THE   FOCUS

December 14, 2008
Volume 4, Issue 50
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

The 'Godless Holiday Tree' goes up
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia,PA,USA
The society's "Godless Holiday Tree" - decorated entirely with book covers about atheism, religious skepticism and secular philosophy - took its provocative ...
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20081210_The__Godless_Holiday_Tree__goes_up.html

SC Ordered to Stop "I Believe" Plates
Christian Broadcasting Network - Virginia Beach,VA,USA
The group known as the Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the DMV and the prison system, ...
http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/500451.aspx

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

ATHEISM

Atheist holiday sign returned
MyNorthwest.com - Seattle,USA
A spokeswoman for the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wis., Annie Laurie Gaylor, says she was told a Washington state trooper is returning ...
http://www.mynorthwest.com/?nid=11&sid=112850


'There is no God' atheist sign stolen from Wash. capitol
kgw.com - Portland,OR,USA
A controversial anti-religion sign on display at the Washington Capitol Rotunda was stolen Friday morning between 7 and 7:30 am The atheist display, ...
http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_120508_athiest_display_washington_stolen2e9e509f.html

Crowd rallies in Olympia against atheist sign
Examiner.com - USA
The atheist sign was briefly stolen Friday, but was returned to the Capitol after somebody dropped it off at a Seattle radio station. ...
http://www.examiner.com/a-1731564~Crowd_rallies_in_Olympia_against_atheist_sign.html

Do Foxholes Convert Atheists?
NPR - USA
I was the lone atheist, surrounded by equally convinced Christians and Muslims. There was one thing they all could agree on that I was going to hell. ...
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/storyphp?storyId=97992274

Metro accused of discrimination
ABC Online - Australia
Metro Tasmania has followed other states in refusing to display advertisements promoting atheism. The Atheist Foundation of Australia wanted to run bus ...
http://www.abc.netau/news/stories/2008/12/10/2443160.htm?section=business

Atheists challenge bus ban
Tasmania Mercury - Hobar,Tasmania,Australia
The foundation wanted to runs ads on the backs of the state-owned company's buses that said: "Atheism - celebrate reason! Sleep in on Sunday mornings. ...
http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2008/12/11/43711_tasmania-news.html

Rival religious displays crowd Washington State capitol
Centre Daily Times - Centre,PA,USA
Buenzli's request was one of five submitted Friday to the Department of General Administration, including a 2 pm Sunday protest against the atheist sign on ...
http://www.centredaily.com/505/story/1011077.html

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

The School of Night
EntertainmentToday.net - Los Angeles,CA,USA
Atheism at that time was a charge nearly the equivalent of treason since Queen Elizabeth herself was the head of the church and to be against the church was ...
http://www.entertainmenttoday.net/content/view/737/45/

O'Reilly: Atheists want to 'revoke' Christmas [VIDEO.DE]
Raw Story - Cambridge,MA,USA
Since Washington State accepted an atheist solstice message as part of its official holiday display, additional requests have been pouring in from groups ...
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/OReilly_Atheists_want_to_revoke_Christmas_1211.html

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

School in clear over teaching creation
Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney,New South Wales,Australia
The director also observed several science classes and class work on evolution. The board's science inspector reviewed the school's educational programs for ...
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/school-in-clear-over-teaching-creation/2008/12/08/1228584743350.html

Bush: Bible, evolution not at odds
AFP
But "evolution is an interesting subject. I happen to believe that evolution doesn't fully explain the mystery of life," said the president, an outspoken ...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j_VOb3zVS3vv_AwJNWJklb5G0RHg

Study Further Investigates Human Evolution
Daily Californian - Berkeley,CA,USA
By Rachel Gross By dating artifacts from one of the oldest Middle Stone Age archaeological sites worldwide, UC Berkeley geologists have unearthed the ...
http://www.dailycal.org/article/103865/study_further_investigates_human_evolution

More Americans Believe in the Devil, Hell and Angels than in ...
MarketWatch - USA
Overall, more people believe in the devil, hell and angels than believe in Darwin's theory of evolution. These are some of the results of The Harris Poll(R) ...
http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/More-Americans-Believe-Devil-Hell/story.aspx?guid={9FF6758C-00C0-4673-81B9-6D506085F974}

Muslim Scientists Prepare for Battle With Creationists
FOXNews - USA
As with Christians and Jews, there is no consensus or "official" opinion on evolution among Muslims. However, some of them say that the theory is a cultural ...
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,465650,00.html

The psychology of teleology
Berkeleyan Online - Berkeley,CA,USA
Meanwhile, creationism and intelligent design enjoy widespread public support. Why do many people find a theory so persuasive to others so hard to accept? ..
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/2008/12/10_teleology.shtml

SCIENCE

Stanford scientists use X-ray light to scan birdlike dinosaur
San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA
By measuring the distribution of these chemicals in a fossil, it may be possible to re-create anatomy and hence, evolution. The latest effort is not the ...
http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_11188177

Orangutan's Spontaneous Whistling Opens New Chapter In Study Of ...
Science Daily (press release) - USA
Now, an orangutan's spontaneous whistling is providing scientists at Great Ape Trust of Iowa new insights into the evolution of speech and learning. ...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211112004.htm

Inner Workings Of The Immune System Filmed
ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2008) Forget what's number one at the box office this weekThe most exciting new film features the intricate workings of the body, filmed by scientists using ground-breaking technology...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203185020.htm

Past Religious Diversity And Intolerance Have Profound Impact On Genetics Of Iberian People
ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2008) New research suggests that relatively recent events had a substantial impact on patterns of genetic diversity in the southwest region of Europe. The study, published on December 4th in the American Journal of Human Genetics...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081204133357.htm

Decline Of Roman And Byzantine Empires 1,400 Years Ago May Have Been Driven By Climate Change
ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2008) The decline of the Roman and Byzantine Empires in the Eastern Mediterranean more than 1,400 years ago may have been driven by unfavorable climate changes...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081205171005.htm

Depression Rife Among Medical Students
ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2008) Medical students frequently suffer from depression, especially during their internship years. New research reveals the extent of the problem and features a detailed analysis of the symptoms and sufferers...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081205094515.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Bickering Republicans clamor over party's heart
San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA
... senior policy analyst for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, who has written extensively about the religious right for 21 years. ...
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/06/BAML14C7J7.DTL&type=politics

State Embraces Faith-Based Programs For Ex-Cons, Homeless
Hartford Courant - United States
... outreach should never be funded with taxpayer dollars," says Rob Boston, senior policy analyst for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ...
http://www.courantcom/news/local/hc-faithbased1207.artdec07,0,5679953.story

Newsom's comments keep Catholics in their seats
Bay Area Reporter - San Francisco,CA,USA
"He spoke of how he really was struggling because of his belief in the separation of church and state," said Dufty, who added, "It's unusual for the mayor ...
http://www.ebarcom/news/article.php?sec=news&article=3551 

MISCELLANEOUS

Controversial Kansas group wants Olympia display
The Spokesman Review - Spokane,WA,USA
Thousands of people from across the country have called the governor's office over the state's decision to allow the atheist sign next to the nativity scene ...
http://www.spokesmanreview.com/breaking/story.asp?ID=18181

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