THE   FOCUS
centerforatheism.org
       
  
  
  
  
 
       
  

JULY 30, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 30
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
       
  
  
  
 
  
       
  
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Comments, suggestions and subscription:
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FEATURED ARTICLES

Legal bid 'to ensure Pope not arrested'
Belfast Telegraph
The Government has moved to prevent the possibility of an arrest warrant being issued against the Pope during his state visit to the UK this autumn. ...
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/legal-bid-lsquoto-ensure-pope-not-arrestedrsquo-14887739.html#

Australian prime minister says her atheism won't affect government funding to ...
The Canadian Press
CANBERRA, Australia — New Prime Minister Julia Gillard assured Australia's Christian majority on Thursday that her atheism would not affect government ...
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5iyY3pq_SVF81BhaQjsJAFNvf7lVA

Secular Independent News
NYCA's very own Eric Stunzi has just released a comprehensive website devoted to issues concerning the entire secular community.  Peruse the below link for the latest news from around the globe...
http://secularchannel.com/SecularChannel/HOME.html

ATHEISM

Atheists: Faith Not Needed to Love Country
The Ledger
Atheist EllenBeth Wachs, left, and Larry Harfst, a Christian, have a discussion Thursday during the Atheists of Florida "Meet the Patriots" forum at the ...
http://www.theledger.com/article/20100722/NEWS/7225070/1134?Title=Atheists-Faith-Not-Needed-to-Love-Country

Government plans to stop Pope arrest
PinkNews.co.uk
By Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk • July 23, 2010 - 13:15 The government has proposed changes to the law which will prevent gay and atheist campaigners ...
http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2010/07/23/government-plans-to-stop-pope-arrest/

Irish senator calls for a secular constitution at atheist group's AGM
National Secular Society
Labour Party Senator Ivana Bacik told the AGM of Atheist Ireland last weekend that there was now an appetite for constitutional reform in Ireland now that ...
http://www.secularism.org.uk/122122.html

Former juror objects to Judge Porter's handling of "God" pledge
Peninsula Daily
"I recall there was a lady who told [District Court Administrator Keith Wills] that she was an atheist and didn't want to do that," Porter said of the oath. ...
http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20100723/news/307239978/former-juror-objects-to-judge-porters-handling-of-god-pledge

Local Scouting policy unclear
Worcester Telegram
The national BSA maintains that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with its values and that atheism and agnosticism conflict with one of the organization's ...
http://www.telegram.com/article/20100725/NEWS/7250445/1101

Atheist Pocket Debater Review for iPhone and iPod Touch + Promo Codes
Appmodo
The Atheist Pocket Debater contains old and new arguments against the existence of God. The Debater gives many ways to argue against many religions. ...
http://appmodo.com/25932/atheist-pocket-debater-review-for-iphone-and-ipod-touch/

Gove welcomes atheist schools
Independent
By Richard Garner, Education Editor The Government is ready to back the creation of atheist schools as part of its series of reforms, the Education ...
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/gove-welcomes-atheist-schools-2037990.html

Gove open to atheist-run schools
BBC News
Atheists could set up their own schools in England under the government's education reforms, Education Secretary Michael Gove has said. ...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-10791997

Atheist Gillard says she respects church
The Age
Perth Archbishop Barry Hickey said Ms Gillard's atheism could influence Christian voters not to vote Labor at the election on August 21. ...
http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/atheist-gillard-says-she-respects-church-20100729-10x3o.html

7 more complaints filed over Chambersburg's Memorial Square crèche
Chambersburg Public Opinion
7 after Chambersburg Borough Council denied the group's request to place an atheist symbol and message on the square, near the crèche. ...
http://www.publicopiniononline.com/localnews/ci_15626879

Christianity can combat conservative Islam threat
Daily Telegraph
Hirsi Ali is now an atheist, and counts British atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins as a close friend. But she believes Christianity can combat the rise of ...
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/christianity-can-combat-conservative-islam-threat/story-e6frezz0-1225898651326

