THE   FOCUS

May 8, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 19
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.


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FEATURED ARTICLES

Young Americans Losing Their Religion - ABC News
May 6, 2009 ... New research shows young Americans are dramatically less likely to go to church -- or to participate in any form of organized religion ...
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7513343&page=1

ATHEISM

Op-Ed Columnist Defecting to Faith
New York Times - United States
(It should be noted that about a quarter of the unaffiliated identified as atheist or agnostic, and the rest said that they had no particular religion. ...
http://www.nytimescom/2009/05/02/opinion/02blow.html?_r=1

Atheists fight to keep God out of Irish law
guardian.co.uk - UK
A group that claims to represent the rights of atheists in Ireland has launched a campaign to expel God from the Irish constitution, starting with an ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/03/atheist-ireland-blasphemy-legislation

Atheist says secular rule important to faithful, too
Knoxville News Sentinel - Knoxville,TN,USA
By Jessie Pounds Nonetheless, during a talk at Pellissippi State Technical Community College, the American Atheists president proposed that religious people ...
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2009/may/04/atheist-says-secular-rule-important-to-faithful/

How to Say You Don't Believe
On Faith - Washington,DC,USA
"Getting atheists to agree on something is like herding cats" a wise man once told me. Meow. The term "atheist" tends to set people on edge. ...
http://newsweek.washingtonpostcom/onfaith/guestvoices/2009/05/6_ways_to_tell_your_family_you_no_longer_believe_in_god.html

Ex-York student organises atheist summer camp
The Yorker - York,North Yorkshire,UK
Our aim is educational - we are not an indoctrination scheme trying to push some 'atheist agenda' to abolish all religion." Stein added: "There are few ...
http://www.theyorker.co.uk/news/uninews/2955/1#CommentItem7003

Atheists seek role in proposed Federal "Religious History Week"
American Chronicle - Beverly Hills,CA,USA
An Atheist public policy group says that it supports the call by conservative Christians to establish a Federal "Religious History Week," and already has ...
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/101572

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

Camilla Taylor: In Iowa, A Same-Sex Marriage Win
NPR - USA
And by addressing this argument head on and by talking about the separation between church and state, I think the court made a powerful statement that'll be ...
http://www.nprorg/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103848870

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

Study says high school teachers impact students' views on ...
College News - Chicago,IL,USA
The purpose of the study was to learn about how biology majors viewed evolution, as compared to those students were not biology majors. ...
http://www.collegenews.com/index.php?/article/study_shows_that_teachers_shape_students_views_on_creationism_05062009235/

SCIENCE

Dinosaur-Bird Link: Ancient Proteins Preserved In Soft Tissue From 80 Million-Year-Old Hadrosaur
ScienceDaily (May 1, 2009) — Ancient protein dating back 80 million years to the Cretaceous geologic period has been preserved in bone fragments and soft tissues of a hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur, according to a study in the May 1 issue of Science...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430144528.htm

Mechanisms Of Self-control Pinpointed In Brain
ScienceDaily (May 1, 2009) — When you're on a diet, deciding to skip your favorite calorie-laden foods and eat something healthier takes a whole lot of self-control--an ability that seems to come easier to some of us than others. Now, scientists from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have uncovered differences in the brains of people who are able to exercise self-control versus those who find it almost impossible...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430144543.htm

Unusual Impact Basin Discovered On Mercury
ScienceDaily (May 2, 2009) — A previously unknown, large impact basin has been discovered by the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft during its second flyby of Mercury in October 2008. The impact basin, now named Rembrandt, more than 700 kilometers (430 miles) in diameter...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090430144705.htm

Storing A Lightning Bolt In Glass For Portable Power
ScienceDaily (May 2, 2009) — Materials researchers at Penn State University have reported the highest known breakdown strength for a bulk glass ever measured. Breakdown strength, along with dielectric constant, determines how much energy can be stored in an insulating material before it fails and begins to conduct electricity...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090501204039.htm

Scientists Race To Deliver DNA Swine Flu Test
ScienceDaily (May 2, 2009) — A team of genetics experts in Southampton is working against the clock to produce the world's first DNA test for the Mexican strain of swine flu...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090501091151.htm

'Invisibility Cloak' Successfully Hides Objects Placed Under It
ScienceDaily (May 2, 2009) — The great science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke famously noted the similarities between advanced technology and magic. This summer on the big screen, the young wizard Harry Potter will once again don his magic invisibility cloak and disappear. Meanwhile, researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California (UC) Berkeley will be studying an invisibility cloak of their own that also hides objects from view...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090501154143.htm

SUMO Protein Guides Chromatin Remodeler To Suppress Genes
ScienceDaily (May 2, 2009) — In an in vitro study, led by Grace Gill, PhD, Tufts University School of Medicine, researchers discovered how a protein called SUMO (Small Ubiquitin-related Modifier) guides an enzyme complex that alters the structure of chromatin to regulate expression of genes. Chromatin is a compacted mass of DNA and protein that make up chromosomes...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427102233.htm

Stem Cells For The Damaged Heart: Key Factors In Heart Cell Creation Identified
ScienceDaily (May 2, 2009) — Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease have identified for the first time key genetic factors that drive the process of generating new heart cells. The discovery, reported in the current issue of the journal Nature, provides important new directions on how stem cells may be used to repair damaged hearts...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090426175646.htm

Quantum Ghosts Are Helpful
ScienceDaily (May 3, 2009) — The idea that far distant particles can somehow 'talk' to each other worried Einstein so much that he called it 'spooky action at a distance'...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090427102229.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Maine, fifth state to allow gay marriage
msnbc.com - USA
It does not require the church to perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the separation of Church and State," Governor Baldacci ...
http://firstreadmsnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/05/06/1924233.aspx

Obama plans a scaled back National Day of Prayer
The Associated Press
The Madison-based group of 12000 atheists and agnostics filed the lawsuit near the end of Bush's second term. It asks a judge to declare the law ...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gd8532foDasi_HtAzi9JolkMVlqQD980T9VO3

MISCELLANEOUS

Churchgoers More Likely To See Torture As Justifiable
CBS News - New York,NY,USA
Unaffiliated, for Pew's purposes, are those who call themselves atheist, agnostic, or nothing in particular. White evangelical Protestants, meanwhile, ...
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/05/04/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry4989944.shtml



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