October 19, 2008
Volume 4, Issue 42
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. 
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As governor, Palin at times bonds church and state
The Associated Press
J. Brent Walker, who runs a Washington, DC-based group that advocates for church-state separation, said based on a reporter's account, Palin's June ...

News Articles
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'New atheism' is gaining its voice
Arizona Republic - Phoenix,AZ,USA
A high-profile part of the "new atheism" is attacks on religious dogma mounted by such best-selling authors as Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and ...


The question of faith
Texas A&M The Battalion - College Station,TX,USA
"When we ask people what they think atheism or agnosticism is, people go as far as to say we worship Satan or we have rituals or we're rebelling against the ...


Faithless lose faith
Tennessee Journalist - Knoxville,TN,USA
Being an atheist in a bible-belt university can be difficult for the nonreligious like myself. With such a majority of students of the Christian persuasion, ...


Ask an atheist! - Dallas,TX,USA
This is probably the most popular criticism I get from writing these articles. It usually goes under the guise of tolerance, with the reader arguing we ..



Relevant and irreverent
Tulsa World - Tulsa,OK,USA
Brian Hill, a self-avowed atheist who works with the Social Security Administration downtown, went to the film last weekend with a group from the Tulsa ...


Ryan Philippe's Atheist Superhero Fights Psycho Cults
io9 - San Francisco,CA,USA
He plays the only atheist in a city full of religious fanatics. Writer/director Gerald McMorrow spilled the beans yesterday about the film's weird set-up. ...


Court tosses local couple's evolution suit
Roseville Press Tribune - Roseville,CA,USA
By Nathan Donato-Weinstein The Press-Tribune A local couple's legal claim that a UC Berkeley Web site on evolution pushes a religious viewpoint in ...

Schools still split over evolution, creationsim - MI,USA
However, some private schools don't teach evolution and natural selection while teaching creationism instead. And a West Michigan lawmaker said he would ..

Biologist defends evolution: 'Theories are built on facts'
Springfield News Sun - Springfield,OH,USA
By Emanuel Cavallaro Springfield, Ohio The battle over evolution isn't finished, evolutionary biologist Ken Miller told a crowd of more than 350 people at ...

Biologists, educators recognize excellence in evolution education
EurekAlert (press release) - Washington,DC,USA
The Evolution Education Award is cosponsored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS). ..

Where voting for Palin is a matter of belief
Economic Times - Gurgaon,Haryana,India
The 'advanced placement' exam that high-schoolers take to go to college has a curriculum where evolution is a central theme. If you fail the test because ...

3 evolution critics on panel that reviews science curriculum in ...
Dallas Morning News - Dallas,TX,USA
By TERRENCE STUTZ / The Dallas Morning News AUSTIN Social conservatives on the State Board of Education have appointed three evolution critics to a ..

Scientists view both Obama, McCain as supportive
The Associated Press
McCain in 2005 also told a Tucson newspaper that he favors teaching the concept of intelligent design alongside evolution in schools. Intelligent design is ...

Intelligent design debate brews controversy in Texas
News 8 Austin - Austin,TX,USA
"Intelligent design is essentially an undermining of the theory of evolution and sound science in our public schools, and we're deeply disturbed by that," ...



Mysterious DNA Found to Survive Eons of Evolution
U.S. News & World Report - Washington,DC,USA
By Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience Scientists have discovered mystery snippets of mammal DNA that have survived eons of evolution and yet have no apparent ..

Important link in evolution of life found near Kunming
GoKunming - Kunming,Yunnan province,China
Chengjiang Fauna is considered one of the 'Three faunas of the evolution of early life forms' along with Burgess Shale Fauna in western Canada and the ...

Fish fossil offers clues to evolution
United Press International - USA
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- US researchers say a new look at the skull of a 375-million-year-old fish fossil provides clues to the evolutionary process ...

Scientist: Climate change affecting evolution of species
Providence Journal - Providence,RI,USA
Palumbi is the author of The Evolution Explosion: How Humans Cause Rapid Evolutionary Change. Humans have already caused widespread changes in the evolution ..

Digital Zebrafish Embryo Provides First Complete Developmental Blueprint Of A Vertebrate
ScienceDaily (Oct. 11, 2008) Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have generated a digital zebrafish embryo - the first complete developmental blueprint of a vertebrate. With a newly developed microscope scientists could for the first time track all cells for the first 24 hours in the life of a zebrafish...

'Virgin Birth' By Shark Confirmed: Second Case Ever
ScienceDaily (Oct. 11, 2008) Scientists have confirmed the second-ever case of a "virgin birth" in a shark, indicating once again that female sharks can reproduce without mating and raising the possibility that many female sharks have this incredible capacity...

Phoenix Lander Digs And Analyzes Soil As Darkness Gathers
ScienceDaily (Oct. 11, 2008) As fall approaches Mars' northern plains, NASA's Phoenix Lander is busy digging into the Red Planet's soil and scooping it into its onboard science laboratories for analysis...

Astronomers Get Best View Yet Of Infant Stars At Feeding Time
ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2008) Astronomers have used ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer to conduct the first high resolution survey that combines spectroscopy and interferometry on intermediate-mass infant stars. They obtained a very precise view of the processes acting in the discs that feed stars as they form. These mechanisms include material infalling onto the star as well as gas being ejected, probably as a wind from the...

Can Genetic Information Be Controlled By Light?
ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2008) DNA, the molecule that acts as the carrier of genetic information in all forms of life, is highly resistant against alteration by ultraviolet light, but understanding the mechanism for its photostability presents some puzzling problems. A key aspect is the interaction between the four chemical bases that make up the DNA molecule. Researchers at Kiel University have succeeded in showing that DNA strands differ in their light sensitivity depending on their base sequences...

Journey Toward The Center Of The Earth: One-of-a-kind Microorganism Lives All Alone
ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2008) The first ecosystem ever found having only a single biological species has been discovered 2.8 kilometers (1.74 miles) beneath the surface of the earth in the Mponeng gold mine near Johannesburg, South Africa. There the rod-shaped bacterium Desulforudis audaxviator exists in complete isolation, total darkness, a lack of oxygen, and 60-degree-Celsius heat (140 degrees Fahrenheit)...



Catholic bishops' letter on voting causes a stir, with critics ...
Dallas Morning News - Dallas,TX,USA
The bishops' letter evoked criticism from the nonprofit group Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "This is clearly an attempt on the part ...


Judge denies Rodis' motion to dismiss 10 state charges
Richmond Times Dispatch - Richmond,VA,USA
By CALVIN R. TRICE The required constitutional separation of church and state doesn't mean the government can't prosecute charges against a former priest ...


Woman vows to push for Bible course in Waterloo
Gazette Online - Solon,IA,USA
AP "The separation of church and state was designed to deter this infiltration by the believers into the realm of knowledge. That some would attempt to ...



Senator's Lawsuit Against God Is Tossed Out

The Associated Press - October 15, 2008

A Douglas County District Court judge has tossed out Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers' lawsuit against God. Judge Marlon Polk says Chambers can't sue God if he can't serve papers on him...


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