THE   FOCUS
centerforatheism.org

June 1, 2008
Volume 4, Issue 22
Published by the Center For Atheism (CFA)
Editor: David Birnkrant
 
The Focus provides links to articles collected from major newspapers and magazines, and is emailed weekly.

This Week in Atheism is a cable show that discusses the articles featured below, every Wednesday at 6:30 PM (EST), Manhattan Cable station 57. 
Live streaming is available at: 
http://www.mnn.org.

Comments, suggestions and subscription: info@centerforatheism.org.


SEE: NYC ATHEISTS BLOG
NYC-ATHEISTS.ORG/BLOG


  
         
FEATURED ARTICLES
Texas Tries to Reverse Court Ruling in Sect Case
New York Times - United States
The placement of the children in foster homes around the state followed a raid last month at the Yearning for Zion ranch of the Fundamentalist Church of ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/24/us/24raid.html?ref=us

Perceiving 2 Fallacies, a Secularist Faults His Fellows
New York Times - United States
.. further edition of “The Secular Conscience,” which currently carries endorsements from the usual secularist suspects like Sam Harris and Susan Jacoby? ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/24/us/24beliefs.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin

Atheist Officer Resigns From Military
YouTube.com
Hello, I'm Wayne Adkins.  For the moment, First Lieutenant Wayne Adkins  On
July 18, 2006...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrPLupGdKKQ

God Resigns
India Uncut - Published by Amit Varma
Dear Humans,  This is to inform you that I quit. I have enjoyed being God for an eternity now – thank you for the opportunity – but I cannot bear the thought of going on...
http://indiauncut.com/iublog/article/god-resigns

Richard Dawkins Interview on TVOntario - Part 1/7
YouTube.com
A viewer e-mailed us with the following request: "I think bringing up The God Delusion is an appropriate topic for the show.  It would be great to...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jN4KmDCKKE

State orders charter school to correct two areas tied to Islam
StarTribune.com
An Inver Grove Heights charter school must change the way it handles issues related to Muslim prayer in school and busing...
http://www.startribune.com/local/19076119.html
A paper being published in Nature recounts the rare observation of a star's eruption into cataclysmic explosion ... A star trembled on the brink of eternity. ...
 
  News Articles
  (Some publications may require that you sign up for membership to view their article.)

 
ATHEISM
Religion is a product of evolution, software suggests
New Scientist (subscription) - UK
Theories on the evolution of religion tend toward two camps. One argues that religion is a mental artefact, co-opted from brain functions that evolved for ..
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13983-religion-is-a-product-of-evolution-software-suggests.html?DCMP=ILC-hmts&nsref=news2_head_dn13983

Summer camp for non-believers
Dallas Morning News - Dallas,TX,USA
Here's an Associated Press story about a camp for young people "who are agnostic, atheist, or just not sure what to believe yet."
Camp Quest -- whose motto ...
http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/05/summer-camp-for-nonbelievers.html

Car dealer regrets ads urging non-Christians to 'sit down and shut up'
Bakersfield Californian (subscription) - Bakersfield,CA,USA
“We’re obviously sorry that it offends a given segment who identifies themselves as atheist.” Airing on local AM and FM radio in eastern
Kern County and the ...
http://www.bakersfield.com/102/story/456451.html
BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE
Einstein and Oppenheimer: The Meaning of Genius
Science News -
USA
By Silvan S. Schweber In mid-20th century
America , two scientists towered over all others in the public mind: Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer. ...
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/32455/title/Einstein_and_Oppenheimer_The_Meaning_of_Genius_by_Silvan_S._Schweber

The Unexpected Einstein: The Real Man Behind the Icon
Cosmos - Sydney,Australia
by Denis Brian Albert Einstein was already a famous physicist when he moved from Nazi-dominated Europe to the United States: a badly dressed, wild-haired ...
http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/reviews/700/the-unexpected-einstein-the-real-man-behind-icon

Distributed by Lightscape Distribution
Cosmos - Sydney,Australia
A review of the DVD edition of fter the centenary of Albert Einstein's annus mirabilis, 1905, there surely can't be too many readers who'd fail to recognise ...
http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/reviews/182/emc178

Mail-boat record ‘proves Darwin stole his original ideas from a ...
ic Wales - United Kingdom
CHARLES DARWIN’S theory that for 150 years has been viewed as explaining the origin of mankind was stolen from a Welsh scientist, the author of a new book ...
http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/wales-news/2008/05/24/mail-boat-record-proves-darwin-stole-his-original-ideas-from-a-welsh-scientist-91466-20968207/

Haycast 02: The state of America
guardian.co.uk - UK
Could the ungodly weather be a reaction from someone upstairs to Christopher Hitchens' presence in the House of Hay? Hitchens' book God is Not Great is an ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/audio/2008/may/25/haypodcast02

Atheism Tapes
DVD Talk -
Portland,OR,USA
"In the summer of 2003, I began filming the series Atheism - A Rough History Of Disbelief. As part of the process, I talked to a number of writers, ...
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/33376/atheism-tapes/

