THE   FOCUS

October 30, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 44
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 

Good Without God 
Tonic 
A coalition of eight atheist organizations, collectively called the Big Apple Coalition of Reason, is looking to raise awareness of atheism with a ... 
http://www.tonic.com/article/atheist-subway-advertising-campaign/ 

Teach both evolution and creationism say 54% of Britons 
guardian.co.uk 
More than half of British adults think that intelligent design and creationism should be taught alongside evolution in schoolscience lessons – a proportion ... 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/oct/25/teach-evolution-creationism-britons 

Church of Scientology convicted of fraud in France, fined $600K 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS 
A Paris court convicted the Church of Scientology of fraud and fined it more ... Church of Scientology convicted of fraud in France, fined $600K.  ... 
http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2009/10/27/2009-10-27_church_of_scientology_convicted_of_fraud.html 

Atheist group has similar campaigns in cities across US 
Boston Globe 
“The point of this 'Good without God' campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists, and agnostics living in the United States,'' said ... 
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/10/28/in_subway_ads_atheist_group_reaches_out_to_hubs_faithless/ 

ATHEISM 

Coalition promotes atheism in subway stations 
NYU Washington Square News 
by Samantha Cook An advertisement sponsored by a coalition of eight New York City atheist and secularist groups will appear in 12 major Manhattan subway ... 
http://nyunews.com/news/2009/oct/22/atheism/ 

Billboard in the Loop Spreads Atheist Message 
WGNtv.com 
The Chicago Coalition of Reason is trying to change the way people think about atheists. You might have noticed a new billboard at the corner of lasalle and ... 
http://www.wgntv.com/news/wgntv-atheist-billboard-in-chicago-oct22,0,7680726.story 

Ex-bishop preaches a kinder atheism 
Toronto Star 
It deserves more respect than the neo-atheists pay it, he figures, and less obedience than religionists generally insist on. Though little known in these ... 
http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/article/714568--ex-bishop-preaches-a-kinder-atheism 

Atheism At A Subway Station Near You 
NBC New York 
This is not the first time an Atheist ad campaign has hit the city. In July, The New York City Atheists put advertisements that said "You don't have to ... 
http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/Atheism-At-A-Subway-Station-Near-You-65991557.html 

Atheist group releases ad campaign on Boston subways 
WHDH-TV 
Ads promoting atheism are showing up on many Boston MBTA trains and some commuters are wondering if they go too far. "It's not my viewpoint but it sounds ... 
http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO128171/ 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

A Plant's-Eye View of Desire and Evolution 
New York Times 
As a book “The Botany of Desire” weaves together evolution, biology, psychology, literature, poetry, philosophy and Greek myth. Inevitably, some of that ... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/arts/television/25jens.html 

A 'Collision' Of Beliefs: Atheist Vs. Theologian 
NPR 
Last fall, the journalist, literary critic and proud atheist, Christopher Hitchens, went on a debating tour with Pastor Douglas Wilson. ... 
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114115179 

NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial 
Science is "Exhibit A" in a landmark trial on the teaching of evolution... 
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/beta/evolution/intelligent-design-trial.html 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

Darwin Lives! Modern Humans Are Still Evolving 
TIME 
"That rate of evolution is slow, but pretty similar to what we see in other plants and animals. Humans don't seem to be any exception," Stearns says. ... 
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1931757,00.html 

Alachua publisher enlists Kirk Cameron to promote criticism of Darwin 
Gainesville Sun 
Cameron recently defended the plan in People magazine, saying, “Atheism has been on the rise for years now, and the Bible of the atheists is 'The Origin of ... 
http://www.gainesville.com/article/20091024/ARTICLES/910229925/1004?Title=Alachua-publisher-enlists-Kirk-Cameron-to-promote-criticism-of-Darwin 

In the Muslim world, creationism is on the rise 
Boston Globe 
“American scientists have presented evidence that Darwin's theory of evolution was wrong,” the article opened. “The team announced yesterday that Ardi's ... 
http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/10/25/in_the_muslim_world_creationism_is_on_the_rise/?page=1 

