AUGUST 27, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 34
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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Federal court blocks same-sex weddings during appeal
Chicago Tribune
I think the reason that would never happen though is that many people don't actually believe in the separation of church and state. ...,0,1680572.story

Atheist sues for grant refund from landmark cross
Lake Wylie Pilot
By JIM SUHR - AP Writer An atheist is suing to force the administrators of a towering cross in southern Illinois to return a $20000 state grant toward its ...

Judges rule in against Utah highway crosses for fallen troopers
Deseret News
"The poor atheist who sees that knows it. He's not forced to think about Christ or Christianity or to change his religion." Barnard said his clients were ...


Atheist Billboards Placed Across New Orleans
WDSU New Orleans
A national atheist organization is taking its message to the streets of New Orleans with a campaign that is likely to both turn heads and raise some ...

Christopher Hitchens looks death in the eye
Sydney Morning Herald
As befits a professional rabble-rouser, polemicist, atheist and raconteur, Christopher Hitchens has never looked shevilled or kempt, not even as a young man ...

Dawkins: faith schools should teach all religion
First Post
By Eliot Sefton The outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins has said faith schools should be forced to teach other religions besides their own - as required in ...,people,news,richard-dawkins-force-faith-schools-to-teach-all-religion-education-atheism


Unholy alliance
BBC News
The atheist author was debating themes of the book with the former Anglican Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries in a session chaired by Richard Holloway, ...

When Heroism Means Finding Truth
New York Times
An avowed atheist, he studied the writings of Noam Chomsky and opposed the war in Iraq after serving a tour of duty there. Yet when the government and the ...


"Still trying to get creationism in science classes"
National Center for Science Education
Dover by rehearsing the connections between "intelligent design" and creationism, both in Dover, Pennsylvania, in 2005 and in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, ...


Ocean's Color Affects Hurricane Paths
ScienceDaily (Aug. 14, 2010) — A change in the color of ocean waters could have a drastic effect on the prevalence of hurricanes, new research indicates. In a simulation of such a change in one region of the North Pacific, the study finds that hurricane formation decreases by 70 percent. That would be a big drop for a region that accounts for more than half the world's reported hurricane-force winds...

New Nanoscale Transistors Allow Sensitive Probing Inside Cells
ScienceDaily (Aug. 13, 2010) — Chemists and engineers at Harvard University have fashioned nanowires into a new type of V-shaped transistor small enough to be used for sensitive probing of the interior of cells...

Extended Solar Minimum Linked to Changes in Sun's Conveyor Belt
ScienceDaily (Aug. 13, 2010) — A new analysis of the unusually long solar cycle that ended in 2008 suggests that one reason for the long cycle could be a stretching of the Sun's conveyor belt, a current of plasma that circulates between the Sun's equator and its poles. The results should help scientists better understand the factors controlling the timing of solar cycles and could lead to better predictions...

Trusting People Make Better Lie Detectors
ScienceDaily (Aug. 13, 2010) — Trusting others may not make you necessarily a fool or a Pollyanna, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science (published by SAGE). Instead it can be a sign that you're smart...

Fermi Detects 'Shocking' Surprise from Supernova's Little Cousin
ScienceDaily (Aug. 13, 2010) — Astronomers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected gamma-rays from a nova for the first time, a finding that stunned observers and theorists alike. The discovery overturns the notion that novae explosions lack the power to emit such high-energy radiation...

Citizen Scientists Discover Rotating Pulsar
ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2010) — Idle computers are the astronomers' playground: Three citizen scientists--an American couple and a German--have discovered a new radio pulsar hidden in data gathered by the Arecibo Observatory. This is the first deep-space discovery by Einstein@Home, which uses donated time from the home and office computers of 250,000 volunteers from 192 different countries. This is the first genuine astronomical discovery by a public volunteer distributed computing project...

Scientists Outline a 20-Year Master Plan for the Global Renaissance of Nuclear Energy
ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2010) — Scientists outline a 20-year master plan for the global renaissance of nuclear energy that could see nuclear reactors with replaceable parts, portable mini-reactors, and ship-borne reactors supplying countries with clean energy, in research published August 12 in the journal Science...

Arctic Rocks Offer New Glimpse of Primitive Earth
ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2010) — Scientists have discovered a new window into the Earth's violent past. Geochemical evidence from volcanic rocks collected on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic suggests that beneath it lies a region of the Earth's mantle that has largely escaped the billions of years of melting and geological churning that has affected the rest of the planet. Researchers believe the discovery offers clues to the early chemical evolution of the Earth...


Opponents appeal to stop gay marriages in CA (blog)
I prefer to strive to make our laws better follow the principle of separation of church and state. Please don't confuse my personal feeling with what ...

Cranston school superintendent recommends group reword prayer posted in school ...
Providence Journal
... July asking officials to remove the prayer, saying it violates the First Amendment and the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. ...

'God botherers' infiltrate Brisbane high school
Brisbane Times
''As I'm an atheist, I thought it was very bizarre,'' she said. ''I laughed and showed it to some other people in form, who laughed too. ...

Atheist puts Marion on his agenda
The Southern
MARION - The same atheist who recently filed a lawsuit against Friends of the Cross now has his sights set on the city of Marion and a Ten Commandments ...

Christian Scientists want spiritual care in federal health package
Colorado Springs Gazette
... care and prayer treatment, was in the federal health care package before being yanked last fall because of objections, mainly from atheist groups. ...

Edmond Pastor, Church Group Under Fire Again for Preaching Politics
News On 6
Americans United for Separation of Church and State said Blair violated federal law when his organization Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ endorsed ...

Atheist Sues Over State Funding For Cross Repairs
CBS2 Chicago
A north suburban atheist has made good on his pledge to file a lawsuit over state funding for repairs to a towering cross in southern Illinois. ...

Mexico City's gay marriage law still igniting debate
Los Angeles Times
The court hewed to Mexico's strict separation of church and state and said the constitution did not indicate that marriage had to be defined as the union of ...,0,4623266.story

Battle over cross reveals culture divide in Poland
The Associated Press
... priests who challenged a regime that tried to repress religious life by promoting atheism and keeping clergy under secret police surveillance. ...

Tower Square becomes a Religious Battle Ground
Wednesday, the Chicago atheist battling the project gained some local support. A Marion man stepped in saying he will file a lawsuit if the city moves ...

Poland's cross wars revive debate on role of church
... Poland as well as in parliament, something many Poles find natural despite the fact that the constitution guarantees the separation of church and state. ...

Watchog Group Urges IRS to Investigate Oklahoma Pastor for Endorsing ...
ABC News
Americans United for Separation of Church and State has accused Pastor Paul Blair of using his tax-exempt religious organization, Reclaiming Oklahoma for ...

Marion faces off against atheist
The Southern
... Rob Sherman argued his case against locating a Ten Commandments monument on city property, but the push back against the atheist was swift and sure. ...

Religious ban not fair: athiest group
Moreland Leader
THE head of Australia's peak atheist organisation says while religious groups may be “deluded”, it would be unfair to ban them from hiring civic facilities. ...