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Scientists see 'fingerprint' of Big Bang

Big Bang fingerprintA long held belief by scientists that the universe began to rapidly expand at the dawn of time may have been confirmed by a telescope that UC San Diego helped build at the South Pole to study the earliest moments of the cosmos.

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics announced Monday that the BICEP 2 telescope might have detected the aftermath of the “cosmic inflation” that they think occurred just after the universe arose 13.8 billion years ago in the so-called Big Bang.

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How old is sonar? Fossilized whale skull puts it at over 32 million years.

cotylocara maceio

Sperm whales do it. Dolphins do it. Orcas do it. And now, researchers have unveiled the fossilized skull of a 28-million-year-old marine mammal that did it too – used sound to find its next meal or swim safely through turbid waters.

The creature, Cotylocara macei, is the earliest known cetacean to show skeletal evidence for a natural form of sonar, according to a research team reporting the results in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

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Wyoming Governor Takes Major Stand Against Modern Science

Matt MeadWyoming took an unprecedented step this week when the governor approved a budget that would prevent the state from reviewing or funding a new set of science standards that treat climate change as fact.

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a new set of education initiatives that have been adopted in 10 states and, like the Common Core State Standards, are designed to make sure students across the country are being held to the same benchmarks. They were developed with input from 26 states; Wyoming does not number among them.

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Ice Age fossils discovered in L.A. subway construction

Ice Age fossilsAn exploratory dig for Los Angeles' subway extension project has uncovered Ice Age fossils.

The discoveries so far have included geoducks (large clams), sand dollars and digger pine tree cones and seeds, and a rock that "appears to have a sea lion skull within it that is perhaps two million years or more old," according to the Metro Rail's blog.

The expansion of L.A.'s purple line is near the La Brea Tar Pits, where many fossils have been found. The exploratory shaft for the subway route is now 65 feet deep, according to Metro.

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New magnetic material could boost electronics

New magnetic materialA highly sensitive magnetic material that could transform computer hard drives and energy storage devices has been discovered.  The metal bilayer needs only a small shift in temperature to dramatically alter its magnetism - a tremendously useful property in electronic engineering.

"No other material known to man can do this. It's a huge effect. And we can engineer it," said Ivan Schuller, of the University of California, San Diego.

He presented his findings at the American Physical Society meeting in Denver.

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Hackers take control of 300,000 home routers

hackers hit home routersA world-spanning network of hijacked home routers has been uncovered by security researchers.

The network involves more than 300,000 routers in homes and small businesses that have been taken over through loopholes in their core software.
Discovered by researchers at Team Cymru, the network is thought to be one of the biggest involving such devices.

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How Liberty University Creates Creationists

Liberty Universitys a Christian professor who has tangled with evangelical institutions over evolution, I am often invited to don the mantle of “heretic.” The invitation typically comes in the form of an interview in which I am asked to respond to questions that will identify me as a liberal-throw-the-bible-under-the-bus lost soul who has no business calling himself a Christian.

I recently received two such requests in a week. One email came from a sophomore at Liberty University, as part of an assignment for the course “Creation Studies 290: History of Life.” Founded by Jerry Fallwell in 1971, Liberty is the largest evangelical university in the world if you include its large population of online students, and America’s largest nonprofit university. “Creation Studies 209” is required of all of Liberty’s 100,000-plus students and claims to provide a “thorough understanding of the creation-evolution controversy,” and “draws upon knowledge from religion, science, philosophy and history.”

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