Creation vote surprise 
Brisbane Times 
LONDON: More than half of British adults - 54 per cent - believe intelligent design and creationism should be taught alongside evolution in school - a ... 
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/creation-vote-surprise-20091026-hgqo.html 

Britons back lessons on creationism 
The Press Association 
But of those, 54% said it should be taught together with ideas about intelligent design and creationism. Supporters of creationism reject the concept of ... 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jNch2zlhAbeuVngLrvT2C0szGfOQ 

Poll finds over half of Britons support teaching Creationism and Intelligent ... 
IBTimes 
A Mori poll has found that over half of Britons believe Creationism and Intelligent Design should be taught alongside Evolution in science lessons. ... 
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/20091026/poll-finds-over-half-britons-support-teaching-creationism-and-intelligent-design-along-with-evolutio.htm 

Darwin teaching 'divides opinion' 
BBC News 
Those opting for evolutionary theory "together with other possible perspectives, such as intelligent design and creationism" ranged from 38% in Spain to the ... 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8322781.stm 

SCIENCE 

Can We 'Learn To See?': Study Shows Perception Of Invisible Stimuli Improves With Training 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 21, 2009) — Although we assume we can see everything in our field of vision, the brain actually picks and chooses the stimuli that come into our consciousness. A new study in the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology's Journal of Vision reveals that our brains can be trained to consciously see stimuli that would normally be invisible... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021172659.htm 

Reproduction: Why Having A Mate Provides An Evolutionary Advantage Over Self-fertilization 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2009) — OK, it takes two for human reproduction, and now it seems that plants and animals that can rely on either a partner or go alone by self-fertilization give their offspring a better chance for longer lives when they opt for a mate... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021133856.htm 

Looking For The Origins Of Music In The Brain 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2009) — Music serves as a natural and non-invasive intervention for patients with severe neurological disorders to promote long-term memory, social interaction and communication. However, there is currently no plausible explanation of its neural basis for why and how music affects physical and psychosocial responses... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091020111412.htm 

Scientists Bend Nanowires Into 2-D And 3-D Structures 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2009) — Taking nanomaterials to a new level of structural complexity, scientists have determined how to introduce kinks into arrow-straight nanowires, transforming them into zigzagging two- and three-dimensional structures with correspondingly advanced functions... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091021101816.htm 

Is Unknown Force In Universe Acting On Dark Matter? 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2009) — An international team of astronomers have found an unexpected link between mysterious 'dark matter' and the visible stars and gas in galaxies that could revolutionise our current understanding of gravity... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022154644.htm 

Galaxy Cluster Smashes Distance Record 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2009) — The most distant galaxy cluster yet has been discovered by combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical and infrared telescopes. The cluster is located about 10.2 billion light years away, and is observed as it was when the Universe was only about a quarter of its present age... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022114307.htm 

Long Night Falls Over Saturn's Rings 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2009) — As Saturn's rings orbit the planet, a section is typically in the planet's shadow, experiencing a brief night lasting from 6 to 14 hours. However, once approximately every 15 years, night falls over the entire visible ring system for about four days... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091023163519.htm 

Galileo's Notebooks May Reveal Secrets Of New Planet 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 24, 2009) — Galileo knew he had discovered a new planet in 1613, 234 years before its official discovery date, according to a new theory by a University of Melbourne physicist... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090709095427.htm 

Seeing Previously Invisible Molecules For The First Time 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 24, 2009) — A team of Harvard chemists led by X. Sunney Xie has developed a new microscopic technique for seeing, in color, molecules with undetectable fluorescence. The room-temperature technique allows researchers to identify previously unseen molecules in living organisms and offers broad applications in biomedical imaging and research... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091023104704.htm 

Sensing Disasters From Space: 'Earth Binoculars' See Our Planet Through An Astral Lens 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 24, 2009) — One small step for mankind is now a leap for averting natural and man-made disasters on earth... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091022153635.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

