THE   FOCUS

August 24, 2008
Volume 4, Issue 34
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

Fundamentalist Group Drops Public Funding Windfall After Americans United Protest
Kentucky Arm Of 'Teen Challenge' Gives Up $50,000 Federal Grant
A fundamentalist Christian group that claims to help young people overcome drug and alcohol addiction through Bible study and prayer has given up a federal grant after Americans United for Separation of Church and State protested the funding...
http://www.au.org/site/News2?abbr=pr&page=NewsArticle&id=10009&JServSessionIdr011=i1guktc1s1.app1b


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

ATHEISM

Wilson Count Fair bends, will give atheists discount
The Tennessean - Nashville,TN,USA
By BOB SMIETANA Staff Writer August 15, 2008 Atheists and other non-Christians can get a discount at Sunday's God & Country Day at the Wilson County ...
http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080815/NEWS01/808150411/1006

Birmingham City Council promises "atheist websites are not blocked"
National Secular Society - London,UK
The copy of the categories contained on the Bluecoat system that we have seen certainly lump atheism in with cannibalism and the occult as being sites that ...
http://www.secularism.org.uk/100187.html

Textbook row: Kerala Catholics pledge to protect their beliefs
SINDH TODAY - Sindh,Pakistan
Kozhikode, Aug 15 (IANS) Members of Kerala's 29 Catholic dioceses took a pledge on Independence Day Friday to protect their faith from 'atheist movements' ...
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/12341.htm

Modesto-area atheists speak up, seek tolerance
Modesto Bee - Modesto , CA , USA
Shawna Amaral, 22, of Modesto is an atheist. She has an altar where she occasionally practices pagan rituals. By SUE NOWICKI Modesto's Peggy Gardiner says ...
http://www.modbee.com/life/faithvalues/story/394942.html

China halts shipment of Bibles from Vision Beyond Borders, a US ...
Los Angeles Times - CA,USA
The officially atheist Communist Party only allows Bibles to be printed under its own supervision for use in state-sanctioned churches and some hotels. ..
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-bible18-2008aug18,0,2200726.story

Kerala govt. revises controversial textbook
Indian Muslims - San Diego , CA , USA
The last part of Nehru's Will, which allegedly glorified atheism, has been replaced with a portion of his speech on secularism in 1961. ...
http://www.indianmuslims.info/news/2008/aug/19/kerala_govt_revises_controversial_textbook.html

The rise of Miliband brings at last the prospect of an atheist ...
guardian.co.uk - UK
The least equivocal about their atheism were the health secretary, Alan Johnson, and foreign secretary David Miliband. The fact that Miliband is an atheist ...
http://www.guardian.couk/commentisfree/2008/aug/21/davidmiliband.labourleadership

Atheism Survey
ScienceBlogs - USA
Despite a number of best-selling books on the topic over the past few years, an absence of belief--what might be an indicator of atheism or strong ...
http://scienceblogs.com/framing-science/2008/08/survey_god_disbelief_strongest.php?utm_source=sbhomepage&utm_medium=link&utm_content=channellink

Why Dawkins is right and his critics are wrong
National Secular Society - London , UK
The Radio Times, however, still published a letter from someone criticising the programme, saying Dawkins "tried to promulgate his atheist doctrine amongst ...
http://www.secularism.org.uk/100386.html

 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

The Age of American Unreason: How Anti-Intellectualism Is Wrecking...
AlterNet - San Francisco , CA , USA
Of course it would be stupid if I'd said I became an atheist at the age of 7. But I hadn't said that, only that I remembered this childhood experience as ...
http://www.alternet.org/story/95109/the_age_of_american_unreason:_how_anti-intellectualism_is_wrecking_the_country/

Make me a Christian Review by Terry Sanderson
National Secular Society - London , UK
When the atheist biker and tattooist (one of the unlikely subjects of the evangelisation) wanted to ask questions about the Bible, George didn't want to ...
http://www.secularism.org.uk/100207.html

Jamie Kilstein: There Is No God And That's OK
Chortle - UK
But unlike the scores of comics who've read Richard Dawkins and suddenly felt able to articulate their atheism, Kilstein has terrifying first-hand ...
http://www.chortle.co.uk/shows/edinburgh_fringe_2008/j/16437/jamie_kilstein:_there_is_no_god_and_thats_ok/review/

Priest Off!
exchristian.net

The sexual abuse of children by ordained clergy may now be combated using this convenient spray repellent...
http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2008/08/priest-off.html

