THE   FOCUS

June 22, 2008
Volume 4, Issue 25
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.

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FEATURED ARTICLES
Group files suit over 'I Believe' plates in SC
The Associated Press - 
COLUMBIA, SC (AP) A group that advocates separation of church and state filed a federal lawsuit Thursday to prevent South Carolina from becoming the first ...
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jpCRa_2onj6TwJ2DCIlU7OPlswnAD91DB6FG1

La. House supports changes to science teaching
The Times-Picayune - NOLA.com - New Orleans,LA,USA
(AP) A proposal that would let science teachers change how they teach topics like evolution, cloning and global warming in public schools was ...
http://www.nola.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/news-39/1213222164265360.xml&storylist=louisiana

Religion Used To Push Limits Of Free Speech
TheDay - New London,CT,USA
It is difficult to imagine now, but in the colonies and the new nation, Baptists were ardent advocates of church-state separation. ...
 
 
News Articles
  (Some publications may require that you sign up for membership to view their article.)
 
ATHEISM
The problem with using scientists' words to support religious beliefs.
Slate - USA
In 1954, a year before his death, Einstein wrote a letter to Jewish philosopher Eric Gutkind that was sold at auction for $404000. ...
http://www.slate.com/id/2193557

Dinner with Dawkins
The Times - Johannesburg,Gauteng,South Africa
Which confirms that social evolution, at least, is continent specific as arriving for dinner in a do-it-yourself Aboriginal analogue would get you lynched ...
http://blogs.thetimes.co.za/pendock/2008/06/18/dinner-with-dawkins/

Atheists Expect Favorable Ruling in CA Pledge Case
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
The atheist community has always believed that these phrases not only represented intentional shows of contempt and disrespect to our community, ...
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Atheists-Expect-Favorable--by-Stuart-Bechman-080618-943.html
 
BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE
"The Happening" Is the Biggest Intelligent Design Movie of the Year
io9 - San Francisco,CA,USA
.. though, and we know the truth: The Happening is 
Hollywood's first blockbuster to promote the anti-evolutionary theory of intelligent design. ...
http://io9.com/5016361/the-happening-is-the-biggest-intelligent-design-movie-of-the-year

Darwin Live and in Concert
The New York Academy of Sciences - New York,NY,USA
Naturalist Charles Darwin is brought to life by Richard Milner, historian and anthropologist from the American Museum of Natural History, ...

Gov. Jindal on intelligent design
The INDsider - Lafayette,LA,USA
By R. Reese Fuller When it comes to "intelligent design," Gov. Bobby Jindal told Face the Nation yesterday that he doesn't think it's an issue that should ...
http://www.theind.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2663&Itemid=92


What Happens When a School Board of Religious Zealots Will 'Lie ...
AlterNet - San Francisco,CA,USA
The intelligent design case in Dover, Penn., was the stuff of tabloid dreams: a community divided when a school board led by religious fundamentalists tried ...
http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/87876/?ses=05f6ce90127b35a567cef0bd19f816de

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.
Beliefwatch: Camping
Newsweek - USA
The battle over evolution is moving beyond the courtroom and into summer camp. The Christian Camp and Conference Association says 50 percent of its member ...
http://www.newsweek.com/id/37495

Is the Disco. Inst. agreeing that ID is religion?
ScienceBlogs - USA
Judge Jones referred to Buckingham's statement about separation of church and state as one of "several outwardly religious statements" made at that Board ...

Lynn: "science education act likely to lead to very bad science ...
KPLC-TV - Lake Charles,LA,USA
Americans United for Separation of Church and State is concerned about what supplemental materials might mean. Executive Director for Americans United for ...
http://www.kplctv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8514282&nav=0nqx

Gov. Bobby Jindal Supports Creationism As Part Of 'The Very Best ...
Mister Info - Hong Kong,Hong Kong
In his exchange on the Sunday morning talkshow, "Some want only to teach intelligent design, some only want to teach evolution. I think both views are wrong ...
http://www.mister-info.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=10890&format=html

Defenders of science shouldn't let the sophists carry the day
Seattle Times - United States
The intelligent-design movement now has a "teach the controversy" campaign against evolutionary biology. Ben Stein's recent movie, "Expelled," portrays ...

Jindal's genetics professor speaks out
ScienceBlogs - USA
Forrest was an expert witness on the history of intelligent design creationism in a 2005 federal court case in which teaching intelligent design in public ...
http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2008/06/jindals_genetics_professor_spe.php

Charles Darwin. (Richard Milner/European Pressphoto Agency)
New York Times - United States
In a week or so, the trumpets will sound, heralding the start of 18 months of non-stop festivities in honor of Charles Darwin. 
July 1, 2008, is the 150th ...

Scientists fix bugs in our understanding of evolution
EurekAlert (press release) - Washington,DC,USA
They present a new computational tool that avoids these errors and provides accurate insights into the evolution of DNA and protein sequences. ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-06/embl-sfb061808.php
 
SCIENCE
Science books bring astronomical prices
MSNBC - USA
Among the six centuries of scientific treatises are rare works by Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Sir Isaac Newton and Johannes Kepler. ...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25219579/

Evolution of Human Allergies Highlighted by Ancient Antibody Molecule
MedIndia - Chennai,India
By studying this molecule, we can track the evolution of allergic reactions back to at least 160 million years ago and by looking at the differences between ...

