Indeed, a Gallup poll this year reported that 46 percent of Americans (58 percent of Republicans, 41 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of independents) held a nonscientific belief in creationism, the religious-based view that humans were divinely created within the past 10,000 years.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington, Neal Conan is away. Conflict between Israel and Gaza continues for a sixth day, as Israel has responded to a barrage of rocket fire from Hamas with air strikes and missiles fired by the Israeli navy. More than 90 Palestinians have been killed and three Israelis. Israel has called up tens of thousands of reservists in case of a possible ground invasion.
Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Shankar Vedantam about the psychology behind the fiscal cliff negotiations. Vedantam says humans evolved as short-term thinkers, which makes dealing with the long-term problem of the national debt particularly difficult.
The election has also triggered some soul searching among evangelical Christian voters. Now, one of the movement's top leaders says it's time to stop the war rhetoric and start reaching out for compromise. Host Rachel Martin talks with Jim Daly, the president and CEO of Focus on the Family, about the post-election direction of the conservative evangelical movement.
Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 6:03 am
College football bowl season is just around the corner, and with it comes the seemingly perennial controversy around the bowl game selection process. Rachel Martin and NPR's Mike Pesca discuss the vagaries of the Bowl Championship Series ranking system, and why you can't just blame it on computers.
Sen. Barbara Boxer says we can finally stop using the term "Year of the Woman" once the Senate reaches a 50-50 split of men and women. "That's the goal," she says.
We're not quite there yet. But in 2013, more women will be serving in Congress than ever before. There will be 20 women in the Senate. When Boxer took her seat in 1993, there were six — and that was after tripling from two the term before.
So what does the California Democrat have to say about the fact that there's still a gender gap? Let's put this in perspective.
On a street corner in Midland Beach on Staten Island, volunteers have set up a makeshift stand. There's no tent here, no corporate logos — just a couple of folding tables and cardboard boxes full of food, clothing and cleaning supplies.
Ross Decker is the guy in charge.
"Anytime we run out of something, I tell the people just come back in 20 minutes, it'll be here," he says.
Decker says the site, badly flooded during Superstorm Sandy, was picked by a handful of local churches. This volunteer operation seems to be stocked mainly through the kindness of strangers.
Former Bears Coach Mike Ditka was hospitalized after suffering a minor stroke on Friday. The Hall of Famer says doctors have assured him the stroke was slight, and he told The Chicago Tribune, "I feel good right now and it's not a big deal." As the Tribune explains:
Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 1:53 pm
For the sake of argument, let's agree that when we use the word "inauguration" in this particular post, we are talking about the multiday, ball-bestrewn, soiree-soaked, tuxedo-dappled extravaganza that costs tens of millions of dollars and often leaves many Americans out in the cold — figuratively and literally.
Host Scott Simon speaks to Brad Wolverton from the The Chronicle of Higher Education about his recent profile of Western Oklahoma State College. The school's online courses are popular with NCAA student athletes at risk of losing their eligibility to participate in sports.
The scandal ensnaring General Patreaus has raised new questions about the CIA and the FBI. For more, we're joined by Tim Weiner. He's the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of two books on security services - one, "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA," the second, "Enemies: The History of the FBI." He joins us from New York. Thanks very much for being with us.
TIM WEINER: My pleasure, Scott.
SIMON: It's been a week of revelations, ruined careers, shaken families. Any crimes revealed?
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Time for sports.
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SIMON: L.A. topsy-turvy with the Clippers now the top NBA team in town, while the Lakers try to pick themselves up with a new coach. And remember those three NFL quarterbacks who were knocked out of their games last week? A couple of them kept playing. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us now.
President Obama hasn't even named his choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who plans to step down at the end of this term. But there's been a lot of heated rhetoric this week over one of the front-runners, Susan Rice.
Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, spoke on behalf of the administration on five Sunday talk shows days after the attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. At the time, she suggested the attack began as a spontaneous protest over an anti-Muslim video. U.S. officials now say it was a terrorist attack.
The tech industry has been lobbying hard for an update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the 1986 law governing online privacy.
Under an umbrella group calling itself Digital Due Process, companies and civil liberties groups have argued that the law is too loose with the privacy of data stored online, especially Web-based email and other documents on the cloud.
Ever since Hurricane Sandy ripped through the New Jersey coast, some of the hardest-hit towns have been closed altogether. Authorities say gas leaks and unstable buildings have made them too risky to visit.
This week, residents were allowed to enter Seaside Heights for a few hours each day to get a firsthand look at the damage. Many are struggling with whether to rebuild their homes.
Originally published on Fri November 16, 2012 4:56 pm
A Florida judge on Friday denied Republican Rep. Allen West's last-ditch bid for a recount of early-voting ballots in the close and ugly re-election race he is losing to Democrat Patrick Murphy.
West's effort to wrest the race from Murphy, who is leading in a race that has yet to be officially called, now goes to the St. Lucie County elections board, which was scheduled to review his complaint late Friday.
Originally published on Sat November 17, 2012 4:22 am
When it comes to diabetes, just about everyone has heard there's an epidemic upon us.
In 2010, about 18.8 million people of all ages in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 7 million had diabetes but hadn't been diagnosed.
How much have things changed?
Back in 1995, about 4.5 percent of adults in the U.S. had been diagnosed with diabetes. By 2010, the prevalence had zoomed to 8.2 percent.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish.
Now, to an unusual drama playing out in the NBA. It involves the Houston Rockets and their first-round draft choice, the 6-foot-8-inch-tall forward named Royce White. White suffers from general anxiety disorder, and the illness is complicating his transition to life in the NBA. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now as he does most Fridays. Hi there, Stefan.