Justin Raimondo vs. Christopher Hitchens on al-Jazeera
Antiwar.com - Redwood City,CA,USA
And yet the idea that Al Jazeera was actually having Hitchens on a militant atheist, who wants to invade practically every country in the Middle East, ...
http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2008/08/19/justin-raimondo-vs-christopher-hitchens-on-al-jazeera/

Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life
Metapsychology - Oakdale , NY , USA
Finally, with the publication of Philosophers without Gods, edited by Louise M. Antony, an atheistic counterpart to these volumes is now available. ...
http://metapsychology.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=book&id=4419&cn=394

Expect 'Religulous' and Bill Maher to raise Oscars hell
Los Angeles Times - CA,USA
In order to catch on widely like religion itself, what atheism has needed for a long time is a popular preacher to rally 'round. Maher just volunteered for ...
http://goldderby.latimes.com/awards_goldderby/2008/08/jesus-religulou.html

 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

Butteville school board exploring intelligent design
Mount Shasta Herald - Mt. Shasta,CA,USA
By Jeff Knebel Butteville Union Elementary School District trustees, as well as school administrators, are considering adding "intelligent design" to the ...
http://www.mtshastanews.com/news/x1669088520/Butteville-school-board-exploring-intelligent-design

 

SCIENCE

Evolution's Ear: Recent changes in hearing-related genes may have..
Science News - USA
"Hawks makes a compelling case that not only is human evolution ongoing in the past 10000 years, but it has sped up," says anthropologist Clark Larsen of ...
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/35249/title/Evolutions_Ear

Molecular sleuths track evolution through the ribosome
EurekAlert (press release) - Washington , DC , USA
Woese was the first to look for signs of evolution in the ribosome, where genetic information is translated into proteins. In the mid-1970s, ...
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-08/uoia-mst081808.php

Kamikaze bacteria illustrate evolution of co-operation
Nature.com (subscription) - London , England , UK
Suicidal Salmonella sacrifice themselves to allow their clones to get a foothold in the gut. Bacteria can commit suicide to help their brethren establish ...
http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080820/full/news.2008.1056.html

The Misshapen Mind: How the Brain's Haphazard Evolution Left Us ..
AlterNet - San Francisco,CA,USA
For the nonreligious, the mind is a secular miracle, an indication that, left to its own devices, evolution produces something akin to a Panglossian vision ...
http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/95689/the_misshapen_mind:_how_the_brain%27s_haphazard_evolution_left_us_with_self-destructive_instincts/

Exploding chromosomes fuel research about evolution of genetic storage
PhysOrg.com - Evergreen , VA , USA
Levi-Setti and his associates have used the microprobe to study the evolution of chromosomes in eukaryotic organisms. Eukaryotes, which include humans, ..
http://www.physorg.com/news138540908.html

Scientists link evolution to the ribosome
United Press International - USA
The theory of life's early evolution states that life forms branched into three domains: bacteria, certain microbes and eukarya -- the domain that includes ...
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2008/08/21/Scientists_link_evolution_to_the_ribosome/UPI-60701219334485/

Potatoes May Hold Key To Alzheimer's Treatment

ScienceDaily (Aug. 16, 2008) A virus that commonly infects potatoes bears a striking resemblance to one of the key proteins implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and researchers have used that to develop antibodies that may slow or prevent the onset of AD...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080815170629.htm

Studying Volcanoes With Balloons

ScienceDaily (Aug. 16, 2008) People do all kinds of crazy things in Hawaii , but flying balloons over a volcano usually isn't one of them. Unless you're Adam Durant, that is...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814154435htm

Cassini Pinpoints Source Of Jets On Saturn's Moon Enceladus

ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2008) In a feat of interplanetary sharpshooting, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has pinpointed precisely where the icy jets erupt from the surface of Saturn's geologically active moon Enceladus...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814220113.htm

Big-brained Animals Evolve Faster

ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2008) Ever since Darwin , evolutionary biologists have wondered why some lineages have diversified more than others. A classical explanation is that a higher rate of diversification reflects increased ecological opportunities that led to a rapid adaptive radiation of a clade...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814210006.htm

Model For Neurological Disorder 'Angelman Syndrome' Developed

ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2008) A model for studying the genetics of Angelman syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes mental retardation and other symptoms in one out of 15,000 births, has been developed by biologists at The University of Texas at Austin...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814111006.htm

Hybrid 'Muttsucker' Has Genes Of Three Species

ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2008) If you have driven Wyoming Highway 789 between Creston Junction and Baggs, you've seen Muddy Creek. Or maybe you haven't..
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723190731.htm

