JUNE 4, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 23
Published by the Center For Atheism (CFA)
Editor: David Birnkrant
The Focusprovides 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.

North Dakota DOT approves atheist's request for license plate reading ISNOGOD
Alexandria Echo Press
The North Dakota Department of Transportation has approved the request of a man here who calls himself an atheist and who has asked for a personalized ...

Judge Says Enfield Cannot Hold Graduation in Cathedral
NBC Connecticut
... to prevent the school from holding graduation in the church and the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State brought the suit, ...


Black Atheists Say Non-Belief Means Cultural Outsider
So being both black and atheist can be a lonely and isolating experience for some. But, the largest-ever gathering of African-American atheists was recently ...

Enlightening Grand Junction
"A lot of people think atheism is an aggressive position. But that's not true at all. It's a very big stereotype that we seek to get rid of," says organizer ...

Vatican reaches out to atheists but not you, Richard Dawkins
By Jerome Taylor, Religious Affairs Correspondent The Vatican is planning a new initiative to reach out to atheists and agnostics in an attempt to improve ...


EXCLUSIVE: The Full Story of "SHOOT"
Comic Book Resources
"The idea of a team of atheist paranormal hunters came about because I knew I wanted to do that paranormal action thing that Dark Horse does so well, ...


Evolution Breakthrough Challenged
CBS News
In terms of design, there are too many redundancies and unecessary features for our design to be "truly intelligent." Please do your OWN homework before ...

Antievolution bills die in South Carolina
National Center for Science Education
... 2003) reported that Fair "said his intention is to show that Intelligent Design is a viable scientific alternative that should be taught in the public ...


New Species of Invertebrates Discovered in the Antarctic
ScienceDaily (May 30, 2010) On board the German oceanographic ship and through various expeditions carried out between 1996 and 2008, two scientists from the University of Seville (US) have discovered six new gorgonia (colonial marine invertebrates made up of tubular bodied polyps with eight tentacles) in the Antarctic region, in the Eastern Weddell Sea...

First Horned Dinosaur from Mexico: Plant-Eater Had Largest Horns of Any Dinosaur
ScienceDaily (May 29, 2010) A new species of horned dinosaur unearthed in Mexico has larger horns that any other species -- up to 4 feet long -- and has given scientists fresh insights into the ancient history of western North America, according to a research team led by paleontologists from the Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah...

Clue to Origin of Milky Way Gas Clouds Discovered
ScienceDaily (May 29, 2010) A surprising discovery that hydrogen gas clouds found in abundance in and above our Milky Way Galaxy have preferred locations has given astronomers a key clue about the origin of such clouds, which play an important part in galaxy evolution...

Zeroing in on Quantum Effects: New Materials Yield Clues About High-Temperature Superconductors
ScienceDaily (May 29, 2010) A team of U.S. and Chinese physicists are zeroing in on critical effects at the heart of the latest high-temperature superconductors -- but they're using other materials to do it...

Empathy: College Students Don't Have as Much as They Used To, Study Finds
ScienceDaily (May 29, 2010) Today's college students are not as empathetic as college students of the 1980s and '90s, a University of Michigan study shows...

Toward a Useful Quantum Computer: Researchers Design and Test Microfabricated Planar Ion Traps
ScienceDaily (May 28, 2010) Despite a steady improvement in the speed of conventional computers during the last few decades, certain types of problems remain computationally difficult to solve. Quantum computers hold the promise of offering a new route to solving some classes of these problems, such as breaking encryptions...

Planetary Scientists Solve 40-Year-Old Mysteries of Mars' Northern Ice Cap
ScienceDaily (May 28, 2010) Scientists have reconstructed the formation of two curious features in the northern ice cap of Mars -- a chasm larger than the Grand Canyon and a series of spiral troughs -- solving a pair of mysteries dating back four decades while finding new evidence of climate change on Mars...

Advances Made in Walking, Running Robots
ScienceDaily (May 28, 2010) Researchers at Oregon State University have made an important fundamental advance in robotics, in work that should lead toward robots that not only can walk and run effectively, but use little energy in the process...


Campaign group bids to stop council prayers

The litigation comes after atheist councillor Clive Bone raised objections to the prayers being integrated into proceedings. Holding prayers before council ...

Human Rights Court to rule on crucifixes in the classroom
National Secular Society
Last November, a lower panel of the Court ruled in Lautsi v Italy that the Italian government had violated the human rights of a Finnish atheist parent who ...

Religious Hiring Rights
BARRY LYNN (Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State): I don't think that there's any moral or ethical or constitutional ...

Will Greenwood High grads hear a prayer?
Indianapolis Star
The ruling raised debate around central Indiana about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the separation of church and state. ...

Graduations in churches make some groups uneasy
Chicago Tribune
But the fact that he'll be marching where pastors normally preach on Sundays irks some advocates for the separation of church and state. ...

Test Scores, Controversy High At TIZA
The federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU accuses the school of violating the US Constitution's required separation of church and state by promoting the Muslim ...

Christian conservatives target seated judges
The Associated Press
... judges who adhere to the religious right's moral agenda and threatens both the impartiality of the court system and the separation of church and state. ...

California passes bill to counteract 'disturbing' Texas curriculum
Raw Story
... minimizing the importance of Thomas Jefferson and his framework for separation of church and state, emphasizing "the conservative resurgence of the ...

Experts: Texas textbooks are unlikely to spread
The Associated Press
... of the nation's Founding Fathers and teaching schoolchildren that the words "separation of church and state" do not appear in the Constitution. ...

Exeter Union High School District to decide whether prayers will be said at ...
Visalia Times-Delta
The possibility of canceling the prayer emerged when two organizations, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Freedom From Religion ...

Despite Protests, Texas Board Passes Conservative Textbook Curriculum
Black Voice News
... to the writing of the US Constitution did not promote the concept of the Separation of Church and State, as believed before by many historians. ...

Friends board hears out atheist
The Southern
Atheist Rob Sherman talks with the board members of Friends of the Cross during their meeting on Tuesday, May 25, about a $20000 grant the group received. ...

Ontario council eyes 'In God we trust' for seal
San Bernardino Sun
An atheist person can go before the City Council, and that's staring you in the face," she said. "It's proselytizing." was aware of the mission of the ...

Judge denies church graduation ceremonies in Connecticut
She said that would violate the separation of church and state. For the high schools its not about church or state. It's about space. Two huge high schools, ...

More Objections to Prayer at Exeter High School's Graduation
CBS 47
... because of two letters sent to the district last week by the Freedom from Religion Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ...

BOE meets to discuss church graduations
They say holding graduation there violates the separation of church and state. Graduation is scheduled for June 23rd and 24th...

Lines drawn 'In God We Trust' debate in Colusa
Colusa County Sun Herald
Gaylor, however, said the Constitution never mentions God, and that the founding fathers embedded a separation between church and state in the First ...

Mojave Desert Cross, Center of Supreme Court Case, Is Stolen
Legal Info
A former park service employee brought the suit a decade ago, saying that the cross violated the constitutional separation between church and state. ...


For 5th Year, Child Sex Abuse Bill Dies in Legislature
The Child Victims Act was defeated in a 9-to-6 vote in the Senate Codes Committee in the first vote on the measure this session...