THE   FOCUS

August 10, 2008
Volume 4, Issue 32
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:
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SEE NYC ATHEISTS BLOG:  
  
         

FEATURED ARTICLES

Chinese Islamic group threatens Olympic transport
The Associated Press -
It accuses China of forcing Muslims into atheism by capturing and killing Islamic teachers and destroying Islamic schools, according to the SITE. ...
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h_fA5bjMZ6-RYv11uLlSCHMCdV6QD92DK8KG0

Court rejects suit opposing religion in vets care
Chicago Tribune - United States
It claimed those practices violated the separation of church and state. But the court says taxpayers cannot challenge those expenditures since Congress did ...
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-wi-veterans-religion,0,2999970.story

City Council Keeps Prayer
KREX News Channel 5 - Grand Junction,CO,USA
It's been over two months since a local atheist group began its fight against prayer before city council meetings.City Council voted to keep their ...
http://www.krextv.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=3607


 
 
News Articles
  (Some publications may require that you sign up for membership to view their article.)

ATHEISM

Misrepresenting Secularism
National Secular Society - London,UK
Mr Kelly claimed that secularism not only wants to push religion into being a strictly private affair, but also seeks "the creation of atheism as the de ...

http://www.secularism.org.uk/99788.html

Believing in the power of humour
National Post - Toronto,Ontario,Canada
For an atheist, Dr. Buckman has an unusual tolerance and warmth for religion. It comes from having been an oncologist for the past three decades and having ...
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=696341&p=1

Kerala Sunni group to take anti-textbook stir to mosques
SINDH TODAY - Sindh,Pakistan
Religious and political organisations allege that the book promotes atheism and communist ideology. 'We have decided to tell people about the textbook at ...
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/9686.htm

 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE
In Defence of Atheism
National Secular Society - London,UK
We now have a paperback version of Michel Onfray's extraordinary book In Defence of Atheism. Onfray is a French philosopher — the Continental version of ..
http://www.secularism.org.uk/99820.html

Cambridge Companion to Atheism: Book Review by Will Podmore
National Secular Society - London,UK
Eighteen leading scholars, mostly from the USA, discuss aspects of atheism and its implications for philosophy, religion, law, anthropology, sociology, ..

http://www.secularism.org.uk/99813.html

Georgina Ferry on a single cell that has taught us a lot about ...
guardian.co.uk - UK
Perhaps the least challenging but most publicised was the question of "intelligent design". Zimmer relates how, in 2005, 11 parents took the school board of ...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/aug/02/scienceandnature

 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

Review interview: Richard Dawkins
Times Online - UK
More seriously, Dawkins believes that many science teachers who do believe in evolution are selling our children short by kowtowing to political correctness ...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/education/article4448420.ece

Atheist Richard Dawkins blames Muslims for 'importing creationism ...
Daily Mail - UK
By Daily Mail Reporter Britain's most famous atheist has blamed devout Muslims for importing creationist theories into the country's science classes. ..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1041089/Atheist-Richard-Dawkins-blames-Muslims-importing-creationism-classrooms.html

'Battle of ideology' in Ohio
Chicago Tribune - United States
Others say Freshwater, who teaches creationism and intelligent design at Matolyak's church, has been pushing his personal religious agenda in the public ..

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/content/education/chi-creation-teacheraug04,0,1379046.story

Pandas: Evolution's big fat (adorable) mistake?
MSNBC - USA
The recent death of Ling-Ling, the only giant panda owned by Japan, sent the world into mourning. Everything about these giant teddy bears — their squat, ...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26036245/

Canadians Choose Evolution Over Creationism
Angus Reid Global Monitor - Vancouver,BC,Canada
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Roughly three-in-five adults in Canada side with the theory of evolution, according to a poll by Angus Reid Strategies. ...

http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/31446/canadians_choose_evolution_over_creationism

 

SCIENCE
Survival of the fittest: even cancer cells follow the laws of ...
EurekAlert (press release) - Washington,DC,USA
This finding, which appears in the August 2008 issue of The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org), improves our understanding of how evolution shapes life ...

