THE   FOCUS

November 27, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 48
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

Experts: Bishops covered up priests' child abuse
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK (AP) – 3 days ago
DUBLIN — Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Dublin covered up decades of child abuse by priests to protect the church's reputation, an expert commission reported Thursday after a three-year investigation...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hG7UpOwvc_tTJz3KkFUHO9AUBnBAD9C7BDD80

Evolution to be compulsory subject in primary schools Times Online
Evolution is to become a compulsory subject for study in all state primary schools...
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/article6923157.ece

Atheist student groups flower on college campuses (AP)
By Journalist
AP - The sign sits propped on a wooden chair, inviting all comers: Ask an Atheist...
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=9145342

ATHEISM

Atheism: Striving for knowledge, but not faith
Baylor University The Lariat Online
This was the day Alex mcelroy told his father he is an atheist. mcelroy's dad did not disown him after his confession. He told his son he is simply going ...
http://www.baylor.edu/lariat/news.php?action=story&story=65211

'Sinners' gather at atheist meeting
Cincinnati.com
Kagin, a longtime Free Inquiry activist and national legal director for American Atheists was there to help introduce the group to new members -and there ...
http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20091121/NEWS01/911220330/+Sinners++gather+at+atheist+meeting

Fireside to open debate on atheism
Daily Northwestern
By Lark Turner Two professors and an emerging student group want to bring atheism and agnosticism into the religious fold at Northwestern, ...
http://www.dailynorthwestern.com/campus/fireside-to-open-debate-on-atheism-1.2097646

Nativity Display to be Removed from Public Square
WHTM-TV
Borough Council changed its policy on what can and cannot be displayed in the square after an Atheist group asked to put up its own holiday symbol. ...
http://www.whtm.com/news/stories/1109/681454.html

New home sought for nativity scene in Chambersburg
The Herald-Mail
“We feel putting atheism into the public square along with God is the way to go.” For more than 20 years, the Norland Garden Club of Chambersburg has ...
http://www.herald-mail.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=234848&format=html

Atheists feel cold shoulder
The Age
ATHEISTS have accused the Brumby Government of discriminating against them by refusing to fund the movement's global conference in Melbourne but giving $2 ...
http://www.theage.com.au/national/atheists-feel-cold-shoulder-20091125-jrti.html

Atheist Carl Silverman has shaped public policy in Franklin County area before
Chambersburg Public Opinion
By VICKY TAYLOR Staff writer Atheist Carl Silverman insists he didn't intend to evict the Christ child and his family from Memorial Square in downtown ...
http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_13863085

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

Atheist author Philip Pullman writes alternative ending for Jesus in Bible
Telegraph.co.uk
Philip Pullman, the author of His Dark Materials, has written his own version of the New Testament in which the story of Jesus is given a "different ending" ...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/6601512/Atheist-author-Philip-Pullman-writes-alternative-ending-for-Jesus-in-Bible.html

The Kirk Cameron Action Kit  
In November 2009 Kirk Cameron will be distributing altered copies of Charles Darwin's "Origin of Species" with his own preface that tries to make ...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO7l3bhsHgc

Book Review: The New Atheism
Monsters and Critics.com
By Sandy Amazeen Nov 23, 2009, 1:34 GMT Stenger expands on the principles he put forward in God: The Failed Hypothesis while addressing some of his sharpest ...
http://www.monstersandcritics.com/books/nonfiction/reviews/article_1514767.php/Book-Review-The-New-Atheism

UCLA Student Schools Kirk Cameron On Evolution
Air America
By Verena von Pfetten Last week, as part of his anti-evolution campaign, Kirk Cameron went to UCLA to convince students that Darwin's theory was dead wrong. ...
http://airamerica.com/entertainment/11-24-2009/ucla-student-schools-kirk-cameron-evolution/

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

Evolution and history compulsory
BBC News
Primary school children in England will have to learn about evolution and British history under a shake-up of the national curriculum. ...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8369172.stm

Anti-Evolution Actor Modifies Darwin's Work With Questionable Intro
DailyTech
States Mr. Cameron to People, "Atheism has been on the rise for years now, and the Bible of the atheists is The Origin of Species. ...
http://www.dailytech.com/AntiEvolution+Actor+Modifies+Darwins+Work+With+Questionable+Intro/article16892.htm

Darwin and the case for 'militant atheism'
CNN
There's no room for a God in the world as he sees it, and he believes atheists should be forceful in opposing religion. He acknowledges that it's an ...
http://www.cnn.com/2009/OPINION/11/23/dawkins.darwin.atheism/

Why Evolution Should Be Taught to Younger Kids
Newsweek
On the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species, an argument for teaching evolution to younger children. Two young children explore a life-size ...
http://www.newsweek.com/id/224079

Museum Is Displaying Treasures of the Other Evolution Pioneer
New York Times
The cabinet belonged to Alfred Russel Wallace, the English naturalist who conceived the idea of evolution through natural selection independently of Charles ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/science/24cabi.html

Dawkins: Evangelist an 'idiot' on evolution
CNN
The evidence is in favor of evolution." Comfort's California-based Living Waters ministry says it plans to distribute 120000 copies of Darwin's theories on ...
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/11/25/darwin.dawkins.evolution/

Harnessing Darwin to Push an Ancient Intellectual Center to Evolve
New York Times
Participants discussed the theory of evolution and other subjects during a break in a conference titled “Darwin's Living Legacy,” hosted by the British ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/26/world/middleeast/26egypt.html

Origin of Species edition's intelligent design intro criticized
The Gateway Online
information about intelligent design,” according to their website. Intelligent design and creationism are beliefs opposed to Darwinian evolution, ...
http://thegatewayonline.ca/articles/news/2009/11/23/origin-species-edition-s-intelligent-design-intro-criticized