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

NY1 Theater Review: "Freud's Last Session"
NY1
Freud was an irascible atheist, on his last legs at this point - 83 years old and suffering from mouth cancer. Lewis was just 41, formerly an atheist ...
http://manhattan.ny1.com/content/ny1_living/122581/ny1-theater-review---freud-s-last-session-

Scribe, shrink get interesting treatment
New York Post
... set in Freud's well-appointed study, is essentially one long talk fest -- mostly about religion: Freud disdained it, while Lewis, a former atheist, ...
http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/scribe_shrink_get_interesting_treatment_5T6iL8iV5jXwHqFJh9HPGN

Freud's Last Session
Variety
But can this avowed atheist resist his young Christian challenger when the world has lost its reason and his beliefs are in danger of being undermined by ...
http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117943221.html?categoryid=4034&cs=1

Jim Jefferies: Alcoholocaust
Chortle
He has a stab at being an intellectually provocative act, too – although his atheist outlook is all-too familiar on the circuit -– if not in God-fetished ...
http://www.chortle.co.uk/shows/edinburgh_fringe_2010/j/17768/jim_jefferies%3A_alcoholocaust/review

Back on the Couch
New York Press
We zip through mini-biographies of both Christian author CS Lewis (Mark H. Dold) and atheist sigmund Freud (Martin Rayner), a brief history of Freud's ...
http://www.nypress.com/article-21463-back-on-the-couch.html

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

American Academy of Religion on teaching creationism
National Center for Science Education
It is wrong to teach creation science or intelligent design in the science classroom, according to the American Academy of Religion. ...
http://ncse.com/news/2010/07/american-academy-religion-teaching-creationism-005712

School Board might OK teaching creationism
2TheAdvocate
Board Member David Tate quickly responded: “We let them teach evolution to our children, but I think all of us sitting up here on this School Board believe ...
http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/99153999.html

Proposed textbooks to be scrutinized
Monroe News Star
They want to see how the subject of evolution will be taught and to give the state textbook adoption committee their views. Public input is part of the ...
http://www.thenewsstar.com/article/20100726/NEWS01/7260310

Creationist rumblings in Louisiana
National Center for Science Education
Louisiana, it will be remembered, was on the losing side of the last legal case involving the teaching of evolution in the public schools to be decided by ...
http://ncse.com/news/2010/07/creationist-rumblings-louisiana-005799

Reflections on the Scopes trial from HNN
National Center for Science Education
He writes, "the theory of evolution has been a consistent target of religiously motivated propaganda campaigns. ... The arguments against evolution have ...
http://ncse.com/news/2010/07/reflections-scopes-trial-from-hnn-005797

Approach to teaching evolution in Louisiana prompts scrutiny of science textbook
Alexandria Town Talk
ACLU officials also have said they are concerned that teachers and local school boards could "inject 'creationism,' 'intelligent design,' or other ...
http://www.thetowntalk.com/article/20100728/NEWS01/7280322/1002/Approach-to-teaching-evolution-in-Louisiana-prompts-scrutiny-of-science-textbook

SCIENCE

Graphene Organic Photovoltaics: Flexible Material Only a Few Atoms Thick May Offer Cheap Solar Power
ScienceDaily (July 24, 2010) — A University of Southern California team has produced flexible transparent carbon atom films that the researchers say have great potential for a new breed of solar cells...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100723095430.htm

Virtual Reality Gives Insight on Protein Structures
ScienceDaily (July 24, 2010) — To understand a protein, it helps to get inside of it, and a University of Arkansas professor has figured out a way to do so...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100722160114.htm

NASA Spacecraft Camera Yields Most Accurate Mars Map
ScienceDaily (July 24, 2010) — A camera aboard NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has helped develop the most accurate global Martian map ever. Researchers and the public can access the map via several websites and explore and survey the entire surface of the Red Planet...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100723112310.htm

Stem Cells from Surgery Leftovers Could Repair Damaged Hearts
ScienceDaily (July 24, 2010) — Scientists have for the first time succeeded in extracting vital stem cells from sections of vein removed for heart bypass surgery. Researchers funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) found that these stem cells can stimulate new blood vessels to grow, which could potentially help repair damaged heart muscle after a heart attack...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100426092759.htm

