THE   FOCUS

September 14, 2008
Volume 4, Issue 37
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

Atheist at Fort Riley reports death threat
Fort Mills Times - Fort Mill,SC,USA
An atheist soldier who's accusing the military of violating religious freedoms has received a death threat, the leader of a foundation involved in the ...

http://www.fortmilltimes.com/124/story/282872.html


Palin used state funds for trip to speak at her former church
McClatchy Washington Bureau - Washington,DC,USA
There was no violation of the constitutional separation of church and state in Palin's appearance and remarks, she said. "Public officials travel and speak ...

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/51956.html


HHS Proposes New Anti-Freedom, Anti-Women, Anti-Reason Initiative

dailykos.com

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt has proposed a new rule that will limit the rights of women to receive medically accurate information and treatment. The alleged goal of the rule is to protect the rights of health care workers, volunteers, and trainees...

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/6/161324/6723/561/589293

Alliance Defense Fund Encourages Pastors To Endorse Political ...
Medical News Today (press release) - UK
21 to preach about the value of the separation between church and state. Joe Conn, a spokesperson for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, ...
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/120927.php

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

ATHEISM

'Heretics Barbecue' gathers skeptics
Fresno Bee (subscription) - Fresno,CA,USA
Sometimes, it's not easy being an atheist in the 
Fresno area. Boyd knows this, which is one of the reasons he helped form the Central Valley Alliance of ...

http://www.fresnobee.com/263/story/849524.html


Non-religious students find camaraderie
Boise State University The Arbiter Online - Boise,ID,USA
Being an atheist himself, and knowing that there were no groups on campus that supported his world-view, Lowe decided to make the BSSSA. ...

http://media.www.arbiteronline.com/media/storage/paper890/news/2008/09/08/Culture/NonReligious.Students.Find.Camaraderie-3418461.shtml


NBA Essentials: Starbury and Godlessness
FanHouse - New York,NY,USA
A journalist discusses atheism with Stephon Marbury in a 
South Carolina hotel room. Key point of debate from Starbury: "... Why does green mean that's the ...

http://deadspin.com/5046837/dark-side-of-the-locker-room-stephon-marbury-is-puzzled-by-my-godlessness


Agnostics are atheists in disguise
The Cord Weekly - Waterloo,Ontario,Canada
Richard Dawkins, infamous in-your-face atheist author, disproves this one in a heartbeat. Quoting chemist Peter Atkins, he says this theory means we should ...

http://www.cordweekly.com/cordweekly/news?news_id=1945


Citizen ticketed in police complaint
SW Iowa News - Council Bluffs,IA,USA
Raymond Zbylut says an 
Omaha police officer purposely pushed into him, bruising his shoulder, because the officer recognized him as an outspoken atheist. ...

http://www.southwestiowanews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20114178&BRD=2703&PAG=461&dept_id=627131&rfi=6


Ask an atheist! Do you wish God existed?
smudailycampus.com - Dallas,TX,USA
I guess the simple answer is: no. This doesn't mean that I'm completely unsympathetic towards the view. Much like wanting super strength, super speed, ...

http://media.www.smudailycampus.com/media/storage/paper949/news/2008/09/11/Opinion/Ask-An.Atheist.Do.You.Wish.God.Existed-3425292.shtml


Atheist's bizarre bid to convert Christian
East Anglian Daily Times - Ipswich,England,UK
AN ATHEIST subjected a devout Christian woman to a "relentless" campaign of harassment in which he smeared dog faeces on her car and urinated on her ...

http://www.eadt.co.uk/content/eadt/news/story.aspx?brand=EADOnline&category=News&tBrand=EADOnline&tCategory=News&itemid=IPED11%20Sep%202008%2023%3A49%3A32%3A017

 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

The Naked and the Dead: Julian Barnes's 'Nothing To Be Frightened Of'
New York Sun - United States
"I don't believe in God, but I miss Him" is how the book opens; later Mr. Barnes tells us he used to be an atheist and now is an agnostic. ...

