THE   FOCUS
centerforatheism.org
                
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
         
 
                
 
  
 
  
 
  
 
 
 
         
                

MARCH 18, 2011
Volume 7, Issue 9
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 


Dearborn judge under fire for "preaching religion" 
WXYZ 
“Basically, Ms Pucci and Ms. Langen complained about Judge Somers refusal to respect the separation of church and state,” said Calvas' attorney James Fett. ... 
http://www.wxyz.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/dearborn-judge-under-fire-for-%22preaching-religion%22 

Religious pamphlet causes stir at public school 
New Times SLO 
Johnson said there's confusion regarding the separation between church and state. In June 2001, the Child Evangelism Fellowship won a case before the ... 
http://www.newtimesslo.com/news/5608/religious-pamphlet-causes-stir-at-public-school/ 

People who claim to be Christian when they do not practise the religion are ... 
Leicester Mercury 
Emma Chung is the new president of the society, which calls for the separation of church and the state. She said: "The last census disproportionately shows ... 
http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/news/Non-believers-told-make-mark-census/article-3164091-detail/article.html 

ATHEISM 

Atheist Convention in Huntsville Creates Buzz 
WAAY 
HUNTSVILLE, AL - A national Atheist group was in the Tennessee Valley for a convention over the weekend. Roughly 200 people attended the event, ... 
http://www.waaytv.com/news/local/story/Atheist-Convention-in-Huntsville-Creates-Buzz/fm9jMdaAJk6xJe5KZN0W7g.cspx 

Ophelia Benson, Public Atheist 
TheTyee.ca 
Atheist 'God Delusion' author fires back at critics. Ophelia Benson is the scourge of magical thinking, religion and postmodernist gobbledygook. ... 
http://thetyee.ca/Books/2011/01/28/OpheliaBenson/ 

Non-theists organize Secular Coalition for Alabama 
al.com (blog) 
Miller and other local leaders will sign the new charter Sunday, 1:30 pm The announcement will come during the Southeast Regional Atheist Meet, ... 
http://blog.al.com/breaking/2011/01/non-theists_organize_secular_c.html 

Non-religious students band together in HMSU 
Indiana Statesman 
"One reason we thought it would be a good idea to start this group is that there may be students on campus who have never met an atheist before or who have ... 
http://www.indianastatesman.com/a-e/non-religious-students-band-together-in-hmsu-1.1923129 

Secular Student Society gives new perspective 
The Daily Toreador (registration) 
But, as he progressed in the Secular Student Society, Fielding said, he became more comfortable being an open atheist. “Secular Student Society encompasses ... 
http://www.dailytoreador.com/lavida/article_093d8572-2a97-11e0-aa17-00127992bc8b.html 

Atheists want votes for a secular State 
Irish Times 
ATHEIST IRELAND plans to write “to all election candidates asking their views on six questions that are central to building a rational, ethical society with ... 
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0131/1224288605039.html 

'Godless' billboard near airport 
Ultimate Kingwood 
Each billboard is sponsored by a local, multi-organizational coalition of nontheistic (atheist and agnostic) groups. "The point of our national billboard ... 
http://www.ultimatekingwood.com/stories/417-godless-billboard-near-airport 

Nontheists start Secular Coalition for Alabama 
al.com (blog) 
By Greg Garrison -- The Birmingham News On Sunday at the Southeast Regional Atheist Meet in Huntsville, a group of nontheists signed a charter to start the ... 
http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/02/nontheists_found_secular_coali.html 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

A funny way to make it big 
Sydney Morning Herald 
Nothing is taboo, not love and certainly not religion; his atheism, he says, comes from a solid belief in the rational. Sexuality, alternative medicine ... 
http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/comedy/a-funny-way-to-make-it-big-20110129-1a8po.html 

Tim Minchin on a roll 
The Australian 
"I am a rationalist-empiricist-humanist-atheist-sceptic," he says of this art-life crossover. "And a lover of rock," he adds with a sniff. ... 
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/tim-minchin-on-a-roll/story-e6frg8n6-1225994154054 

The Sunset Limited starring Samuel L. Jackson & Tommy Lee Jones | Film Trailer 
SoulCulture (blog) 
... between a religious Black ex-convict and an atheist White professor after the former saves the latter from throwing himself in front of a train. ... 
http://www.soulculture.co.uk/blogs/film-tv/film-blog/the-sunset-limited-starring-samuel-l-jackson-tommy-lee-jones-film-trailer/ 

Where did it all come from? 
YouTube 
More hilarity from the king of all stupidity, Bill O'Reilly... 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyHzhtARf8M 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

Scopes Weeps: Evolution Still Struggling in Public Schools 
Wired News (blog) 
While vocal advocates of intelligent design and similar non-scientific alternatives to evolution are a minority, more than half the teachers in a nationwide ... 
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/scopes-weeps/# 

Two Oklahoma lawmakers file bills encouraging creationism 
Tulsa World 
US courts have consistently ruled that creationism and "intelligent design" are based on religion, not science. But Kern's and Brecheen's bills state that ... 
http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=16&articleid=20110128_16_A15_CUTLIN39811 

Creationist publisher backs down in Texas 
National Center for Science Education 
... 2011, included FTE, which is perhaps best known as the publisher of Of Pandas and People , the "intelligent design" creationism textbook at the center ... 
http://ncse.com/news/2011/01/creationist-publisher-backs-down-texas-006462 

Watchdog group uncovers politicized SBOE correspondence 
The American Independent 
Garner, an evolution critic, lent his name to a petition initiated by conservative intelligent design advocacy think tank, the Discovery Institute, ... 
http://www.americanindependent.com/167932/watchdog-group-uncovers-politicized-sboe-correspondence 

