THE   FOCUS

January 3, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 1
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:
info@centerforatheism.org.

SEE NYC ATHEISTS BLOG:
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FEATURED ARTICLES
Atheists Sue to Get Prayer, God Out of Obama's Swearing-In
Washington Post - United States
By Nikita Stewart A group of atheists, led by a California man known for challenging the use of the words "under God" in recitals of the Pledge of ...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/30/AR2008123002858.html?hpid=sec=religion
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ATHEISM
So Help Me God: NorCal Atheist Targets Inauguration
MSNBC - USA
The northern California atheist who has fought to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance has joined a lawsuit seeking to remove all ..
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28436914/


BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE
Atheist Wants 'God' Out Of Inauguration
KQCA, My58.com - Sacramento,CA,USA
Michael Newdow, a self-proclaimed atheist, is most known for his fight to change the Pledge of Allegiance to remove the phrase "under God. ...
http://www.my58.com/news/18385503/detail.html


EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.
Educators applaud Texas board's final proposal for science curriculum
Fort Worth Star Telegram - Fort Worth,TX,USA
... Texas public school classrooms over the next decade from what they call "watered-down science" -- specifically during the instruction of evolution. ...
http://www.star-telegram.com/state_news/story/1118331.html

The Big Question: How important was Charles Darwin, and what is ...
Independent - London,England,UK
The general idea of evolution preceded Darwin, and he shied away from making the explicit and incendiary claim that even humans were evolved from other ...
http://www.independent.couk/news/science/the-big-question-how-important-was-charles-darwin-and-what-is-his-legacy-today-1216258.html


SCIENCE
Biologists reaffirm that evolution cannot reverse itself
Thaindiancom - Bangkok,Bangkok,Thailand
Washington, Dec 27 (ANI): Biologists have reaffirmed a century-old law that said evolution cannot reverse itself. The law, which was put forward by 19th ...
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/biologists-reaffirm-that-evolution-cannot-reverse-itself_100135511html

Top ten evolution articles in 2008
Thaindian.com - Bangkok,Bangkok,Thailand
London, Dec 29 (ANI): New Scientist has made a list of the top ten evolution articles that it presented in the year 2008. How trees changed the world: 450 ...http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/top-ten-evolution-articles-in-2008_100136016.html
http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/health/top-ten-evolution-articles-in-2008_100136016.html

An outsize appetite, courtesy of evolution
Newsday - Long Island,NY,USA
Evolution has given us a mixed emotional bag well adapted to a natural environment with lots of pitfalls. Our pitfalls today are man-made, ...
http://www.newsday.com/news/health/ny-health-evo1231,0,2025788.story

Real-time Gene Monitoring Developed
ScienceDaily (Dec. 27, 2008) — Imagine having GeneVision: the uncanny ability to view the activity of any chosen gene in real time through a specially modified camera...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081216141855.htm

Molecular Manual For Hundreds Of Inherited Diseases Developed
ScienceDaily (Dec. 27, 2008) — Researchers have created a catalogue of tissue-specific processes involved in hundreds of inherited diseases. These results could help treat diseases such as breast cancer, Parkinson disease, heart diseases...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081217095604.htm

Humans And Chimps Register Faces By Using Similar Brain Regions
ScienceDaily (Dec. 27, 2008) — Chimpanzees recognize their pals by using some of the same brain regions that switch on when humans register a familiar face, according to a report published online on December 18th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218122150.htm

Medical Myths For The Holiday Season: True, False Or Unproven?
ScienceDaily (Dec. 26, 2008) — In a study published in the Christmas 2008 issue of the British Medical Journal, Aaron Carroll, M.D., M.S., and Rachel Vreeman, M.D., M.S., of the Indiana University School of Medicine, explore the science behind six myths commonly associated with the holidays yet relevant year-round...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081218051243.htm

Blind Man Walking: With No Visual Awareness, Man Navigates Obstacle Course Flawlessly
ScienceDaily (Dec. 25, 2008) — Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that people can successfully navigate an obstacle course even after brain damage has left them with no awareness of the ability to see and no activity in the visual cortex, a region of the brain's cortex that is primarily responsible for processing visual inputs...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081222143507.htm

Spotless Mind? Unwanted Memories Might Be Erasable Without Harming Other Brain Functions
ScienceDaily (Dec. 24, 2008) — The brain acts as a computer to both store information and process that information. In a computer, separate devices perform these roles; while a hard disk stores information, the central processing unit (CPU) does the processing...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223121137.htm

Why Do We Believe in Santa?
ScienceDaily (Dec. 24, 2008) — Having kids believe there's a jolly man in a red suit who visits on Christmas Eve isn't detrimental, although some parents can feel they're outright lying to their children, according to a new analysis by Serge Larivιe...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081208180345.htm

For Best Results, Ask A Few Thought-provoking Questions
ScienceDaily (Dec. 24, 2008) — The next time a telemarketer opens with a friendly question, you might stop and wonder why. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that it is surprisingly effective when salespeople or fundraisers ask how your day has been or which football team you support before broaching the subject of a purchase or donation...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081215111427.htm

'Missing Link' In Spider Evolution Discovered
ScienceDaily (Dec. 31, 2008) — New interpretations of fossils have revealed an ancient missing link between today's spiders and their long-extinct ancestors ...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081231130944.htm


SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE
Updated 12/26: LFA student puts up Festivus pole at Capitol
Lake Forester - Waukegan,IL,USA
The unadorned blue pole is mounted in a green plastic tree stand in the Rotunda along with a nativity scene, a menorah and an atheist protest sign. ...
http://www.pioneerlocal.com/lakeforest/news/1350351,lf-webfestivus-122608-s1.article

Rift deepens between Government and Church of England
Telegraph.co.uk - United Kingdom
... of the Church, following separate comments by Dr Williams, who said the separation of church and state "would not be the end of the world". ...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/3999376/Rift-deepens-between-Government-and-Church-of-England.html

On and off compound, West Texas polygamist sect members search for ...
Dallas Morning News - Dallas,TX,USA
Now in San Antonio, their family battles loneliness over its separation from the sect. Their three blond children clamoring around them – springing off of ...
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/texassouthwest/stories/DN-polygamists_28tex.ART.State.Edition2.4a7ada1.html

Role Of Religion In Presidential Campaign Heads 2008 'Top Ten ...
Americans United - Washington,DC,USA
The monthly magazine, published by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, is the nation's only news periodical devoted exclusively to the ...
http://www.au.org/site/News2?abbr=pr&page=NewsArticle&id=10201&security=1002&news_iv_ctrl=1241

Church 'could survive split with state'
Darlington and Stockton Times - Darlington,Northern Echo,UK
The bishops' comments come after it was recently reported that Labour was pressing for a state split from the church. Bishop Packer said he would welcome a ...
http://www.darlingtonandstocktontimes.co.uk/news/4013832.Church____could_survive_split_with_state___/

MISCELLANEOUS
Kirby: Descended from apes? We're not that smart
Salt Lake Tribune - United States
There can be no intelligent design in the origin of the human race. Serious personal doubt about mankind's divine creation began when we pulled into the ...
http://www.sltrib.com/faith/ci_11305248
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