THE   FOCUS

APRIL 23, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 17
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 

Atheist Group Calls on Obama to Endorse 'National Day of Reason' Instead of ... 
CNSNews.com 
By Pete Winn, Senior Writer/Editor (CNSNews.com) – An atheist group is calling on President Obama to ditch the National Day of Prayer and formally recognize ... 
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/64358 

ATHEISM 

UNCG Atheist, Agnostics and Skeptics meet 
Carolinian (subscription) 
For example, a “bible for comic books trade” was put on by the Atheist, Agnostic and Skeptic group at UNCG this past Monday at the EUC. ... 
http://www.carolinianonline.com/uncg-atheist-agnostics-and-skeptics-meet-1.1344703 

Atheists find company on campus 
Press Herald 
Katie Panger, left, founder, Brett Jacobson, president, Thomas Hodges and Jonathan Guca are seen before a meeting of the Atheists, Agnostics and Free ... 
http://www.pressherald.com/life/religionandvalues/atheists-find-company-on-campus_2010-04-17.html 

Redirecting a long life of godlessness 
Buffalo News 
"It's become fixated in recent years on atheism, the criticism of religion," he said. "And I think that's a strategic blunder. Not just a strategic blunder, ... 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gMJEWENPHiOAPxtwNwVz2cpeURwwD9F69K9O3 

Danish Atheists target schools 
IceNews 
Schools in Denmark are being petitioned by an atheist organisation encouraging students into dropping religious confirmation ceremonies. ... 
http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2010/04/19/danish-atheists-target-schools/ 

An Atheist in the Pulpit 
Psychology Today 
The neo-atheist movement is fueled by outspoken academics and intellectuals including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and others who bombard the ... 
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200712/atheist-in-the-pulpit 

Nick Clegg's atheism would rule him out of office in America, Iran 
Telegraph.co.uk (blog) 
His atheism has been swapped for agnosticism – best defined as “I don't believe in God but in case I'm wrong I'm really really sorry” – and he is spending ... 
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/adrianmichaels/100035538/nick-cleggs-atheism-would-rule-him-out-of-office-in-america-iran/ 

Atheist Nick Clegg discovers religion in time for polling day 
Telegraph.co.uk 
Nick Clegg, who publicly declared that he was an atheist, claims that Christian values are 'central' to Liberal Democrat policies. ... 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/nick-clegg/7611480/Atheist-Nick-Clegg-discovers-religion-in-time-for-polling-day.html 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

The New 'God Paradox' - Atheist Author Challenges Top Academics 
MMD Newswire (press release) 
He is the author of The Six Ways Of Atheism published last year in which he sets out in much greater detail this and other logical arguments (some of them ... 
http://www.mmdnewswire.com/geoffrey-berg-7997.html 

New Atheist Books 
Philosophy Now (subscription) 
There has been a plethora of books issued on the topic of the New Atheism, pro and con. In addition to the bestselling titles by Dawkins, Dennett, ... 
http://www.philosophynow.org/issue78/78madigan2.htm 

Atheist Christopher Hitchens Seeks to Arrest Pope ... 
Breitbart.tv 
BBC News: Leading atheist Richard Dawkins has backed a campaign to have the Pope arrested for "crimes against humanity" when he visits the UK later this ... 
http://www.breitbart.tv/atheist-christopher-hitchens-seeks-to-arrest-pope-for-crimes-against-humanity/ 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

JPL worker sues over intelligent design demotion 
The Associated Press 
He's also a Christian who promotes the concept that an intelligent being created the universe. Defendants in the lawsuit include his supervisor, ... 
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/04/19/national/a093644D07.DTL 

SCIENCE 

Icelandic Volcanoes Can Be Unpredictable and Dangerous 
ScienceDaily (Apr. 18, 2010) — If history is any indication, the erupting volcano in Iceland and its immense ash plume could intensify, says a Texas A&M University researcher who has explored Icelandic volcanoes for the past 25 years... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100416145314.htm 

Scientists Discover New Genetic Sub-Code 
ScienceDaily (Apr. 18, 2010) — In a multidisciplinary approach, Professor Yves Barral, from the Biology Department at ETH Zurich and the computer scientists Dr. Gina Cannarozzi and Professor Gaston Gonnet, from the Computer Science Department of ETH Zurich and the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, joined forces to chase possible sub-codes in genomic information... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100416144542.htm 

Good Prospects for Extraterrestrial Life? Rocky Planets 'Are Commonplace' in Our Galaxy 
ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2010) — An international team of astronomers have discovered compelling evidence that rocky planets are commonplace in our Galaxy. Leicester University scientist and lead researcher Dr Jay Farihi surveyed white dwarfs, the compact remnants of stars that were once like our Sun... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100414125515.htm 

