February 20, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 8
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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Humanist group has faith in people
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Dozens of times a day, red streetcar No. 2004 trundles up and down Canal Street, past nine churches and a couple of cemeteries planted thick with Christian crosses, rumbling along a street that soon will be choked with thousands of New Orleanians celebrating Mardi Gras ahead of the austerity of Lent...

Is the Supreme Court About to Kill Off the Exclusionary Rule?
By ADAM COHEN - Published: February 15, 2009
In 1957, the Cleveland police showed up at Dollree Mapp's home looking for a bombing suspect. Ms. Mapp would not let them in without a search warrant, but they entered anyway. The police did not find the bomber, but they came across a trunk containing "lewd and lascivious" books and pictures...

Federation of atheists launched - London,UK
By staff A national student body of atheists and secularists will be formed today to represent the interests of non-believers across the ...$1270501.htm

Oklahoma bill promoting discussion of 'alternative theories' to ...
The Canadian Press - OKLAHOMA CITY
... allowed classroom discussion of alternative theories to evolution, along with other topics where science conflicts with religious or moral viewpoints. ...


The New Atheism, and Something More
New York Times - United States
By PETER STEINFELS If the label "new atheists" has been accorded to a fistful of polemicists who set out to counter in-your-face religion with in-your-face ...

Globe and Mail - Canada
As of late this week, the Canadian Atheist Bus Campaign had generated $43200 in online donations - more than seven times Mr Hammond's initial $6000 target ...

City of Ottawa quizzed over atheist ad rejection
Calgary Herald - AB, Canada
Ottawa is being questioned over why it rejected atheist ads proclaiming "There's probably no God," similar to the ad pictured on British buses. ...

Atheism bus advertising stalls in Italy
MarketWatch (press release) - USA
GENOA, Italy, Feb 16, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Atheists' first rolling advertisement in Italy got off to an ignominious start Monday when the bus touting ...

OC Transpo rejects atheist bus ads
Centretown News - Ottawa,ON,Canada
By Maggie de Barra The "atheist bus" campaign was momentarily bound for Ottawa, but OC Transpo has ruled out allowing provocative advertisements bearing a ...

Councillors to review atheist bus ads
Ottawa Citizen - Ontario, Canada
The atheism ads, which say: "There's probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life," began in Britain and have spread around the world. ...

Council to decide whether OC Transpo should take pro-atheism ads
Ottawa Citizen - Ontario, Canada
OTTAWA — City council will decide whether OC Transpo buses should accept ads from an atheist group, after its transit committee deadlocked in a tied vote. ...

The march of the atheist movement
Independent - London,England,UK
The launch of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies – which the founders have agreed to shorten to the abbreviated AHS ...

Public transit to steer clear of atheist ad controversy
Niagara Falls Review - Niagara Falls,Ontario,Canada
Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" to promote atheism. The Canadian association borrowed the slogan from a similar campaign in Britain. ...

Ottawa transit committee votes to keep atheist ads off city buses
London Free Press - Canada
By THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — Ottawa's transit committee has voted to support a decision by OC Transpo to reject an atheist group's advertisement. ...

First were the buses. Now atheists get a student society - UK
The National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies launches today to mobilise non-believers. The "anti-God squad", as it is happy to ...


An American Foundation: Separation of Church and State is Expected
Bristol Herald Courier - Bristol,TN,USA
Bill Greer, economist and vice president of Milligan College, a Christian college, says the separation of church and state is necessary for the school to ...

10 books beyond belief: a freethinking foundation for your kids - USA
Atheist Primer: Did You Know All The Gods Came from the Same Place? by Madalyn Murray O'Hair, illustrated by Joe Kirby (American Atheist Press, ...

It's Darwin's Birthday: But Can You Answer the Intelligent Design ... (press release) - USA
Even if you do not believe in Intelligent Design do you know how to answer their objections to evolution? If you do not wish to have creationism taught in ...


