THE   FOCUS
centerforatheism.org
               
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
         
 
               
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
 
 
         
               

MARCH 11, 2011
Volume 7, Issue 8
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 

Father-of-six Ron Williams will go to the High Court over religious classes in ... 
Herald Sun 
... but were recipients of an annual $70 million handout from the Gillard government and were undermining the separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/an-angry-man-who-took-god-to-court/story-e6frf7l6-1225994590558 

Father wages court challenge to taxpayers funding chaplains in public schools 
Sydney Morning Herald 
... effectively supervise chaplains' work; that they are evangelising in the playground; and that public funding undermines separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/father-wages-court-challenge-to-taxpayers-funding-chaplains-in-public-schools-20110128-1a7nt.html

Man 1, God 0 in school chaplains case 
Herald Sun 
The national program won support from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an atheist who, just before the election last year, pledged $222 million to extend the ... 
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/man-1-god-0-in-school-chaplains-case/story-e6frf7l6-1225995855196 

ATHEISM 

Bright star of the atheist universe 
Irish Times 
“I suppose the main point is that for many people, especially in the United States, the term 'atheism' has only negative connotations. ... 
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2011/0122/1224288064062.html 

Atheists and agnostics address Christian community 
The Auburn Plainsman 
by STAFF REPORTS The Auburn Atheists and Agnostics (AAA) brought their message to the Auburn Christian community Sunday night. ... 
http://www.theplainsman.com/view/full_story/11127453/article-Atheists-and-agnostics-address-Christian-community--?instance=home_news_lead_story 

Father removes son from school over prayers 
Belfast Telegraph 
Jane Donnelly, education policy officer with Atheist Ireland described the right to opt out in Irish schools as "impractical and illusory". ... 
http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/father-removes-son-from-school-over-prayers-15065286.html 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

Ricky Gervais says atheism shouldn't offend 
CNN (blog) 
Ricky Gervais tells CNN's Piers Morgan why he's an atheist, and why his jokes about God shouldn't offend believers. What a great explanation of atheism! ... 
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/21/ricky-gervais-says-atheism-shouldnt-offend/ 

Georgia county's graduations to be held in a church 
CNN (blog) 
What separation of church and state clause? Where is it? It's not in the US Const-it-ion! Steve the real one, if the school wanted to have it at a Mosque or ... 
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/21/public-school-graduation-to-be-held-in-a-church/ 

Movie Review | Nora's Will Ex-spouse defines devotion his way 
Columbus Dispatch 
An avowed atheist with no patience for the religious rituals surrounding a burial, he reacts rudely to the visiting rabbi, offering lunch in the form of a ... 
http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/life/stories/2011/01/21/ex-spouse-defines-devotion-his-way.html?sid=101 

Religious homophobia triggers 'The Ledge' 
StandardNet 
Gavin, an atheist, is confronted by Hollis, a man of faith, but as they talk, both discover that neither is sure life is worth living. ... 
http://www.standard.net/topics/features/2011/01/20/religious-homophobia-triggers-ledge# 

SUNDANCE REVIEW: The Ledge 
Hollywood Reporter 
The jumper, a devout atheist, got himself into a love triangle with his apartment neighbors. His lover (Liv Tyler) is college student -- a bit of a stretch ... 
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/sundance-review-ledge-74642 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

Impending battle over supplementary material in Texas 
National Center for Science Education 
Of Pandas and People is the "intelligent design" textbook that was at the center of Kitzmiller v. Dover , the 2005 case in which the teaching of ... 
http://ncse.com/news/2011/01/impending-battle-over-supplementary-material-texas-006440 

Darwin Day approaches 
National Center for Science Education 
These events provide a marvelous opportunity not only to celebrate Darwin's birthday but also to engage in public outreach about science, evolution, ... 
http://ncse.com/news/2011/01/darwin-day-approaches-006448 

SCIENCE 

Cracking a Tooth: 3-D Map of Atoms Sheds Light on Nanoscale Interfaces in Teeth, May Aid Materials Design 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2011) — Teeth and bone are important and complex structures in humans and other animals, but little is actually known about their chemical structure at the atomic scale. What exactly gives them their renowned toughness, hardness and strength? How do organisms control the synthesis of these advanced functional composites... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110112132126.htm 

New Device May Revolutionize Computer Memory 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2011) — Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new device that represents a significant advance for computer memory, making large-scale "server farms" more energy efficient and allowing computers to start more quickly... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110120111025.htm 

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Diabetes Mellitus: Unfolding Amyloid Secrets 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2011) — Scientists from the University of Leeds have made a fundamental step in the search for therapies for amyloid-related diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and diabetes mellitus. By pin-pointing the reaction that kick-starts the formation of amyloid fibres, scientists can now seek to further understand how these fibrils develop and cause disease... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110120124953.htm 

With Cloud Computing, the Mathematics of Evolution May Get Easier to Learn 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 22, 2011) — An innovative, educational computing platform developed by University at Buffalo faculty members and hosted by the cloud (remote, high-capacity, scalable servers) is helping UB students understand parts of evolutionary biology on an entirely new level. Soon, high-school and middle-school students will benefit from the same tool as well... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121111214.htm 

Single Photon Management for Quantum Computers 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2011) — The quantum computers of tomorrow might use photons, or particles of light, to move around the data they need to make calculations, but photons are tricky to work with. Two new papers* by researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have brought science closer to creating reliable sources of photons for these long-heralded devices... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110120111039.htm 