Woman files suit to stop prayer 
abc13.com 
The lawsuit says by allowing open prayer, whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim or any other religion, it violates the separation of church and state. ... 
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=7079107 

Atheists Now After Ministers' Housing Allowances 
Opposing Views 
... Pacific Justice Institute is filing court papers this week to intervene in a federal lawsuit filed Friday by well-known atheist Michael Newdow. ... 
http://www.opposingviews.com/articles/opinion-atheists-now-after-ministers-housing-allowances-r-1256320692 

Orthodox Union effective, but controversial 
NewsOK.com 
Diament says his organization is concerned about the separation of church and state. "We would never seek government funding for the direct funding of ... 
http://www.newsok.com/orthodox-union-effective-but-controversial/article/feed/98099 

Warren man sues after county denies permission to put up nativity 
The Detroit News 
"Every Christmas holiday, militant atheists, acting like the Taliban, use the phrase 'separation of church and state' -- nowhere found in our Constitution ... 
http://www.detnews.com/article/20091026/METRO03/910260402/1409/METRO 

Group sues commission in removal of Jesus display 
Detroit Free Press 
The commission had expressed concerns about the nativity display after complaints from a group that supports separation of church and state, according to ... 
http://www.freep.com/article/20091026/NEWS04/91026042/1001/NEWS/Group-sues-commission-in-removal-of-Jesus-display 

'Save The Cross Fund' Ready For Donations 
KSBW 
... raised legal questions over the separation between church and state, and the city expects a lawsuit to be filed once the cross is replaced. ... 
http://www.ksbw.com/news/21428769/detail.html 

Courthouse Bible plaintiff now targets Houston council prayer 
Houston Chronicle 
... Anne Clutterbuck, saying the council's prayers have gotten so overly Christian they violate the First Amendment separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6686568.html 

Barred From Field, Religious Signs Move to Stands 
New York Times 
Even Caleb Wickersham, a 17-year-old atheist from nearby southern Tennessee, acknowledges that fans are exercising a legal right to free speech. ... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/us/27cheerleader.html?hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1256918588-tzKAkuNIZwnKfYWsQAO9Xg 

Cumberland County freeholders seek to cut cost of planned cemetery chapel 
Press of Atlantic City 
Magazzu said the county has obtained legal advice indicating that constructing the chapel does not violate the separation of church and state tenet because ... 
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/press/cumberland/article_48ac8a04-c351-11de-8e1f-001cc4c03286.html 

First Battle of the 2009 Christmas Season over Nativity Displays; Federal ... 
Right Side News 
... letter claimed the presence of the nativity display on the public median violated the "constitutional principle of separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.rightsidenews.com/200910277021/culture-wars/first-battle-of-the-2009-christmas-season-over-nativity-displays-federal-lawsuit-filed.html 

Michigan Man Sues for Right to Put Back Family's Nativity Scene on Public Median 
FOXNews 
Satawa's permit application was later denied because it "clearly displays a religious message" and violated "separation of church and state," Macomb County ... 
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,570308,00.html?test=latestnews 

Church service at Forks center sparks debate 
Allentown Morning Call 
Is rental agreement a violation of the separation of church and state? Meeting is set. By Christopher Baxter OF THE MORNING CALL A lease signed two months ... 
http://www.mcall.com/news/all-a14_3forks.7069029oct29,0,1816410.story 

MISCELLANEOUS 

Robert Crumb explores the Bible's dark side in comic book Genesis 
guardian.co.uk 
His father, a former marine, was an atheist and his home secular, but the young Crumb was sent to Catholic school in order to receive a disciplined ... 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/22/robert-r-crumb-genesis-cartoon 

Friendly Atheist by @hemantmehta » Which Religion Should I Follow? 
Oct 21, 2009 ... Lucky me, I turned out atheist, which means this chart is 100% accurate for .... You can be an Atheist and a Buddhist at the same time. ... 
http://friendlyatheist.com/2009/10/21/which-religion-should-i-follow/ 
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