Near-perfect wings from dinosaur times discovered in amber | The Verge

A pair of wings found encased in amber suggest that the plumage of modern birds has remained almost unchanged from some of their dinosaur-era ancestors, according to scientists. In a new study published in the Nature Communications journal this week, researchers say that the wings have very similar structures, coloring, and feather layouts as the wings of modern birds, despite the fact they likely belonged to 100-million-year-old avialans called enantiornithes.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/6/29/12057434/avian-dinosaur-wings-discovered-in-amber

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Aron Ra demolishes David C. Pack

Back in April, I posted an article in response to a video series released by the “Restored Church of God“, which supposedly offers proof of God’s existence. I was seriously underwhelmed with the poor quality and (deliberate) misinformation presented in the first episode of that series. So much so that I decided not to watch the rest of it. I advise other people to stay well away from this series. Instead, you can enjoy it in an alternative way, watching as Aron Ra demolishes David C. Pack.

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Prehistoric asteroid wiped out nearly all mammals as well as dinosaurs, research suggests

I’ve always been fascinated by dinosaurs, ever since I was a young boy. While they take centre stage in the extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous, 65 million years ago, recent research by scientists from the University of Bath reveals that the impact of the asteroid that struck near the Yucatan peninsula was more severe as was previously assumed.

Nearly every species of mammal was eradicated by the prehistoric asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs, research suggests. Around 93% of mammal species were made extinct by the strike, which took place in the Cretaceous period, more than 66 million years ago. Examination of fossil records by scientists from the University of Bath determined that the asteroid’s impact had been much more severe than previously thought.

Source: Prehistoric asteroid wiped out nearly all mammals as well as dinosaurs, research suggests

The Faith of Christopher Hitchens

I can’t open a single news outlet these days without seeing Larry Alex Taunton’s book “The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist”. It shows up in my Amazon suggestions, it shows up in my Twitter feed and in my Google search results (at those times I care to use Google). As I understand, Taunton hints at the possibility that Hitchens may have considered Christianity towards the end of his life, suffering as he was from oesophageal cancer. The basis of this assertion is that Mr. Taunton and Mr. Hitchens read from the gospel of John together on two road trips. Frankly, I’m rather sick of hearing about it.

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Is atheism really that hard to understand?

As an atheist, I can understand that people are perhaps surprised that I don’t believe in a god. After all, the majority of people on this planet is religious to some degree and even here in the secular Netherlands, many people believe there “must be something”.
However, what will never cease to amaze me, is the fact that people do not understand what atheism means. Atheism is consistently misrepresented, mainly by religious people. They try to argue that atheism is somehow just another religion. Is atheism really that hard to understand? Well, apparently it is because today I picked up on a truly awful piece of writing by a Brad Emery, who published an “article” in the Australia edition of The Huffington Post, entitled: “Dear Atheists, I Truly Admire Your Faith“.

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