Snooze Button For Body's Circadian Clock

ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2008) We may use the snooze button to fine-tune our sleep cycles, but our cells have a far more meticulous and refined system. Humans, and most other organisms, have 24-hour rhythms that are regulated by a precise molecular clock that ticks inside every cell...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813202158.htm

Infant Sensitivity To Negative Emotional Expressions Develops At Around 6 Months

ScienceDaily (Aug. 14, 2008) Scientists working in the Academy-funded Research Programme on Neuroscience (NEURO) have discovered important changes in the way that infants react to another person's face at age 57 months...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813095720.htm

Red All Over: How The Color Red Affects A Referee's Judgment

ScienceDaily (Aug. 10, 2008) Many sports teams select their uniforms based on the mascot, city or country they are representing, not on a referee's preference or bias. But a new study has found that choosing the color red for a uniform in competitive sports can actually affect the referee's split-second decision-making ability and even promote a scoring bias...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080808114930.htm

Flexible Nanoantenna Arrays Capture Abundant Solar Energy

ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2008) Researchers have devised an inexpensive way to produce plastic sheets containing billions of nanoantennas that collect heat energy generated by the sun and other sources...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080810214010.htm

 

SEPARATION  CHURCH / STATE

Groups wants atheists included in DNC interfaith service
Colorado Springs Gazette - Colorado Springs,CO,USA
The Secular Coalition Group, a lobbying organization for church-and-state separation, is pushing to get an atheist on the speaker list, and contends the ...
http://www.gazette.com/articles/convention_39362___article.html/service_interfaith.html

What role does religion play on election day?
Times Daily (subscription) - Florence , AL , USA
Religion influences Blair Scott's voting when he feels it endangers separation of church and state. "The way I've always worked is I give every candidate ..

http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20080816/NEWS/808160302/-1/Based

Groups weigh in on fate of 14 crosses
Salt Lake Tribune - United States
The second came from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Anti-Defamation League, the Hindu American Foundation, the Interfaith ..
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_10218536

SADDLEBACK CHURCH CIVIL FORUM INAPROPRIATE CAMPAIGN EVENT
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
LOS ANGELES, August 15, 2008- Atheists United, an organization dedicated to advancing the cause of atheism and secular government, criticizes the choice of ..
http://www.opednews.com/articles/SADDLEBACK-CHURCH-CIVIL-FO-by-Brian-Parra-080815-259.html

Petraeus Endorses "Spiritual Handbook," Betrays 21% of Our Troops
The Public Record - Los Angeles,California,USA
Unfortunately, what I found is that the chaplain doesn't appear to be too keen on the concept of separation between church and state. ...
http://www.pubrecord.org/component/content/263.html?task=view

After Obama-McCain forum, Rick Warren sermon focuses on character
Los Angeles Times - CA, USA
Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, a group that advocates for separation of church and state. "I don't see what good it will do for the ...
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/politics/cal/la-me-warren18-2008aug18,0,979698.story

Southport mayor, council at odds over public prayer
Indianapolis Star - United States
.. overturned a lower court's decision that sectarian prayers on the floor of the Indiana House violated the constitutional separation of church and state. ...
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080818/LOCAL1801/808180369/1195/LOCAL18

Prayer clash continues in Wylie school district
Dallas Morning News - Dallas , TX , USA
She is Jewish, her husband is Catholic and her father was an atheist whose parents were Orthodox Jews. She said the district is losing sight of Wylie's ...
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/education/stories/DN-wylieprayer_19met.ART.State.Edition1.4dd9244.html

How should Catholics vote?
Los Angeles Times - CA, USA
With a presidential election looming, supporters of the separation of church and state can hope that the appointment of Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. .
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-ed-vatican-2008aug21,0,5766248.story

Mom of Jeffs' alleged teen wife decries separation
Salt Lake Tribune - United States
By Brooke Adams Millie Jessop, 26, listens as her mother, Barbara Jessop, talks about the return of Millie's younger sister to state custody on Tuesday ...
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_10273216

Blunt wants churches organized as a state partner in disaster relief
St. Clair County Journal - Collinsville,IL,USA
But Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, said a lesson taken from Hurricane Katrina was that "some ...
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/religion/story/F9902397ABBF9E3E862574AC001F09F0?OpenDocument

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Foreign missionaries defy ban during Olympics
The Associated Press -
Drawn to a nation of 1.3 billion people under atheist rule, the groups prepared for years for what the Southern Baptists once called "a spiritual harvest ...
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ja-R0Ux5dua90x8bStw8LCQsUC9QD92MQP580




 
 
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 Atheists  Alliance International                   Sept. 25-28, 2008    Long Beach, Ca.
 
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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. 

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