THE   FOCUS

MARCH 5, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 10
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

Obama Aides To Meet With Atheists On White House Grounds
Huffington Post (blog)
Not so much about the atheists in particular (I'm agnostic, heavily leaning to atheist), but that this is the kind of dialogue we absolutely NEED in this ...
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/02/25/88475/obama-aides-to-meet-with-atheists.html

Atheist Bibles-For-Porn Swap Riles Campus
CBS News
... of something that a lot of people would have for a religious text, the atheists wouldn't be crying about "separation of church and state" would they? ...
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/03/02/national/main6260070.shtml

ATHEISM

Outraged atheists lose faith in Dawkins as he censors website
Times Online
Richard Dawkins is accustomed to provoking the wrath of religious communities, but now a schism seems to have opened up within the atheist community who ...
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article7041878.ece

Are Atheists Total Cheapskates?
FlashNews.com
(Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – When it comes to giving to charity, Atheists are major tightwads. According to atheist Dale McGowan, ungodly folks are just ...
http://www.flashnews.com/news/wfn5100225J20879.html

Atheist bus campaign squashed in New Zealand
DigitalJournal.com
Atheists are claiming the decision is biased. The full text of the ads reads "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life. ...
http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/288149

Higher intelligence linked to liberal political ideology, atheism
Daily News & Analysis
So, more intelligent children are more likely to grow up to go against their natural evolutionary tendency to believe in God, and they become atheists. ...
http://www.dnaindia.com/scitech/report_higher-intelligence-linked-to-liberal-political-ideology-atheism_1352598

Richard Dawkins in bitter web censorship row with fellow atheists
Telegraph.co.uk
Professor Richard Dawkins is embroiled in a bitter online battle over plans to rid his popular internet forum for atheists of foul language, ...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7322177/Richard-Dawkins-in-bitter-web-censorship-row-with-fellow-atheists.html

Justin Trottier: Wheels on the atheist bus still goin' round
National Post (blog)
Proving that no place in Canada is safe, the atheist bus campaign is finishing off its tour in Saskatoon. The Saskatoon Freethinkers were inspired by the ...
http://network.nationalpost.com/NP/blogs/holy-post/archive/2010/02/27/justin-trottier-wheels-on-the-atheist-bus-still-goin-round.aspx

'Darwin's Rottweiler' wrestles with backlash by community commenters
MarketWatch
Richard Dawkins, the noted atheist and critic of creationism, shut down his online forum after he drew the ire of fans upset over plans to tighten limits on ...
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/online-communitys-uproar-over-darwins-rottweiler-2010-02-28

Are liberals and atheists smarter?
Toronto Star
People who are more intelligent, he argues, are better able to consider these novel elements and decide, for example, that liberalism, atheism or monogamy ...
http://www.thestar.com/living/article/773018--are-liberals-and-atheists-smarter

Bus advertising just the ticket for atheists
The Age
ATHEISTS have begun an advertising campaign on Melbourne buses, proclaiming ''Atheism - celebrate reason'', the first time they have entered the fray in ...
http://direct.fairfax.com.au/hserver/SITE=ONL.MH.AGE.NEWS/AREA=NEWS.AGE.NATIONAL/CTYPE=ARTICLE/PAGEID=152526/ACC_RANDOM=649725/CAT=NATIONAL/ISIFRAME=YES/AAMSZ=1X1

Vandals Destroy 2 More Atheist Billboards
Fox40
SACRAMENTO COUNTY - Someone has vandalized two more billboards that were put up by a group of Atheists and Agnostics. The Sacramento Area Coalition for ...
http://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-news-vandalsdestroyatheistbillboard030110,0,2022714.story

Bibles for porn stunt draws crowd at UTSA
San Antonio Express
By Melissa Ludwig - Express-News Members of the Atheist Agenda, a student organization at the University of Texas at San Antonio, are encouraging students ...
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/85894077.html

Elon Poll: Religion losing influence in USA
WECT-TV6
The council member is an atheist. The state constitution requires a belief in God for elected officials. Elon University also asked people about the ...
http://www.wect.com/Global/story.asp?S=12062627

