THE   FOCUS

June 5, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 23
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 

Judge allows public school commencement at church
The Associated Press
US District Judge Charles Clevert ruled in a lawsuit brought by Americans United for Separation of Church and State against a district in a Milwaukee suburb ...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g9T5u69C8HwMvRXs0rNTqf2v9fFQD98IP2P00

NH becomes sixth state to legalize gay marriage
NECN - Newton,MA,USA
We believed that all Americans could be equal and we believed in the separation of church and state and we affirmed both of those things in this bill today, ...
http://www.necn.com/Boston/New-England/2009/06/03/NH-becomes-sixth-state-to/1244071627.html
 

ATHEISM 

Atheist nations are more peaceful
MWC News - Vancouver,Canada
Sure enough, peaceful countries have more atheists and fewer regular worshippers. The difference is highly statistically significant (P=0.001 or less) - in ...
http://mwcnews.net/content/view/31030&Itemid=1
 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

Love With a Proper Atheist and Other Leaps of Faith
New York Times - United States
... Grace” with an ontological conscience: He's a committed Christian, while he's a committed atheist, and it's driving their crazy friends even crazier! ..
http://theater2.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/theater/reviews/04next.html?ref=arts

(Peter Jay Sharp Theater; 99 seats; $40 top)
Variety - Los Angeles,CA,USA
Rather, it's Luke's evangelical brand of Christianity and his insistent attempts to convert his atheist lover. Intellectually, Luke keeps losing these ...
http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117940406.html?categoryid=33&cs=1
 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

Robots with fins, tails demonstrate evolution 
The Associated Press 
It hardly looks like it, but the two swimming robots were set loose in the little pool to study evolution, acting out predator-prey encounters from roughly ... 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h-OM7D-GWQnzYxnIHkC5l2ESariQD98G0Q901 

Prehistoric Arctic 'hippo' teeth offer clues to mammal evolution
The Gazette (Montreal) - Quebec,Canada
... Island has produced what scientists are calling a “smoking gun” discovery about the migration and evolution of large mammals in ancient North America. ...
http://www.montrealgazette.com/Technology/Prehistoric+Arctic+hippo+teeth+offer+clues+mammal+evolution/1652644/story.html

“Missing Link” Could Add Mediterranean Chapter to Story of Human ...
Wired News - USA
By Brandon Keim It didn't have a TV special, book deal or media-friendly pimping from the mayor of New York City, but a 12 million-year-old skull recently ...
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/06/lluca/
 

SCIENCE 

Ancient Volcanic Eruptions Caused Global Mass Extinction 
ScienceDaily (May 30, 2009) — A previously unknown giant volcanic eruption that led to global mass extinction 260 million years ago has been uncovered by scientists at the University of Leeds... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090528142827.htm 

Saved By Junk DNA: Vital Role In The Evolution Of Human Genome 
ScienceDaily (May 30, 2009) — Researchers at K.U. Leuven and Harvard University show that stretches of DNA previously believed to be useless 'junk' DNA play a vital role in the evolution of our genome. They found that unstable pieces of junk DNA help tuning gene activity and enable organisms to quickly adapt to changes in their environments. The results will be published in the journal Science... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090528203730.htm 

Neurological Disorder In Golden Retriever Dogs Caused By A Mutation In Mitochondrial DNA 
ScienceDaily (May 30, 2009) — Sensory ataxic neuropathy (SAN) is a recently identified neurological disorder in Golden Retriever dogs with onset during puppyhood. Affected dogs move in an uncoordinated manner and have sensory deficits. Researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institutet have now revealed that SAN is caused by a mutation in mitochondrial DNA... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090528203728.htm 

Effectively Managing Pain With Depression 
ScienceDaily (May 30, 2009) — Pain, the most common reason for adults to visit a primary care physician, and depression, the most frequent mental complaint requiring a doctor's appointment, occur together as often as half the time... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090526162852.htm 

Blue Whale Discovered Singing In New York Coastal Waters 
ScienceDaily (May 30, 2009) — For the very first time in New York coastal waters, the voices of singing blue whales have been positively identified. Acoustic experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bioacoustics Research Program (BRP) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) confirmed that the voice of a singing blue whale was tracked about 70 miles off of Long Island and New York City on Jan. 10-11, 2009, as the whale swam slowly from east to west. At the same time, a second blue whale was heard singing offshore in the far distance... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090529211633.htm 

