December 4, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 49
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

NY Senate Votes Down Gay Marriage
CBS News
And his reason was a violation of the separation of church and state. My faith supports same sex marriage and I would like my religious rights. by ch2444 ...
http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/12/02/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5866463.shtml

Approaching Holidays Prompt Atheist Campaign
New York Times
“To the degree that we are reaching out to the godly, it's just to say that you can be good without god so their atheist neighbor down the street shouldn't ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/us/02atheist.html

ATHEISM

Atheists ask Baltimore: Are you good without God?
Baltimore Sun
A coalition of atheists and agnostics is hoping to get Baltimoreans talking with a billboard campaign that poses the question: “Are you good without God? ...
http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/faith/2009/12/good_without_god.html

Atheist Group Takes 'Godless Holiday' Campaign Nationwide
CNSNews.com
and featured ads on public transit in Washington, DC Previously, the atheist campaign had been confined to the Washington, DC, area, with signs and ...
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/57797

Group organizes to be 'good without God'
Baltimore Sun
The effort comes as atheism enjoys a new vogue. Emboldened by the success of best-selling books by Christopher Hitchens ("God Is Not Great") and Richard ...
http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/faith/bal-md.fa.atheist03dec03,0,1385679.story

Humanists aim ad campaign at Christmas
UPI.com
2 (UPI) -- The American Humanist Association hopes to take the Christ out of Christmas with ads featuring people in Santa Hats preaching atheism. ...
http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2009/12/02/Humanists-aim-ad-campaign-at-Christmas/UPI-54221259807066/

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

Video Attempts to Explain that Atheism is NOT a Religion
Opposing Views
Ed. Note: John W. Loftus says nothing bothers atheists more than when people call atheism a "religion," or when they say you need "faith" to be an atheist. ...
http://www.opposingviews.com/articles/video-video-attempts-to-explain-that-atheism-is-not-a-religion-r-1259547915

"Math Errors in the Holy Bible"
Memphis Flyer
The contradiction led Collins to quit the seminary and to ultimately become an atheist. Collins is now a computer programmer in Birmingham, Alabama, ...
http://www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/Event?oid=1802410

Aggressive atheism by Pat Condell YouTube RichardDawkinsnet
OH MI GOSH Freedom of speech sacred It has finally been admitted Atheism is just another religion and the new atheists are funadmentalists ...
http://richarddawkins.net/articles/4682

Rational exuberance
The Age
TIM Minchin has found himself at an interesting juncture: on one hand, he's the rock-star poster-boy for the atheist movement, and on the other, ...
http://www.theage.com.au/news/entertainment/arts/rational-exuberance/2009/11/30/1259429335124.html

Live-Blogging the Gay Marriage Vote
New York Times (blog)
Updated, 1:56 pm | Supporters continued to control the microphone, reciting the same themes of civil rights, separation of church and state, and drawing on ...
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/live-blogging-the-gay-marriage-debate/?apage=7

Science, atheism and ironed trousers
guardian.co.uk
Listen to Adam read his contribution to The Atheist's Guide to Christmas, edited by Ariane Sherine. The book is out now in print, audio and on itunes. ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/audio/2009/dec/02/atheist-guide-christmas-religion

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

Evolution Interruptus
Santa Barbara Independent
Dover Area School District lawsuit in which a federal judge ruled that intelligent design, the idea that species were created as they currently exist by an ...
http://independent.com/news/2009/nov/27/evolution-interruptus/

Kanawha coal operator played role in evolution saga
Charleston Gazette
British naturalists and evolution theory luminaries Alfred Russel Wallace and Henry Walter Bates credited the book with inspiring them to set off on an ...
http://wvgazette.com/News/200911280220

More Russians support creational theory than Darwin's evolution theory - poll
Interfax-Religion
Moscow, November 30, Interfax - As many as 44% of Russians support the creationist theory compared to 35% believing in Charles Darwin's evolution theory, ...
http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=6683

Discovery Institute Sues California Science Center for Suppressing Public ...
PR Newswire (press release)
... following the Center's October 6, 2009 cancellation of a contract with the American Freedom Alliance (AFA) to screen a pro-intelligent design video, ...
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/discovery-institute-sues-california-science-center-for-suppressing-public-documents-showing-viewpoint-discrimination-against-intelligent-design-78304627.html

SCIENCE

Nuclear Waste Reduction: Polymers Designed to Mop Up Radioactive Isotopes
ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2009) — Nuclear power could solve our energy problems but it has rather nasty by-products: radioactive waste. Not only the disposal of the old core rods but also reactor operation results in a large amount of low-level waste, especially contaminated cooling water...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127123921.htm

