THE   FOCUS

February 5, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 6
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 

Religion, politicians fiery combo in Lancaster 
Los Angeles Daily News 
Friday, a representative of Americans United for Separation of Church and State condemned the comments by officials of Lancaster, a largely conservative ... 
http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_14299299 

Baptist Pastor: We'd Do It Again in Haiti 
CBS News 
Foes of the principle of separation of church and state often refer to the word "Creator" in the Declaration of Independence as proof that the framers of ... 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/02/02/earlyshow/main6165396.shtml 

Obama to speak at National Prayer Breakfast amid a litany of criticism 
The Hill 
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has also condemned the National Prayer Breakfast due to The Family's alleged ties to the Ugandan law. ... 
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/79595-obama-to-speak-at-national-prayer-breakfast-amid-a-litany-of-criticism 

ATHEISM 

Oh, my God - atheist convention sells out 
The Age 
The Global Atheist Convention will feature the world's best-known atheist, Richard Dawkins. Photo: Nick Moir AN ATHEIST convention in Melbourne has sold out ... 
http://direct.fairfax.com.au/hserver/SITE=ONL.MH.AGE.NEWS/AREA=NEWS.AGE.NATIONAL/CTYPE=ARTICLE/PAGEID=506389/ACC_RANDOM=417311/CAT=NATIONAL/ISIFRAME=YES/AAMSZ=1X1 

Atheist Group Seeks Naming Rights to Super Bowl Stadium 
Opposing Views 
An Atheist public policy group is seeking hourly naming rights to the stadium the Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010 CE Super Bowl will be played in. ... 
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/atheist-group-seeks-naming-rights-to-super-bowl-stadium 

'Free Thought' club finds opposition on campus 
Web Devil 
As the president of ASU's only atheist religious organization, Joshua Horn has learned that not all campus groups value “free thought” as highly as his does ... 
http://www.statepress.com/node/10439 

Atheism Lawsuit: Illinois Politician Claims Atheist Sign Is 'Hate Speech' 
Huffington Post (blog) 
William J. Kelly, a Chicago Republican, is suing the Illinois Secretary of State for allowing an atheist sign to be placed next to a nativity scene in the ... 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/02/atheism-lawsuit-illinois_n_446374.html 

Being good without God 
Sun-Sentinel 
We hold a picnic and make a campfire, and we give awards for people who promote atheism in a positive light. I've been an atheist all my life. ... 
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/fl-fv-qa-ken,0,5147376.story 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

Pat Tillman cover-up focus of Sundance documentary 
AFP 
... questioned himself, constantly tried to see the things from a different point of view, who was an atheist but who read the Koran and the book of Mormon. ... 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h2J365clUM5tr0q0XoctcgWYtJrA 

Ricky Gervais interview 
Den Of Geek 
One reviewer said that 'I don't know why Ricky Gervais feels the need to shove his atheism down our throat'. I thought, woah, well this is one film that ... 
http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/408106/ricky_gervais_interview.html 

JFK on the separation of church and state | The Good Atheist 
It's sad that Jack's words have since fallen on deaf ears as Christians work tirelessly to erode the wall separating church and state. ... 
http://www.thegoodatheist.net/2010/02/jfk-on-the-separation-of-church-and-state/ 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

Freshwater Hearing to Conclude Soon 
Kenyon Collegian 
Mount Vernon City School Board of Education, Freshwater was also accused of teaching creationism and intelligent design. According to a court order of the ... 
http://media.www.kenyoncollegian.com/media/storage/paper821/news/2010/01/28/News/Freshwater.Hearing.To.Conclude.Soon-3860980.shtml 

Evolution may cause men to fall in love more easily 
USA Today (blog) 
Why do fools fall in love? Well, male ones may fall more easily, suggests a Monday study, particularly if men think their feelings are reciprocated. ... 
http://blogs.usatoday.com/sciencefair/2010/02/evolution-may-cause-men-to-fall-in-love-more-easily.html 

