DECEMBER 15, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 47
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:

Comments, suggestions and subscription:


A Blogger's Irreverence Infuriates West Bank Muslims 
New York Times 
... cafe buzzing with flies in this provincial Palestinian town could have spawned a blogger who has angered the Muslim cyberworld by promoting atheism, ... 

At War: Where Did God Go in Afghanistan? An Atheist Writes. 
New York Times 
By KATHLEEN JOHNSON Kathleen Johnson is the Vice President of American Atheists and founder of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. ... 


Zapatero tells Pope 'Spain is secular' 
National Secular Society 
Just as his comments about atheism and the Nazi regime had sparked outrage in Britain, so his re-writing of Spanish history caused an outcry there. ... 

Atheists have faith they can lure new 'members' 
Omaha World-Herald 
Just in time for the holiday season, Americans are about to be hit with a spate of advertisements promoting the joy and wisdom of atheism. ... 

Atheists Finally 'Coming Out of the Closet' (Includes interview) 
Co-opting a move from the LGBT community's playbook, a US organization of atheists and 'free thinkers' have unleashed a billboard blitz, calling it the “Out ... 

Atheist Advertising -- or Evangelizing? The Holiday Ad Blitz Starts Early 
Politics Daily 
It's two weeks before Thanksgiving and atheists who have tried to counter the religious reasons for the season with good tidings of godlessness have outdone ... 

Bus ads target religious belief 
Akron Beacon Journal (blog) 
But Gaynor said a PARTA official objected to a quote from Katharine Hepburn: ''I'm an atheist and that's it. I believe that there is nothing we can know ... 

Bulgarian Atheists Rally on International Tolerance Day 
Photo by Sofia News Agency Bulgarian atheists from all around the country gathered Saturday in front of the National Statistical Institute in order to ... 

Thinking freely 
Diamondback Online 
Self-proclaimed atheist Kevin Garcia, a sophomore mathematics major, said he likes that the meetings are more intellectual than most interactions between ... 

Atheists and ordained OK AFA's religious tolerance plan 
Colorado Springs Gazette 
A panel of experts including an atheist and a Baptist has signed off on a new plan to teach religious tolerance at the Air Force Academy. ... 


Atheism: In Your Words 
The Guardian 
The Thinking Atheist asked their subscribers about their own experiences regarding atheism. Hear the stories of everyday their own words. ... 

Hate E-mails with Richard Dawkins 
Warning: Contains Profanity 
Richard Dawkins reads his hate mail.... 


Panel endorse textbook that describes evolution 
2TheAdvocate (blog) 
“I don't know why we are here again,” Wood said of evolution arguments. But Lennie Ditoro of Mandeville, who has worked with the Louisiana Family Forum in ... 

Progress in Louisiana? 
National Center for Science Education 
"The committee members have a duty to reject intrusion of pseudo-science, such as creationism or its offshoot 'intelligent design,' into science classrooms ... 

Countersuit in AFA v. CSC 
National Center for Science Education 
... Times (December 29, 2009) as "a feature-length documentary that criticizes Darwin and promotes intelligent design" — at the California Science Center. ... 


Discovery Could Reveal Secrets of Ancient Martian and Terrestrial Atmospheres 
ScienceDaily (Nov. 13, 2010) — Chemists at UC San Diego have uncovered a new chemical reaction on tiny particulates in the atmosphere that could allow scientists to gain a glimpse from ancient rocks of what the atmospheres of the Earth and Mars were like hundreds of millions years ago... 

Researchers Unlock a Secret of Bacteria's Immune System 
ScienceDaily (Nov. 13, 2010) — A team of Université Laval and Danisco researchers has unlocked a secret of bacteria's immune system. The details of the discovery, which may eventually make it possible to prevent certain bacteria from developing resistance to antibiotics, are presented in the Nov. 4 issue of the journal Nature... 

New DNA Repair Pathway 
ScienceDaily (Nov. 13, 2010) — UC Davis researchers have found a new pathway for repairing DNA damaged by oxygen radicals. The results are published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences... 

Quantum Computers Easier to Build: Can Tolerate Faulty or Missing Components, Researchers Say 
ScienceDaily (Nov. 13, 2010) — Quantum computers should be much easier to build than previously thought, because they can still work with a large number of faulty or even missing components, according to a study published in Physical Review Letters... 

Oldest Dinosaur Embryos Give Insights Into Infancy and Growth 
ScienceDaily (Nov. 12, 2010) — After sitting in collections for nearly 30 years, some remarkably well-preserved dinosaur eggs and their contents are offering new insights into the infancy and growth of early dinosaurs. They represent the oldest embryos of any land-dwelling vertebrate ever found... 

Why Chocolate Protects Against Heart Disease 
ScienceDaily (Nov. 12, 2010) — Numerous studies have shown that cocoa has a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases. The reason for this has now been uncovered by researchers at Linköping University in Sweden. When a group of volunteers devoured a good-sized piece of dark chocolate, it inhibited an enzyme in their bodies that is known to raise blood pressure... 

Detailed Dark Matter Map Yields Clues to Galaxy Cluster Growth 
ScienceDaily (Nov. 12, 2010) — Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took advantage of a giant cosmic magnifying glass to create one of the sharpest and most detailed maps of dark matter in the universe. Dark matter is an invisible and unknown substance that makes up the bulk of the universe's mass... 

Mind Is a Frequent, but Not Happy, Wanderer: People Spend Nearly Half Their Waking Hours Thinking About What Isn’t Going on Around Them 
ScienceDaily (Nov. 12, 2010) — People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they're doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy. So says a study that used an iPhone web app to gather 250,000 data points on subjects' thoughts, feelings, and actions as they went about their lives... 

Atoms-for-Peace: A Galactic Collision in Action 
ScienceDaily (Nov. 11, 2010) — European Southern Observatory astronomers have produced a spectacular new image of the famous Atoms-for-Peace galaxy. This galactic pile-up, formed by the collision of two galaxies, provides an excellent opportunity for astronomers to study how mergers affect the evolution of the universe... 


Cape Council members say no to erecting Ten Commandments at city hall 
The News-Press 
... during public comments, told the council that to put up the Ten Commandments would be a violation of the constitutional separation of church and state. ... 

A Look At Georgia's Blue Law 
The other reason most often cited concerns the separation of church and state - how can a law so obviously based on religion still stand? ... 

Pledge law upheld by federal court 
Concord Monitor 
The parents, identified only as Jan and Pat Doe, said their children, like them, were atheist or agnostic. The couple in 2007 joined with the Freedom From ...,0 

Faith-Based Debate: Obama Signs Order on Funds for Churches 
ABC News 
... between the government and faith-based groups nearly a decade ago, he opened a new chapter in the debate over separation of church and state. ... 

Cape Coral City Council may nix prayer practice 
The News-Press 
He said the city attorney agreed that “because of the separation of church and state constitutional issues, the easiest way is to do away with all of it and ... 

County takes control of courthouse holiday display 
Daily Local News 
“This is about you deciding whether atheists are people, too or whether you can silence us.” She said she had gathered more than 250 signatures in an online ...