Volunteers Wanted for Simulated 520-Day Mars Mission
ScienceDaily (Oct. 29, 2009) — Starting in 2010, an international crew of six will simulate a 520-day round-trip to Mars, including a 30-day stay on the martian surface. In reality, they will live and work in a sealed facility in Moscow, Russia, to investigate the psychological and medical aspects of a long-duration space mission. ESA is looking for European volunteers to take part...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091029151322.htm

With First Neutrino Events, Physicists Closer to Answering Why Only Matter in Universe
ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2009) — Physicists from the Japanese-led multi-national T2K neutrino collaboration have just announced that over the weekend they detected the first neutrino events generated by their newly built neutrino beam at the J-PARC (Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex) accelerator laboratory in Tokai, Japan...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091127141406.htm

Study Pits Man Versus Machine in Piecing Together 425-Million-Year-Old Jigsaw
ScienceDaily (Nov. 27, 2009) — A new study pitting academic expertise against a computer in recreating a 425 million-year old jigsaw puzzle has discovered that there is no substitute for wisdom born out of experience...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091116103449.htm

Cassini Captures Ghostly Dance of Saturn's Northern Lights
ScienceDaily (Nov. 26, 2009) — In the first video showing the auroras above the northern latitudes of Saturn, Cassini has spotted the tallest known "northern lights" in the solar system, flickering in shape and brightness high above the ringed planet...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091125231252.htm

Cosmic 'Dig' Reveals Vestiges of the Milky Way's Building Blocks
ScienceDaily (Nov. 25, 2009) — Peering through the thick dust clouds of our galaxy's "bulge" (the myriads of stars surrounding its centre), and revealing an amazing amount of detail, a team of astronomers has unveiled an unusual mix of stars in the stellar grouping known as Terzan 5...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091125134709.htm

Magic Box for Mission Impossible
ScienceDaily (Nov. 25, 2009) — For rescuers working in remote places working phones and Internet are literally a question of life and death. A team of researchers and businesses in Norway, Spain and Finland decided they need to be equipped with a box with the power to connect them to networks wherever they are...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091125100845.htm

Early Relationships Influence Teen Pain and Depression
ScienceDaily (Nov. 25, 2009) — Angst could be more than a rite of passage for insecure teenagers, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain. Researchers from the Université de Montréal, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and McGill University have discovered that insecure adolescents experience more intense pain in the form of frequent headaches...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091125110849.htm

Atomic-Level Snapshot Catches Protein Motor in Action
ScienceDaily (Nov. 25, 2009) — The atomic-level action of a remarkable class of ring-shaped protein motors has been uncovered by researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) using a state-of-the-art protein crystallography beamline at the Advanced Light Source (ALS)...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124121427.htm

First Black Holes May Have Incubated in Giant, Starlike Cocoons
ScienceDaily (Nov. 25, 2009) — The first large black holes in the universe likely formed and grew deep inside gigantic, starlike cocoons that smothered their powerful x-ray radiation and prevented surrounding gases from being blown away, says a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124140953.htm

Origin of Life: Generating RNA Molecules in Water
ScienceDaily (Nov. 25, 2009) — A key question in the origin of biological molecules like RNA and DNA is how they first came together billions of years ago from simple precursors. Researchers in Italy have reconstructed one of the earliest evolutionary steps yet: generating long chains of RNA from individual subunits using nothing but warm water...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091120124829.htm

Violent World of Raptors Explored
ScienceDaily (Nov. 25, 2009) — A journey that started with a box of bird feet carried three Montana State University graduate students into the gruesome world of raptors and led to their findings being published in a prominent journal...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124204329.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Americans United For Separation Of Church And State And ACLU File ...
NEW ORLEANS - Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Texas submitted a friend-of-the-court ...
http://www.aclu.org/religion-belief/americans-united-separation-church-and-state-and-aclu-file-brief-objecting-governmen

Atheist Group Plans to Sue in Nativity Debate
WHTM-TV
Chambersburg, Pa. - The nativity display in Chambersburg has a new home, but now an athiest group may sue. Carl Silverman, president of the PA Non-Believers ...
http://www.whtm.com/news/stories/1109/682918.html

December 2009 Church & State | Americans United
“Americans United for Separation of Church and State,” “Americans United” and “ Church & State” are registered trademarks of Americans United for Separation ...
http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_13908329

Vallejo mayor's 'gay sin' remarks ignite protest
San Jose Mercury News
The protesters waved rainbow flags, held signs demanding the separation of church and state and some called for Davis' resignation. ...
http://www.au.org/media/church-and-state/archives/2009/12/

Freedom From Religion Foundation leader to speak tonight about Memphis City ...
Memphis Commercial Appeal
The Wisconsin-based foundation, with nearly 14000 members across the nation and 150 in Tennessee, works to protect the separation of church and state ...
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/dec/03/Freedom-From-Religion-Foundation-lead/

MISCELLANEOUS

None
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