1,800-year-old altar to pagan god Pan hidden in a Byzantine church

Archaeologists in Israel have discovered an ancient altar honoring the Greek god Pan, the deity of flocks and shepherds, but whoever inscribed it botched the job. The inscriber basically ran out of room —  etching letters outside the altar’s rectangular frame and also shrinking letters toward the end, to make them fit.  “The inscriber was […]

Is belief in God a delusion?

As the pandemic raged in April, churchgoers in Ohio defied warnings not to congregate. Some argued that their religion conferred them immunity from COVID-19. In one memorable CNN clip, a woman insisted she would not catch the virus because she was “covered in Jesus’ blood”. Some weeks later, the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker commented on the […]

Horned figures from cult of a Mesopotamian moon god discovered in biblical-era fort

A 3,000-year-old fort containing a carving of mysterious horned figures has been discovered in the Golan Heights. And it may have been built by the kingdom of Geshur, an ally of the Israeli King David.  It sits on a small hill overlooking a river crossing. Israeli archaeologists discovered the structure while surveying the area where […]

What happens when psychedelics make you see God

A brain on ‘shrooms can be forever changed if the right images conjure during the trip. (Tyler Spangler/) Listen to an exclusive audio version of this story by subscribing to Apple News+. Doctors gave Clark Martin a year to live after they found he had stage 4 kidney cancer in 1990. “I’m still here,” he […]

2,000-year-old seal depicting Greek god Apollo found in Jerusalem

Archaeologists in Jerusalem have discovered a rare 2,000-year-old gem seal bearing the likeness of the god Apollo, but the gem’s owner likely wasn’t Greek or Roman, experts say. Instead, this dark-brown jasper stone was likely owned by a Jewish person who lived during the first century A.D., and who was monotheistic but admired the qualities […]