Face of fear: how a terrified expression could keep you alive
guardian.co.uk - UK
The findings lend support to an idea first laid out by Charles Darwin in one of his less well-known tomes, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals ...

(June 17, 2008) -- Mammals have two types of light-sensitive detectors in the retina. Known as rod and cone cells, they are both necessary to picture their environment. However, researchers at the Salk Institute for

(June 17, 2008) -- New research is turning conventional wisdom on its head when it comes to grumpy old men and women. Researchers found that younger adults engaged in a lot more

(June 16, 2008) -- For more than 400 years, astronomers have studied the sun from afar. Now NASA has decided to go there. The name of

The Evolution of Vaccines and Fear
LiveScience.com - New York,NY,USA
By Christopher Wanjek, LiveScience's Bad Medicine Columnist Christopher Wanjek is the author of the books "Bad Medicine" and "Food At Work. ...
http://www.livescience.com/health/080617-bad-autism-vaccine.html

(June 18, 2008) -- NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander began digging in an area called "Wonderland" early Tuesday...

(June 18, 2008) -- New research shows that the second most diverse group of hard corals first evolved in the deep sea, and not in shallow waters...

(June 18, 2008) -- A new study found that ego defensiveness, one of the triggers that ignites road rage...

(June 18, 2008) -- Using noninvasive molecular imaging technology, a method has been developed...

Genome sequence of lancelet shows how genes quadrupled during ...
EurekAlert (press release) - Washington,DC,USA
The late geneticist Susumu Ohno argued in 1970 that gene duplication was the most important force in the evolution of higher organisms, and Ohno's theory ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-06/uoc--gso061808.php

(June 19, 2008) -- Microbes may be smarter than we think. Bacteria don't just react to changes in their surroundings -- they anticipate and prepare for them...

(June 19, 2008) -- Improved management of the world's tropical forests has major implications for humanity's ability to reduce...

(June 19, 2008) -- Compared to their sex-mad, peace-loving bonobo counterparts, chimpanzees are often seen as a scheming, war-mongering, and selfish species. As both apes are allegedly our closest...

(June 20, 2008) -- Several huge active submarine volcanoes, spreading ridges and rift zones have been discovered northeast of Fiji. The summits of two of the volcanoes, named 'Dugong', and 'Lobster'...

(June 20, 2008) -- Patients diagnosed with colon cancer who had abundant vitamin D in their blood were less likely to die during a follow-up period than those who were deficient in the vitamin, according to a new study...
 
SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE
Magical thinking on education, vouchers
Tampabay.com - St. Petersburg,FL,USA
Amendments 7 and 9 would demolish Florida's separation of church and state and repeal the part of the Constitution that calls for a "uniform, efficient, ...
http://www.tampabay.com/news/article619319.ece

School groups attack 2 ballot items
MiamiHerald.com - Miami,FL,USA
Rabbi Merrill Shapiro of Temple Beth Shalom in 
Palm Coast, the vice president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said his organization ...
http://www.miamiherald.com/516/story/569952.html

Palm Coast rabbi joins suit challenging voucher amendments
Daytona Beach News-Journal - Daytona Beach,FL,USA
Along with the Florida Education Association and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the case filed Friday has the backing of groups ..
http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/News/Local/newFLAG02061408.htm

California weddings one more step on long road
San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA
Lopez accused the gay community of hypocrisy, advocating for the separation of church and state when it is convenient, but insisting that the state legalize ...

Atheists Express Opposition to California Anti-Marriage Amendment ...
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
by Stuart Bechman Page 1 of 1 page(s) 
Los Angeles "" The board of Atheists United, the preeminent atheist civil-rights organization in Southern California, ...
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Atheists-Express-Oppositio-by-Stuart-Bechman-080615-934.html

Update: State Assembly asked to stop its prayers
Green Bay Press Gazette - Green Bay,WI,USA
.. some of the prayers appeared to denigrate other faiths while promoting Christianity, which it called a violation of the separation of church and state. ...
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080618/GPG0101/80618075/1978/GPGsports

Bill Introduced For Catholic Teacher Union; Scranton Diocese Objects
Evening Bulletin - Philadelphia,PA,USA
HB 2626 will compromise the religious character of Catholic schools in direct violation of the constitutional separation between church and state. ...

MISCELLANEOUS
Philadelphia Turkey
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia,PA,USA
Of all the hundreds of billboards on I-95, why did I have to get stuck wearing the atheist sign? By now, you've probably seen, or at least heard, ..
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/currents/20080615_Philadelphia_Turkey.html

Male Homosexuality Placed In Darwinian Context
Science a Gogo - USA
Sexually antagonistic selection is a particular aspect of Darwinian evolution in which genetic factors spread in the population by giving a reproductive ...
http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20080517183252data_trunc_sys.shtml
 
 
  CONVENTIONS / MEETINGS / EVENTS 
 
 Atheists  Alliance International                   Sept. 25-28, 2008    Long Beach, Ca.
 
 Freedom From Religion                                Oct. 10-12, 2008       Chicago
 
 Gift for Life Day                                                Nov. 4, 2008                  Nation-wide
 
             
 
        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.
 
 
 
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