Antievolution legislation in New Mexico 
National Center for Science Education 
... include information that coincides or harmonizes with religious tenets" — which would appear to be intended to cover "intelligent design" creationism. ... 
http://ncse.com/news/2011/02/antievolution-legislation-new-mexico-006469 

Study: Teachers hesitant to favor evolution over creationism 
UW Badger Herald 
By Melissa Hanson Despite numerous court cases that have ruled the teaching of creationism and intelligent design as unconstitutional in public schools, ... 
http://badgerherald.com/news/2011/02/02/study_teachers_hesit.php# 

Conservative ideological bills concern group 
NewsOK.com 
Some of these ideological measures, such as prohibiting evolution being taught in public schools and embryonic stem cell research, will hurt efforts to ... 
http://newsok.com/ideological-measures-concern-group/article/3536718 

Oklahoma bill would mandate educators question evolution in classes 
Raw Story 
By Nathan Diebenow Educators in Oklahoma would be forced to openly question in their classes the legitimacy of the scientific theory of evolution should a ... 
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/01/30/oklahoma-bill-would-mandate-educators-question-evolution-in-classes/# 

SCIENCE 

Tools Suggest Earlier Human Exit From Africa 
A cache of stone tools found on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula has reopened the critical question of when and how modern humans escaped from their ancestral homeland in eastern Africa... 
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/science/28africa.html?_r=1&ref=science 

Learn More Quickly by Transcranial Magnetic Brain Stimulation, Study in Rats Suggests 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2011) — What sounds like science fiction is actually possible: thanks to magnetic stimulation, the activity of certain brain nerve cells can be deliberately influenced. What happens in the brain in this context has been unclear up to now. Medical experts from Bochum under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Klaus Funke (Department of Neurophysiology) have now shown that various stimulus patterns changed the activity of distinct neuronal cell types. In addition, certain stimulus patterns led to rats learning more easily. The knowledge obtained could contribute to cerebral stimulation being used more purposefully in future to treat functional disorders of the brain... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110128121629.htm 

Growth Spurt? 'Catch-Up' Growth Signals Revealed 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2011) — University of Michigan researchers have uncovered molecular signals that regulate catch-up growth -- the growth spurt that occurs when normal conditions are restored after a fetus, young animal or child has been ill, under stress or deprived of enough food or oxygen to grow properly... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110128095040.htm 

DNA Caught Rock 'N Rollin': On Rare Occasions DNA Dances Itself Into a Different Shape 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2011) — DNA, that marvelous, twisty molecule of life, has an alter ego, research at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Irvine reveals... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110128104244.htm 

Global Eruption Rocks the Sun: Scientists Re-Evaluate Ideas About Solar Storms 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 28, 2011) — On August 1, 2010, an entire hemisphere of the sun erupted. Filaments of magnetism snapped and exploded, shock waves raced across the stellar surface, billion-ton clouds of hot gas billowed into space. Astronomers knew they had witnessed something big... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213154631.htm 

Perception of Time Spent With Fathers Can Lead to Bullying 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 28, 2011) — Do your children think you work too much and don't spend enough time with them? If so, their perception could lead to bullying behavior, according to research by Vanderbilt University sociologist Andre Christie-Mizell... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110128144324.htm 

On the Hunt for Universal Intelligence 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 28, 2011) — How do you use a scientific method to measure the intelligence of a human being, an animal, a machine or an extra-terrestrial? So far this has not been possible, but a team of Spanish and Australian researchers have taken a first step towards this by presenting the foundations to be used as a basis for this method in the journal Artificial Intelligence, and have also put forward a new intelligence test... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127131122.htm 

Cold Cases Gone Hot: Researchers Solve Decades-Old Medical Mysteries Using Genetics 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 28, 2011) — The mystery began in 1976. Adolfo Pampena was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that caused a strange combination of symptoms and was associated with the occurrence of multiple tumours in his stomach and colon. His medical team was stumped and was unable to answer the most important questions for him and his family: the cause of his disease and the risk for future generations... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110128113424.htm 

Unlocking the Secrets of DNA 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 28, 2011) — Neutron scattering has been used to investigate the structure of fibre DNA during the melting transition. This is the range of temperatures over which the bonds between base pairs break, or denature, causing the two strands of DNA to separate... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110124120848.htm 

Dinosaurs Survived Mass Extinction by 700,000 Years, Fossil Find Suggests 
ScienceDaily (Jan. 28, 2011) — University of Alberta researchers determined that a fossilized dinosaur bone found in New Mexico confounds the long established paradigm that the age of dinosaurs ended between 65.5 and 66 million years ago... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110127141707.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

Chaplains 'are taking over' 
Sydney Morning Herald 
... and his supporters that argued the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) contravened the constitutional separation between church and state. ... 
http://www.smh.com.au/national/chaplains-are-taking-over-20110129-1a94l.html 

Conservative ideological bills concern group 
Tulsa World 
... mixing religious doctrine with secular government, say members of the Oklahoma City chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ... 
http://newsok.com/conservative-ideological-bills-concern-group/article/3536708# 

FFRF Advises 132 TN School Superintendents to Keep Prayer Out of School Events 
God Discussion 
The 16000 member Foundation protects the constitutional principle of separation of church and state and regularly receives complaints about prayer at school ... 
http://www.goddiscussion.com/40013/ffrf-tn-prayer/ 

'Moment of Silence' Makes Little Noise in Area Schools 
Patch 
US District Judge Rob Gettleman declared the law unconstitutional in response to a lawsuit filed by Buffalo Grove resident Rob Sherman, a prominent atheist ... 
http://geneva.patch.com/articles/moment-of-silence-makes-little-noise-in-area-schools 

MISCELLANEOUS 

None 

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