OCTOBER 8, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 40
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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Pastors plan to 'bait' IRS with pulpit politics 
USA Today 
"We have separation of church and state in this country for a reason," Lavine said. "There should be parameters, and there should be common sense." 


Red Ed: I don't believe in God 
The Sun 
By STAFF REPORTER The new Labour boss declared his atheism as he admitted his "embarrassment" at not signing his son's birth certificate. ... 

Atheist food drive at Metro State gives donors ideas to chew on 
Denver Post 
By Electa Draper Student Ryan Pace, center, jokes about the book he received Tuesday with Megan Moore and Joel Guttormson of Metro State Atheists, ... 

Anti-religious billboards blanket metro area 
GSU Signal 
... Freedom from Religion Foundation purchased a group of 50 billboards scattered throughout the metro area to promote the separation of church and state. ... 

Middle England takes the unmarried unbeliever Ed Miliband in its stride 
The Guardian 
... himself has seemed this week at the idea that an unmarried Jewish atheist soon-to-be father-of-two should become the new leader of the Labour party. ... 


Christopher Hitchens releases memoir and learns he has cancer 
The Sheaf 
Hitchens does not merely dub himself an “atheist” but rather an “anti-theist,” which is part of his overall anti-totalitarian politics. ... 


Modesto science teacher's plan to teach intelligent design sparks debate 
Modesto Bee 
By Nan Austin Of all the much-wrangled issues in public school education, the case of evolution may be the most fragile peace. Last month, a Modesto science ... 

Darwin and Scopes in new poll on knowledge of religion 
National Center for Science Education 
A new survey on American knowledge about religion included two questions relevant to evolution education. The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center's ... 


Taking a New Look at Old Digs: Trampling Animals May Alter Stone Age Sites 
ScienceDaily (Sep. 25, 2010) — Archaeologists who interpret Stone Age culture from discoveries of ancient tools and artifacts may need to reanalyze some of their conclusions... 

Cassini Makes First Dive Inside Saturn’s Radio Aurora 
ScienceDaily (Sep. 25, 2010) — The Cassini spacecraft has made the first observations from within the radio aurora of another planet than Earth. The measurements, which were taken when the spacecraft flew through an active auroral region in 2008, show some similarities and some contrasts between the radio auroral emissions generated at Saturn and those at Earth. Results were presented this week by Dr Laurent Lamy at the European Planetary Science Congress in Rome, and recently published in Geophysical Research Letters... 

Researchers Create First Molecule-Blocks Key Component of Cancer Genes' on-Off Switch 
ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2010) — In the quest to arrest the growth and spread of tumors, there have been many attempts to get cancer genes to ignore their internal instruction manual. In a new study, a team led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists has created the first molecule able to prevent cancer genes from "hearing" those instructions, stifling the cancer process at its root... 

'Coreshine' Sheds Light on the Birth of Stars: Astronomers Discover a New Phenomenon in Molecular Clouds 
ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2010) — Science is literally in the dark when it comes to the birth of stars, which occurs deep inside clouds of gas and dust. These clouds are completely opaque to ordinary light. Now, a group of astronomers has discovered a new astronomical phenomenon that appears to be common in such clouds, and promises a new window onto the earliest phases of star formation. The phenomenon -- infra red light that is scattered by unexpectedly large grains of dust, which the astronomers have termed "coreshine" -- probes the dense cores where stars are born... 

Video Gaming Prepares Brain for Bigger Tasks 
ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2010) — Playing video games for hours on end may prepare your child to become a laparoscopic surgeon one day, a new study has shown. Reorganisation of the brain's cortical network in young men with significant experience playing video games gives them an advantage not only in playing the games but also in performing other tasks requiring visuomotor skills... 

Pair of Aluminum Atomic Clocks Reveal Einstein's Relativity at a Personal Scale 
ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2010) — Scientists have known for decades that time passes faster at higher elevations -- a curious aspect of Einstein's theories of relativity that previously has been measured by comparing clocks on the earth's surface and a high-flying rocket... 

Insight Into the Impacts of Too Much Communication 
ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2010) — Individuals within a networked system coordinate their activities by communicating to each other information such as their position, speed, or intention. At first glance, it seems that more of this communication will increase the harmony and efficiency of the network. However, scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that this is only true if the communication and its subsequent action are immediate... 

Computer Simulations of Real Earthquakes Made Available to Worldwide Network 
ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2010) — A Princeton University-led research team has developed the capability to produce realistic movies of earthquakes based on complex computer simulations that can be made available worldwide within hours of a disastrous upheaval... 


Pastors To Endorse Political Candidates 
WSMV Nashville 
They hope to prove a pastor's right to free speech trumps the separation of church and state. "Well, I would disagree with it," said Lewis Lavine, ... 

Litchfield Park OKs moment of silence at council meetings 
Arizona Republic 
There was debate about prayer and separation of church and state, but the city maintains that an invocation isn't necessarily a prayer. ... 

Church Pastors Back Political Candidates 
Wall Street Journal (blog) 
Robert Boston, a spokesman for a group opposing politicking in the pulpit, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said he wouldn't care if ... 

School fliers must strike careful balance 
Sioux City Journal 
State and local education officials say although some object to such fliers, which Parmalee believes is a violation of the separation between church and ... 

The "Sherman-ator" Cruises Around 
... across the nation as he fights for assorted issues, which include civil rights for athiests and matters pertaining to separation of church and state. ... 

Governor vetoes bill to reject Texas curriculum 
Dallas Morning News 
The changes also minimize Thomas Jefferson's role in world and US history because he advocated the separation of church and state, and require that students ... 

Lewis advances resolution urging return of Mojave Cross 
Victorville Daily Press 
... the US Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision that had declared the memorial unconstitutional for violating the separation of church and state. ... 

National group asks IRS to investigate Sioux City church 
Americans United for Separation of Church and State alleges that Cornerstone World Outreach, a Sioux City congregation, is sponsoring a church-based ... 


Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions...