THE   FOCUS

October 23, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 43
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 

Atheist ads to adorn New York subway stations 
CNN 
Atheist organizations have purchased a month-long campaign that will place their posters in busy subway stations throughout Manhattan. ... 
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/10/21/new.york.subway.ads/ 

African churches denounce children as ‘witches’ 
Pastors accuse thousands of children, leading to torture or death 
Accused child witches Jane, left, and Mary, right, stand with other children accused of witchcraft at the Children's Rights and Rehabilitation Network in Eket, Nigeria, on Aug. 18, 2009. Jane's mother tried to saw off the top of her skull after a pastor denounced her and Mary, 15, is just beginning to think about boys and how they will look at the scar tissue on her face caused when her mother doused... 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33356826/ns/world_news-africa/ 

Sacramento Atheist Takes On the IRS 
News10.net 
SACRAMENTO, CA - The Sacramento atheist attorney who attracted nationwide attention for challenging the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is now ... 
http://www.news10.net/news/story.aspx?storyid=68857&catid=2# 

ATHEISM 

Campus group promotes assortment of beliefs 
Kansas State Collegian 
According to the American Humanist Association, a recent poll of individuals ages 18-25 found that the atheist, agnostic and nonreligious population in the ... 
http://www.kstatecollegian.com/news/campus-group-promotes-assortment-of-beliefs-1.1999394# 

Groups seek to create unique sanctuary 
Baylor University The Lariat Online 
By Alyssa Mendez The Atheist and Agnostic Association, along with a recently founded club, Open Dialogue, have come together to create a safe haven where ... 
http://www.baylor.edu/lariat/news.php?action=story&story=63051 

A Bitter Rift Divides Atheists 
NPR 
by Barbara Bradley Hagerty Last month, atheists marked Blasphemy Day at gatherings around the world, and celebrated the freedom to denigrate and insult ... 
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113889251 

Cyber attacks smite atheist websites 
Sydney Morning Herald 
Author Richard Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion, lends his support to an atheism advertising campaign. Photo: Reuters Australian atheists are under ... 
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/security/cyber-attacks-smite-atheist-websites-20091021-h7ul.html 

Atheists feel left out, finds faith surveys 
Irish Times 
IRELAND'S ATHEISTS feel discriminated against and left out of conversations with religious people, as well from the public sphere, according to new ... 
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/1020/1224257057606.html 

Disbelief at atheism ads 
amNY 
A planned atheist ad campaign touting New Yorkers who are "good without God" is provoking the wrath of many who said it's trampling on their religion. ... 
http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/disbelief-at-atheism-ads-1.1535037 

Australian atheists targeted by hackers 
TG Daily 
By Emma Woollacott In what's probably an act of man rather than God, the sites of both the Atheist Foundation of Australia and the Global Atheist Convention ... 
http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/44373/108/ 

Atheist billboard 
Chicago Tribune 
... Secular Students Association of Elmhurst College, two local chapters of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Chicago Secular Singles, ... 
http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/religion_theseeker/2009/10/atheist-billboard.html# 

Coalition of Reason promotes atheism in West Virginia 
West Virginia Public Broadcasting 
By Ben Adducchio October 22, 2009 · A West Virginia group of non-believers is encouraging atheists to speak their mind in Morgantown. ... 
http://www.wvpubcast.org/newsarticle.aspx?id=11729 

North Idaho atheist billboard vandalized 
KHQ Right Now 
In a press release issued Wednesday, the American Humanist Association said the organization may have to pay to replace an atheist billboard in Moscow after ... 
http://www.khq.com/Global/story.asp?S=11355159# 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

Atheism 3.0 finds a little more room for belief 
NewsOK.com 
Setting aside the question of whether God exists, it's clear that the benefits of faith far outweigh its costs, he argues in his new book, "An Atheist ... 
http://www.newsok.com/atheism-3.0-finds-a-little-more-room-for-belief/article/feed/93218# 

Evolution is extraordinary...and true 
PSU Daily Vanguard 
I was there because I read The God Delusion and appreciated its intelligent elucidation of my thought processes in regard to my own atheism. ... 
http://www.dailyvanguard.com/evolution-is-extraordinary-and-true-1.2001323# 

Atheists Split Over How Mean to Be to Faithful 
Newser 
Maybe that's too dramatic a phrase, but there's a rift growing between so-called “new atheists,” who favor an aggressive, mocking stance toward religion, ... 
http://www.newser.com/story/72026/atheists-split-over-how-mean-to-be-to-faithful.html# 

A Raconteur of Nature's Back Story 
New York Times 
He is active in the humanist movement and last year was a prominent sponsor, along with the philosopher AC Grayling, of the Atheist Bus Campaign, ... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/20/books/20dawkins.html 

Richard Dawkins defends theory of evolution 
Minnesota Public Radio 
A vociferous defender of Darwin, Richard Dawkins has a new book that lists the evidence that the theory of evolution explains how life on Earth came to be. ... 
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/10/20/midmorning1/# 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

Professor completes 21-year evolution project 
MSU State News 
“This research is not only useful in understanding the tempo and mode of evolution, but can serve as a nice framework for practical applications in ... 
http://www.statenews.com/index.php/article/2009/10/professor_completes_21year_evolution_project 

Primate evolution claim challenged 
Scientist 
... a debate over the existence of an evolutionary link between lemur-like and monkey-like primates -- a link that could more fully explain human evolution. ... 
http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/56110/ 

SCIENCE 

New View Of The Heliosphere: Cassini Helps Redraw Shape Of Solar System 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2009) — In a paper published Oct. 15 in Science, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) present a new view of the region of the sun’s influence, or heliosphere, and the forces that shape it. Images from one of the Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument’s sensors, the Ion and Neutral Camera (MIMI/INCA)... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016101807.htm 

Milestone Discovery In Cell Behaviors 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2009) — A team of international molecular scientists, led by a Monash University researcher has discovered a new, fast mechanism by which cells communicate change – for example their location during spreading of a cancer in the human body – to adjacent cells... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091014102205.htm 

Confronting Bad Behavior: Is There A Social Payoff? 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2009) — Suppose you are at a busy playground and you hear an 11-year-old using language he didn’t learn on Sesame Street. There are plenty of other adults around, but, apparently, not this child’s parents. Do you intervene? Does anyone... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016141024.htm 

Quantum Computer Chips Now One Step Closer To Reality 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 17, 2009) — In the quest for smaller, faster computer chips, researchers are increasingly turning to quantum mechanics -- the exotic physics of the small... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091015133117.htm 

Galactic Magnetic Fields May Control Boundaries Of Our Solar System 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 17, 2009) — The first all-sky maps developed by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft, the initial mission to examine the global interactions occurring at the edge of the solar system, suggest that the galactic magnetic fields had a far greater impact on Earth's history than previously conceived, and the future of our planet and others may depend... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091016112630.htm 

Catching The Interstellar Wind: Spacecraft Finds Ribbon-like Structure At Edge Of Heliosphere 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2009) — NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, spacecraft has made it possible for scientists to construct the first comprehensive sky map of our solar system and its location in the Milky Way galaxy. The new view will change the way researchers view and study the interaction between our galaxy and sun... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091015144522.htm 

Cell's Powerhouses Dismantled: Complete Inventory Of All Proteins In Mitochondria 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2009) — All of life is founded on the interactions of millions of proteins. These are the building blocks for cells and form the molecular mechanisms of life. The problem is that proteins are extremely difficult to study, particularly because there are so many of them and they appear in all sizes and weights... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091015123602.htm 

Scientists Give Flies False Memories 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2009) — By directly manipulating the activity of individual neurons, scientists have given flies memories of a bad experience they never really had, according to a report in the October 16th issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091015123552.htm 

New Light On Nature Of Broca's Area: Rare Procedure Documents How Human Brain Computes Language 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 16, 2009) — A study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports a significant breakthrough in explaining gaps in scientists' understanding of human brain function. The study – which provides a picture of language processing in the brain with unprecedented clarity – will be published in the October 16 issue of the journal Science... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091015141500.htm 

Giant Impact Near India -- Not Mexico -- May Have Doomed Dinosaurs 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2009) — A mysterious basin off the coast of India could be the largest, multi-ringed impact crater the world has ever seen. And if a new study is right, it may have been responsible for killing the dinosaurs off 65 million years ago... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091015102246.htm 

Milky Way's Tiny But Tough Galactic Neighbor 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 14, 2009) — A stunning new image reveals one of our nearest galactic neighbors, Barnard's Galaxy, also known as NGC 6822. The galaxy contains regions of rich star formation and curious nebulae, such as the bubble clearly visible in the upper left of this remarkable vista. The strange shapes of these cosmic misfits help researchers understand how galaxies interact, evolve and occasionally "cannibalize" each other, leaving behind radiant, star-filled scraps... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091014102018.htm 

Video Camera That Records At The Speed Of Thought 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 14, 2009) — European researchers who created an ultra-fast, extremely high-resolution video camera have enabled dozens of medical applications, including one scenario that can record ‘thought’ processes travelling along neurons... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091013210441.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

ACLJ Asks Federal Appeals Court to Uphold Dismissal of Atheist Lawsuit ... 
Reuters 
... Columbia to uphold a lower court decision issued in January rejecting a lawsuit filed by some 30 plaintiffs including California atheist Michael Newdow. ... 
http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS198196+15-Oct-2009+BW20091015 

3 Education Board members take issue with social studies proposal 
Dallas Morning News 
WallBuilders, based in Aledo, is a group that has challenged the legal separation of church and state. Both men had initially questioned the inclusion of ... 
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/education/stories/DN-edboard_16tex.ART.State.Edition1.4bc22fa.html 

Taxpayer may get a fat bill 
Winston-Salem Journal 
Plaintiffs Constance Blackmon and Janet Joyner are members of the Winston-Salem chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. ... 
http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2009/oct/19/taxpayer-may-get-a-fat-bill/# 

Resident charges call violated election law 
Mirror 
“I feel very strongly about separation of church and state,” Rose said. “This time there is documentation,” she said, referring to the caller identification ... 
http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20091018/NEWS20/910180353 

Atheist files suit against Castro over pledge 
San Antonio Express 
By Gilbert Garcia - SAEN For the second time in the last year, a local atheist has filed a federal lawsuit against the mayor of San Antonio over the ... 
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/64832852.html 

Lodi council oks prayer policy 
Stockton Record 
But Buchanan is unapologetic about putting Lodi on the map in the country's ongoing church-state debate. "I think there are a lot of people who do not ... 
http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091022/A_NEWS/910220335 

9th Circuit Won't Review Ariz. Tuition Tax Credits 
Courthouse News Service 
Taxpayers said the program funnels public money into religious schools in violation of the Constitution's separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/10/22/9th_Circuit_Won_t_Review_Ariz_Tuition_Tax_Credits.htm 

MISCELLANEOUS 

Insecurity not education determines church attendance 
NRC International 
The cacophony of evangelists and the radical separation of church and state would explain the resilience of religious America. Ruiter and Van Tubergen do ... 
http://www.nrc.nl/international/Features/article2394314.ece/Insecurity_not_education_determines_church_attendance 
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