THE   FOCUS

APRIL 23, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 18
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

Legal Victory Raises Profile of an Atheist Group
New York Times
“It used to be a lot worse,” said Ms. Gaylor, 54, an atheist whose organization, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, recently won a suit in federal court ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/us/24atheist.html

High court rules cross doesn't violate separation of church and state
CNN
... erected as a war memorial and sitting on national parkland in the Mojave Desert, does not violate the constitutional separation of church and state. ...
http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/04/28/mojave.cross/?hpt=T2

ATHEISM

The Death of Another Deathbed Conversion: Atheist Philosopher Passes Away, Again
Religion Dispatches
By Austin Dacey Before his death, renowned atheist philosopher and co-author of There is a God: How the World's Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, ...
http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/religionandtheology/2481/the_death_of_another_deathbed_conversion:_atheist_philosopher_passes_away,_again

Atheist Nick Clegg puts Christian values at heart of Lib Dem campaign
Daily Mail
Mr Clegg, whose wife Miriam is a Roman Catholic, revealed his atheist position in a radio interview in December 2007. Asked directly on BBC Radio 5 Live, ...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1268103/General-Election-2010-Atheist-Nick-Clegg-puts-Christian-values-Lib-Dem-campaign.html

Atheist group wants City of Milwaukee to end Good Friday holiday
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
By Larry Sandler of the Journal Sentinel After winning a court victory against the National Day of Prayer, an atheist group plans to step up its assault on ...
http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/91985879.html?page=1#comments

Brace yourself for 'Boobquake'
Examiner.com
McCreight, a self-described "liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist," wrote a jokey blog entry about "Boobquake" and forgot about it. ...
http://www.examiner.com/x-15870-Populist-Examiner~y2010m4d25-Brace-yourself-for-Boobquake

'Boobquake' to help real quake recovery
Independent
McCreight defines herself as "a liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted atheist feminist trapped in Indiana." If you didn't get a chance to wear your ...
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/boobquake-to-help-real-quake-recovery-1955039.html

How I Started a Boobquake
Daily Beast (blog)
My blog is fairly popular within atheist circles (yes, there is a blogging niche for almost everything). When the story was picked up by the popular science ...
http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-04-27/how-i-started-a-boobquake/?cid=hp:justposted3

Creators Out, But Muhammad Drawing Protest Is On
AOL News
Moynihan, who says he is an atheist, says it's perfectly OK for a religion to have certain beliefs it expects followers to adhere to. ...
http://www.aolnews.com/weird-news/article/creators-back-out-but-muhammad-drawing-protest-continues/19455021

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

Not Even in South Park?
NY TIMES - By ROSS DOUTHAT
Two months before 9/11, Comedy Central aired an episode of “South Park” entitled “Super Best Friends,” in which the cartoon show’s foul-mouthed urchins sought assistance from an unusual team of superheroes...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/26/opinion/26douthat.html

A Journey From Pastor To Atheist
PR Web (press release)
Readers can follow his journey From Pastor To Atheist in a book that will change their perception about the church. In class after class, the author was ...
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/04/prweb3930464.htm

Atheist: My 4 Favorite Books for Christians
Opposing Views
As revealed in my new Recommended Books website, there are four books I recommend more highly than any others to Christians. They are relatively short and ...
http://www.opposingviews.com/i/atheist-my-4-favorite-books-for-christians

iUniverse Presents: 'Going Godless: Rediscovering Spirituality in a Material ...
PR Newswire (press release)
"Going Godless" explores non-theistic spirituality in three parts: What it means to be atheist or agnostic and what spirituality and religion mean and do ...
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/iuniverse-presents-going-godless-rediscovering-spirituality-in-a-material-world-92298329.html

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

Evolution's New Foe: Timid School Administrators
Wired News
By Brandon Keim Nobody is promoting intelligent design in the curriculum, or asking schools to teach evolution's “strengths and weaknesses. ...
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/04/evolution-controversy/

Texas Textbook Massacre: Deceitful Propaganda Campaign Or Tempest in a Teapot?
Religion Dispatches
Actually, the new science standards written last year present him with an invitation to delve into the issue of evolution and the fossil record more ...
http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/mediaculture/2498/_texas_textbook_massacre:_deceitful_propaganda_campaign_or_tempest_in_a_teapot___?page=2