Higher IQ linked to liberalism, atheism
UPI.com
LONDON, March 2 (UPI) -- More intelligent children may be more likely to grow up to be liberals, a researcher at the London School of Economics and ...
http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2010/03/02/Higher-IQ-linked-to-liberalism-atheism/UPI-68381267513202/

Scientist parks trannie sex jibe
Sydney Morning Herald
Supporters claim it does have a point - about militant atheism - and four years later, the fans are still talking about the episode and debating its merit. ...
http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-diary/scientist-parks-trannie-sex-jibe-20100303-pj4j.html

Bus messages try to connect atheists
The Detroit News
You aren't alone" as part of a national campaign to raise the spirits of atheists. The nationally based United Coalition of Reason will pick up the $5600 ...
http://www.detnews.com/article/20100304/LIFESTYLE04/3040427/1041/Bus-messages-try-to-connect-atheists

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

Evolution, Creation Share a Stage
Gapers Block (blog)
In the beginning, ticket holders at the Quest Theatre Ensemble's "Evolution/Creation" performance are separated into two separate stages. ...
http://gapersblock.com/ac/2010/02/27/evolution-creation-share-a-stage/

Richard Dawkins takes on the creationists
Sydney Morning Herald
... and he's now on the offensive against a significant subsection of them - those who promote creationism or so-called 'Intelligent Design'. ...
http://www.smh.com.au/national/richard-dawkins-takes-on-the-creationists-20100302-pfu5.html

Elon Poll: Separation of church and state in N.C. - News14.com
Elon Poll: Separation of church and state in NC | News 14 Carolina is dedicated to providing local news and information that's important to you in the ...
http://news14.com/charlotte-news-104-content/top_stories/622721/elon-poll--separation-of-church-and-state-in-n-c-?ap=1&MP4

Atheist Group Exchanging Bibles for Porn on Texas Campus
Opposing Views
A group called "Atheist Agenda" is running a program it calls "Smut for Smut" at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The exchange hasn't been warmly ...
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/atheist-group-exchanging-bibles-for-porn-on-texas-campus

Atheism, Life Extension and the Singularity
Adam Ford of Singularity Soup interviewed Russell Blackford in October 2009 on his book 50 Voices of Disbelief: Why We Are Atheists, atheism and secularism, ...
http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/blackfordss201002/

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

Update from Israel
National Center for Science Education
... and is striving to uproot benighted doctrines such as intelligent design," and commented, "We don't see any alternative other than to replace Dr. ...
http://ncse.com/news/2010/02/update-from-israel-005342

Cross-discipline Effort Tracks Evolution of Human Uniqueness and Modern Behavior
Scientific American
By David Despain DECORATION AND HUMAN UNIQUENESS: Traditional beaded headress on the forehead of a San Bushman at sunset. TEMPE, Arizona—Based on our ...
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=human-uniqueness-anthropology

Christian schools angry over ban on teaching creationism
Sydney Morning Herald
... espouses or reflects the literal interpretation of a religious text in its treatment of either creationism or intelligent design''. ...
http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/christian-schools-angry-over-ban-on-teaching-creationism-20100302-pgjb.html

Report: 'Ida' fossil looks like lemur, not human ancestor
USA Today
In the Journal of Human Evolution report, a team led by evolutionary anthropologist Blythe Williams of Duke University in Durham, NC, take on Darwinius ...
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/03/missing-link-a-lemur-find-human-origins-scientists/1

Creationism could slip into science classes
Sydney Morning Herald
"The draft national curriculum has left open loopholes that would allow the teaching of intelligent design and old earth creationism as science. ...
http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/creationism-could-slip-into-science-classes-20100303-pj4d.html

Upsets will create new look on state education board
Houston Chronicle
McLeroy's leadership as one of the board's seven social conservatives, and his opposition to the teaching of evolution, made him a strong ally for ...
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6896270.html