Study Examines Risk Factors of a Mass Shooting 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2011) — It's easy for American society to label young killers as simply crazy. But new research suggests that a complex array of factors -- from bullying to lack of parental support to ineffective mental health services -- are potentially involved when a student turns to violence... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110120111029.htm 

Swift Survey Finds 'Missing' Active Galaxies 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2011) — Seen in X-rays, the entire sky is aglow. Even far away from bright sources, X-rays originating from beyond our galaxy provide a steady glow in every direction. Astronomers have long suspected that the chief contributors to this cosmic X-ray background were dust-swaddled black holes at the centers of active galaxies. The trouble was, too few of them were detected to do the job... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110120171413.htm 

For Robust Robots, Let Them Be Babies First 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2011) — Want to build a really tough robot? Forget about Terminator. Instead, watch a tadpole turn into a frog... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110120131542.htm 

Remarkable Preservation of African Fossils Explained 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2011) — The mystery of how an abundance of fossils have been marvellously preserved for nearly half a billion years in a remote region of Africa has been solved by a team of geologists from the University of Leicester's Department of Geology... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101129111740.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

Cherokee Schools Unanimous: Graduations Stay At Church 
WGCL Atlanta 
The group American's United For Separation of Church and State threatened the school district with legal action were they to continue celebrating ... 
http://www.cbsatlanta.com/news/26566291/detail.html 

NJ school-voucher plan clears Senate panel 
Philadelphia Inquirer 
The funding mechanism is designed to allow the state to avoid legal questions about the separation of church and state. Under the criteria established in ... 
http://articles.philly.com/2011-01-21/news/27041056_1_public-schools-private-schools-public-education 

Ten Commandments Return to VA Classrooms 
WXIA-TV 
... public schools to post the Ten Commandments, and the First Amendment guarantees separation of church and state on the federal, state and local levels. ... 
http://www.11alive.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=174137&catid=40 

Rehanging of Ten Commandments in Giles schools raises a ruckus 
Roanoke Times 
... historical records, the commandments take on an historical context that prevents the church-state separation doctrine from being invoked," he said. ... 
http://www.roanoke.com/274594 

City Council prayer disclaimer not enough for group 
Yakima Herald-Republic 
... Herald-Republic reported that Markert's group had challenged invocations as a constitutional violation of the separation between church and state. ... 
http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2011/01/22/city-council-prayer-disclaimer-not-enough-for-group 

Colorado House to mull tax credits for private, home-school parents 
Greeley Tribune 
Opponents challenged it on the basis that it violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The case has gone all the way to the Supreme Court, ... 
http://www.greeleytribune.com/article/20110123/NEWS/701239988/1007&parentprofile=1 

School Board, atheists at cross purposes 
News Chief 
... agnostics and skeptics, is dedicated to “nontheism” and a strict doctrine of separation of church and state, according to Bridges agenda materials. ... 
http://www.newschief.com/article/20110125/NEWS/110129933/1021/news01?p=1&tc=pg 

School Board won't bow to anti-prayer group 
News Chief 
School Board Attorney Wes Bridges said the foundation appears to exist for the sole purpose of filing lawsuits on the separation of church and state. ... 
http://www.newschief.com/article/20110126/NEWS/101265133/1021/news01?p=1&tc=pg 

Controversy over 'moment' not over 
TribLocal 
She and her father, activist Rob Sherman, sued the district, arguing that the moment blurred the lines of separation between church and state. ... 
http://triblocal.com/arlington-heights/2011/01/26/controversy-over-moment-not-over/ 

Military: D211 candidate can wear uniform in some instances 
Chicago Daily Herald 
The Department of Defense waded into the issue this week after Rob Sherman, the atheist activist from Buffalo Grove, filed a complaint accusing candidate ... 
http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20110120/news/701209845/ 

Four years later, characters at New Orleans City Council meeting return 
NOLA.com 
By Times-Picayune Staff When atheist Harry Greenberger delivered the invocation at a City Council meeting in February 2007, council President Oliver Thomas ... 
http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/01/four_years_later_characters_at.html 

Atheist group president ejected from meeting after mayor takes issue with T-shirt 
Cape Coral Daily Breeze 
By DREW WINCHESTER, dwinchester@breezenewspapers.com The right to free speech became a heated exchange between Mayor John Sullivan and a non-profit atheist ... 
http://www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com/page/content.detail/id/521893.html?nav=5011 

A moment of silence 
Kane County Chronicle 
The Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act originally went into effect in 2007, but the issue ended up in the courts after outspoken atheist Rob Sherman ... 
http://www.kcchronicle.com/2011/01/24/a-moment-of-silence/a1b3t09/ 

Moment of silence back in schools 
McDonough Voice 
State legislators approved the act in October 2007, but it was challenged by a Chicago-area atheist and his high school daughter, then a student at Buffalo ... 
http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/featured/x1203794644/Moment-of-silence-back-in-schools 

Ill. public school silent time reinstated 
UPI.com 
27 (UPI) -- A suburban Chicago girl and her outspoken atheist father said they'd appeal an injunction's removal that returned a moment of silence to state ... 
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/01/27/Ill-public-school-silent-time-reinstated/UPI-84011296165631/ 

MISCELLANEOUS 

None 

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