1) Britain is increasingly godless – but try telling David Cameron

Half of Britons now say they have “No religion”, according to the highly respected British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, which published its 2014 edition this week. The godless camp now stands at 50.6% of the population, up from 47.7% in last year’s survey. Christians, by contrast, stand at 41.7%, the lowest ever figure. There was bad news, too, for those who insist upon Britain’s identity as a “Christian country”, with just 24% of BSA respondents agreeing that Christianity is an important part of Britishness.

Not that David Cameron is taking any notice – on the same day the BSA findings were published, he became the first Prime Minister to attend the annual parliamentary “prayer breakfast”, where he told attendees that Christianity can inspire politicians to “get out there and make a difference to people’s lives”.

2) Prawns have feelings too (possibly)

Crustaceans may be among the most primitive creatures on the planet, having endured for hundreds of millions of years, but new research suggests they could be more complex than previously assumed. Researchers at the University of Bordeaux have found that crayfish, when exposed to stressful environments, display signs of anxiety. It has been argued that the findings could have implications for welfare standards in the seafood industry.

3) ISIS is a magnet for foreign fighters

The insurgency by the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has shattered the fragile state of Iraq over the past week and raised fears of a prolonged civil war, fuelled by sectarian divisions. In the UK, the insurgency has reignited the debate over the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and prompted the Prime Minister to argue that ISIS jihadists could eventually carry out attacks in Britain.

Such concerns are heightened by the presence of British jihadis in the ISIS ranks – speaking to the BBC, Professor Peter Neumann of King's College London this week suggested that about 80 per cent of Western fighters who have joined the war against the Assad regime in Syria have done so under the ISIS banner.

4) Faith schools aren't that popular

In the wake of the "Trojan Horse" investigation into alleged alleged attempts by Islamic fundamentalists to take control of schools in Birmingham, the spotlight has fallen on faith schools, on integration and community cohesion.

With both main parties supportive of religious schools, politicians would like you to believe they're a popular part of the education system, but the evidence suggests otherwise. An opinion poll published by the Observer showed that 58 per cent of voters believe faith schools should not be funded by the state.

5) Twitter activism works – at least when you're protesting against Twitter

The social network has announced that it will no longer censor blasphemous tweets in Pakistan, after secularist activists argued that it was helping to legitimise the country's draconian laws. Twitter had previously agreed to comply with local laws in the hope of avoiding a total ban on its service within Pakistan, but faced a global campaign under the hashtag #TwitterTheocracy. It has now had a change of heart, suggesting that Twitter activism can be effective, especially when the network itself is the target.

6) NASA has its eyes on deep space

Somewhat amazingly, it's now over 40 years since humans have left low earth orbit (the crew of Apollo 17 in December 1972), but the good news for space enthusiasts is that NASA has plans to change that in the next decade, with its eyes on missions to the Moon and Mars in the more distant future. Later this year it will carry out an unmanned test mission of its new Orion spacecraft, sending it into high earth orbit and testing its capacity for withstanding re-entry into the atmosphere at almost 20,000 miles per hour, when it will experience temperatures of up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

7) Britain has taken in just 24 Syrian refugees

More than 2.5 million people have fled Syrian civil war, and a further 6.5 million have been internally displaced, in what has been described by the UN as the worst refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide. Under criticism from aid agencies, Britain compromised in January and agreed to take in 500 refugees (by comparison Germany agreed to take 10,000), but six months on it has been revealed that only 24 have been permitted to settle in the UK.

8) In the Mormon Church, no woman can be ordained

The Church of the Latter Day Saints isn't well known for its progressive take on gender roles but, even so, the extent of its institutional sexism may come as a surprise. Anyone taking on an authority position within the Church must be a member of the priesthood, and so most male members, from age 12 upwards, are ordained. However, it is against the rules of the Church for women to be ordained, and as such they are excluded from positions of authority. As she relates in this Guardian piece, Kate Kelly is challenging this rule, and is facing excommunication from the Church as a result.

9) There has been a power shift in world football – and millions are talking about it

You might have noticed there's a certain tournament taking place in Brazil at the moment, and it has already produced one major shock. The defending World Cup champions Spain are out of the 2014 competition, and their exit signals the end of a period of Spanish dominance in football stretching back to 2008. Even if you don't care about the World Cup, there is no getting around its enduring ability to dominate global headlines – hundreds of millions, if not billions, are talking about football right now, and the demise of the Spanish tiki-taka game is the subject at the top of the agenda.