THE   FOCUS

October 16, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 42
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.


 
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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FEATURED ARTICLES 

Iraqis Shocked as Atheism Creeps in 
Islam Online 
“I was surprised a couple of weeks ago when my son told me that his colleague at college told him that his father had become an atheist,” Sheik ... 
http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1254573498385&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout# 

At legal crossroads 
San Diego Union Tribune 
What's changing: If the Mojave case does not answer legal questions about the separation of church and state, the Mount Soledad cross in La Jolla might ... 
http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/oct/13/legal-crossroads/ 

Religious groups slated for Illinois grants 
Chicago Tribune 
"I'm very aware of church and state and the need you have to keep them separate," Ford said. "But when you have a church that does community improvements ... 
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-church-state-money13oct13,0,3398849.story 

Orthodox Jews Rely More on Sex Abuse Prosecution 
New York Times 
For decades, prosecutors in Brooklyn routinely pursued child molesters from every major ethnic and religious segment of the borough’s diverse population. Except one... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/nyregion/14abuse.html?_r=1&th&emc=th 

Faith-Based Discrimination 
New York Times 
President Obama promised in his campaign to preserve President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative aimed at helping social service programs sponsored by religious organizations win federal grants and contracts. He also promised a vitally important change: groups receiving federal money would no longer be allowed to hire employees on the basis of their religion... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/opinion/14wed4.html?th&emc=th 

ATHEISM 

Atheists March Through Krakow 
Krakow Post 
But undoubtedly the biggest question facing the organisers is “Why have a march for atheists and agnostics?” “We want to show that there are non-believers ... 
http://www.krakowpost.com/article/1626 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

Richard Dawkins evolves his arguments 
Los Angeles Times 
... is at the Atheist Alliance International Convention in Burbank to discuss his new book, "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution" (Free ... 
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/arts/la-ca-richard-dawkins11-2009oct11,0,4602534.story 

Evolution All Around 
New York Times 
By NICHOLAS WADE The theory of evolution really does explain everything in biology. The phenomena that Darwin understood in broad brush strokes can now be ... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/books/review/Wade-t.html?em 

Five Minutes with: Ricky Gervais 
BBC News 
This week comedian, actor and writer turned film director Ricky Gervais talks about Britishness, philosophy, science, his atheist beliefs - and why he ... 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8299046.stm 

Mormons Play Victim, Claim Threats by Gays Like Treatment of Blacks in the ... 
Towleroad (blog) 
Can some elected official with actual power in state office please find a way to ENFORCE the laws of separation of church and state? ... 
http://www.towleroad.com/2009/10/mormons-play-victim-claim-threats-by-gays-like-treatment-of-blacks-in-the-south-during-civil-rights-.html 

Colbert: Scalia correct that 'cross has nothing to do with Christianity' 
Raw Story 
By David Edwards and Muriel Kane Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert complained mockingly on Tuesday that "our tradition of separation of church and state too ... 
http://rawstory.com/2009/10/scalia-says-cross-no-longer-represents-christians/ 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

The Newest Oldest Ancestor Tells Her Tale 
New York Times 
(Among her other accomplishments, she has buttressed the notion of evolution itself.) The fact that Ardi was bipedal a million years before Lucy is crucial ... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/10/arts/television/10ardi.html 

Meet 44 million year old Ardi 
Baruch College The Ticker 
Movement by means of the rear two legs was a key evolution for our ancestors and brought about distinguishing changes to the anatomy of their hip, ... 
http://www.theticker.org/sections/science/meet-4-4-million-year-old-ardi-1.1993299# 

The not-so-angry evolutionist 
msnbc.com 
Biologist Richard Dawkins is turning down the atheist rhetoric as he promotes "The Greatest Show on Earth," his new book about the evidence for evolution. ... 
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/10/14/2097873.aspx 

SCIENCE 

3-D Structure Of Human Genome: Fractal Globule Architecture Packs Two Meters Of DNA Into Each Cell 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 11, 2009) — Scientists have deciphered the three-dimensional structure of the human genome, paving the way for new insights into genomic function and expanding our understanding of how cellular DNA folds at scales that dwarf the double helix... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008142957.htm 

Largest Dinosaur Footprints Ever Found Discovered Near Lyon, France 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2009) — Footprints from sauropod dinosaurs, giant herbivores with long necks, were found in Plagne, near Lyon, France. Discovered by Marie-Hélène Marcaud and Patrice Landry, two nature enthusiasts, the dinosaur footprints have been authenticated by Jean-Michel Mazin and Pierre Hantzpergue... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009132928.htm 

No Scientific Link Between Childhood Vaccines And Autism, Review Shows 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2009) — A new article recently published in the Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing explored vaccination history, vaccine safety monitoring systems in the U.S., and the two most publicized theoretical vaccine-related exposures associated with autism – the vaccine preservative thimerosal and the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008131852.htm 