Charging Up Electric Car Batteries in Environmentally-Friendly Way
ScienceDaily (July 24, 2010) — Electromobility makes sense only if car batteries are charged using electricity from renewable energy sources. But the supply of green electricity is not always adequate. An intelligent charging station can help, by adapting the recharging times to suit energy supply and network capacity...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100421111353.htm

Out of the Gait: Robot Ranger Sets Untethered 'Walking' Record at 14.3 Miles
ScienceDaily (July 23, 2010) — The loneliness of the long-distance robot: A Cornell University robot named Ranger walked 14.3 miles in about 11 hours, setting an unofficial world record at Cornell's Barton Hall early on July 6. A human -- armed with nothing more than a standard remote control for toys -- steered the untethered robot...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100722143905.htm

Supercomputer Reproduces a Cyclone's Birth, May Boost Forecasting
ScienceDaily (July 23, 2010) — As a teen in his native Taiwan, Bo-wen Shen observed helplessly as typhoon after typhoon pummeled the small island country. Without advanced forecasting systems, the storms left a trail of human loss and property destruction in their wake. Determined to find ways to stem the devastation, Shen chose a career studying tropical weather and atmospheric science...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100721121701.htm

How Do Cells Die? Biophotonic Tools Reveal Real-Time Dynamics in Living Color
ScienceDaily (July 23, 2010) — Apoptosis, programmed cell death, is essential to normal development, healthy immune system function, and cancer prevention. The process dramatically transforms cellular structures but the limitations of conventional microscopy methods have kept much about this structural reorganization a mystery...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100722132439.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Blair defends group's political actions
Edmond Sun
EDMOND — Americans United for Separation of Church and State is asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ. ...
http://www.edmondsun.com/local/x1483666630/Blair-defends-group-s-political-actions

Cranston works to end prayer dispute
Providence Journal
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Providence, Thomas J. Tobin, said the principle of separation of church and state “does not mean we have to remove all ...
http://www.projo.com/news/content/CRANSTON_SCHOOL_PRAYER23_07-24-10_KRJA0KG_v129.3b3eed0.html

Lakeland Faces Uncertain Outcome in Atheists' Suit
The Ledger
On July 12, the city was sued in US District Court in Tampa by Atheists of Florida and its Lakeland chapter director, EllenBeth Wachs, who want to halt the ...
http://www.theledger.com/article/20100725/NEWS/7255034/1410?Title=Lakeland-Faces-Uncertain-Outcome-in-Atheists-Suit

'In God We Trust' challenge rejected
First Amendment Center
Carlos Kidd, a self-avowed atheist from Woodville, Texas, had sued President Barack Obama and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, contending that the ...
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=23199

I-Team: Horn Gave Public Money To Pro-Life Supporters
KGTV San Diego
He claimed Horn's grant violates the separation of church and state, and added, "With all due respect, Supervisor, that violates the constitution. ...
http://www.10news.com/news/24430757/detail.html

Candidate raises issue of God in the courtroom
Sequim Gazette
Porter said he doesn't see it as an issue of separation of church and state. "The language comes from the script that is authorized by the Supreme Court," ...
http://www.sequimgazette.com/news/article.exm/2010-07-28_candidate_raises_issue_of_god_in_the_courtroom

Freedom For Religion Foundation is questioning proposed Ten Commandment ...
WBIR-TV
A Wisconsin-based organization is questioning the separation of church and state following a proposal by a Hawkins County judge to display the Ten ...
http://www.wbir.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=128827&catid=2

Bill Horn grants total $80000 to benefit pro-life group
KFMB
The use of county funds for religious purposes is against the law, a violation of the separation of church and state. "Life Perspectives is incorporated as ...
http://www.760kfmb.com/Global/story.asp?S=12889907

MISCELLANEOUS

The Moral Naturalists
The New York Times
Where does our sense of right and wrong come from? Most people think it is a gift from God, who revealed His laws and elevates us with His love. A smaller number think that we figure the rules out for ourselves, using our capacity to reason and choosing a philosophical system to live by...
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/23/opinion/23brooks.html?_r=1&th&emc=th 

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