SCIENCE

Clearer View of How Eye Lens Proteins Are Sorted
ScienceDaily (Nov. 22, 2009) — New research reveals how proteins that are critical for the transparency of the eye lens are properly sorted and localized in membrane bilayers. The study, published by Cell Press in the November 3rd issue of Biophysical Journal, analyzes how interactions between lipid and protein molecules can selectively concentrate proteins in certain regions of the cell membrane...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103121601.htm

Watching a Cannibal Galaxy Dine
ScienceDaily (Nov. 21, 2009) — A new technique using near-infrared images, obtained with ESO's 3.58-metre New Technology Telescope (NTT), allows astronomers to see through the opaque dust lanes of the giant cannibal galaxy Centaurus A, unveiling its "last meal" in unprecedented detail -- a smaller spiral galaxy, currently twisted and warped...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091120084619.htm

Why Bird Flu Has Not Caused a Pandemic
ScienceDaily (Nov. 21, 2009) — Bird flu viruses would have to make at least two simultaneous genetic mutations before they could be transmitted readily from human to human, according to research published November 19 in PLoS One...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119085216.htm

An Atomic-Level Look at an HIV Accomplice
ScienceDaily (Nov. 21, 2009) — Since the discovery in 2007 that a component of human semen called SEVI boosts infectivity of the virus that causes AIDS, researchers have been trying to learn more about SEVI and how it works, in hopes of thwarting its infection-promoting activity...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119141217.htm

Large Hadron Collider: Beams Are Back on at World's Most Powerful Particle Accelerator
ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2009) — Particle beams are once again zooming around the world's most powerful particle accelerator -- the Large Hadron Collider -- located at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland. On November 20 at 4:00 p.m. EST, a clockwise circulating beam was established in the LHC's 17-mile ring...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091120234858.htm

Ancestry Attracts, but Love Is Blind
ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2009) — People preferentially marry those with similar ancestry, but their decisions are not necessarily based on hair, eye or skin colour. Research, published in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology, shows that Mexicans mate according to proportions of Native American to European ancestry...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119193807.htm

After Mastodons and Mammoths, a Transformed Landscape
ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2009) — Roughly 15,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, North America's vast assemblage of large animals -- including such iconic creatures as mammoths, mastodons, camels, horses, ground sloths and giant beavers -- began their precipitous slide to extinction...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119141029.htm

Proton's Party Pals May Alter Its Internal Structure
ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2009) — A recent experiment at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has found that a proton's nearest neighbors in the nucleus of the atom may modify the proton's internal structure...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118181243.htm

Engineers Use Aerospace Approach to Design Wave Energy System
ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2009) — The ocean is a potentially vast source of electric power, yet as engineers test new technologies for capturing it, the devices are plagued by battering storms, limited efficiency, and the need to be tethered to the seafloor...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119111329.htm

Cousins of Prehistoric Supercrocodile Inhabit Lost World of Sahara
ScienceDaily (Nov. 19, 2009) — A suite of five ancient crocs, including one with teeth like boar tusks and another with a snout like a duck's bill, have been discovered in the Sahara by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Paul Sereno...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119111327.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Catholic Church pushes, and some push back
Boston Globe
... lobbying disclosures other interest groups must complete, noted Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ...
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/11/21/some_lawmakers_push_back_catholic_church_on_health_care_bill/?page=full

Church-and-state watchdog attacks prayer before Cleveland City Council meetings
Plain Dealer
Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Washington, DC watchdog, has a problem with the prayer that goes on in the room before weekly council ...
http://www.cleveland.com/cityhall/index.ssf/2009/11/church-and-state_watchdog_atta.html

Did Catholic Bishops' Advocacy Cross The Line?
National Journal (blog)
... if as a technical matter, it didn't violate the law," said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ...
http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/hc_20091123_9527.php

Praying for healing, lobbying for a provision
Washington Post
But opponents of spiritual care coverage -- a coalition of separation-of-church-and-state advocates, pediatricians and children's health activists -- say ...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/22/AR2009112202216.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2009112301535

Marietta, Ga., Lawmakers to Review 'So Help Me God' Police Oath
FOXNews
Pearlberg said the phrase should not be removed, but he said there could be problems with the oath if a police recruit is an atheist or not religious. ...
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,576436,00.html

Teachers may win right to wear their religion in Oregon classrooms
kgw.com
Separation of Church and State should forbid any teacher from promoting any faith/religion; even in the form of symbolic jewelry and clothing. ...
http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Teachers-may-win-right-to-wear-their-religion-in-Oregon-classrooms-72708297.html

Christian Scientists Concerned About Health Care Provisions
Beliefnet.com
based foundation called it a "great victory for the separation of church and state and a deserved defeat for the Christian Science lobby. ...
http://blog.beliefnet.com/news/2009/11/christian-scientists-concerned.php

Federal Lawsuit Filed Over Baptist Church Development Plan
Sun Gazette
... Church of Clarendon on a development project should be voided because it violates constitutional guarantees of the separation of church and state. ...
http://www.sungazette.net/articles/2009/11/24/arlington/news/nw346.txt

MISCELLANEOUS

Did Texas' Same-Sex Amendment Accidently Outlaw Marriage?
Politics Daily (blog)
That's why, this man ... often referred to as Mr. Conservative ... supported a strong separation between Church and State. That's why, Republican Senator ...
http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/11/21/did-texas-accidently-outlaw-marriage-in-05/

Critics: Marine Park church bells not divine
Church bells are making life near a Marine Park house of worship a living hell — and critics are raising Cain about the alleged din...
http://www.yournabe.com/articles/2009/11/24/brooklyn/courier_frontpage_aquinasbell.txt

Religion Clause
Various pieces relating to religion...
http://religionclause.blogspot.com/
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