MAY 14, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 20
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. 
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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.

2 at Faith-Based Bank Are Indicted Over Bribes
New York Times
Close LinkedinDiggFacebookMixxMySpaceYahoo! BuzzPermalink ATLANTA — When government regulators here shut down Integrity Bank at the height of the recession, in August of 2008, the bank was seen as just another failed lender that had overvalued the real estate market and collapsed...

Atheist fails in bid to remove God' from presidential oath
Newdow, an atheist, had hoped to avoid formal invocation of the deity's name in the 2013 and 2017 inaugurations. "The only apparent avenue of redress for ...

Cross at Center of Legal Dispute Disappears
New York Times
... in the middle of both the Mojave Desert and a Supreme Court case on the separation of church and state has been stolen, federal officials said Tuesday. ...


Ayaan Hirsi Ali: 'Why are Muslims so hypersensitive?'
The Guardian
It was after fleeing an arranged marriage and settling as an asylum-seeker in Holland that Hirsi Ali converted from Islam to atheism with the kind of zeal ...

Losing my religion
Highlander Newspaper
They wore black shirts that read “Friendly Neighborhood Atheist” with a smiley face, while others' shirts read different phrases like “Teach science, ...

Atheism Gets a Much-Needed Rebranding
Fast Company
BY Alissa Walker Today Atheism, it could be argued, has an identity problem. "Atheism is quite often mistakenly seen as a cold and distant world, ...

President Schapiro talks with SHIFT
North by Northwestern
While an undergraduate student at the University of Texas-San Antonio, his group Atheist Agenda participated in a “Smut for Smut” protest, ...


World Books Interview: Nino Ricci and 'The Origin of Species'
PRI's The World
I spoke to Ricci about his interest in the dark side of Darwinism, how evolution shapes his understanding of Canadian culture, and the strong presence of ...

The Nightline Face-Off: Does God Have a Future?
Michael Shermer and Sam Harris argue the naturalistic perspective in a televised debate...


"Texans for Truthful Textbooks" to rally at state capitol
Los Angeles Chronicle
Though we're proud of our own Atheism, this is not a rally for Atheism – it's a rally for strong education." Joe Zamecki, Texas State Director for American ...

Our Species Rediscovers Its Cousins
Wall Street Journal
The new David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC explores the history of human evolution ...

Alabama Gov. Candidate Attacked for Belief in Evolution
CBS News
In an ad released earlier this month, which you can watch at left, Alabama gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne is attacked for suggesting that evolution, ...

The Proof Is in the Proteins: Test Supports Universal Common Ancestor for All Life
Scientific American
Despite the difficulties of formally testing evolution—especially back across the eons to the emergence of life itself—Theobald was able to run rigorous ..


New Martian Views from Orbiting Camera Show Landscape Diversity
ScienceDaily (May 9, 2010) — New images from more than 750 recent observations of Mars by an orbiting telescopic camera testify to the diversity of landscapes there...

Human Working Memory Is Based on Dynamic Interaction Networks in the Brain
ScienceDaily (May 8, 2010) — A research project of the Neuroscience Center of the University of Helsinki sheds light on the neuronal mechanisms sustaining memory traces of visual stimuli in the human brain. The results show that the maintenance of working memory is associated with synchronisation of neurons, which facilitates communication between different parts of the brain...

First-Ever Landscape-Wide Study of Elephants and Great Apes
ScienceDaily (May 8, 2010) — The Wildlife Conservation Society announced the results of the first-ever evaluation of a large, "landscape-wide" conservation approach to protect globally important populations of elephants and great apes...

Coffee and Soft Drinks Have Little or No Association With Colon Cancer Risk, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (May 7, 2010) — Drinking even large amounts of coffee and sugar-sweetened, carbonated soft drinks is not associated with the risk of colon cancer, according to a large study published online May 7 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute...

Envisat Captures Renewed Volcanic Activity
ScienceDaily (May 7, 2010) — New eruptions from Iceland's Eyjafjallajoekull volcano have produced a 1600 km-wide ash cloud over the Atlantic. The brownish plume, travelling east and then south, is clearly visible in stark contrast to white clouds framing this Envisat image from 6 May...

Words to the Wise: Experts Define Wisdom
ScienceDaily (May 7, 2010) — Compassion. Self-understanding. Morality. Emotional stability...

Transplanted Adult Stem Cells Provide Lasting Help to Injured Hearts
ScienceDaily (May 7, 2010) — Human adult stem cells injected around the damage caused by a heart attack survived in the heart and improved its pumping efficiency for a year in a mouse model, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report online ahead of publication in Circulation Research...

Could New Fiber Optics Technology Replace Semi-Conductors?
ScienceDaily (May 7, 2010) — It looks like a piece of gel that slips into the sole of your sneaker, but it's a new nano-based technology that can make computers and the Internet hundreds of times faster -- a communications technology "enabler" that may be in use only five or ten years in the future, currently being created by Dr. Koby Scheuer of Tel Aviv University's School of Electrical Engineering...

Early Childhood Experiences Have Lasting Emotional and Psychological Effects
ScienceDaily (May 7, 2010) — Experiences between birth and age 5 matter significantly to children's long-term emotional and psychological health, and changing these experiences for the better pays dividends, according to an editorial and several new reports in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals...

Chromosome 'Glue' Surprises Scientists
ScienceDaily (May 7, 2010) — Proteins called cohesins ensure that newly copied chromosomes bind together, separate correctly during cell division, and are repaired efficiently after DNA damage. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution have found for the first time that cohesins are needed in different concentrations for their different functions...

Trapping Giant Rydberg Atoms for Faster Quantum Computers
ScienceDaily (May 7, 2010) — In an achievement that could help enable fast quantum computers, University of Michigan physicists have built a better Rydberg atom trap. Rydberg atoms are highly excited, nearly-ionized giants that can be thousands of times larger than their ground-state counterparts...

A Cluster and a Sea of Galaxies
ScienceDaily (May 7, 2010) — A new wide-field image released by ESO displays many thousands of distant galaxies, and more particularly a large group belonging to the massive galaxy cluster known as Abell 315. As crowded as it may appear, this assembly of galaxies is only the proverbial "tip of the iceberg," as Abell 315 -- like most galaxy clusters -- is dominated by dark matter...


Use of federal funds by gay marriage foes investigated
Raw Story
The Iowa Independent first reported separation of church and state questions about the funding for a marriage-mentoring program last month. ...

Los Angeles Chronicle
An Atheist public policy groups today sharply criticized remarks by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who appeared on the Bill O'Reilly Factor Thursday night ...


Summer international craft beer releases: "Godless," Guinness, AF23 Pale Ale
Gudeløs's new label in English reads: "Devil's Brew and the Danish Atheist Society have entered into an unholy alliance, and the result is Gudeløs (Danish ...