David Oman

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New Zealand Is Not Just A Small Bunch Of Islands - It's The Lost Continent Of Zealandia

A group of geologists is making a new push to add an eighth continent to the accepted list, known as Zealandia.<p>The scientists have been working for two decades gathering data to support their claim that New Zealand is just the tip of a huge submerged landmass that deserves to be called a …

Earth Science

The Most Patriotic Act of Treason in American History?

As President Nixon’s list of enemies grew long and his grip on reality fragile, one prominent member of his government prepared the military to …

The Mathematician Who Will Make You Fall in Love With Numbers

Math conferences don’t usually feature standing ovations, but Francis Su received one last month in Atlanta. Su, a mathematician at Harvey Mudd …

Mathematics

Machine learning could finally crack the 4,000-year-old Indus script

After a century of failing to crack an ancient script, linguists turn to machines<p>In 1872 a British general named Alexander Cunningham, excavating an area in what was then British-controlled northern India, came across something peculiar. Buried in some ruins, he uncovered a small, one inch by one …

Simon Tolkien Draws On His Famous Grandfather's Experiences In 'No Man's Land'

I would argue that the most successful novel of the First World War is not <i>A Farewell to Arms,</i> or even <i>All Quiet on the Western Front</i>, but rather one that's rarely classified so: <i>The Lord of the Rings,</i> by J.R.R. Tolkien. Like several other British veterans of the trenches — CS Lewis and David Lindsay …

Loving Vincent is a corny new biopic made from 62,450 hack oil paintings in Van Gogh’s style – and is an insult to the human struggle in his original works<p>Vincent van Gogh is peculiarly cursed to be travestied, misunderstood and reduced to a kitsch parody of himself. Look at the art section in your …

Art

Global development professionals network,Indigenous peoples,World news,Nepal,South and Central Asia,Photography<p>The Raute are hunter gatherers, only 156 now survive and are resisting attempts to move into permanent settlements. Jan Møller Hansen spent three days travelling from Kathmandu to reach a …

Hunter Gatherers

Market-driven Christianity has boomed in the US but now it is beginning to bust<p>Is Christianity ceasing to matter in the US? The question might seem absurd in the light of statistics that show a country which still publicly respects religion to an extent difficult for a European to imagine. Fewer …

Christianity

After day one, AI is crushing humanity at poker

A more complex approach than a mortal mind can handle<p>The first day of the Brains vs. AI poker tournament is in the books, and the Libratus bot from Carnegie Mellon University emerged as the clear winner, collecting $81,716 to the humans $7,228. Both the players and Libratus’ creators cautioned that …

Church Growth Strategy: Be Weird

Christians ought to be a little weird. That’s the message of a new book by Larry Hurtado, emeritus professor of New Testament at the University of …

Many researchers previously argued that giant animals became extinct soon after the arrival of the First Australians<p>Australia was once home to giant reptiles, marsupials and birds (and some not so giant), but the extinction of this megafauna has been the subject of a debate that has persisted since …

Anthropology

Happy Couples Have These 6 Things in Common—Do You?

I've always been staunchly against the idea that you should change yourself to please someone else, but I'll admit that this year my perspective …

Personality

Muslim girls must swim with boys in Switzerland, European court rules after parents refuse classes

Switzerland has won a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) case allowing it to force Muslim parents to send their daughters to mixed school swimming …

Human Rights

Mesmerizing GIFs Illustrate the Art of Traditional Japanese Wood Joinery — All Done Without Screws, Nails, or Glue

Traditional Japanese carpentry, whether used to build a dinner table or the entire house containing it, doesn't use screws, nails, adhesives, or any …

Carpentry

Neanderthals Were People, Too

Joachim Neander was a 17th-century Calvinist theologian who often hiked through a valley outside Düsseldorf, Germany, writing hymns. Neander understood everything around him as a manifestation of the Lord’s will and work. There was no room in his worldview for randomness, only purpose and praise. …

Meet the euplerids, the strange carnivores of Madagascar

Look beyond lemurs to another set of animals that deserve attention.<p>Before the movie "Madagascar," most of us probably never realized that the …

Evangelicals should be deeply troubled by Donald Trump’s attempt to mainstream heresy

<i>This opinion piece is by Michael Horton, a theology professor at Westminster Seminary California.</i><p>Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration will include Paula White and possibly other members of his inner circle, Darrell Scott, “Apostle” Wayne T. Jackson and Mark Burns. They’re all televangelists who …

Donald Trump

The Jewish Jesus Story

<i>Toledot Yeshu</i> (<i>The Life Story of Jesus</i>) is almost certainly one of the most mysterious and controversial, yet exceedingly popular, books in the …

The dark side of empathy

Peter Singer is professor of bioethics at Princeton University and laureate professor at the University of Melbourne.<p>Soon after Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, he told a young girl: "We don't have enough empathy in our world today, and it is up to your generation to change …

Were Neanderthals Religious?

Imagine this scene: Inside a cave in Spain, a group of people gather around the grave of a toddler. Hearths with lit fires, marked by 30 horns of animals including bison and red deer, surround the grave. A rhinoceros skull is nearby.<p>At a conference this fall, archaeologist Enrique Baquedano and his …

85 Years Ago Today: J. R. R. Tolkien Convinces C. S. Lewis That Christ Is the True Myth

On an early Sunday morning, September 20, 1931, three 30-something English professors took a stroll together on Addison’s Walk in the grounds of …

Tolkien biopic to be led by Downton Abbey director

Tolkien’s Catholic faith played a central role in forming his mythology; will this pic ever make it to theaters?<p>After the overwhelming success of <i>The</i> …

MIDDLE EARTH Film Will Explore the Life of LORD OF THE RINGS Writer J.R.R. Tolkien

While <i>The Lord of the Rings</i> and <i>The Hobbit</i> movie trilogies are over, Hollywood is far from done with J.R.R. Tolkien. The author of the beloved fantasy …

This Tech Can 'See' and Think as Well as Humans Do

It looks like an ordinary USB stick. But plug it into any device’s USB port and it instantly makes your software smarter -- as if you plugged in …

Obama defends Trump supporter’s right to protest at Clinton rally

As pretty much all of the U.S. is trapped in the muck and mire of the final hours of this battering presidential election, something happened that hasn’t happened in quite a long time: Two sides came together to defend one authentically American ideal.<p>President Barack Obama, speaking at a North …

Recurring 'Star Wars' Patterns In 'The Force Awakens' Are More Than Just 'Member-Berries'

You’d think that a movie, which grossed over $2 billion worldwide and re-ignited a franchise, wouldn’t need defending. You’d presume that a film that made just under a billion domestically last year wouldn’t be the subject of a ton of smart-alecky criticism. Yet here we are.<p><i>South Park</i>‘s Trey Parker …

There’s an Easter egg inside every modern D&D book

And discovering it almost destroyed my computer<p>A few years back, while I was on the road for a feature story here at Polygon, my entire role-playing reference library literally fell off the wall, shelf and all. It happened in the middle of the night, woke up the wife and kids and almost crushed my …

Board Games

Christian missionaries in Aleppo crucified and beheaded

“At several steps on their path to death by beheading and crucifixion last month, 11 indigenous Christian workers near Aleppo, Syria had the option …

A New Home and a New Religion in Germany

Among the Iranian refugees filling European church pews<p>BERLIN—When I first met Mattias in July at a refugee shelter just north of Berlin, he went by the name Mohammed. He had arrived in Germany from Iran the previous fall, along with thousands of other asylum-seekers—sometimes up to 10,000 arrived …

Asylum Seekers