Ghost Remains After Black Hole Eruption 
ScienceDaily (May 29, 2009) — NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has found a cosmic "ghost" lurking around a distant supermassive black hole. This is the first detection of such a high-energy apparition, and scientists think it is evidence of a huge eruption produced by the black hole... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090528110642.htm 

Honey Bee Colony Losses In U.S. Almost 30 Percent From All Causes From September 2008 To April 2009 
ScienceDaily (May 29, 2009) — Honey bee colony losses nationwide were approximately 29 percent from all causes from September 2008 to April 2009, according to a survey conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090522180642.htm 

Brain's Object Recognition System Activated By Touch Alone 
ScienceDaily (May 29, 2009) — Portions of the brain that activate when people view pictures of objects compared to scrambled images can also be activated by touch alone, confirms a new report published online on May 28th in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090528120639.htm 

New Rotors Could Help Develop Nanoscale Generators 
ScienceDaily (May 29, 2009) — In collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, scientists have investigated the rotation of molecules on a fixed surface to understand how they may help in the development of future rotor-based machinery at nanoscale level... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090527105709.htm 

How Many Scientists Fabricate And Falsify Research? 
ScienceDaily (May 29, 2009) — It's a long-standing and crucial question that, as yet, remains unanswered: just how common is scientific misconduct? In the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, Daniele Fanelli of the University of Edinburgh reports the first meta-analysis of surveys questioning scientists about their misbehaviours. The results suggest that altering or making up data is more frequent than previously estimated and might be particularly high in medical research... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090528203745.htm 

Planet-Hunting Method Succeeds: Jupiter-like Planet Found Orbiting One Of Smallest Stars 
ScienceDaily (May 29, 2009) — A long-proposed tool for hunting planets has netted its first catch -- a Jupiter-like planet orbiting one of the smallest stars known... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090528141509.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

Debate Over Graduation At Church Goes To Federal Court 
WISNcom - Milwaukee,WI,USA 
The debate over high school graduation at a church goes to federal court on Friday. Americans United for Separation of Church and State wants the court to ... 
http://www.wisn.com/education/19601835/detail.html 

Watchdog Group Urges IRS to Review Liberty U. on Issue of Club 
Chronicle of Philanthropy (subscription) - USA 
By Grant Williams Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a civil-liberties watchdog group in Washington, is asking the Internal Revenue ... 
http://philanthropy.com/news/updates/index.php?id=8405 

Liberty: Watchdog group is a political front
Lynchburg News and Advance - Lynchburg,VA,USA
By Ray Reed Liberty Counsel filed a complaint with the IRS on Monday accusing Americans United for Separation of Church and State of violating its ...
http://www.newsadvance.com/lna/news/local/article/liberty_watchdog_group_is_a_political_front/16440/

Americans United - "Tiller Murder an Affront to Morality"
Opposing Views - Los Angeles,CA,USA
By Americans United - 10 Seconds Ago Americans United for Separation of Church and State today deplored the murder of a Kansas doctor nationally known for ...
http://www.opposingviews.com/articles/opinion-americans-united-tiller-murder-an-affront-to-morality-r-1243874904

Lawsuit continues over high school graduations held at a church
New Richmond News - New Richmond,WI,USA
The Americans United for the Separation of Church-and-State also wants damages from past ceremonies held by several schools at the church over the last ...
http://www.newrichmond-news.com/articles/index.cfm?id=34510&section=Wisconsin%20News&property_id=9

Kansas is deadly battleground in abortion debate
The Associated Press
"It may pop out in gun laws, homeschooling, evolution — but it starts and stops with abortion." Unlike many states — where either supporters or foes of ...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hL0xitFHQplw3y8HN2wte_3CKJ8gD98JC2MO1

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE UPHELD: A...
Eurweb.com - Los Angeles,CA,USA
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE UPHELD: Appeals court says no to Bible passages in school. The mother of a Pennsylvania kindergartener who wanted to read ...
http://www.eurweb.com/story/eur53734.cfm
 

MISCELLANEOUS 

Answers in Genesis: Atheists more likely to commit murder
Daily Kos - Berkeley,CA,USA
I'll definitely be donating to an atheist bus & billboard campaign today (though it depends on the message). One such group is linked here. ...
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/6/3/738259/-Answers-in-Genesis:-Atheists-more-likely-to-commit-murder
 

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