Freshwater Hearing to Resume, Voters Heading to Polls
Associated Content
... of proselytizing to his 8th Grade Science class, teaching Intelligent Design and burning a cross into the arm of one of his students with a Tesla coil. ...
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2939782/freshwater_hearing_to_resume_voters.html?cat=17

SCIENCE

Forecasting Rates of Overweight
ScienceDaily (Apr. 25, 2010) — Obesity rates for American adults have stabilized while the rate of childhood and minority obesity is rising, according to a study in the journal Medical Decision Making, published by SAGE...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100423204751.htm

Gene That Allows Worms to Grow New Head and Brain Discovered
ScienceDaily (Apr. 24, 2010) — Scientists at The University of Nottingham have discovered the gene that enables an extraordinary worm to regenerate its own body parts after amputation -- including a whole head and brain...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100423113721.htm

Starry-Eyed Hubble Celebrates 20 Years of Awe and Discovery
ScienceDaily (Apr. 24, 2010) — The best recognised, longest-lived and most prolific space observatory zooms past a milestone of 20 years of operation. On 24 April 1990, the Space Shuttle and crew of STS-31 were launched to deploy the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope into a low-Earth orbit. What followed was one of the most remarkable sagas of the space age...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100423113719.htm

Car Steered With Eyes, Computer Scientists Demonstrate
ScienceDaily (Apr. 24, 2010) — "Keep your eyes on the road!" Scientists at Freie Universität working under the computer science professor Raúl Rojas have given a completely new meaning to this standard rule for drivers: Using software they developed, they can steer a car with their eyes...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100423215028.htm

Searching for Dark Energy With the Whole World's Supernova Dataset
ScienceDaily (Apr. 24, 2010) — The international Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP), based at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has announced the Union2 compilation of hundreds of Type Ia supernovae, the largest collection ever of high-quality data from numerous surveys...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100421133120.htm

New Near-Infrared Cameras/spectrographs Will Allow Astronomers to Watch Stars Being Born
ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2010) — The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) partners in Germany, the U.S.A. and Italy are pleased to announce that the first of two new innovative near-infrared cameras/spectrographs for the LBT is now available to astronomers for scientific observations at the telescope on Mt. Graham in south-eastern Arizona...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422112639.htm

Global Biofuel Drive Raises Risk of Eviction for African Farmers
ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2010) — African farmers risk being forced from their lands by investors or government projects as global demand for biofuels encourages changes in crop cultivation...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422093534.htm

Size Affects Structure of Hollow Nanoparticles
ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2010) — A new study from North Carolina State University shows that size plays a key role in determining the structure of certain hollow nanoparticles. The researchers focused on nickel nanoparticles, which have interesting magnetic and catalytic properties that may have applications in fields as diverse as energy production and nanoelectronics...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100412111617.htm

Primate Fossil More Than 11 Million Years Old Discovered
ScienceDaily (Apr. 23, 2010) — Catalan researchers have discovered in the rubbish dump of Can Mata in the Vallès-Penedès basin (Catalonia) a new species of Pliopithecus primate, considered an extinct family of primitive Catarrhini primates (or "Old World monkeys"). The fragments of jaw and molars found in this large site demonstrate that Pliopithecus canmatensis belongs to this group...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100421102439.htm

Several Different Species of Killer Whales Likely
ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 2010) — In a report published April 22 in the journal Genome Research, scientists report finding strong genetic evidence supporting the theory there are several species of killer whales (Orcinus orca, also known as orcas) throughout the world's oceans...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422121704.htm

Retracing the Tracks of Dinosaurs Reveals Ecosystem the Size of a Continent
ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 2010) — Researchers at McGill University are unlocking the mysteries of the little-known habits of dinosaurs in discovering that the entire western interior of North America was likely once populated by a single community of dinosaurs. According to a statistical analysis of the fossil record, dinosaurs were adept at coping with all sorts of environments...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100421223712.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Atheists, religious groups lobby on Day of Prayer
The Associated Press
Two years ago, the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation sued the federal government, alleging the day violated the separation of church and state. ...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hWiD9zVD5IijUKfLEQzg-1jMWLTAD9F911PG0

$150k grant to Indiana Christian college questioned
Palladium-Item
Americans United for Separation of Church and State says the grant to Grace College and Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, about 40 miles northeast of ...
http://www.pal-item.com/article/20100424/UPDATES/100424007/+150k+grant+to+Indiana+Christian+college+questioned

