THE   FOCUS

October 9, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 41
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

Atheists oppose "faith healing" provisions in health care bills
Los Angeles Chronicle
An Atheist public policy organization has called for elimination of requirements in Senate legislation which would reimburse faith-based "healers" for their ...
http://www.losangeleschronicle.com/articles/view/122895#

ATHEISM

Did God give me the hiccups?
guardian.co.uk
I was due to go on the radio to discuss atheism when the spasms hit. Could it – hic – be Him? Last week, I developed a violent, sinister bout of hiccups ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/04/hiccups-radio-show-religion-atheism

Religion and learning: what we know
guardian.co.uk
But converts to theism come from better-educated groups Andrew Brown's recent blog on atheism and class attracted a huge number of responses, including one ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/oct/05/atheist-religion-education-demographics-class

What Preachers and Atheist have in common!
Shelbyville Times-Gazette
What Preachers and Atheist have in common is that they can't hold a position in the Tennessee legislature. Recently as I was studying Tennessee's State ...
http://www.t-g.com/blogs/1300/entry/30536/

Thought for the Day: There may or may not be a God
guardian.co.uk
Ariane Sherine, who masterminded the atheist bus campaign, will join the debate about Thought for the Day. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images It is a ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/08/thought-for-the-day-humanist

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

Inside the List
New York Times
Neither Dawkins nor Armstrong has much patience for religious fundamentalists, but that doesn't mean the pugnacious atheist and the former nun are rushing ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/books/review/InsideList-t.html?_r=1

Is Ricky Gervais' new film really atheist propaganda?
National Secular Society
The new film from NSS honorary associate Ricky Gervais, The Invention of Lying, has been accused of being little more than atheist propaganda. ...
http://www.secularism.org.uk/114186.html

Gervais gets true laughs from others in 'Lying'
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
"She doesn't want to enter a world of nothingness and I am an atheist, but this isn't an atheist propaganda movie by any means, and I love films that assume ...
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09275/1002413-60.stm

Amenabar nervous ahead of premiere of Agora blockbuster
AFP
The Chilean-born director, 37, who considers himself to be an atheist, said the best language for a film with such a big budget was English. ...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g-3J8-xJvKmYJJJk7gwWErybHbTg

A creationist primer
The Coast
A scientist examines the "banana disproves evolution premise. The History of Creationism From God to Intelligent Design. by Tim Bousquet...
http://www.thecoast.ca/halifax/a-creationist-primer/Content?oid=1322217

Darwin's pitbull: Richard Dawkins on evolution and unintelligent design
OregonLive.com
His new book, "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution," takes on creationists, including followers of intelligent design, by meticulously ...
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/10/darwins_pitbull_richard_dawkin.html

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

The latest on evolution from the Vatican
National Center for Science Education
"Intelligent design" was also the topic of Maxine Singer's contribution to the plenary session. Singer traced the history of the antievolution movement in ...
http://ncseweb.org/news/2009/10/latest-evolution-from-vatican-005083

'Ardi' and Human Evolution
On Point Radio
Here's an illustration in the journal Science showing how the researchers who discovered Ardi think she fits into the path of human evolution. ...
http://www.onpointradio.org/2009/10/ardi-and-human-evolution

Darwin, From the Creationists
Inside Higher Ed
An anti-evolution group is getting ready to unveil a new tactic -- with college students as the target. Living Waters, an evangelical group that argues for ...
http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/10/07/darwin#

Science | Uncovered: scientists discover a partialy fossilized skeleton in ...
SU The Daily Orange (subscription)
Scientists discarded the term because it doesn't fit with Darwin's theory of evolution, according to project literature. Ardi's full name, which literally ...
http://media.www.dailyorange.com/media/storage/paper522/news/2009/10/07/News/Science.Uncovered.Scientists.Discover.A.Partialy.Fossilized.Skeleton.In.Ethiopi-3795347.shtml

Startling find may be key in evolution
Arizona Daily Wildcat
“It offers us a fuzzy picture of what has happened in the evolution of early humans,” Raichlen said. Because of Ardi, scientists can now see a shift in the ...
http://wildcat.arizona.edu/news/startling-find-may-be-key-in-evolution-1.630357#

New Book Promotes Evolution
New University Online
14, 2008 The National Academy of Sciences's Committee on Revising Science and Creationism released the book 'Science, Evolution and Creationism' earlier ...
http://www.newuniversity.org/2008/01/news/new_book_promotes_evolution52/

Cancellation of Darwin film creates uproar
Los Angeles Daily News
A group that favors "intelligent design" had planned to premier a new documentary film at the California Science Center in Los Angeles later this month, ...
http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_13520040

SCIENCE

Heart Of A Galaxy Emits Gamma Rays
ScienceDaily (Oct. 4, 2009) — Quite a few distant galaxies turn out to be cosmic delivery rooms. Large numbers of massive stars are born in the hearts of these starburst galaxies, and later explode as supernovae...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002093805.htm

