THE   FOCUS
centerforatheism.org
      
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
         
 
      
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
 
 
         
      

OCTOBER 15, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 41
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: 
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Comments, suggestions and subscription:
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FEATURED ARTICLES 

Miss. judge jails attorney for not reciting pledge 
The Associated Press 
... references to God on US currency and in the Pledge of Allegiance, rejecting arguments they violate the constitutional separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hR5ujJFwEfBummeh3V8n6nfECO8gD9IN14AO0?docId=D9IN14AO0 

ATHEISM 

Atheists are best informed about religion 
New Zealand Herald 
Writer Christopher Hitchens has a lot on his mind right now, but he probably managed a sardonic smile at the news that a survey has found atheists know more ... 
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10677488 

Do you have questions about religion? Ask an atheist 
Newberg Graphic 
... on Religion and Public Life seem straight out of a stand up routine: the people most knowledgeable about religion in America are atheists and agnostics. ... 
http://www.newberggraphic.com/news/2010/October/01/Religion/do.you.have.questions.about.religion.ask.an.atheist/news.aspx 

Organization promotes National Blasphemy Day 
The Daily Toreador (registration) 
The club is open to anyone who wants to join and has questions or concerns regarding beliefs as an atheist, Christian or any other religion, ... 
http://www.dailytoreador.com/la-vida/organization-promotes-national-blasphemy-day-1.2350899 

Closer Look at Rift Between Humanists Reveals Deeper Divisions 
New York Times 
He said that Mr. Lindsay was turning the center away from Mr. Kurtz's humanist philosophy and toward negative, angry atheism. According to Mr. Kurtz, ... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/02/us/02beliefs.html 

Poll finds unbelievers know the most about belief 
NewsOK.com 
Based on a survey released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, it's your atheist or agnostic neighbor, followed by the Jew or Mormon down ... 
http://newsok.com/article/3500388 

Survey says Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion 
Macon Telegraph (blog) 
By MITCHELL LANDSBERG - Los Angeles Times LOS ANGELES — If you want to know about God, you might want to talk to an atheist. Heresy? Perhaps. ... 
http://www.macon.com/2010/10/02/1284567/survey-says-atheists-agnostics.html 

Atheists impress on faith test 
Jackson Sun 
BY TRACIE SIMER Atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons are the most knowledgeable about matters of faith, according to the results of a new study released ... 
http://www.jacksonsun.com/article/20101004/NEWS01/10040308/Atheists+impress+on+faith+test 

Altered Bibles found downtown 
Coastline Pilot 
By Cindy Frazier, cindy.frazier@latimes.com Atheist Niko Theris, 82, celebrated International Blasphemy Day on Thursday by rendering 38 Bibles unreadable ... 
http://www.coastlinepilot.com/news/tn-cpt-1008-blasphemy-20101005,0,4502422.story 

Americans who are atheists know more than those who believe in a higher power 
UTA The Shorthorn 
A recent study claims that American atheists are more religiously savvy than those who believe in a higher power. The Pew Research Center tested 3400 ... 
http://www.theshorthorn.com/content/view/20397/58/ 

AAA seeks to open a dialogue 
The Auburn Plainsman 
Through these national organizations, they keep their members informed on the latest issues surrounding religion and atheism. ... 
http://www.theplainsman.com/view/full_story/9775787/article-AAA-seeks-to-open-a-dialogue?instance=home_news_lead_story 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

Does your neighbor the atheist know more about God than you do? 
Sun-Sentinel 
Atheists know nothing about any religion, they don't believe in anything, they just believe in themselves. What could they know about God? Absolutely. ... 
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/todaysbuzz/friday/sfl-religion-buzz-10012010,0,2129418.story 

The Evolution of a Punk-Rock Scientist 
Discover Magazine 
I call myself a naturalist as opposed to an atheist, but there are different styles. Some people just like to be close to nature. And some people actually ... 
http://discovermagazine.com/2010/oct/06-the-evolution-of-a-punk-rock-scientist 

TV tests the religious waters 
Variety 
... way to be even-handed, emulating the topical Norman Lear episodes of old; nevertheless, it was bracing to see characters openly declare their atheism. ... 
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118025228.html?categoryid=1682&cs=1 

