THE   FOCUS

September 11, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 37
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
 
We are born to believe in God
Times Online
ATHEISM really may be against the laws of nature: humans have been hardwired by evolution to believe in God, scientists have suggested. ...
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6823229.ece
 
Coach Scott Mooney's Actions Questioned After Field Trip Includes ...
ABC News
... violate the Supreme Court's separation of church and state clause, especially since the coach likely discussed the trip with students during practices. ...
http://abcnews.go.com/US/kentucky-high-school-football-coach-takes-players-baptized/Story?id=8516661&page=1
 
ATHEISM
 
Atheists' recruiting billboard draws ire
Youngstown Vindicator
MIAMI — There's nothing unusual about churches advertising Sunday services, but some atheists are turning that idea on its head: Why not promote the belief ...
http://www.vindy.com/news/2009/sep/05/atheists8217-recruiting-billboard-draws-ire/?newswatch
 
Ball State junior aims to start student group for Atheists
Ball State Daily News
Rumpler, a junior journalism and political science major, said she got the idea to create an Atheism society while looking through a list of student ...
http://media.www.bsudailynews.com/media/storage/paper849/news/2009/09/06/News/Ball-State.Student.Begins.OnCampus.Group.For.Atheists-3764349.shtml
 
Maybe religion is the answer claims atheist scientist
Telegraph.co.uk
Speaking on the eve of the association's annual conference, the committed atheist said he was worried the world was on a “calamitous trajectory” brought on ...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/richard-alleyne/6146656/Maybe-religion-is-the-answer-claims-atheist-scientist.html
 
Why we are born to believe in God: It's wired into the brain, says ...
Daily Mail
The findings challenge atheists such as Richard Dawkins, the author of The God Delusion, who has long argued that religious beliefs result from poor ...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211511/Why-born-believe-God-Its-wired-brain-says-psychologist.html
 
DACC group promoting 'civil dialogue' for nonreligious
Urbana/Champaign News-Gazette
As an atheist, he wants to change how atheists and agnostics are perceived by others and "try to put a more positive face on nonreligious students. ...
http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2009/09/07/dacc_group_promoting_civil_dialogue_for_nonreligious
 
Alpha 10: the reckoning
guardian.co.uk
But these are strengths of the faith, because the disagreements exist to the exclusion of the unthinkable atheism. I witnessed a galvanising ethnocentrism ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/sep/11/alpha-course-christianity
 
BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE
 
The Creation of Charles Darwin
In case you missed it, 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his masterpiece, “On the Origin of Species.” Already, there have been exhibitions and lectures...
http://judson.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/the-creation-of-charles-darwin/?th&emc=th
 
Evolution of a Film
New York Times
By Mekado Murphy In the beginning, there will be “Creation.” The new film about the life of Charles Darwin (and also the first full-length feature about the ...
http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/evolution-of-a-film/?hp
 
Creation film sparks evolution arguments
Telegraph.co.uk
As the CreationWiki puts it, the Compound Eye “has all of the hallmarks of intelligent design and defies attempts to explain it through natural mechanisms”. ...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/6163313/Creation-film-sparks-evolution-arguments.html
 
Steven Anderson's Three Alarm Baptist Church: Barry Lynn of ...
Phoenix New Times
Interestingly, two of Anderson's annual reports to the state Corporation Commission do include financial statements. For 2006, total offerings are listed at ...
http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2009/09/pastor_steven_andersons_fire_a.php
 
EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.
 
Where Did All the Flowers Come From?
Throughout his life, Charles Darwin surrounded himself with flowers. When he was 10, he wrote down each time a peony bloomed in his father’s garden. When he bought a house to raise his own family...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/08/science/08flower.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
 
Evolution of A Good Cry
PsychCentral.com
By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor A study by an evolutionary biologist provides confirmation that crying, an activity that can signal physiological pain ...
http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/09/08/evolution-of-a-good-cry/8222.html
 
Ancient Fossils Shed New Light on Evolution of Humans
FOXNews
A key stage in human evolution may have taken place on the fringes of Europe and not in Africa as has generally been thought, scientists said yesterday. ...
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,548541,00.html
 
SCIENCE
 
Economists Measure GDP Growth From Outer Space
ScienceDaily (Sep. 6, 2009) — Outer space offers a new perspective for measuring economic growth, according to new research by three Brown University economists. In a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, J. Vernon Henderson, Adam Storeygard, and David N. Weil suggest a new framework for...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904165302.htm
 