http://www.nysun.com/arts/the-naked-and-the-dead-julian-barness-nothing/85496/

 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.
Palin's religious views follow evangelical model
Minneapolis Star Tribune - Minneapolis,MN,USA
Even by its new name of Intelligent Design their arguments don't hold water. There great argument against evolution is that no one has actually observed it ...

http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/president/27958514.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DU2EkP7K_V_GD7EaPc:iLP8iUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiU


Sarah Palin's Big Bad Creationism
AlterNet - San Francisco,CA,USA
As his presidential bid got rolling in '05 and '06, John McCain expressed openness to "intelligent design" theory, a recent phenomenon that dresses ...http://www.alternet.org/rights/98114/sarah_palin's_big_bad_creationism/


Spore: creationism or science? Your world and welcome to it
Scientific American - USA
Early critics note that the game raises interesting questions about intelligent design (or creationism) v. evolution. "With both evolution and 'creator ...

http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=spore-creationism-or-science-your-w-2008-09-08


Evolving Creationism in the Classroom
Scientific American - USA
In the past, proponents of creationism have tried to sell it as "creation science" or "intelligent design"—the idea that life is too complex to have evolved ...

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=evolving-creationism-in-the-classroom 


Unintelligent design
Times Online - UK
In recent years, the doctrine of intelligent design has emerged, asserting that some aspects of the natural world are too complex to have developed by small ...
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article4735469.ece

 

SCIENCE

Tracking the evolution of a cold stress associated gene family in ...
7thSpace Interactive (press release) - New York,NY,USA
Even though the ice re-crystallisation inhibition function of these proteins has been studied extensively in vitro, little is known about the evolution of ...

http://7thspace.com/headlines/292071/tracking_the_evolution_of_a_cold_stress_associated_gene_family_in_cold_tolerant_grasses.html


Animal bones offer clues to evolution
Boston Globe - United States
He uses the example of evolution and how new discoveries led to new thinking about the relationships of different species, determined by patterns observed ...

http://www.bostoncom/news/local/articles/2008/09/07/animal_bones_offer_clues_to_evolution/


Encounter Of A Different Kind: Rosetta Observes Asteroid At Close Quarters

ScienceDaily (Sep. 6, 2008) — ESA's comet chaser, Rosetta, has flown by a small body in the main asteroid belt, asteroid Steins, collecting a wealth of information about this rare type of minor Solar System body...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080906161700.htm


Chandelier Cells Unveil Human Cognition

ScienceDaily (Sep. 6, 2008) — What is it that distinguishes humans from other mammals? The answer to this question lies in the neocortex – the part of the brain responsible for sensory perceptions, conscious thought, and language...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080902221739.htm


New Virtual Telescope Zooms In On Milky Way's Super-massive Black Hole

ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2008) — An international team, led by astronomers at the MIT Haystack Observatory, has obtained the closest views ever of what is believed to be a super-massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080903134313.htm


MIT Probe Could Aid Quantum Computing

ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2008) — MIT researchers may have found a way to overcome a key barrier to the advent of super-fast quantum computers, which could be powerful tools for applications such as code breaking...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080903134202.htm


Hallucinations In The Flash Of An Eye

ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2008) — Ever seen or heard something that wasn't there? For most of us such experiences - termed hallucinations - are a normal, fleeting, brain glitch; yet for a few they are persistent, distressing and associated with a range of psychiatric, neurological and eye conditions...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904102753.htm


Infectious, Test Tube-produced Prions Can Jump The 'Species Barrier'

ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2008) — Researchers have shown that they can create entirely new strains of infectious proteins known as prions in the laboratory by simply mixing infectious prions from one species with the normal prion proteins of another species...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904144830.htm


Thinking People Eat Too Much: Intellectual Work Found To Induce Excessive Calorie Intake

ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2008) — A Université Laval research team has demonstrated that intellectual work induces a substantial increase in calorie intake. The details of this discovery, which could go some way to explaining the current obesity epidemic, are published in the most recent issue of Psychosomatic Medicine...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080904102804.htm

Computational Biochemist Uncovers A Molecular Clue To Evolution
Science Daily (press release) - USA
"Typically when we talk about evolution, we're referring to a process of adaptation that occurs in a population of organisms over an extended period of time ...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080910120953.htm