The Quotable Atheist - Available in the NSS online shop
National Secular Society -
London,UK
The Quotable Atheist is just that – a great collection of quips and aphorisms by some of the world’s wittiest and wisest. Sensing a backlash against the ...
http://www.secularism.org.uk/96874.html
EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.
Evolution's end
Guardian Unlimited - UK
The Hay festival's very own scientific rock star, Steve Jones, kicked off the first weekend with a provocatively-titled lecture on whether evolution was ...
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/alok_jha/2008/05/evolutions_end.html

Warning: learning can kill
The Age - Melbourne,Victoria,Australia
Learning also turns out to have dangerous side-effects that make its evolution even more puzzling. Dr Kawecki and his colleagues have produced striking ...
http://www.theage.com.au/news/education-news/warning-learning-can-kill/2008/05/23/1211183116793.html

On this Day: Tennessee Educator Scopes Indicted for Teaching Evolution
findingDulcinea - New York,New York,USA
John Thomas Scopes pitted creationists against supporters of evolution, sparring over a Tennessee antievolution law making it illegal “to teach any theory ...
http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/on-this-day/May-June-08/On-this-Day--Tennessee-
Educator-Scopes-Indicted-for-Teaching-Evolution.html

Teachers Ignore Courts on Evolution Debate
Christian Broadcasting Network - Virginia Beach,VA,USA
Berkman noted that those who favored evolution had a deeper background in evolutionary biology than those who did not. He believes if teachers are required ...
http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/382241.aspx

Legislating Uncertainty: An Evolving Strategy
Miller-McCune.com -
Santa Barbara,CA,USA
... beliefs and pretend it’s something else,” said Richard Katskee, assistant legal director with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ...
http://www.miller-mccune.com/article/405

Altruism needs selfish genes to evolve after all
New Scientist (subscription) -
UK
... formalised in the 1960s by William Hamilton, accepted by the vast majority of modern biologists and defended by Richard Dawkins. ...
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14021-altruism-needs-selfish-genes-to-evolve-after-all.html
SCIENCE
Light Alcohol Consumption May Help Bones
Washington Post -
United States
... author Dr. Karina Berg, an assistant professor of medicine at
Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. ...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/23/AR2008052302065.html

Evolution of Life may Have Been Directed by Gut-dwelling Microbes
MedIndia - Chennai,India
According to a report in New Scientist, trillions of mostly harmless bacteria and other microbes inhabit the guts of all mammals, outnumbering the number of ...
http://www.medindia.net/news/Evolution-of-Life-may-Have-Been-Directed-by-Gut-dwelling-Microbes-37110-1.htm

Lifestyle Evolution Of Wild Marine Bacteria: Free-floating Cells ...
Science Daily (press release) - USA
In essence, we modeled the evolution of a microbe's lifestyle over millions of years." One splendid example of the difficulty of applying the term "species" ...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080522145217htm

Evolution of flu strains points to higher risk of pandemic: study
AFP -
CHICAGO (AFP) — Some strains of bird flu are coming ever closer to developing the traits they need to cause a human pandemic, a study released Monday said. ...
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5h7wLpfDIOFFLxuDYYau8_IHOZnXA

Patterns in the Evolution of Nares Size and Secondary Palate ...
RedOrbit - Dallas,TX,USA
During the history of research on anomodonts, a number of authors have commented on apparent trends in the evolution of the palate within the group, ...
http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1405196/patterns_in_the_evolution_of_nares_size_and_secondary_palate/

Queens bees took time to play the field
ABC Science Online - Australia
According to Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection individuals aim to have as many of their own offspring as possible, or at least more offspring ...
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/05/30/2259545.htm?site=science&topic=latest

Altruism In Social Insects Is A Family Affair
Science Daily (press release) - USA
The concept of 'kin selection' was developed in 1964 by the evolutionary biologist Bill Hamilton, first proposed by Charles Darwin to explain, for example, ...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080529141329htm
Evolution of the CDKN1C-KCNQ1 imprinted domain
7thSpace Interactive (press release) - New York,NY,USA
This study examines the evolution of features that, in eutherians, regulate CDKN1C imprinting. Results: Despite the absence of imprinting, CDKN1C protein ...
http://7thspace.com/headlines/282734/evolution_of_the_cdkn1c_kcnq1_imprinted_domain.html

For Five Days, New York Will Be Science City
New York Times - United States
Einstein will show up on Friday in a new production of the play “Einstein’s Dreams,” based on the best-selling novel by the physicist Alan Lightman, ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/30/arts/30fest.html?ref=science

Chief Geneticist Quits His Office
Enews 2.0 - London,England,UK
It treated the connection between science and faith and also talked about his line from atheism to belief. He plans to further work on a book about the use ...
http://www.enews20.com/news_Chief_Geneticist_Quits_His_Office_08276.html

