OCTOBER 21, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 42
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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Godless, but not valueless: Blair Scott is new communications director for ... 
The Huntsville Times - (blog) 
"If we had indoctrinated her in atheism, we would be no better than others," Scott said. "We raised her to make her own decisions." Like most atheists, as a ... 


Freethought Convention Not Skeptic About Growth 
CBS 11 
Nearly 300 atheists, agnostics and skeptics from around the state have converged on the Sheraton in Irving for the annual Texas Freethought Convention. ... 

Irving to host Texas Freethought Convention this weekend 
Dallas Morning News 
While local atheist/agnostic groups provide important support, a special event like this buoys spirits in its own way, he added. "My whole motivation is to ... 

Secular students share disbeliefs 
Columbus Dispatch 
The goal is to "normalize being an atheist or an agnostic or somebody who doesn't have a belief in God," Brunsman said. "It can sometimes be a pretty lonely ... 

Religious skeptics disagree on how aggressively to challenge the devout 
Los Angeles Times 
But the 9/11 attacks and a growing interest in atheism have emboldened the in-your-face wing of the movement and led to internal debate and dissension. ...,0,2446585.story 

Atheist activist Rob Sherman to challenge Buffalo Grove clerk 
Chicago Daily Herald 
This year, however, Sirabian could face competition from a man known locally as an activist and nationally as an atheist: Rob Sherman. ... 

The courage of a deathbed atheist 
The Australian 
But Hitchens is weaker on the personal and ethical challenge presented by atheism: of course we can be good without God, but why the hell bother? ... 


Attention: all you need is science 
Winnipeg Free Press 
Most remarkable of all, given the established bad habits of his fellow New Atheists (most notably Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens), ... 

Sam Harris 
A.V. Club Chicago 
So if there really is such a thing as the New Atheism, and if the term arose as a result of this series of best-selling books in the last decade, ...,46226/ 

Modern Mythmaking 
The Link 
Montreal author Claude Lalumière knew he was an atheist by age 10, as did graphic artist Rupert Bottenberg. But neither of them quite knew how to reconcile ... 


Christine O'Donnell: My Views on Evolution are "Irrelevant" 
CBS News 
Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell refused to say during a debate Wednesday night whether she believes evolution is a "myth," as she ... 

Delaware Senate Debate: Christine O'Donnell Refuses To Say Whether Evolution ... 
Huffington Post 
EVOLUTION, MARXISM: Blitzer asked O'Donnell whether she still stands by her 1998 comments that evolution is a "myth." "That should be decided on the local ... 


Blind Inventors Develop Free Software to Enable the Blind to Use Computers 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2010) — For many blind people, computers are inaccessible. It can cost upwards of $1000 to purchase "screen reader" software, but two blind computer programmers have solved this problem... 

Cassini Catches Saturn Moons in Paintball Fight 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2010) — Scientists using data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have learned that distinctive, colorful bands and splotches embellish the surfaces of Saturn's inner, mid-size moons. The reddish and bluish hues on the icy surfaces of Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione and Rhea appear to be the aftermath of bombardments large and small... 

Neighborhoods Can Have Depressing Effect on Health, According to Study 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 9, 2010) — The nation's poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent -- the highest level since 1994 -- according to the Census Bureau's annual report on the economic well-being of U.S. households. That means one in seven Americans now live in poverty, and that may have an especially depressing effect on people living in bad neighborhoods, according to two Iowa State University researchers... 

Thoughts About Time Inspire People to Socialize 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 8, 2010) — Does thinking about time or money make you happier? A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that people who are made to think about time plan to spend more of their time with the people in their lives while people who think about money fill their schedules with work, work, and -- you guessed it -- more work... 

'Living Dinosaurs' in Space: Galaxies in Today's Universe Thought to Have Existed Only in Distant Past 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 8, 2010) — Using Australian telescopes, Swinburne University astronomy student Andy Green has found 'living dinosaurs' in space: galaxies in today's Universe that were thought to have existed only in the distant past... 

Hubble Astronomers Uncover an Overheated Early Universe 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2010) — If you think global warming is bad, 11 billion years ago the entire universe underwent, well, universal warming... 

Real Price of Each Pack of Cigarettes Is Nearly $150, Spanish Study Finds 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2010) — Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) estimate that each pack of cigarettes really costs €107 for men and €75 for women, when premature death is taken into account. These figures confirm previous studies, and are of key importance in the cost-benefit analysis of smoking-prevention policies... 

Americans' Life Expectancy Gains Continues to Fall Behind -- But Don't Blame Obesity, Smoking, Traffic Fatalities, and Homicide 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2010) — The United States continues to lag behind other nations when it comes to gains in life expectancy, and commonly cited causes for our poor performance -- obesity, smoking, traffic fatalities, and homicide -- are not to blame, according to a Commonwealth Fund-supported study published as a Health Affairs Web First... 


Iowa pastor preaches politics to oust 3 justices who backed gay marriage 
USA Today 
Advocates of the separation of church and state and some religious leaders say Gordon's plan is illegal, immoral and an attempt to falsely frame his dispute ... 

County looks to non-controversial holiday display this year 
Wilkes Barre Times-Leader 
The organizations argued the display violated the constitutional separation of church and state. After public uproar, including protesters carrying nativity ... 

Group wants prayer discontinued at council meetings 
Rowlett Lakeshore Times 
“Our national organization, which works to protect the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, has written to you previously about ... 

Tax-exempt status challenged for religious group 
Kansas City Star 
The pastors' group — Clergy Voice — describes itself as an organization that supports “safeguarding the separation of church and state, while promoting ... 

Federal appeals court upholds Texas pledge wording 
The Associated Press 
David Croft had sued, arguing that the words are unconstitutional and violate the separation of church and state. ...