Einstein's Theory Fights Off Challengers 
ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2010) — Two new and independent studies have put Einstein's General Theory of Relativity to the test like never before. These results, made using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, show Einstein's theory is still the best game in town... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100414130830.htm 

Supermassive Black Holes Strip Massive Galaxies of Star-Forming Gases 
ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2010) — Black holes have long been beloved of science fiction writers for their destructive capabilities and peculiar ability to warp space time. Now a study led by researchers from The University of Nottingham reveals the awesome power of supermassive black holes... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100416095800.htm 

New Detector Counts Photons With 99 Percent Efficiency 
ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2010) — Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed* the world's most efficient single photon detector, which is able to count individual particles of light traveling through fiber optic cables with roughly 99 percent efficiency... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415171525.htm 

Solar Power in Ontario Could Produce Almost as Much Power as All U.S. Nuclear Reactors, Studies Find 
ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2010) — Solar power in southeastern Ontario has the potential to produce almost the same amount of power as all the nuclear reactors in the United States, according to two studies conducted by the Queen's University Applied Sustainability Research Group located in Kingston, Canada... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100414122643.htm 

Rock of Ages: Clues About Mars Evolution Revealed 
ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2010) — Through the study of a popular Martian meteorite's age, a University of Houston professor and his team have made significant discoveries about the timeline of volcanic activity on Mars... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100415141118.htm 

Pinning Down a Proton 
ScienceDaily (Apr. 16, 2010) — A researcher at North Carolina State University has helped to develop a new method for describing the binding of protons and neutrons within nuclei. This method may improve scientists' ability to predict and understand astrophysical reactions within stars... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100414152136.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

FFRF celebrates National Day of Prayer victory 
Freedom From Religion Foundation 
It's not every day that the president of the United States gets enjoined — prohibited by judicial order from a certain action — but it happened on April 15, 2010.  U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb decided in favor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation in a ruling that the federal law designating a National Day of Prayer and requiring a National Day of Prayer proclamation by the president violates... 
http://ffrf.org/news/releases/judge-rules-in-favor-of-ffrf-in-suit-against-national-day-of-prayer/ 

AU Praises Federal Court Decision Striking Down National Day Of ... 
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State 
Americans United for Separation of Church and State today praised a federal district court for striking down the congressionally mandated National Day of ... 
http://www.au.org/media/press-releases/archives/2010/04/au-praises-federal-court.html 

Judge backs Redding atheist who balked at religious anti-drug program 
Sacramento Bee 
After he got out, his parole agent sent him back for being an atheist. Now, the 41-year-old Redding computer technician has won a ruling from a Sacramento ... 
http://www.sacbee.com/2010/04/17/2685285/judge-backs-redding-atheist-who.html 

Sarah Palin's 'Christian Nation' Remarks Spark Debate 
ABC News 
By TEDDY DAVIS and MATT LOFFMAN But two groups dedicated to the separation of church and state are now speaking out against her, arguing that she is ... 
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sarah-palin-sparks-church-state-separation-debate/story?id=10419289 

Is Praying Un-American? Federal Judge Rules "Day of Prayer" Unconstitutional 
CBS News 
... group of atheists and agnostics, filed a lawsuit against the federal government in 2008 arguing the day violated the separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20002670-504083.html 

Atheist Group Urges Obama to Replace National Day of Prayer with National Day ... 
The Underground 
The National Day of Prayer has been recognized and observed by every US President since 1775. The American Humanist Association (AHA) is at it again. ... 
http://theundergroundsite.com/index.php/2010/04/atheist-group-urges-obama-to-replace-national-day-of-prayer-with-national-day-of-reason-11658 

Church-state issue clouds conversion 
Rocky Mount Telegram 
Concerns about maintaining separation of church and state already have prompted a national watchdog group to write the mayor's office. ...http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/features/church-state-issue-clouds-conversion-18900 

Government to appeal ruling against Prayer Day 
The Associated Press 
... Religion Foundation, a Madison-based group of atheists and agnostics who argue the National Day of Prayer violates the separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hefv3O3JxnnUE8B4RGl-25-VOtYAD9F8CE700 

MISCELLANEOUS 

I.Q. of Intelligent Design's Creator Pegged at 78 
The Spoof (satire) 
After a series of exhaustive tests, researchers at the US Department of Education have found that the "higher being" responsible for Intelligent Design (ID) ... 
http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s2i73253 

At Top University, a Fight for Pakistan’s Future 
New York Times Online 
LAHORE, Pakistan — The professor was working in his office here on the campus of Pakistan’s largest university this month when members of an Islamic student group battered open the door, beat him with metal rods and bashed him over the head with a giant flower pot... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/21/world/asia/21university.html?pagewanted=1&th&emc=th 
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