Climate Change, Evolution Linked as Lawmakers Urge Teaching of Dissenting Views
Politics Daily (blog)
Disbelievers in human evolution are taking a new tack in several states, linking evolution to the on-going dispute over global warming and insisting that ...
http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/03/04/climate-change-evolution-linked-as-lawmakers-urge-teaching-of-d/

Darwin Foes Add Warming to Targets
New York Times
They oppose the teaching of alternative views like intelligent design, the proposition that life is so complex that it must be the design of an intelligent ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/science/earth/04climate.html?pagewanted=1

SCIENCE

Interactions Between Species: Powerful Driving Force Behind Evolution?
ScienceDaily (Feb. 25, 2010) — Scientists at the University of Liverpool have provided the first experimental evidence that shows that evolution is driven most powerfully by interactions between species, rather than adaptation to the environment...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225091344.htm

New Process Yields High-Energy-Density, Plant-Based Transportation Fuel
ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2010) — A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has developed a highly efficient, environmentally friendly process that selectively converts gamma-valerolactone, a biomass derivative, into the chemical equivalent of jet fuel...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225142447.htm

Video Games May Help Combat Depression in Older Adults
ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2010) — Research at the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests a novel route to improving the symptoms of subsyndromal depression (SSD) in seniors through the regular use of "exergames" -- entertaining video games that combine game play with exercise. In a pilot study, the researchers found that use of exergames significantly improved mood and mental health-related quality of life in older adults with SSD...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225140910.htm

Large Earthquake Hits Chile, Generates Tsunami Across Pacific
ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 2010) — An 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of central Chile early morning on Saturday, February 27, 2010 at 3:34 a.m. local time, about 200 miles southwest of the Chilean capital of Santiago, killing several hundred people and exposing millions of people to strong shaking that toppled many buildings...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100227210429.htm

Dolphin Cognitive Abilities Raise Ethical Questions, Says Emory Neuroscientist
ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 2010) — Emory University neuroscientist Lori Marino will speak on the anatomical basis of dolphin intelligence at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference (AAAS) in San Diego, on Feb. 21, 2010...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218173112.htm

Fueling the Future With Fish Tank Residue: Scientist Discusses Use of Algae as Biofuel
ScienceDaily (Feb. 27, 2010) — As Americans demand new and cleaner ways to meet the country's energy needs, researchers are turning to algae as a promising new fuel source. The approach has the potential to significantly reduce the nation's reliance on imported oil while contributing to rural economic development and lowering greenhouse emissions...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100219141905.htm

New 'Alien Invader' Star Clusters Found in Milky Way
ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2010) — As many as one quarter of the star clusters in our Milky Way -- many more than previously thought -- are invaders from other galaxies, according to a new study. The report also suggests there may be as many as six dwarf galaxies yet to be discovered within the Milky Way rather than the two that were previously confirmed...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100226161428.htm

Quantum Physics Breakthrough: Scientists Find an Equation for Materials Innovation
ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2010) — Princeton engineers have made a breakthrough in an 80-year-old quandary in quantum physics, paving the way for the development of new materials that could make electronic devices smaller and cars more energy efficient...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225140904.htm

Why Symptoms of Schizophrenia Emerge in Young Adulthood
ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2010) — In reports of two new studies, researchers led by Johns Hopkins say they have identified the mechanisms rooted in two anatomical brain abnormalities that may explain the onset of schizophrenia and the reason symptoms don't develop until young adulthood. Both types of anatomical glitches are influenced by a gene known as DISC1, whose mutant form was first identified in a Scottish family with a strong history of schizophrenia and related mental disorders. The findings could lead to new ways to treat, prevent or modify the disorder or its symptoms...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225172336.htm

Does Promiscuity Prevent Extinction?
ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2010) — Promiscuous females may be the key to a species' survival, according to new research by the Universities of Exeter and Liverpool. Published February 25 in Current Biology, the study could solve the mystery of why females of most species have multiple mates, despite this being more risky for the individual...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225122655.htm

The Safe Way to Use One Internet Password
ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2010) — A little-used Internet authentication system from the 1980s could provide the answer for enabling web users to securely log in only once per Internet session, a Queensland University of Technology researcher has found...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225091348.htm

