THE   FOCUS

January 29, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 5
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

Helping Haiti because it makes us feel good
Whenever natural disasters strike, there follows an outpouring of humanity. We have a deeply evolved psychological need to help people who are suffering, especially when heart-rending images enter our home...
http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/elisabeth_cornwell/2010/01/helping_haiti_because_it_makes_us_feel_good.html

ATHEISM

Local atheist ready for TV test
Liberal
As an admitted atheist, faith in the clerical sense is a word often absent from his vocabulary, but faith in himself and an expectation for fun has this ...
http://www.theliberal.com/News/Thornhill/article/101939

Atheist David Miliband sends son to faith school - Telegraph
David Miliband has been accused of hypocrisy for sending his son to a Church of England school even though he himself is an atheist...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/7066954/Atheist-David-Miliband-sends-son-to-faith-school.html

Humanist chaplains head to the UK
The Guardian
Surely no one would describe themselves as an atheist priest? But yes, they do. Well, sort of. You can find them in a few American universities. ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/jan/26/humanist-chaplains-universities

It's sorta official: Gay atheist is the smartest Canadian
Xtra.ca (blog)
Gay atheist activist Kevin Kindred was declared the smartest in-studio individual with an IQ of 140. His team, a group of atheists, placed third overall, ...
http://www.xtra.ca/blog/national/post/2010/01/25/Its-official-Gay-atheist-is-the-smartest-Canadian.aspx

Avowed atheist David Miliband sends son to C of E school
Daily Mail
He admitted that he rarely saw Mr Miliband, whose atheism stems from his Left-wing secular upbringing. He is the son of Ralph Miliband, a Jewish immigrant ...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245584/Avowed-atheist-David-Miliband-sends-son-C-E-school.html

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

Religious roles keep coming to atheist Paul Bettany
NewsOK.com
By Roger Moore Comments 0 It's always odd to see one of the cinema's few self-described atheists in religious garb. But something about Paul Bettany says ...
http://www.newsok.com/religious-roles-keep-coming-to-atheist-paul-bettany/article/3433688?custom_click=lead_story_title

Darwin's difficult 'Creation'
msnbc.com
He knows just how explosive any suggestion that humans are part of the pattern of evolution would be. He puts nothing explicit into “The Origin of Species,” ...
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2010/01/22/2182300.aspx

Creation Gets Up Close, Very Personal With Darwin
Wired News
That could change if the PG-13 Creation , which stars Paul Bettany as the evolution-touting scientist (pictured), catches fire with a humanity experiencing ...
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/01/creation/

New Darwin Film Creates Controversy
Discovery News
While the vast majority of scientists-- and virtually all biologists--accept Darwin's theory of evolution, according to some polls, fewer than half of ...
http://news.discovery.com/human/new-darwin-film-creates-controversy.html

Marcus Brigstocke: I could easily empty the fridge — I just don't know when to ...
This is London
“Atheism is an absence of a deity. I don't like fennel but I don't hang out with other anti-fennelists. I don't want to be defined by an absence of ...
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/comedy/article-23799556-marcus-brigstocke-i-could-easily-empty-the-fridge-i-just-dont-know-when-to-stop.do

FILM REVIEW: 'Creation' needs to evolve
Daily News Tribune
... fills the woman with strength and conviction, so much so that she could have given Bettany a perfect foil in debating the merits of Darwin's atheism. ...
http://www.dailynewstribune.com/entertainment/x1685421925/FILM-REVIEW-Creation-needs-to-evolve

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

UW-Madison opens institute for evolution
Daily Cardinal
The institute, called the JF Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution, will consist of evolutionary research, teaching and outreach programs, according to ...
http://www.dailycardinal.com/news/uw-madison-opens-institute-for-evolution-1.1086497

Medical students may soon be tested on evolution
What does evolution -- a field that often deals with changes over many generations -- have to do with preventing and treating disease in our lifetime?
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-01/nesc-msm012510.php

SCIENCE

Congo Receives Help from Space After Volcano Eruption
ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2010) — On 2 January, Mount Nyamulagira in the Democratic Republic of Congo erupted, spewing lava from its southern flank and raising concerns that the 100 000 people in the town of Sake could be under threat...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100122102439.htm

Neuron Connections Seen in 3-D
ScienceDaily (Jan. 23, 2010) — A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, in Germany, led by the Spanish physicist Rubén Fernández-Busnadiego, has managed to obtain 3D images of the vesicles and filaments involved in communication between neurons. The method is based on a novel technique in electron microscopy...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100122102427.htm

Spectacular X-Ray Tails Surprise Astronomers
ScienceDaily (Jan. 23, 2010) — Astronomer were surprised to find two distinct "tails" found on a long tail of gas that is believed to be forming stars where few stars have been formed before...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100122114434.htm