Trial-and-error evolution
guardian.co.uk - UK
Such engineering nightmares are, as Gary Marcus points out, the reverse of anything resembling intelligent design. In his words, our brains and minds are ...
http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/scienceandnature/0,,2283112,00.html
SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE
Teacher told to remove Bible from desk
OneNewsNow -
Tupelo,MS,USA
Administrators recently ordered Freshwater to remove the Bible, citing a violation of the separation of church and state. But Freshwater’s spokesman, ...
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Journal/newsofinterest.aspx?id=115410

Porterville to vote on official motto: 'In God We Trust'
Fresno Bee (subscription) - Fresno,CA,USA
Patrick Greene, a self-proclaimed atheist who once raised questions about separation of church and state in Porterville, now lives in San Antonio. ...
http://www.fresnobee.com/local/sv/story/623204.html

Jesus statue prompts controversy in Vermont school
Boston Globe -
United States
BRISTOL, Vt.—Two students who put up a small statue of Jesus in a high school lobby area have been asked to take it down because it violates school policy. ...
http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/articles/2008/05/23/jesus_statue_prompts_controversy_in_vermont_school/

Wisconsin Sheriff Has No Right To Impose Religion On Employees ...
Americans United - Washington,DC,USA
... to attend presentations by an evangelical Christian group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told a federal appeals court. ...
http://www.au.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr007=cx0c6nn245.app13a&abbr=pr&page=NewsArticle&id=9843&security=1002&news_iv_ctrl=1241

AU Urges IRS To Investigate Religious Group's Fund-Raising For ...
Americans United - Washington,DC,USA
... a Washington state religious group that engaged in fund-raising for a gubernatorial candidate, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ...
http://www.au.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr007=bgos26jd92.app1b&abbr=pr&page=NewsArticle&id=9847&security=1002&news_iv_ctrl=1241

FLDS mother is reunited with kids - for now
Salt Lake Tribune -
United States
But as far as the continued separation from his children, "I don't like it a bit," he said. siblings under provisions of a court order that allowed mothers ...
http://origin.sltrib.com/news/ci_9398940

Motto Matters for South Valley Community
KMPH Fox 26 - Fresno,CA,USA
But Martinez said it doesn't violate the separation of church and state, but rather lets voters decide what their city stands for. ...
http://www.kmph.com/Global/story.asp?S=8387341&nav=menu612_2_6

No Child Left Behind
Town Hall -
Washington,DC,USA
The monogamous couple's children -- two boys and a girl, ages 1, 2, and 4 -- became ill during their state-imposed separation and had to be hospitalized. ...
http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/JacobSullum/2008/05/28/no_child_left_behind

Sect Mothers Say Separation Endangers Children
New York Times - United States
Last Friday, to bolster its case, the state made public a picture of what it said was the now-imprisoned leader of the church, Warren S. Jeffs, ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/us/29polygamy.html

Illinois' schools 'moment of silence' ban extended
The Associated Press -
Talk radio host Rob Sherman, an outspoken atheist whose daughter, Dawn, attends Buffalo Grove High School, sued to stop enforcement. ...
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5j-hK78DhC1xLDUiV9W8M8ZOLulOAD90VMK2O0

Church shouldn't cross line on public officeholders
Detroit Free Press - United States
The archbishop's action flies in the face of the values of separation of church and state and religious freedom that are embodied in the American ...
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080530/OPINION02/805300329/1070

California ruling is a triumph
Western Front - Bellingham,WA,USA
Marriage is an institution recognized by the state and should not be protected because of religious backing. Separation of church and state should be ...
http://westernfrontonline.net/2008053010074/frontline/california-ruling-is-a-triumph/
MISCELLANEOUS
Amish in trouble for not following outhouse rules
Mansfield News Journal -
Mansfield,OH,USA
... more severe limits to interaction with the outside world and more rigid notions of the separation of church and...
http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080525/UPDATES01/80525007

Beagle-eye radar firm finds Darwin's ship
Edinburgh Evening News -
Edinburgh,Scotland,UK
TECHNOLOGY developed by an
Edinburgh firm may have helped end a 130-year search for the ship that helped Charles Darwin develop his theory of evolution. ...
http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/latestnews/Beagleeye-radar-firm-finds-Darwins.2507221.jp

I’m possessed by evil spirits – and so are you!
National Secular Society -
London,UK
Did you know that atheism is becoming a key cause of demonic influence in the world? Well, that is the claim of the personal exorcist to Cardinal Cormac ...
http://www.secularism.org.uk/96863.html
 
  CONVENTIONS / MEETINGS / EVENTS 
 
Atheists  Alliance International                    Sept. 2008                Long Beach, Ca.
 
Freedom From Religion                                Oct. 10-12, 2008       Chicago
 
Gift for Life Day                                                Nov. 4, 2008    
            
 
        CFA Program
 
The Center for Atheism (CFA) was established by the New York City Atheists as a separate and independent national organization to propose, develop, and be a catalyst for new national activities supporting the objectives of atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics, secularists and separation-of-church-and-state advocates. 

CFA will accept and review suggestions from individuals and other secular organizations that will foster our goals.
 
 
          Special Notices

          There are no special notices this week.
 
 
 
Comments, suggestions, and subscriptions: info@centerforatheism.org