WASHINGTON – A major survey of prison chaplains has concluded that many chaplains believe religious extremism to be common in prisons, but not a major security threat.
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life of 730 prison chaplains in America, 41 percent of respondents said they found religious extremism very or somewhat common. However, 76 percent of respondents believe that religious extremism in prisons was rarely or almost never a security threat.
The findings were presented at a lunch and discussion event titled "Religion in Prisons: A 50-State Survey of Prison Chaplains," which was held at the Pew Research Center's office and broadcasted online. more >>
A bill that would allow teachers to encourage students to critique existing scientific theories such as evolution and global warming was passed by the Tennessee State Senate this week.
SB 893, passed on Monday evening, was the Senate version of an older Tenn. House of Representatives bill, HB 368, which passed the House in 2011 and remained in stasis until this year.
State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson), the sponsor of SB 893, told The Christian Post that the bill does not mandate the teaching of creation science. more >>
Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner has reached new heights in a space jump that was clocked at speeds of 364 miles per hour.
Red Bull Stratos, the name of the mission, is hoping to break even more records with a high-altitude skydive. Baumgartner is going after the world record of a skydive of 102,800 feet previously set by U.S. Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger in 1960.
"The height of Felix's test flight was significant, as it was the first time he passed the Armstrong Line of approximately 63,000 feet, where the atmospheric pressure truly tests Felix's custom-made space suit," the Red Bull team said in a statement. more >>
Earth's magnetic field is expected to be hit by the effects of a major solar flare on Thursday, which might disrupt utility grids, airline flights, satellite networks and GPS services across the Northern globe.
"It's hitting us right in the nose," explained Joe Kunches, a scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colo. The sun has not produced much turbulent activity in a while, but a recent solar flare, part of a normal 11-year-cycle that occurred earlier this week, has grown and reached outwards from the sun, The Associated Press reported.
When it hits Earth's magnetic field, it has the potential to disrupt some important network technology, but also string the aurora lights farther from the poles than normal. Scientists are saying that the storm will not put human health in danger, however. more >>
The "Jesus Discovery," presented by archaeologist and professor James Tabor with documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici, claimed to have found the tomb of Jesus and his family in Jerusalem in 2010. However, many remained skeptical. Now, their persistence has unveiled another nearby tomb that is causing renewed debate and controversy.
The new tomb – about 200 feet from the "Jesus Family Tomb" – is marked with the first Christian symbol, the cross. It also has markings allegedly saying "Divine Jehovah, raise up, raise up" and a drawing of a fish with a stick.
"In my assessment, there's zero percent chance that their theory is correct," Andrew Vaughn, executive director of the American Schools of Oriental Research, told MSNBC of the findings. For him, the second tomb does not strengthen the case that the first one is authentic. more >>
The oldest elephant herd ever to exist may have been found by scientists from the United Arab Emirates. The researchers found fossilized footprints in an Arabian desert dating back over 6 million years.
The paleontologists' discovery of the oldest elephant herd, reported in scientific journal Biology Letters, shows at least 13 elephants – both adults and young calves – on an interrupted trail through mud of almost 853 feet (260 meters) long.
The elephant herd did not consist of the same elephants that we have today. The tracks, which are about 15 inches (40 centimeters) wide, were most likely made by the four-tusked Stegotetrabelodon syrticus – the elephant ancestor most likely to be in open country. more >>