CJ visits with Nate Phelps
Topeka Capital Journal
Atheist groups, television stations, newspapers. "That forced to me to think about whether I have an obligation to speak out," he said in an interview last ...
http://cjonline.com/news/local/2010-04-24/c_j_visits_with_nate_phelps

Court challenge dogs official day of prayer
Columbus Dispatch
The atheist group is trying to attack Christian values, he said, adding, "They're just trying to pick a fight because their intent is to try to remove faith ...
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/04/24/court-challenge-dogs-official-day-of-prayer.html?sid=101

Battles loom over holding public school graduations in church
USA Today
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY The latest school battle over the separation of church and state may not feature prayers at football games, after-school Bible ...
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-04-26-churchcommencement26_st_N.htm

National Day of Prayer: Government should steer clear of religion
Spartanburg Herald Journal
... government creating a day for us to do it. The Rev. Barry W. Lynn is executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church & State (www.au.org).
http://www.goupstate.com/article/20100425/NEWS/100429827/1132/OPINION?Title=National-Day-of-Prayer-Government-should-steer-clear-of-religion

Complaint filed over prayers at Honolulu City Council sessions
Honolulu Advertiser
The Hawai'i Citizens for Separation of State and Church filed a complaint with the council this month, noting that 25 of 27 meetings since January 2008 have ...
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20100425/NEWS04/4250358/Complaint+filed+over+prayers+at+Honolulu+City+Council+sessions

Group calls for ending of opening prayers at Legislature
Honolulu Advertiser
Hawaii Citizens for the Separation of Church and State today sent a letter of complaint to the state Legislature over the practice of opening sessions with ...
http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20100427/BREAKING01/100427029/Group+calls+for+ending+of+opening+prayers+at+Legislature

School-led band prayer claimed at Oxford high; not so, say officials
Anniston Star
by Patrick McCreless A group that promotes the separation of church and state claims Oxford High School recently violated that principle, ...
http://annistonstar.com/view/full_story/7216891/article-School-led-band-prayer-claimed-at-Oxford-high--not-so--say-officials?instance=1st_left

Non-religious group targets another cross at Charleston fire station
Live 5 News
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A nonprofit organization that pushes governmental agencies to maintain a rigid separation of church and state has filed another ...
http://www.live5news.com/Global/story.asp?S=12385027

Group wants probe into faith-based earmarks
The Hill (blog)
By Jordan Fabian - 04/27/10 03:47 PM ET A group that supports the separation of church and state wants the Obama administration to investigate earmarks for ...
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/94639-group-wants-probe-into-faith-based-earmarks

ESCONDIDO: Peace pole coming to City Hall
North County Times
She said she does not support government policies that restrict religious practice, contending that "separation of church and state" is not supported by the ...
http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/escondido/article_3f2ac65b-8a89-5f83-86b2-501c0000254b.html

ACLU asks McDonnell to back prayer policy
Augusta Free Press
The Supreme Court has ruled that in limited circumstances the government may offer prayers without violating separation of church and state. ...
http://augustafreepress.com/2010/04/28/aclu-asks-mcdonnell-to-back-prayer-policy/

Supreme Court faults ruling on desert cross
Boston Globe
... in the middle of the Mojave Desert, and said separation of church and state “does not require eradication of all religious symbols in the public realm. ...
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2010/04/29/supreme_court_faults_ruling_on_desert_cross/

Texas Gives the Boot to Liberal Social Studies Bias
Texas Insider
Knight proposed an amendment to teach students that “the Founding Fathers supported a strong wall of separation between church and state. ...
http://www.texasinsider.org/?p=25941

Air Force Officer to Be Discharged for Being a Lesbian Speaks Out
truthout
Also, she said, "Being a woman of color and feminist and liberal and atheist and vegetarian - all these things just don't fit in with the military" and "it ...
http://www.truthout.org/air-force-officer-be-discharged-being-a-lesbian-speaks-out58940

MISCELLANEOUS

Atheist Quotes
A compilation of some of most famous atheist quotes which question basic existence of God. Beware though as these quotes on atheism may trigger a thought ...
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/atheist-quotes.html

A Frenzied Pace for the Lawyer Behind Suits Against the Vatican
New York Times
And though he was once a “dedicated atheist,” he says he is deeply religious now, but not in any particular church. He has, by the way, sued over abuse in ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/us/28lawyer.html

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