THE   FOCUS

September 25, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 39
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

Turlock puts 'trust in God'
Modesto Bee
Susan Robinson, who said she is an atheist, warned the council that a policy allowing invocations opens the city up to prayers from "Scientologists, ...
http://www.modbee.com/local/story/865051.html

Charles Darwin Film Finds Distributor, Will be Seen in US
Opposing Views
While some religious believers reconciled scripture and evolution, others -- including modern-day creationists -- defend the notion that a deity fashioned ...
http://www.opposingviews.com/articles/news-charles-darwin-film-finds-distributor-will-be-seen-in-u-s-r-1253828264

ATHEISM

Third atheist billboard goes up in Moscow
Northwest Cable News
By KREM.com MOSCOW, Idaho -- It reads "Millions are good without God" and it appeared on Tuesday in Moscow. It is the third billboard of its kind to go up ...
http://www.nwcn.com/statenews/idaho/stories/NW_091809IDN-athiest-billboard-LJ.1918c305d.html

Company fined in religious discrimination case
WZTV
The lawsuit was the result of complaints filed by an atheist, an agnostic, and the Lexington Fair Housing Council. The complaint was filed in US District ...
http://www.wztv.com/template/inews_wire/wires.regional.ky/3ac170f7-www.fox17.com.shtml

FFRF's "Image No Religion" Campaign Reaches San Francisco
Opposing Views
McQueen was a nearly lifelong atheist. The Foundation launched a national billboard campaign in late 2007, which has now visited more than 20 states and 30 ...
http://www.opposingviews.com/articles/opinion-ffrf-s-image-no-religion-campaign-reaches-san-francisco-r-1253295631

Religious Debate Packs Out UCF Arena
Reuters
Hitchens asked if D'Souza preferred him as an atheist or would D'Souza rather he become a non-Christian believer in religion. D'Souza laughed and said, ...
http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS126477+18-Sep-2009+BW20090918

Insurer fined over discount for religious
United Press International
A federal government lawsuit stemmed from complaints filed by an atheist, an agnostic and the Lexington (Ky.) Fair Housing Council...
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/09/20/Insurer-fined-over-discount-for-religious/UPI-19201253423170/

Athiest and Christian authors debate religion
Central Florida Future
Atheist and antitheist Christopher Hitchens, who referred to religion as “immoral, mythical and man-made,” argued with conservative Christian Dinesh D'Souza ...
http://www.centralfloridafuture.com/atheist-and-christian-authors-debate-religion-1.1904706

Losing their religion: Atheists deal with isolation
Brandon News and Tribune
John Kieffer says he served in the Vietnam War "and became an atheist in a foxhole." By RUSS CARDWELL After graduating from high school, Nan Owens attended ...
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/sep/19/co-losing-their-religion/life/

Relax 'unjust' libel law - Dawkins
BBC News
By Gavin Stamp Atheist author and campaigner Richard Dawkins has called for libel laws to be relaxed to stop the stifling of debate about science and ...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8265651.stm

UK libel laws 'used to block criticism'
Irish Times
I urge politicians to support the call for reform so we can get cross-party support on this vital issue,” said the author, best known for his atheism. ...
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/0921/1224254908802.html

People with 'no religion' gaining on major denominations
USA Today
•The percentage of atheist Nones — who say there's no such thing as God — hasn't budged in years. "It's not as though dozens of people at the Methodist ...
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-09-22-no-religion_N.htm

Atheist advocates evidence-based belief on Fargo's Freethought Day
In-Forum
PZ Myers, an outspoken atheist and evolutionary biologist, had some nice things to say about Fargo on Thursday. Atheist PZ Myers, speaking Thursday at North ...
http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/254062/

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

Charles Darwin, too hot for the US
guardian.co.uk
But questioning evolution is like questioning gravity Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin in Creation. Photograph: PR On the heels of a February 2009 Gallup poll ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/sep/21/creation-film-us-science-evolution

An atheist sings the praises of Creation
guardian.co.uk
It also contains one of the most robust defences of atheism and agnosticism ever to appear in a mainstream film. A kind, funny and humble family man, ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2009/sep/21/creation-charles-darwin-evolution

Author pits evolution against creationism
Toronto Star
Unrelentingly scientific, occasionally dry, sometimes angry, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution was written to arm evolutionists with ...
http://www.thestar.com/living/Religion/article/698848

Kirk Cameron Plays the Hitler Card
TMZ.com (blog)
Since we don't know what a "day" is to God, how do we know that evolution wasn't God's way of creating the Earth to begin with? God gave man a brain for him ...
http://www.tmz.com/2009/09/22/kirk-cameron-plays-the-hitler-card/

Ricky Gervais: 'Religion is Based on Lies'
Showbiz Spy
The British comic — who stars in new movie The Invention Of Lying — says he has been an atheist “all my life” and is adamant people created the idea of a ...
http://www.showbizspy.com/article/192302/ricky-gervais-religion-is-based-on-lies.html

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

Single mothers defy evolution
The Australian
Another lesson from evolution was that the more "alloparents" -- friends and family to help with the baby -- the better. That's why "daycare is here to ...
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,26107016-30417,00.html

Kirk Cameron Stands Behind Controversial Darwin Statements
People Magazine
"Atheism has been on the rise for years now, and the Bible of the atheists is The Origin of Species," Cameron tells PEOPLE. "We have a situation in our ...
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20307814,00.html

SCIENCE

MINIATURE T-REX DINOSAUR DISCOVERY OVERTURNS EVOLUTION THEORIES
UK Express
Experts say the discovery of the 'tinysaurus' has "thrown a wrench" into scientific understandings of evolution. Stephen Brusatte, from the American Museum ...
http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/128349/Miniature-T-rex-dinosaur-discovery-overturns-evolution-theories

