THE   FOCUS

October 05, 2008
Volume 4, Issue 40
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
Atheist group sues Bush over national prayer day
The Associated Press
(AP) — The nation's largest group of atheists and agnostics is suing President Bush, the governor of Wisconsin and other officials over the federal law ..

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jx_1ONlKrjl6772IYzxULImuf1_AD93JBPP00

 

Soldier/Foundation Sue Secretary of Defense Over Forced Religious ...
MarketWatch - USA
ALBUQUERQUE, NM, Sept 26, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A nonreligious Kansas soldier today sued his boss, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, ...

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/soldierfoundation-sue-secretary-defense-over/story.aspx?guid=%7BF70C5B49-941F-434D-A8A0-A35B300C47B9%7D&dist=hppr

 

33 Pastors Flout Tax Law With Political Sermons
Washington Post - United States
.. say the rules stifle religious expression, their opponents contend that the tax laws are essential to protect the separation of church and state. ...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/28/AR2008092802365.html

 

Nashville pastors shun national pulpit protest
USA Today - USA
The Tennessean and USA TODAY are both owned by Gannett. READERS: What do you think "the separation of church and state" entails or should entail?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-09-29-pulpit-protest_N.htm

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

ATHEISM

Atheists Take to the Streets
Inside Costa Rica - San Jose,Costa Rica
By Diego Cevallos MEXICO CITY (IPS) - Atheists who have built up a virtual community over the last decade will hold the "First Global Atheist March for a ...

http://insidecostarica.com/special_reports/2008-09/religion_atheists.htm

 

Atheists in Uniform Fight Back Against Religious Radicals in the Ranks
North Star Writers Group - Grand Rapids,MI,USA
US Army medic Dustin Chalker, a decorated Iraq combat veteran and atheist, last week sued the US Department of Defense and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, ..

http://www.northstarwriters.com/ct119.htm

 

Atheist sues California prison officials over drug treatment program
Sacramento Bee - CA, USA
By Denny Walsh - dwalsh@sacbee.com A Shasta County atheist sued top state corrections officials Monday, claiming that his constitutional rights were ...

http://www.sacbee.com/101/story/1276077.html

 

Atheist Family In Texas Is Challenging The Neutrality Of A 'Moment ...
DigitalJournal.com - Toronto,Ontario,Canada
This time, its round 2 by a family of Atheists. Created to allow all individuals an opportunity to do what it is they want to do, quietly, ...

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/260588

 

Ask an atheist!
smudailycampus.com - Dallas,TX,USA
The quick answer is, yes, science and religion oppose each other. I suppose I differ from some of my colleagues and a lot of scientists who continuously say ..

http://media.www.smudailycampus.com/media/storage/paper949/news/2008/10/02/Opinion/Ask-An.Atheist-3465603.shtml

 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE
The Darwin Awards 4: $3.99 at Amazon
WalletPop - VA,USA
Filled with more than 100 new tales of evolution in action, plus science essays and a parody research paper supporting Intelligent Design, The Darwin Awards ..

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2008/09/30/the-darwin-awards-4-3-99-at-amazon/

 

Bill Maher vs. the "talking snake"
Salon - USA
(As Maher says in our interview, he doesn't call himself either an atheist or an agnostic, although the latter term seems to fit.) It's also arguably true ..

http://www.salon.com/ent/movies/btm/feature/2008/10/02/maher/

 

Are You There, God? It's Me, Mockey
See Magazine - Edmonton,AB,Canada
To which director Larry Charles might add, if you want to make an atheist laugh, show him Religulous. In Religulous, Charles follows comedian Bill Maher as ...

http://www.seemagazinecom/article/screen/screen-preview/are-you-there-god-its-me-mockey-1283/

 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.
Creationist offers prize for fossil proof of evolution
Independent - London,England,UK
If he sees a fossil crab, he says, 'It looks just like a regular crab, there's no evolution,'" Dr Padian said. "Extinction does not seem to bother him. ...

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/creationist-offers-prize-for-fossil-proof-of-evolution-945289.html

 

Texas scientists defend teaching of evolution in public schools
KVUE - Austin,TX,USA
Scientists worry this would water down classroom teaching of evolution. "Texas public schools should be preparing our kids to success in the 21st century, ...

http://www.kvue.com/news/hu/stories/093008kvue_science_curriculum-cb.c982db21.html

 

Local professors back evolution curriculum
Abilene Reporter-News - Abilene,TX,USA
Those who endorsed the statement also agreed that evolution is an easily observable phenomenon that has been documented beyond reasonable doubt. ...

http://www.reporternews.com/news/2008/oct/01/local-professors-back-evolution-curriculum/

 

Science teacher's hearing to begin
Columbus Dispatch - Columbus,OH,USA
He also says the school board's allegations that he taught creationism and intelligent design and sought to discredit evolution are not true. ...

http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/10/02/Freshwater_folo.ART_ART_10-02-08_B1_2ABG43R.html?sid=101

 

Parents Say Teacher Espoused Creationism
Berkeley Daily Planet - Berkeley,CA,USA
A group of Jefferson parents, concerned that the teacher's alleged actions violated their civil liberties and the separation of church and state, ...

http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2008-10-02/article/31218?headline=Parents-Say-Teacher-Espoused-Creationism

 

SCIENCE
Mysterious Snippets of DNA Withstand Eons of Evolution, Stanford ...
MarketWatch - USA
In fact, these so-called "ultraconserved" regions are about 300 times less likely than other regions of the genome to be lost during mammalian evolution, ...

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/mysterious-snippets-dna-withstand-eons/story.aspx?guid={C21DCB55-1D64-40E3-80CB-276E1CC17391}&dist=hppr

 

Neanderthals and modern humans—a key to understanding human evolution
World Socialist Web Site - Oak Park,MI,USA
Furthermore, these results support the view that human evolution has been characterized by numerous branches and many dead ends. If true, then modern humans ...