The Sea Anemone's Secrets of Evolution
BU Today - United States, MA
Photo by Vernon Doucette Could a tiny sea anemone from the salt marshes of New England reveal some of the secrets of evolution? John Finnerty, a College of ...
http://www.bu.edu/today/2008/06/13/sea-anemone-s-secrets-evolution

Dinosaurs 'lucky' to rule over ancient crocs
ABC Science Online - Australia
They looked at 437 skeletal features to determine the rates of evolution between dinosaurs and crurotarsans and found that both groups evolved at the same ...
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/09/12/2362832.htm?site=science&topic=latest

 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Prayer Day funds decried; Church-state issue cited
Whittier Daily News - Whittier,CA,USA
By Airan Scruby, Staff Writer PICO RIVERA - A National Day of Prayer celebration sponsored by the city may have violated the separation of church and state, ...

http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_10395085


Fla. court tosses ballot attempts to allow public religion funding
USA Today - USA
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and the Anti-Defamation League, which supported the plaintiff in the case, hailed the ruling. ..

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-09-05-church-state-florida_N.htm


Sermons For Separation: Ohio Pastor Counters Religious Right ...
Americans United - Washington,DC,USA
That'sa really bad idea, of course, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State has already announced plans to file complaints with the Internal ...

http://blog.au.org/2008/09/05/sermons-for-separation-ohio-pastor-counters-religious-right-churchelectioneering-scheme-2/


Palin: The Most Extremist Candidate Since Goldwater
Huffington Post - New York,NY,USA
Palin's statement closely mirrors the language of "Teach the Controversy", the slogan of the intelligent design campaign, under which evolution's ...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-mogulescu/let-swing-voters-know-tha_b_124384.html


Major Christian Organization Backs Military Watchdog's ...
The Public Record - Los Angeles,California,USA
Committed to the separation of church and state, CCCI has acknowledged a pervasive evangelizing in and by the US Military that has dire consequences to our ...

http://www.pubrecord.org/religion/308-major-christian-organization-backs-military-watchdogs-discrimination-lawsuit-against-pentagon.html


Ban on Political Endorsements by Pastors Targeted
Washington Post - United States
.. today to stop the protest before it starts, calling the ADF's "Pulpit Initiative" an assault on the rule of law and the separation of church and state. ...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/07/AR2008090702460.html?hpid=topnews


Zapatero's social revolution seeks a new Spain (News Feature)
Monsters and Critics.com - USA
With its plans to liberalize abortion law, legalize assisted suicide and increase the separation between church and state, the government of the 48-year-old ...http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/features/article_1429606.php/Zapateros_social_revolution_seeks_a_new_Spain__News_Feature__


Ohio ministers challenge political pulpit plan
The Associated Press - 
.. 
IndianaIowa and other states said the actions by the Alliance Defense Fund jeopardize the constitutional separation of church and state. ...

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gY-dr_Ef2L3SqL1fJLpC5KdMu_uAD932P5P80

Alaska Shrugs Off Palin's Faith
National Post - Toronto,Ontario,Canada
"But notions of Church and state separation are taken very seriously," Prof. Campbell said. "People believe that religion is not going to overtly manifest ...

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/story.html?id=780757&p=1


Pope: Church-State separation vital for religious freedom (2nd Lead)
Monsters and Critics.com - USA
Paris - In his first public address since arriving in Paris on Friday for a four-day visit, Pope Benedict XVI said that the continued separation of Church ...

http://wwwmonstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1430378.php/Pope_Church-State_separation_vital_for_religious_freedom__2nd_Lead__

 

MISCELLANEOUS

None


 
 
  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
 
Follow the below links to find petitions regarding the Featured Article entitled "HHS Proposes New Anti-Freedom, Anti-Women, Anti-Reason Initiative"

 

http://www.ppaction.org/campaign/frcp08_adv1?qp_source=frcp08pporg

 

https://secure.prochoiceamerica.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3253

 

https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=999&page=UserAction

 

 
 
 
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