Planck Snaps Its First Images Of Ancient Cosmic Light
ScienceDaily (Sep. 20, 2009) — Preliminary results from ESA’s Planck mission to study the early Universe indicate that the data quality is excellent. This bodes well for the full sky survey that has just begun...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090917111503.htm

Majority Of Unintended Incidents In The Emergency Room Are Caused By Human Error, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (Sep. 20, 2009) — Sixty percent of the causes of unintended incidents in the emergency department that could have compromised patient safety are related to human failures, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Emergency Medicine...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090917191603.htm

Invading Black Holes Explain Cosmic Flashes
ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2009) — Black holes are invading stars, providing a radical explanation to bright flashes in the universe that are one of the biggest mysteries in astronomy today...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090918100015.htm

Ice Cream May Target The Brain Before Your Hips, Study Suggests
ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2009) — Blame your brain for sabotaging your efforts to get back on track after splurging on an extra scoop of ice cream or that second burger during Friday night's football game...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090914110533.htm

Using Waste To Recover Waste Uranium
ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2009) — Using bacteria and inositol phosphate, a chemical analogue of a cheap waste material from plants, researchers at Birmingham University have recovered uranium from the polluted waters from uranium mines...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090907013804.htm

Ganymede Makes Big Impression On Jupiter's Auroral Lightshows
ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2009) — Studies of features in Jupiter’s spectacular and rapidly changing aurorae have given new insights into the complex electromagnetic interactions between the giant planet and two of its innermost moons...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090916223913.htm

New NASA Temperature Maps Provide 'Whole New Way Of Seeing The Moon'
ScienceDaily (Sep. 19, 2009) — NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), an unmanned mission to comprehensively map the entire moon, has returned its first data. One of the seven instruments aboard, the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment, is making the first global survey of the temperature of the lunar surface while the spacecraft orbits some 31 miles above the moon...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090917191609.htm

Out Of Darkness, Sight: Rare Cases Of Restored Vision Reveal How The Brain Learns To See
ScienceDaily (Sep. 18, 2009) — Cases of restored vision after a lifetime of blindness, though exceedingly rare, provide a unique opportunity to address several fundamental questions regarding brain function. After being deprived of visual input, the brain needs to learn to make sense of the new flood of visual information...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090917115658.htm

Face Off: Misunderstood Expressions Facilitate Adolescent Aggression
ScienceDaily (Sep. 18, 2009) — Juvenile delinquency may be a result of misunderstood social cues. Research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health shows that male juvenile delinquents frequently misinterpret facial expressions of disgust as anger, providing a possible cause for their aggressive behaviour...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090917191605.htm

Oddball Stars Explained: New Observations Solve Longstanding Mystery Of Tipped Stars
ScienceDaily (Sep. 18, 2009) — A pair of unusual stars known as DI Herculis has confounded astronomers for three decades, but new observations by MIT researchers and their colleagues have provided data that they say solve the mystery once and for all...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090917115656.htm

Teenage Birth Rates Higher In More Religious States
ScienceDaily (Sep. 18, 2009) — Rates of births to teenage mothers are strongly predicted by conservative religious beliefs, even after controlling for differences in income and rates of abortion. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Reproductive Health have found a strong association between teenage birth rates and state-level measures of religiosity in the U.S...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090916223740.htm

Killing Cancer Like A Vampire Slayer: New Drug Cuts Off Blood Supplies To Starve Cancer Tumors
ScienceDaily (Sep. 18, 2009) — Like vampires, cancer tumors require an ample supply of blood to stay alive. Without fresh blood for sustenance, cancer cells shrivel up like raisins and die...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090917111621.htm

Chemobrain: The Flip Side Of Surviving Cancer
ScienceDaily (Sep. 18, 2009) — One of the most problematic side effects of cancer treatment, chemobrain -- a range of symptoms including memory loss, inability to concentrate, difficulty thinking and other subtle cognitive changes following chemotherapy -- seriously diminishes women's quality of life and daily functioning...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090917111518.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

75 years on freedom's front lines
San Jose Mercury News
"The separation of church and state is a core principle of the ACLU, and we absolutely defend people's freedom of speech to express their religious ...
http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_13379353?nclick_check=1

Evangelical treatment program gets $2.4 million from state
Minnesota Independent
Teen Challenge has been in the spotlight recently because of concerns about the separation of church and state — and, specifically, the program's receipt of ...
http://minnesotaindependent.com/44954/minnesota-teen-challenge-gets-2-million-state-funds

Cross On Monterey Beach Cut By Vandals
KSBW
City leaders will also need to determine if there is a violation of separation between church and state. "The whole religious thing on the side, ...
http://www.ksbw.com/news/21061282/detail.html

Separation Of Church And State Heating Up In NRH
CBS 11
"It's a cause this resident say extends beyond atheism." The atheist NRH resident says there are others who may agree with him. "There are freethinkers ...
http://cbs11tv.com/local/atheist.North.Richland.2.1201661.html

Today's THV At Noon: Pledge Of Allegiance "Miranda Warning"
Today's THV
The group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State is advocating a "Miranda warning" for the Pledge -- an administrative notice to students ...
http://www.todaysthv.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=91387&catid=2

Rules raise free speech worries
The Olympian
Dennis Mansker, president of the South Sound chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, strongly supported the proposed rules. ...
http://www.theolympian.com/stategovernment/story/979582.html

MISCELLANEOUS

None

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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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