Human Running Speeds of 35 to 40 Mph May Be Biologically Possible
ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2010) — Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt's record-setting performances have unleashed a wave of interest in the ultimate limits to human running speed. A new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology offers intriguing insights into the biology and perhaps even the future of human running speed...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100122102843.htm

Rover Gives NASA an 'Opportunity' to View Interior of Mars
ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2010) — NASA's Mars exploration rover Opportunity is allowing scientists to get a glimpse deep inside Mars...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121170142.htm

Want to Convince? Use Abstract Rather Than Concrete Language
ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2010) — When consumers talk to each other about products, they generally respond more favorably to abstract language than concrete descriptions, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121427.htm

Disclosing Sexual Abuse Is Critical
ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2010) — Half of sexual abuse survivors wait up to five years before disclosing they were victimized, according to a collaborative study from the Université de Montréal, the Université du Québec à Montréal and the Université de Sherbrooke published in The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119121422.htm

Communication Problems in the Brain
ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2010) — For brain cells to communicate, the contacts to each other must function. The protein molecule neuroligin-1 plays an important role in this as it stimulates the necessary maturation processes at the contact sites (synapses) of the nerves...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100120104004.htm

Cosmology: Weak Gravitational Lensing Improves Measurements of Distant Galaxies
ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2010) — Weak gravitational lensing is a uniquely promising way to learn how much dark matter there is in the Universe and how its distribution has evolved since the distant past. New work by a team led by a cosmologist from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119172846.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Hawaii Senate passes civil-unions bill, 18-7
Honolulu Advertiser
State Sen. Rosalyn Baker, D-5th (W. Maui, S. Maui), spoke of the separation of church and state and said many of the same emotional arguments used in the ...
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100123/NEWS01/1230329&source=rss_localnews

When the Church weighs in with a sledgehammer
Cyprus Mail
Chrysostomos' intervention has again raised the question of the separation of Church and state. Should the Church finance a public campaign? ...
http://www.cyprus-mail.com/features/when-church-weighs-sledgehammer/20100124

Legislator, religious group team up for 'Christian education' series at Capitol
Iowa Independent
Rob Boston, senior policy analyst for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, isn't necessarily concerned that a state lawmaker is utilizing ...
http://iowaindependent.com/26336/legislator-religious-group-team-up-for-christian-education-series-at-capitol

Inland reactions vary regarding law on prayer during government events; many ...
Press-Enterprise
Doing otherwise violates the constitutional separation of church and state, the court said. Yet a review of archived video and audio tapes of 15 Inland city ...
http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_W_prayer25.43de3f7.html

Gay rights rally: 'Separate church and 8'
Park Record
The demonstrators on Sunday chanted the slogan "Separate church and 8," a play on the phrase "separation of church and state." They held signs with the same ...
http://www.parkrecord.com/ci_14272557

Calgary church loses charitable status for its "non-partisan political activities"
Charles Lewis, National Post
A Calgary church has lost its charitable status in part because it spends too much of its time advocating on social issues such as abortion and marriage...
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/holy-post/archive/2010/01/22/calgary-church-loses-charitable-status-for-its-quot-non-partisan-political-activities-quot.aspx

Bill Seeks to Further Define Separation of Church & State for California Marriages
LAist (blog)
A newly introduced bill by State Senator Mark Leno will affirm that no clergy member will be forced under law to perform any civil marriage that is against ...
http://laist.com/2010/01/27/bill_seeks_to_define_separation_of.php

Bill fires up church vs. state fight
AZ Central.com
Russell Pearce of Mesa has proposed legislation that could bring the battle over the separation of church and state to Arizona's door. ...
http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2010/01/27/20100127politics-brief0127.html

Church/State Group Demands Ohio Judge Remove 10 Commandments
Opposing Views
An Ohio judge should remove a poster displaying the Ten Commandments from his courtroom, Americans United for Separation of Church and State has told a ...
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/church-state-group-demands-ohio-judge-remove-10-commandments

'Philosophy' poster containing Ten Commandments gets judge back in spotlight
Columbus Dispatch
On Tuesday, Americans United for Separation of Church and State joined Hindu, Jewish and other groups in filing a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that the ...
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/01/27/poster-with-10-commandments-puts-judge-back-in-spotlight.html?sid=101

Enfield's Decision To Stop Using Cathedral For Graduations Appeases ACLU
Hartford Courant
Enfield was one of five school districts warned by the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State about holding high school graduations at ...
http://www.courant.com/community/enfield/hc-enfield-graduation-0128.artjan27,0,5668557.story

Forsyth County commissioner prayer ruled unconstitutional; Buncombe next?
Mountain Xpress
... by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Winston-Salem chapter of American United for Separation of Church and State, ...
http://www.mountainx.com/news/2010/forsyth_county_commissioner_prayer_ruled_unconstitutional

MISCELLANEOUS

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