Using Synthetic Evolution To Study The Brain: Key Part Of Neurons Modeled On Computer
ScienceDaily (Oct. 3, 2009) — The human brain has evolved over millions of years to become a vast network of billions of neurons and synaptic connections. Understanding it is one of humankind’s greatest pursuits...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002105001.htm

Where's The Science? The Sorry State Of Psychotherapy
ScienceDaily (Oct. 3, 2009) — The prevalence of mental health disorders in this country has nearly doubled in the past 20 years. Who is treating all of these patients? Clinical psychologists and therapists are charged with the task, but many are falling short by using methods that are out of date and lack scientific rigor...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002182633.htm

Herschel Views Deep-space Pearls On A Cosmic String
ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2009) — Europe's Herschel space telescope has delivered spectacular vistas of cold gas clouds lying near the plane of the Milky Way, revealing intense, unexpected activity. The dark, cool region is dotted with stellar factories, like pearls on a cosmic string...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002093801.htm

New Kind Of Search For Dark Energy: First Light For BOSS
ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2009) — BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, is the most ambitious attempt yet to map the expansion history of the Universe using the technique known as baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO). A part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III), BOSS achieved "first light" on the night of September 14-15...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001163728.htm

Laser Technique Has Implications For Detecting Microbial Life Forms In Martian Ice
ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2009) — An innovative technique called L.I.F.E. imaging used successfully to detect bacteria in frozen Antarctic lakes could have exciting implications for demonstrating signs of life in the polar regions of Mars, according to an article published in the current issue of Astrobiology...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001101333.htm

Step Forward For Nanotechnology: Controlled Movement Of Molecules
ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2009) — Scientists in the United Kingdom are reporting an advance toward overcoming one of the key challenges in nanotechnology: Getting molecules to move quickly in a desired direction without help from outside forces...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930112138.htm

Before 'Lucy,' There Was 'Ardi': First Major Analysis Of Early Hominid Published In Science
ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2009) — In a special issue of Science, an international team of scientists has for the first time thoroughly described Ardipithecus ramidus, a hominid species that lived 4.4 million years ago in what is now Ethiopia...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001110548.htm

Monkeys' Grooming Habits Provide New Clues To How We Socialize
ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2009) — A study of female monkeys' grooming habits provides new clues about the way we humans socialise. New research, published September 30 in Proceedings of the Royal Society, reveals there is a link between the size of the brain, in particular the neocortex which is responsible for higher-level thinking, and the size and number of grooming clusters that monkeys belong to...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930175731.htm

'Ram Pressure' Stripping Galaxies, Hubble Space Telescope Scientists Find
ScienceDaily (Sep. 30, 2009) — A newly released set of images, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope before the recent Servicing Mission, highlight the ongoing drama in two galaxies in the Virgo Cluster affected by a process known as "ram pressure stripping", which can result in peculiar-looking galaxies...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090930102519.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Lodi defends its public prayers
Los Angeles Times
A woman who identified herself as an atheist blasted Christianity, blaming it for the decimation of native Americans, the Salem witch burnings and "the ...
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-prayer3-2009oct03,0,327624.story

Prayer Effort Seeks 'Right Thinking' From Liberals
NPR
"One of the great things about the principle of separation of church and state is that people can pray for people whether they like it or not," he says. ...
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113453702

US supreme court opens new session in Washington
guardian.co.uk
An Oregon man sued to take down the cross, alleging an improper breach of the separation of church and state. In 2003, Congress sought to transfer the land ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/05/us-supreme-court-sonia-sotomayor

Council Votes To Restore Monterey Cross
KSBW
But some community members said at the meeting that the cross was a violation of the separation between church and state. "The constitution is very clear ...
http://www.ksbw.com/news/21228701/detail.html

Monterey beach cross to be replaced
Monterey County Herald
... speaking for the Monterey County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the issue is one of separation of church and state. ...
http://www.montereyherald.com/local/ci_13503974?nclick_check=1#

Perry co-sponsors school religion bill
Cape Cod Times
"We continue to build this wall up in the separation of church and state to an extreme," deMacedo said. Supporters of the bill see the legislation as a way ...
http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091007/NEWS/910070320/-1/NEWSMAP

Popular 'Messiah' production may be on hold this year
KSL-TV
Organizers think it's because of protests from a group advocating the separation of church and state, but it may just boil down to a miscommunication. ...
http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=8199633#

Church wants to rent space at Dixon Elementary
Brookfield Elm Grove Now
In April, Washington DC-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit against the district on behalf of several unnamed ...
http://www.brookfieldnow.com/news/63878302.html

MISCELLANEOUS

Supreme Court Rules “Global Warming” is a Religion, Orders Separation of ...
Bongo News (satire)
WASHINGTON, DC, 2009-10-06 — In a 5-4 ruling, the US Supreme Court has made a judicial finding that global warming is a religion, thus complicating ...
http://www.bongonews.com/layout7.php?event=3321

        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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