HughPickens.com writes: Brian Booker writes at Digital Journal that carbon dating suggests that the Koran, or at least portions of it, may actually be older than the prophet Muhammad himself, a finding that if confirmed could rewrite early Islamic history and shed doubt on the "heavenly" origins of the holy text. Scholars believe that a copy Koran held by the Birmingham Library was actually written sometime between 545 AD and 568, while the Prophet Mohammad was believed to have been born in 570 AD and to have died in 632 AD. It should be noted, however, that the dating was only conducted on the parchment, rather than the ink, so it is possible that the quran was simply written on old paper. Some scholars believe, however, that Muhammad did not receive the Quran from heaven, as he claimed during his lifetime, but instead collected texts and scripts that fit his political agenda. "This gives more ground to what have been peripheral views of the Koran's genesis, like that Muhammad and his early followers used a text that was already in existence and shaped it to fit their own political and theological agenda, rather than Muhammad receiving a revelation from heaven," says Keith Small, from the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library. "'It destabilises, to put it mildly, the idea that we can know anything with certainty about how the Koran emerged," says Historian Tom Holland. "and that in turn has implications for the history of Muhammad and the Companions."
An anonymous reader writes: A former Secret Service agent pleaded guilty on Monday to diverting to his personal account over $800,000 worth of bitcoins during an investigation into online drug marketplace Silk Road.
Shaun Bridges, 33, appeared in federal court in San Francisco and admitted to money laundering and obstruction of justice.... In court on Monday, Bridges admitted his theft made Ulbricht believe that another individual was stealing from Silk Road and helped lead Ulbricht to try to hire someone to kill that person
sciencehabit writes: There’s so much plastic floating in some parts of the ocean, especially in five large swirls known as “garbage patches,” that each square kilometer of surface water there holds almost 600,000 pieces of debris. The often bite-sized trash can harm birds and other marine life—even those that don’t go anywhere near today’s “garbage patches,” according to a new study. Indeed, because of the proliferation of floating trash by 2050, birds of almost every ocean-foraging species may be eating plastic. Link to Original Source