Worlds of science and atheism interlink on Darwin Day - London,UK
Find out how to recognise symptoms and minimise the risk to yourself with Street Doctor's Dr Ayan Panja. Full Story Events are taking place across the UK ...$1268470.htm

Evolution site draws legal challenge
San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA
The celebrations of his 200th birthday coincide with an anti-evolution lawsuit that has just landed him on the doorstep of the US Supreme Court. ...

What Biology And Evolution Can Teach Us About Our Safety: Tribute ...
Science Daily (press release) - USA
13, 2009) — When it comes to our own security, says UCLA behavioral ecologist Daniel T. Blumstein, there is much we can learn from biology and evolution. ...

Evolution education for K-12 teachers needs beefing up, says CU ...
Genetic Engineering News (press release) - New Rochelle,NY,USA
"The questions we are asking ourselves as scientists and educators is what the problem is here, and what are the objections to evolution," he said. ..

Oklahoma bill to promote intelligent design talk fails - Oklahoma City,OK,USA
"Senate Bill 320 is a wolf dressed in sheep's skin," Lerblance said, predicting it was a first step toward teaching intelligent design in Oklahoma schools. ...

Group to shun NO over evolution law
2TheAdvocate - Baton Rouge,LA,USA
A big reason, Satterlie said, is because of an evolution measure that Jindal signed last year and that the Legislature overwhelmingly approved. ..

Utah policy on evolution helps land science conference
Salt Lake Tribune - United States
"Utah, in contrast, passed a resolution that states that evolution is central to any science curriculum," the letter continued. ...

Blaine woman trying to get anti-evolution initiative on state ballot
Bellingham Herald - Bellingham,WA,USA
Hoyle disagrees with Struiksma and says it's OK to teach evolution in schools. He argues that evolution is a legitimate scientific theory, ...


Humans And Chimpanzees Genetically More Similar Than One Yeast Variety Is To Another
ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2009) — There may be greater genetic variation between different yeasts of the same species than between humans and chimpanzees. This is one of the findings of a study from the University of Gothenburg that is being published in the scientific journal Nature. This study heralds a new era in evolutionary genetics research -- the mapping of an individual's DNA...

White-nose Kills Hundreds Of Bats Near Abandoned Mines In Pennsylvania
ScienceDaily (Feb. 15, 2009) — Several hundred little brown bats are dead from White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) in Lackawanna County, and the Pennsylvania Game Commission is looking to residents for help uncovering other sites where this deadly disorder may have surfaced...

When It Comes To Elephant Love Calls, The Answer Lies In A Bone-shaking Triangle
ScienceDaily (Feb. 14, 2009) — Many a love-besotted soul has declared they would move the world for their true love, but how many actually accomplish that task in their quest to unite with a lover...

Tracking The Digital Traces Of Social Networks
ScienceDaily (Feb. 14, 2009) — Why do we create and maintain social networks? Most people can immediately think of a few natural reasons -- we get something from the interaction, or the person is nearby and is close to us in proximity, age or gender...

Ultra-Compact Dwarf Galaxies: Stars Packed Together In Early Universe A Million Times More Closely
ScienceDaily (Feb. 13, 2009) — In our Galaxy, we are used to the idea that even the nearest stars are light years away from the Sun. But a team of scientists led by Professor Pavel Kroupa of the University of Bonn think things were very different in the early Universe...

Astronomers Unveiling Life's Cosmic Origins
ScienceDaily (Feb. 13, 2009) — Processes that laid the foundation for life on Earth -- star and planet formation and the production of complex organic molecules in interstellar space -- are yielding their secrets to astronomers armed with powerful new research tools, and even better tools soon will be available...


Italy crucifix row teacher barred
BBC News - UK
The separation of church and state is set down in the post war Constitution. It is designed to give equal status to all religions. ...


Man Sues Pennsylvania for Rejecting Business Name
The name, I Choose Hell Productions, was turned down because state law restricts names that include blasphemy, cursing or "that profane the Lord's name."

Norway criminalizes blasphemy
"The Norwegian parliament has amended the Penal Code to criminalize blasphemy in the wake of the republication of Danish cartoons that lampooned Prophet Muhammad...

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