SCIENCE 

Jupiter's Moons: Explanation for the Differences Between Ganymede and Callisto 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 31, 2010) — Differences in the number and speed of cometary impacts onto Jupiter's large moons Ganymede and Callisto some 3.8 billion years ago can explain their vastly different surfaces and interior states, according to research by scientists at the Southwest Research Institute appearing online in Nature Geoscience Jan. 24, 2010... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100124162151.htm 

Levitating Magnet May Yield New Approach to Clean Energy 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2010) — A new experiment that reproduces the magnetic fields of the Earth and other planets has yielded its first significant results. The findings confirm that its unique approach has some potential to be developed as a new way of creating a power-producing plant based on nuclear fusion -- the process that generates the sun's prodigious output of energy... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100124162153.htm 

NASA's Mars Rover Spirit Starts a New Chapter 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2010) — After six years of unprecedented exploration of the Red Planet, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit no longer will be a fully mobile robot. NASA has designated the once-roving scientific explorer a stationary science platform after efforts during the past several months to free it from a sand trap have been unsuccessful... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100129221050.htm 

Black Hole Hunters Set New Distance Record 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2010) — Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have detected, in another galaxy, a stellar-mass black hole much farther away than any other previously known. With a mass above fifteen times that of the Sun, this is also the second most massive stellar-mass black hole ever found. It is entwined with a star that will soon become a black hole itself... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127095920.htm 

First Study to Show That Seismic Imaging Detects Ocean's Internal Tides 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2010) — Internal tides, waves below the ocean's surface that propagate at tidal frequencies, play an important role in ocean mixing but can be difficult to detect and study... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100121163915.htm 

NASA Airborne Radar Studies Haiti Earthquake Faults 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2010) — In response to the disaster in Haiti on Jan. 12, NASA has added a series of science overflights of earthquake faults in Haiti and the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola to a previously scheduled three-week airborne radar campaign to Central America... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100129221201.htm 

Does Slum Tourism Make Us Better People? 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2010) — Slum tourism is a growth industry with more and more wealthy travellers opting to visit the poorest parts of the world. What is it that is prompting slum tourism? Is it a new trend? What impact does slum tourism have on the people who opt for this kind of 'holiday'? Do they become better people as a result and does the experience prompt a call to action for social change... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128142349.htm 

Dinosaur Discovery Helps Solve Piece of Evolutionary Puzzle 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2010) — A George Washington University expedition to the Gobi Desert of China has enabled researchers to solve the puzzle of how one group of dinosaurs came to look like birds independent of birds. The discovery extends the fossil record of the family Alvarezsauridae... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128142135.htm 

Experiments Meet Requirements for Fusion Ignition; New Physics Effect Achieves Symmetrical Target Compression 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2010) — The first experiments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) have demonstrated a unique physics effect that bodes well for NIF's success in generating a self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100129122442.htm 

Losing Sleep, Losing Brain? 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2010) — Chronic and severely stressful situations, like those connected to depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, have been associated with smaller volumes in "stress sensitive" brain regions, such as the cingulate region of the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus, a brain region involved in memory formation... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100127095914.htm 

Organic Transistor Paves Way for New Generations of Neuro-Inspired Computers 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2010) — For the first time, CNRS(1) and CEA(2) researchers have developed a transistor that can mimic the main functionalities of a synapse(3). This organic transistor, based on pentacene(4) and gold nanoparticles and known as a NOMFET (Nanoparticle Organic Memory Field-Effect Transistor)... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100125122101.htm 

Stem Cell Breakthrough: Bone Marrow Cells Are the Answer 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2010) — Using cells from mice, scientists from Iowa and Iran have discovered a new strategy for making embryonic stem cell transplants less likely to be rejected by a recipient's immune system. This strategy, described in a new research report appearing in the February 2010 print issue of The FASEB Journal, involves fusing bone marrow cells to embryonic stem cells... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128091752.htm 

'Overweight' Adults Age 70 or Older Are Less Likely to Die Over a 10-Year Period 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2010) — Adults aged over 70 years who are classified as overweight are less likely to die over a ten year period than adults who are in the 'normal' weight range, according to a new study published in the Journal of The American Geriatrics Society... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100128091740.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