Nanotechnology Used In Biofuel Process To Save Money, Environment 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2009) — Dr. James Palmer, associate professor of chemical engineering at Louisiana Tech University, is collaborating with fellow professors Dr. Yuri Lvov, Dr. Dale Snow, and Dr. Hisham Hegab to capitalize on the environmental and financial benefits of “biofuels” by using nanotechnology to further improve the cellulosic ethanol processes... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008131858.htm 

'Blue Stonehenge' Discovered By UK Archaeologists 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2009) — Archaeologists have released an artist’s impression of what a second stone circle found a mile from Stonehenge might have looked like... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008145911.htm 

Archaeopteryx Was Not Very Bird-like: Inside The First Bird, Surprising Signs Of A Dinosaur 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2009) — The raptor-like Archaeopteryx has long been viewed as the archetypal first bird, but new research reveals that it was actually a lot less "bird-like" than scientists had believed... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009090436.htm 

One Small Step For Neurons, One Giant Leap For Nerve Cell Repair 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2009) — The repair of damaged nerve cells is a major problem in medicine today. A new study by researchers at the Montreal NeurologicaI Institute and Hospital (The Neuro) and McGill University, is a significant advance towards a solution for neuronal repair. The study featured on the cover of the October 7 issue of Journal of Neuroscience... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007124402.htm 

New Mesozoic Mammal: Discovery Illuminates Mammalian Ear Evolution While Dinosaurs Ruled 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2009) — An international team of paleontologists has discovered a new species of mammal that lived 123 million years ago in what is now the Liaoning Province in northeastern China. The newly discovered animal, Maotherium asiaticus, comes from famous fossil-rich beds of the Yixian Formation... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008143001.htm 

First 'One-way Roads' For Light Could Lead To Simpler Lightwave Technology 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2009) — Light readily bounces off obstacles in its path. Some of these reflections are captured by our eyes, thus participating in the visual perception of the objects around us. In contrast to this usual behavior of light, MIT researchers have implemented for the first time a one-way structure in which microwave light flows losslessly around obstacles or defects... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008172005.htm 

NASA Spacecraft LCROSS Impacts Lunar Crater In Search Of Water Ice 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2009) — NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, created twin impacts on the moon's surface early Friday in a search for water ice. Scientists will analyze data from the spacecraft's instruments to assess whether water ice is present... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091009101945.htm 

Buying Green Can Be License For Bad Behavior, Study Finds 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2009) — Just being around green products can make us behave more altruistically, a new study to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science has found... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007103030.htm 

Last Time Carbon Dioxide Levels Were This High: 15 Million Years Ago, Scientists Report 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2009) — You would have to go back at least 15 million years to find carbon dioxide levels on Earth as high as they are today, a UCLA scientist and colleagues report Oct. 8 in the online edition of the journal Science... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091008152242.htm 

Smaller And More Efficient Nuclear Battery Created 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2009) — Batteries can power anything from small sensors to large systems. While scientists are finding ways to make them smaller but even more powerful, problems can arise when these batteries are much larger and heavier than the devices themselves. University of Missouri researchers are developing a nuclear energy source that is smaller, lighter and more efficient... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007124723.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

Grant to rebuild church cancelled 
ABC7Chicago.com 
Atheist activist Rob Sherman sued to block the grant after the agreement between the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Pilgrim Baptist was ... 
http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=7057153 

Atheists Say that Public Prayer Literally Makes Them Sick 
Opposing Views 
The lawsuit, filed by hundreds of atheists and atheist groups, led by frequent litigant Michael Newdow, was thrown out by the lower federal court. ... 
http://www.opposingviews.com/articles/opinion-atheists-say-that-public-prayer-literally-makes-them-sick-r-1255108488# 

Religions that rely on prayer to heal add twist to health care reform debate 
Tampabay.com 
The devil is in the details, according to the nonpartisan Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which is watching the permutations closely. ... 
http://www.tampabay.com/news/health/religions-that-rely-on-prayer-to-heal-add-twist-to-health-care-reform/1043304 

Bible classes slow to appear in schools 
Houston Chronicle 
... literature and civilization, many schools quit offering Bible classes after the ruling in fear of violating the separation of church and state, he said. ... 
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6663156.html 

'Messiah' performance hunts for home 
Deseret News 
Granite district and Holladay each received a complaint letter in February and September from Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ... 
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705336544/Messiah-performance-hunts-for-home.html 

Badger-Two Medicine lawsuit spurs debate 
Great Falls Tribune 
... of the Lewis and Clark National Forest, with separation of church and state sharing stage with disagreements over access and environmental impacts. ... 
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20091014/NEWS01/910140302 

Peoria school attorney reviewing controversial church ad 
ABC15.com (KNXV-TV) 
... Governing Board president, said the Board started reviewing the advertisement when someone raised concerns about separation of church and state laws. ... 
http://www.abc15.com/content/news/westvalley/peoria/story/Peoria-school-attorney-reviewing-controversial/WpT44sqnNEG9hlbJBciOvw.cspx 

MISCELLANEOUS 

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