Greening University Classrooms: Adding Plants Increases Student Satisfaction
ScienceDaily (Sep. 6, 2009) — In today's frenetic world, many urban dwellers spend more than 80% of the day indoors. Bringing nature in to living spaces by enhancing homes and offices with ornamental plants has become another popular facet of the move to "green" our lives...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903163947.htm
 
Two New Antibodies Found To Cripple HIV: 'Achilles' Heel On Virus For AIDS Vaccine Researchers To Exploit
ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2009) — Researchers at and associated with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), at The Scripps Research Institute, and at the biotechnology companies Theraclone Sciences and Monogram Biosciences have discovered two powerful new antibodies to HIV that reveal what may be an Achilles heel on the virus...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903163730.htm
 
Next-door Cosmic Encounter: Neighboring Galaxies Collided 2-3 Billion Years Ago
ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2009) — An international team of astronomers, including Queen’s University physicist Larry Widrow, have uncovered evidence of a nearby cosmic encounter. Their study indicates that the Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies, the two galaxies closest to our own, collided about two to three billion years ago...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904165246.htm
 

Researcher Uses 100,000 Degree Heat To Study Plasma, What Happens To Matter Around Black Holes
ScienceDaily (Sep. 5, 2009) — Using one of the greatest artificial sources of radiation energy, University of Nevada, Reno researcher and faculty member Roberto Mancini is studying ultra-high temperature and non-equilibrium plasmas to mimic what happens to matter in accretion disks around black holes...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090902161120.htm

 

Human Brain Could Be Replicated In 10 Years, Researcher Predicts
ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2009) — A model that replicates the functions of the human brain is feasible in 10 years according to neuroscientist Professor Henry Markram of the Brain Mind Institute in Switzerland. "I absolutely believe it is technically and biologically possible. The only uncertainty is financial. It is an extremely expensive project and not all is yet secured."...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090904071908.htm

 

Organic Or Local Fruits and Vegetables?
ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2009) — The emerging trend toward healthier, fresher foods that are also gentle on the environment presents new dilemmas for conscientious consumers. Marketers tout the attributes of "organic" food, while the "local foods movement" is gaining popularity throughout the world. The "organic-or-local" debate is particularly interesting when it comes to fruits and vegetables...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903163951.htm
 
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Takes First Look At Apollo 12 Landing Site
ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2009) — Four months after the success of Apollo 11, NASA launched Apollo 12 in November 1969. Almost exactly 40 years later, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has seen the landing site...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903170011.htm
 
Scientists Begin To Untangle Root Cause Of Alzheimer's Disease
ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2009) — "N60" might not be the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Alzheimer's disease, but thanks to researchers from the United States, South Korea and France, this might change. That's because these researchers have found that the N60 section of a protein called "RanBP9" might be the key that unlocks an entirely new class of Alzheimer's drugs...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903163907.htm
 
Thousands Of New Images Show Mars In High Resolution
ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2009) — Thousands of newly released images from more than 1,500 telescopic observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter show a wide range of gullies, dunes, craters, geological layering and other features on the Red Planet...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903170218.htm
 
Celestial Rosetta Stone: White Dwarf Star, Circling Companion Star, Could Explode In A Few Million Years
ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2009) — ESA's XMM-Newton orbiting X-ray telescope has uncovered a celestial Rosetta stone: the first close-up of a white dwarf star, circling a companion star, that could explode into a particular kind of supernova in a few million years. These supernovae are used as beacons to measure cosmic distances and ultimately understand the expansion of our Universe...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090903163852.htm
 
SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE
 
Mother mad coach took players to church; School district says trip ...
Louisville Courier-Journal
... appear to violate Supreme Court edicts on the separation of church and state — even if it was voluntary and the school district didn't pay for the fuel. ...
http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090907/NEWS01/909070318/Mother+mad+coach+took+players+to+church++School+district+says+trip+was+voluntary
 
Letter sent: National group calls for removal of memorial
WQOW TV News 18
In the letter, the organization, which promotes the separation of church and state, says it crosses the line for a monument on government property to say, ...
http://www.wqow.com/Global/story.asp?S=11102968
 
MISCELLANEOUS
Pope blames atheists for global warming
The Pope blames atheists for global warming. Pope Benedict is claiming atheists are responsible for the destruction of the environment...
http://www.examiner.com/x-10853-Portland-Humanist-Examiner%7Ey2009m8d29-Pope-blames-atheists-for-global-warming?cid=email-this-article

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        CFA Program
 
The Center for Atheism (CFA) was established by the New York City Atheists as a separate and independent national organization to propose, develop, and be a catalyst for new national activities supporting the objectives of atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics, secularists and separation-of-church-and-state advocates. 

CFA will accept and review suggestions from individuals and other secular organizations that will foster our goals.
 
 
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