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/oct2008/nean-o03.shtml

 

Rates of Molecular Evolution Are Linked to Life History in ...
Science Magazine (subscription) - USA
Variable rates of molecular evolution have been documented across the tree of life, but the cause of this observed variation within and among clades remains ..

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/322/5898/86

 

Learning From Mistakes Only Works After Age 12, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Sep. 27, 2008) — Eight-year-old children have a radically different learning strategy from twelve-year-olds and adults. Eight-year-olds learn primarily from positive feedback ('Well done!'), whereas negative feedback ('Got it wrong this time') scarcely causes any alarm bells to ring…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925104309.htm

 

Personality Can Hamper Physician's Assessment Of Depression

ScienceDaily (Sep. 27, 2008) — A physician's personality can affect practice behavior in inquiries about patient mood symptoms and the diagnosis of depression, according to a study led by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080924133432.htm

 

Diffusion Caused Jupiter's Red Spot Junior To Color Up

ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2008) — A study has given new insights into why Oval BA, a giant anticyclone on Jupiter also known as Red Spot Junior, suddenly turned from white to red in a period of just a few months…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080922100452.htm

 

Oldest Known Rocks On Earth Discovered: 4.28 Billion Years Old

ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2008) — The discovery of rocks as old as 4.28 billion years pushes back age of most ancient remnant of Earth's crust by 300 million years…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080925144624.htm

 

Bats Pick Up Rustling Sounds Against Highway Background Noise

ScienceDaily (Sep. 26, 2008) — When bats go hunting by listening for faint rustling sounds made by their quarry on a quiet night they don't have any problems. But what happens when a bat goes foraging next to a noisy highway? Can they still hear the faint sounds…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080919074828.htm

 

Global Solar Wind Plasma Output At 50-Year Low, Ulysses Spacecraft Reveals

ScienceDaily (Sep. 25, 2008) — Data from the Ulysses spacecraft, a joint NASA-European Space Agency mission, show the sun has reduced its output of solar wind to the lowest levels since accurate readings became available. The sun's current state could reduce the natural shielding that envelops our solar system…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080924233309.htm

 

New, More Sensitive Nanotechnology Test For Chemical DNA Modifications Developed

ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2008) — Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore have developed a novel test to screen for chemical modifications to DNA known as methylation. The technology potentially could be used both for early cancer diagnoses and for assessing patients' response to cancer therapies…

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080923104303.htm

 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

IRS wary as some pastors plan to talk politics
Toledo Blade - Toledo,OH,USA
Barry Lynn, a United Church of Christ minister and executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is a leader of the opposition ..

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080926/NEWS10/809260299/0/NEWS24

 

I'm Your Pastor, and I Approved This Ad

New York Times - United States
The tax code mandate they are challenging has protected the separation of church and state by denying tax deductions for contributions to charitable ..

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/27/opinion/27sat4.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

 

ATHEISTS WELCOME, OPPOSE ELECTIONEERING SERMONS
Los Angeles Chronicle - CA, USA
An Atheist civil rights group announced today that while it opposed a "Pulpit Initiative" by churches to openly endorse political candidates, the effort may ...

http://www.losangeleschronicle.com/articles/75707

 

Warroad pastor endorses McCain from pulpit
Grand Forks Herald - Grand Forks,ND,USA
Americans United for Separation of Church and State have tried to stop Booth and the others preaching politics from the pulpit, lobbying to the Internal ...

http://www.grandforksherald.com/articles/index.cfm?id=87926&section=News

 

Churches planning to protest IRS rule
The News Herald - Panama City,FL,USA
The group aims to challenge the concept of the separation of church and state, specifically as it pertains to the federal government's laws against mixing ...

http://www.newsherald.com/news/church_68446___article.html/separation_tax.html

 

Pastors' political endorsements draw complaints
San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA
But Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State didn't wait for that: The group filed complaints Monday with the IRS about six ...

http://www.mercurynews.com/elections/ci_10592237

 

Debate erupts over proposal to teach creationism in Brunswick schools
StarNewsOnline.com - Wilmington,NC,USA
.. school board's desire to teach creationism alongside evolution in the classroom – which many consider a violation of the separation of church and state, ...

http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20080929/ARTICLES/809290288/-1/OPINION&title=Debate_erupts_over_proposal_to_teach_creationism_in_Brunswick_schools

 

Church-State Queries For The Goose And The Gander
On Faith - Washington,DC,USA
Because Biden has a long record of votes on issues germane to the separation of church and state, I am more interested in Palin's answers. ...

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/susan_jacoby/2008/10/church-state_queries_for_the_g.html

 

Marriage Equality in Peril
In These Times - Chicago,IL,USA
.. Mormon churches are spreading their message through the pulpits," says Joseph Conn, a spokesman of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ...

http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/3924/marriage_equality_in_peril

 

San Leandro school can't ban church's flyers
San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA
Didn't such a flyer violate the constitutionally required separation of church and state? Wasn't it illegal to distribute religious materials in a public ...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/01/BA2U1390QN.DTL

 

Provoking the IRS, Preachers Address The Bully Pulpit
Wall Street Journal - USA
In the process, they hope to clarify for clergy around the country just what the rules are regarding the "separation of church and state. ...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122298627266699921.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

 

OC church targeted in complaints to IRS
Los Angeles Times - CA,USA
A group for separation of church and state files against seven parishes, including First Southern Baptist of Buena Park, after pastors endorsed presidential ...

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-pulpit3-2008oct03,0,2616793.story

 

MISCELLANEOUS
None

 



 
 
  CONVENTIONS / MEETINGS / EVENTS 
 
 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. 

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