Agnostic Michael Krasny Has 'Spiritual Envy' 
NPR 
Harris said, "Science must destroy religion"; atheist Richard Dawkins compared religious education to child abuse; while Christopher Hitchens, the author of ... 
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130380173 

Bad Religion singer Greg Graffin finds connection between punk and Charles Darwin 
Chicago Tribune (blog) 
... mainstream when it comes to matters of religion and faith; he prefers to call his worldview “naturalism” grounded in science rather than “atheism. ... 
http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/turn_it_up/2010/10/bad-religion-singer-greg-graffin-finds-connection-between-punk-and-charles-darwin.html 

The 'Angry Atheist of Champaign' 
Illinois Times 
10, 1947, article in Time, the author refers to McCollum as “an angry atheist of Champaign,” and characterizes her as “fuming. ... 
http://www.illinoistimes.com/Springfield/article-7845-the-lsangry-atheist-of-champaignrs.html 

'Sunset' Delves Into Theology And Race at SF Playhouse 
Daily Californian 
White, played by Charles Dean, is an elderly depressive and vehement atheist professor. Black, played by Carl Lumbly, is a loquacious, hospitable southerner ... 
http://www.dailycal.org/article/110653/_sunset_delves_into_theology_and_race_at_sf_playho 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

Brady OK with schools opting to teach creationism instead of evolution 
Chicago Sun-Times 
“My knowledge and my faith leads me to believe in both evolution and creationism,” he said. “I believe God created the earth, and it evolved. ... 
http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/2775202,bill-brady-evolution-creationism-100510.article 

SCIENCE 

Collective Intelligence: Number of Women in Group Linked to Effectiveness in Solving Difficult Problems 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2010) — When it comes to intelligence, the whole can indeed be greater than the sum of its parts. A new study co-authored by MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Union College researchers documents the existence of collective intelligence among groups of people who cooperate well, showing that such intelligence extends beyond the cognitive abilities of the groups' individual members, and that the tendency to cooperate effectively is linked to the number of women in a group...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930143339.htm 

How to Still Kill a Resistant Parasite 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2010) — Scientists from the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp in Belgium, in collaboration with colleagues from several developing countries, were able to restore a sleeping sickness parasite's susceptibility to drugs. The parasite causes sleeping sickness in cattle. Because it has become resistant against all currently available drugs, it causes enormous economic losses. Until now, that is... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928183110.htm 

Rebels Without Applause: New Study on Peer Victimization 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2010) — Loners and antisocial kids who reject other children are often bullied at school -- an accepted form of punishment from peers as they establish social order. Such peer victimization may be an extreme group response to control renegades, according to a new study from Concordia University published in the Journal of Early Adolescence... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100928111126.htm 

Real Partners Are No Match for Ideal Mate, Study Finds 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 2, 2010) — Our ideal image of the perfect partner differs greatly from our real-life partner, according to new research from the University of Sheffield and the University of Montpellier in France. The research found that our actual partners are of a different height, weight and body mass index than those we would ideally choose... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101001105517.htm 

Underwater Robot Swims Free Thanks to Wireless Controller 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2010) — A waterproof controller designed and built by York University researchers is allowing an underwater robot to go "wireless" in a unique way... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930161832.htm 

Three Solid-State Qubits Entangled: Big Step Toward Quantum Error Correction 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2010) — The rules that govern the world of the very small, quantum mechanics, are known for being bizarre. One of the strangest tenets is something called quantum entanglement, in which two or more objects (such as particles of light, called photons) become inextricably linked, so that measuring certain properties of one object reveals information about the other(s), even if they are separated by thousands of miles. Einstein found the consequences of entanglement so unpalatable he famously dubbed it "spooky action at a distance."... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100929132533.htm 

How Warm Was This Summer? 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2010) — An unparalleled heat wave in eastern Europe, coupled with intense droughts and fires around Moscow, put Earth's temperatures in the headlines this summer. Likewise, a string of exceptionally warm days in July in the eastern United States strained power grids, forced nursing home evacuations, and slowed transit systems. Both high-profile events reinvigorated questions about humanity's role in climate change... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101001105617.htm 

