However, it has already become clear that there are some striking similarities between this text and The Gospel of Thomas (Gos. Thom.) known from Nag Hammadi Codex II (NHC II), and these similarities deserve to be investigated promptly in detail. Textual analysis alone could provide strong evidence that Gos. Jes. Wife may be a modern forgery." more >>
An 11-year-old boy has discovered the remains of a 30,000-year-old mammoth in northern Russia, and paleontologists are calling it the best preserved mammoth find in over a century.
The child, Evgeny Salinder, found the mammoth, complete with organs, layers of fat, bones, flesh and fur at the Sopochnaya Karga cape, located in Russia's northern Taymyr peninsula.
"We can see that this animal was very well adapted to the northern environment, accumulating massive amounts of fat," Aleksey Tikhonov, deputy head of the Zoology institute in the Russian Academy of Science, told local Russian newspaper Itar-Tass. more >>
The Smithsonian Channel has announced that it will postpone a previously planned documentary for the "Jesus wife" papyrus after a leading Vatican newspaper joined theologians and scholars in suggesting that the text is possibly a fake.
"The Gospel of Jesus's Wife," the title of the documentary that was planned for Sept. 30, was being advertised as "one of the most significant discoveries of all time," by the Smithsonian Channel, but the website now says that the program is "not currently airing," giving no indication if or when it will air. A spokesman for Smithsonian has also noted that the program will be postponed "until the text undergoes further tests," The Washington Post reported.
The controversial papyrus was unveiled in September by Professor Karen King of Harvard Divinity School. King has claimed the papyrus is the only existing ancient text in which Jesus supposedly refers to having a wife, presumably by the name of Mary. Some of the translated passages from Coptic text include: "Jesus said to them," "My wife …" and "she will be able to be my disciple …" King has said that the document is possibly an early 2nd century document excavated in upper Egypt, and noted that she appreciates the discussion on the subject. more >>
Scientist Bill Nye, responding to criticism from creationist organizations of his opinion that children should only be taught evolution in schools, has said he also believes that the innovative process of America is threatened by a belief in creation.
"If we raise a generation of students who don't believe in the process of science, who think everything that we've come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you're not going to continue to innovate," Nye said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.
"The Science Guy," which Nye is better known as due to his 90s TV show, shared his views on Aug. 23 video titled "Bill Nye: Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children," in which he defends the scientific theory of evolution as opposed to the belief of some Christians, who hold a literal interpretation of the Bible, that the Earth is only a few thousand years old. This led to some Christian groups, such as Answers in Genesis, to claim that Nye is misguided and that the world was created exactly the way it is described in the Bible. more >>
Evolutionary biologist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins has had a new genus of fish in Sri Lanka named after him after a researcher credited the British atheist for his "rational explanations" of the universe.
The fish, which had been previously classified under the genus Puntius before given their own distinction, were identified by lead researcher Rohan Pethiyagoda, an ichthyologist and internationally acclaimed conservationist. The sea animals in question are found only in South Asia, and have distinctive long filaments that trail from the dorsal fins of males.
"Richard Dawkins has through his writings helped us understand that the universe is far more beautiful and awe-inspiring than any religion has imagined," Pethiyagoda expressed on Monday. more >>
Scientists in Switzerland announced on July 4 that they had finally made remarkable progress in their search for the Higgs Boson particle, a particle physicists believe holds the answer to how the universe came into being.
Some have suggested that the "God particle," as it is also called, could put an end to arguments supporting creationism, while others insist the hunt to prove the Big Bang theory actually complements the biblical account.
Here are some facts about the 40-year project and what its most recent "discovery" may mean. more >>