Judge goes to court over Ten Commandments 
UPI.com 
A federal judge found in October the new poster violates the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. DeWeese is appealing. ... 
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2010/01/29/Judge-goes-to-court-over-10-Commandments/UPI-15631264747904/ 

Atheist group criticizes U.S. Postal Service for stamp honoring ... 
An atheist organization is up in arms over the US Postal Service's plans to honor Mother Teresa with a commemorative stamp, claiming that her religious ... 
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/01/29/2010-01-29_atheist_group_criticizes_post_service_for_stamp_honoring_mother_teresa.html 

SENATOR MARK LENO INTRODUCES BILL TO PROTECT RELIIGIOUS FREEDOM IN PROP 8 ... 
SanFranciscoSentinel.com 
The bill reaffirms the separation of church and state and codifies in California law that no member of clergy will be required to solemnize a civil marriage ... 
http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=58533 

Mount Diablo name-change advocate takes seat on county drug panel 
San Jose Mercury News 
"You need an advocate, and you need help." Critics of the Mount Diablo name change have accused him of ignoring the separation of church and state, he said... 
http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14319322 

Lancaster mayor stirs religious controversy 
abc7.com 
They said that his remarks violate the constitution's guarantee of the separation of church and state. "What I am attempting to convey is that we are a ... 
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=7251909 

Obama, members of Congress urged to boycott Thursday prayer breakfast 
American Chronicle 
"But we want them to uphold the First Amendment separation of church and state and avoid the appearance of officially endorsing a particular religion or ... 
http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/139784 

Hebrew language charter school considered in Santa Clarita Valley 
Los Angeles Times 
The proposed school would be open to students of all faiths and not allied with a synagogue, but skeptics worry about separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-hebrew-charter3-2010feb03,0,1839723.story 

Bible Could Be Coming To Public High Schools 
KTUL 
The head of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State says he sees some merit to the idea, but only if teachers are trained to teach the ... 
http://www.ktul.com/news/stories/0210/702606.html 

House passes bill to require court review of CMC affiliation 
The Union Leader 
Heck, separation of Church and State is ok as long as it doesn't interfere with the cannons of catholicism. The church wants it one way so they lobby (and ... 
http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=House+passes+bill+to+require+court+review+of+CMC+affiliation&articleId=90729c5a-639a-4aa7-a889-33bce3738f27 

Anti-abortion advocates rally at Okla. Capitol 
Bartlesville Live 
Mike Fuller, chairman of the Oklahoma chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, said he sees some merit to the idea, ... 
http://www.bartlesvillelive.com/content/news/state/story/Anti-abortion-advocates-rally-at-Okla-Capitol/YiSuwVURAUSxbA7_Bke6WQ.cspx 

Call for church and State to be separated 
Irish Times 
We need proper and thorough complete separation of church and State,” Mr Halligan said. He understood that in the past the church had provided a health ... 
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0205/1224263814092.html 

Bill would divorce religion from marriage 
Bay Area Reporter 
"This bill will further define the separation between church and state." Mayor Gavin Newsom, who is Catholic and was the brunt of outrage from Catholic ... 
http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=4526 

Chaplain's Web page causes controversy 
Tampa Tribune 
"For a couple of years, the chaplain's site has crossed the line regarding the separation of church and state," he continued. ... 
http://www2.hernandotoday.com/content/2010/feb/04/042227/chaplains-web-page-causes-controversy/ 

MISCELLANEOUS 

Baptist Group Accused of Child Trafficking 
CBS News 
I'm an atheist and have no love for baptists nor any other brand of christianity, but these people were obviously trying to rescue a few humans from the ... 
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/31/eveningnews/main6160717.shtml 

Ore. City residents find relief, justice in faith-healers' guilty verdict 
kgw.com 
This isnt a civil rights issue or a separation of church and state issue. Its a case of 2 people who put themselves above the law. ... 
http://www.kgw.com/news/local/Oregon-City-residents--83501607.html 
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