NASA Breaks Ground on New Deep Space Network Antennas
ScienceDaily (Feb. 26, 2010) — NASA officials broke ground near Canberra, Australia on Wednesday, Feb. 24, beginning a new antenna-building campaign to improve Deep Space Network communications...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100225101853.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Monterey Cross Defense Fund Runs Out Of Steam
KSBW The Central Coast
Since the cross on Del Monte Beach was cut down, controversy has surrounded rebuilding it and whether it violated the separation between church and state. ...
http://www.ksbw.com/news/22688280/detail.html

Proposal would allow gov't spending on parochial schools
Tampabay.com (blog)
“Blaine Amendments are antiquated constitutional tenants rooted in bigotry that go far beyond the separation of church and state envisioned by our founding ...
http://blogs.tampabay.com/buzz/2010/02/proposal-would-allow-govt-spending-on-parochial-schools.html

Philippine Catholics try to get secularist health minister sacked for trying ...
National Secular Society
She commented: “We are not a religious state like Iran. We are a secular state where there is separation of Church and State. While it is very important for ...
http://www.secularism.org.uk/118782.html

college contacts Wyoming LDS kids
Deseret News
... of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, said the letter raises questions about separation of church and state. ...
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700012677/Students-mad-after-college-contacts-Wyoming-LDS-kids.html

Group wants cross out of video: Howard-Suamico district uses cross image in promo
Green Bay Press Gazette
... 2010 SUAMICO — A Madison-based organization that advocates the separation of church and state recently sent a letter to the Howard-Suamico School ...
http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20100227/GPG0101/2270477/1207/GPG01

Monterey Cross Finds New Home At Cemetery
KSBW The Central Coast
... was cut down September 19, controversy has swirled around whether restoring it on public property violated the the separation between church and state. ...
http://www.ksbw.com/news/22704596/detail.html

RIC students join protest
Anchor
We also believe firmly in Rhode Island values, including the separation of church and state. This church was host to a homophobic workshop event, ...
http://www.anchorweb.org/news/ric-students-join-protest-1.2176104

Prayer gets big turnout
BlueRidgeNow.com
Phillip Allen, an ordained Baptist minister and president of the WNC Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said he thinks people need to ...
http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20100302/NEWS/3021028/1042?p=1&tc=pg

National Religious Broadcasters meeting revives church-state debate between ...
The Tennessean
As president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Lynn often is seen as an enemy by religious conservatives like the broadcasters group, ...
http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100303/NEWS06/3030361/1023/NEWS01

Wyoming college drops LDS-targeted recruitment
Salt Lake Tribune
Some students and faculty members were angered by the mailing, saying it inappropriately blurred the separation of church and state. In his e-mail, ...
http://www.sltrib.com/Utah%20Local%20News%20-%20Salt%20Lake%20City%20News,%20Sports/ci_14504910

Man Mad About Courtroom Church Pews Speaks Out
Eyewitness News Memphis
There's more to this case than just separation of church and state. Robberson is mad about the pews, but also about the charges against him. ...
http://www.myeyewitnessnews.com/news/local/story/Man-Mad-About-Courtroom-Church-Pews-Speaks-Out/o6ZU1CIHtUiwjo-bMpm2Hg.cspx

US Supreme Court Rejects Manchester Court Case
NBC Connecticut
The issue was one concerning separation of church and state – whether a government operation should be associated with religion. ...
http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local-beat/US-Supreme-Court-rejects-Manchester-Court-Case-86255357.html

MISCELLANEOUS

Daily Shame
You can leave a response or trackback to this entry Parents are today united in shock after a Catholic faith school unanimously turned atheist. ...
http://www.dailyshame.co.uk/2010/02/faith-school-turns-atheist-after-convincing-speech-by-boy-12/ 

Top Five Best Things About Living In A Theocracy
Manolith
But not to worry, yes the founding fathers believed in the necessity of the separation of church and state, but just because they didn't like it didn't mean ...
http://www.manolith.com/2010/03/04/top-five-best-things-about-living-in-a-theocracy/


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