Knot in the Ribbon at the Edge of the Solar System 'Unties' 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2010) — The unusual "knot" in the bright, narrow ribbon of neutral atoms emanating in from the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space appears to have "untied," according to a paper published online in the Journal of Geophysical Research... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100930121000.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

Complaint: Church works to oust justices 
DesMoinesRegister.com 
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State of Washington, DC, alleges in a letter filed Thursday that Cornerstone World Outreach tried to ... 
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20101001/NEWS/10010347/-1/NEWS04/Church-works-to-oust-justices-complaint-says 

Church Voting Sparks Controversy 
KCCI Des Moines 
"By combining satellite polling location within the midst of a church service, it seems like a direct conflict of the separation between church and state. ... 
http://www.kcci.com/politics/25245812/detail.html 

Pastors defy prohibition on politicking 
USA Today 
On Tuesday, Americans United For Separation of Church and State, a non-profit that has been monitoring the activities of the Alliance Defense Fund, ... 
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-10-01-politicalpulpits01_ST_N.htm 

MSU says professor entitled to his views 
News-Leader.com 
Bond said Scroggins, who is on the payroll of a public university supported with tax dollars, does not believe in the separation of church and state, ... 
http://www.news-leader.com/article/20101001/NEWS01/10010346/1007/MSU-says-professor-entitled-to-his-views 

Capitol Visitor Center Religious Language Suit Rejected By Judge 
Huffington Post 
The atheist foundation is considering whether it will refile on grounds other than taxpayer standing. Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation, ... 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/02/capitol-visitor-center-re_n_747914.html 

Gordon says 100 churches will join ouster effort 
Sioux City Journal 
On Thursday, The nonpartisan, nonprofit Washington, DC, group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State asked the Internal Revenue Service to ... 
http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/a1/article_e2eab84c-86b2-5f7e-841c-c22ca5e02c5e.html 

Washington's 'Red Mass' attracts top government leaders, controversy 
CNN (blog) 
Barry Lynn, President of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. "There is no other institution that has this special way to talk to the ... 
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/02/washingtons-red-mass-attracts-top-government-leaders-controversy/ 

Cornerstone Church Subject to Possible IRS Investigation 
JD Supra (press release) 
SUMMARY: The watchdog group Americans United for Separation of Church and State that works to preserve the separation between church and state has issued a ... 
http://www.jdsupra.com/post/documentViewer.aspx?fid=2d6f1d6d-df35-4f0a-9183-6c693bfddd14 

Prayer at meetings to be considered by Canandaigua City Council 
MPNnow.com 
Finger Lakes Community College pre-nursing student Richele McElheny, 20, of Butler Road, cited the concept of separation of church and state as a reason why ... 
http://www.mpnnow.com/ontario_county/x1616324528/Prayer-at-meetings-to-be-considered-by-Canandaigua-City-Council 

Church-state group appeals Greece prayer decision 
Greece Post 
By Alysa Stryker, staff writer Non profit church-state group Americans United for Separation of Church and State are appealing a decision reached by US ... 
http://www.greecepost.com/latestnews/x83587220/Church-state-group-appeals-Greece-prayer-decision 

Neither side backing down on prayer dispute 
Holmes County Times Advertiser 
Fromm said he is frustrated that many, “assume I am some kind of atheist trying to get rid of prayer.” Fromm pointed out that while both Gunter and Adkison ... 
http://www.chipleypaper.com/news/down-7335-neither-prayer.html 

Second Iowa pastor takes aim at judges 
Iowa Independent 
Last week, Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a formal request with the IRS demanding an investigation of Cornerstone World Outreach, ... 
http://iowaindependent.com/44775/second-iowa-pastor-takes-aim-at-judges 

MISCELLANEOUS 

The Unbelievable Truth: Why America has become a nation of religious know-nothings 
Daily News 
The new study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, released this week, shocked many with the revelation that atheists and agnostics tend to know more about the world's religions than believers do... 
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/10/03/2010-10-03_the_unbelieveable_truth_why_america_has_become_a_nation_of_religious_knownothing.html

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