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-08/foas-sot080108.php

Cavemen vs. Us: Who'd Win the Evolution Olympics?
FOXNews - USA
By Jeremy Hsu Olympic athletes may benefit from today's sports drinks and high-tech training, but their gymnastics or wrestling performance probably pales ...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,399045,00.html

Scientists map Neanderthal maternal DNA
ABC Science Online - Australia
.. three major discoveries about the extinct stocky European individuals, representing a breakthrough for studies on the evolution of the human family. ...

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/08/08/2328716.htm?site=science&topic=latest

Robot Intelligence Advances One Step at a Time
findingDulcinea - New York,New York,USA
.. of professor Mark Bedau of Reed College in Portland, Ore., who believes that computer evolution could help scientists better understand human evolution.

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/technology/July-August-08/Robot-Intelligence-Advances-One-Step-at-a-Time.html

Red Flour Beetle's 'Selfish' Gene Sequenced
Science Daily (press release) - USA
ScienceDaily (Aug. 7, 2008) — Tracking the red flour beetle in grain storage facilities could become easier, thanks to research to identify a key gene in ...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807081350.htm

Newly Discovered Monkey Is Threatened With Extinction

ScienceDaily (Aug. 2, 2008) — Just three years after it was discovered, a new species of monkey is threatened with extinction according to the Wildlife Conservation Society, which recently published the first-ever census of the endangered primate...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080728192930.htm

Like Eavesdropping At A Party: How A Tiny Protein Senses All The Communications In A Cell
ScienceDaily (Aug. 2, 2008) — Cells rely on calcium as a universal means of communication. For example, a sudden rush of calcium can trigger nerve cells to convey thoughts in the brain or cause a heart cell to beat...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731073316.htm

Cold And Ice, Not Heat, Episodically Gripped Tropical Regions 300 Million Years Ago

ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2008) — Geoscientists have long presumed that, like today, the tropics remained warm throughout Earth's last major glaciation 300 million years ago. New evidence, however, indicates that cold temperatures in fact episodically gripped these equatorial latitudes at that time...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731140227.htm

Autopsies Reveal Changes To DNA In Major Depression And Suicide

ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2008) — Autopsies usually point to a cause of death but now a study of brain tissue collected during these procedures, may explain an underlying cause of major depression and suicide...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080730140932.htm

Exercise In A Pill: Researchers Identify Drugs That Enhance Exercise Endurance
ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2008) — Trying to reap the health benefits of exercise? Forget treadmills and spin classes, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies may have found a way around the sweat and pain...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731135918.htm

Living With A Partner Reduces Risk Of Alzheimer's
ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2008) — Living with a spouse or a partner decreases the risk of developing Alzheimer's and other dementia diseases. This according to a study by Krister Håkansson, researcher in psychology at Växjö University and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731073549.htm

How The First Stars In The Universe Came Into Existence
ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2008) — Researchers believe that our universe began with the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago, and that soon after that event, matter began to form as small dust grains and gases...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731143329.htm

The Amazing Quantum World Of Ultra Cold Matter
ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2008) — Scientists have been fascinated by the concept of absolute zero, the temperature at which everything comes to a complete stopBut physics tells us otherwise: absolute zero cannot be reached but only approached, and the closer you get, the more interesting phenomena you find..
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080731073553.htm

 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Flocking to Faith
CBS News - New York,NY,USA
About that pesky separation of church and state. Obama says he wants to ramp up church provision of social services because the churches know the people ..

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/01/opinion/main4313749.shtml

New Jersey School Back In Court For Banning Christmas
Evening Bulletin - Philadelphia,PA,USA
The controversy first arose in 2003 when the school district, citing concerns over separation of church and state, banned all Christmas music from the ..

http://www.thebulletin.us/site/index.cfm?newsid=19882619&BRD=2737&PAG=461&dept_id=576361&rfi=8

School voucher proposals head to the polls
Sun-Sentinel.com - Fort Lauderdale,FL,USA
Critics cringe, saying vouchers violate constitutional separation of church and state. In 2004, a state appeals court agreed, but like the Supreme Court ..

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-flbvoucher0805sbaug05,0,6882742.story

County Commission pulled into the fray
Grand Junction Sentinel - Grand Junction,CO,USA
Organizations such as the American Atheists and Americans United for Separation of Church and State agreed with Hugenberg. "The county commissioner is wrong ...

http://www.gjsentinel.com/hp/content/news/stories/2008/08/04/080508_1a_Prayer_at_commission.html

Americans United Deplores Florida Court's Decision Allowing ...
Americans United - Washington,DC,USA
Americans United for Separation of Church and State will appeal Leon Circuit Judge John Cooper's decision to allow two amendments on Florida's November ...

http://www.au.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr010=mut1yvoyg5.app7b&abbr=pr&page=NewsArticle&id=9987&security=1002&news_iv_ctrl=1241

Fla Judge Hears Challenge To Voucher Amendments
CBS 4 - Miami,FL,USA
.. argued on behalf of associations representing school boards, superintendents and administrators and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ...

http://cbs4.com/local/education.school.schools.2.787300.html

Do you think Boynton Beach should relax alcohol sale restrictions ...
Sun-Sentinel.com - Fort Lauderdale,FL,USA
"I thought this was a religious law and I'm a strong believer in the separation of church and state," said Schmalz, 85, a retiree and self-proclaimed ..

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/community/news/boyntonbeach/sfl-flpalcohol0804pnaug04,0,1569708.story

Farrakhan blasts educational system
Chicago Sun-Times - United States
Farrakhan condemned America for implementing an "extreme separation of church and state" in taking God out of schools, saying that a new educational ...

http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/1089263,CST-NWS-farr04.article

Ruling keeps religious school voucher plans on ballot
Palm Beach Post - FL, United States
Opponents of the proposals, including Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, plan to appeal. Whether a final ruling will come before the ...

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/state/content/state/epaper/2008/08/05/a10a_vouchers_0806.html

Cross Is Central Symbol Of Christianity And Must Not Be Secularized By Government, Americans United Tells Court
The cross is a Christian symbol and government should not try to use it as a secular memorial marker, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told a federal appeals court...
http://www.au.org/site/News2?JServSessionIdr010=s9a3ryt531.app7b&abbr=pr&page=NewsArticle&id=9989&security=1002&news_iv_ctrl=1241

Lesbian Appeals Firing from Publicly-Funded Bapist Group Home in ...
EDGE Boston - Boston,MA,USA
by QVegas Staff The American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a brief July 17 in a federal appeals court ...

http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc2=news&sc3=&id=78438

Group files complaint against Cornerstone pastor
My Tennessean.com - Nashville,TN,USA
"The bottom line is, the people that want the separation of church and state, they don't want Christians to have a voice at all,'' Davis said ...

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080807/MICRO060101/80807169/1498

Activists, Hindus, Jews protest highway crosses
USA Today - USA
A friend-of-the-court brief was filed Wednesday in the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and ...

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-08-07-crosses-highway_N.htm

X-treme Faith request tabled at city planning and zoning meeting
McPherson Sentinel - McPherson,KS,USA
The local code requires a 200-foot separation between vendors of alcoholic beverages and any "church, school, nursing home, public library or hospital. ...

http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/news/x1464027380/X-treme-Faith-request-tabled-at-city-planning-and-zoning-meeting


MISCELLANEOUS


Changing A Light Bulb The Christian Way
How Many Christians Does It Take To Screw In A Light Bulb?
http://bluejacket7.com/humor/light_bulb.html

Q&A: Bill Maher
Hollywood Reporter - United States
Maher: I think there is an extraordinary amount of people who are voiceless in this country, who are atheist or agnostic, who I would call rationalists. ...
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/features/interviews_profiles/e3ieb1f595b5fc21e0acc9c81bc989cd53c


  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

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