THE   FOCUS
centerforatheism.org
                  
 
 
 
 
 
       
 
 
         
 
                  
 
  
 
  
 
      
 
 
 
         
                     

APRIL 10, 2011
Volume 7, Issue 14
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 
Atheist group sues governor over prayer day 
AZ Central.com 
This is about trying to get the right thing done," said Marc Victor, a Chandler attorney who brought the suit on behalf of three Maricopa County residents and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of atheists and agnostics. ... 
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/03/16/20110316arizona-atheist-group-sues-brewer.html 

Federal Judge Lets Atheist Lawsuit With Lakeland Commission Proceed 
The Ledger 
By Jason Geary TAMPA | A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a lawsuit filed by the Atheists of Florida to stop prayer before meetings of the Lakeland City Commission can continue. US District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich wrote a 23-page order rejecting ... 
http://www.theledger.com/article/20110315/NEWS/103155057?Title=Judge-Lets-Atheist-Lawsuit-Proceed 

ATHEISM 

None 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE 

Theater review: 'Freud's Last Sesson' from Mad Cow Theatre 
Orlando Sentinel (blog) 
In his 80-minute play, St. Germain speculates on what might have ensued had atheist Freud invited Lewis, a one-time atheist turned devout Christian, to a meeting. There's no record of such a meeting, but it would have been possible: Freud lived the ... 
http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/entertainment_stage_theat/2011/03/theater-review-freuds-last-sesson-from-mad-cow-theatre.html 

Review: The Sunset Limited (2011) 
Technorati 
Whether you are an atheist, a believer or an agnostic, you will be gripped by the folksy and intellectual debate on the deep essence of the concepts of spirituality; and that by itself is an extraordinary feat for the writer, the Director and the ... 
http://technorati.com/entertainment/film/article/review-the-sunset-limited-2011/ 

Book reviews: 3 books about atheism 
Washington Post 
By Yvonne Zipp, Tuesday, March 15, 9:43 PM Despite the number of titles published since the “new atheists” took up their battle cry against religion with Sam Harris's “The End of Faith” in 2004, there is still no core, authoritative history — no ... 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/book-reviews-3-books-about-atheism/2011/02/21/ABfsQaa_story.html 

God Fallacies: Booklet Published Today Finds New Fallacies In Main Arguments ... 
MMD Newswire (press release) 
He analyses logically both the modern and the traditional theristic arguments and also some of the common arguments for atheism. This short work is particularly notable because it seems to be the first significant attempt by a leading atheist to ... 
http://www.mmdnewswire.com/geoffrey-berg-god-fallacies-31865.html 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D. 

More conservative Legislature considers evolution bill 
Tbo.com 
The critical analysis approach originated at the Discovery Institute, a think tank that supports the teaching of intelligent design, which holds that evolution alone cannot explain life, which is so complex that it must have had a creator. Sen. ... 
http://www2.tbo.com/content/2011/mar/14/more-conservative-legislature-considers-evolution-/news-breaking/ 

SCIENCE 

Keys to Long Life? Not What You Might Expect 
ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2011) — Cheer up. Stop worrying. Don’t work so hard. Good advice for a long life? As it turns out, no. In a groundbreaking study of personality as a predictor of longevity, University of California, Riverside researchers found just the opposite... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311153541.htm 

Low Cost Solar Cells: New European Record in Efficiency 
ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2011) — Kesterites combine the low cost of thin film solar cell technologies with extremely low raw material cost. Their main component consists of copper, zinc, tin, and sulfur or selenium, all abundant and low cost elements. Several labs have reported that the loss of tin during preparation limits the ability to control deposition processes. The Laboratory for Photovoltaics has now developed a preparation process that allows controlling the tin loss and has in the first attempt led to record efficiency... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311131734.htm 

Surgery Without External Scars Is Gaining Traction: Organ Removal Through Body’s Orifices Is Minimally Invasive Approach to Surgery 
ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2011) — When Patricia Manrique was told she needed her gallbladder removed she immediately thought about the classroom full of children who rely on her to teach them tap and ballet each day. The Chicago Park District physical instructor needed a way to get the surgery performed without being laid up for weeks so she opted for an innovative minimally invasive procedure called Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) that would allow surgeons to perform organ removal surgery without any visible incisions and have her back on her feet the same day... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110310151212.htm 

Radiation Expert Discusses Japan Nuclear Power Plant Concerns 
ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2011) — Following Friday's massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake that caused tsunamis and rocked the island nation of Japan, Japanese government officials announced a nuclear emergency after the quake caused a reactor cooling system malfunction at Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311171137.htm 

Americans Have Higher Rates of Most Chronic Diseases Than Same-Age Counterparts in England 
ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2011) — Researchers have announced in the American Journal of Epidemiology that despite the high level of spending on healthcare in the United States compared to England, Americans experience higher rates of chronic disease and markers of disease than their English counterparts at all ages. Why health status differs so dramatically in these two countries, which share much in terms of history and culture, is a mystery... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110309073721.htm 

NASA Study Goes to Earth's Core for Climate Insights 
ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2011) — The latest evidence of the dominant role humans play in changing Earth's climate comes not from observations of Earth's ocean, atmosphere or land surface, but from deep within its molten core... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311140706.htm 

Pacific Northwest Faces Nearly Identical Risks to Japanese Quake 
ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2011) — It's being called one of the largest recorded earthquakes in world history. Also, according to Robert Yeats, "This is our wake up call."... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311165726.htm 

Speed Demon Star Creates a Shock 
ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2011) — Just as some drivers obey the speed limit while others treat every road as if it were the Autobahn, some stars move through space faster than others. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, captured this image of the star Alpha Camelopardalis, or Alpha Cam, in astronomer-speak, speeding through the sky like a motorcyclist zipping through rush-hour traffic. The supergiant star Alpha Cam is the bright star in the middle of this image, surrounded on one side by an arc-shaped cloud of dust and gas -- a bow shock -- which is colored red in this infrared view... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311131624.htm 

Sleepy Connected Americans 
ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2011) — The 2011 Sleep in America® poll released March 7 by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) finds pervasive use of communications technology in the hour before bed. It also finds that a significant number of Americans aren't getting the sleep they say they need and are searching for ways to cope... 
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110307065350.htm 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE 

Decision due in crucifix ban case 
Times of Malta 
It extended to practices and symbols which expressed "a belief, a religion or atheism". The ruling concluded: "The compulsory display of a symbol of a given confession in premises used by the public authorities, and especially in classrooms, ... 
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110317/local/decision-due-in-crucifix-ban-case 

Retired general to review religion at AF Academy 
Seattle Times 
The problem at the school is not with any restriction on the free exercise of religion, but with unwanted proselytizing by fundamentalist Christians, a violation of the constitutional concept of the separation of church and state, he said. ... 
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2014467317_apusairforceacademyinquiries.html 

Vouchers hailed as school solution 
nwitimes.com 
There also has been some discussion that the legislation violates Indiana's constitution in terms of the state's provision establishing public schools as tuition-free schools, open to all, and the state's language regarding separation of church and ... 
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/article_471a7b8d-124f-5640-85b9-200e591e6515.html 

Santorum "appalled" at JFK church/state comments 
CBS News 
Rick Santorum, who appears likely to enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, said in Massachusetts Tuesday that he is "frankly appalled'' that John F. Kennedy supported the separation of church and state when he was a ... 
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20043553-503544.html 

Vander Plaats: Government is “an institution of God” 
Eastern Iowa Government 
“Bob Vander Plaats is trying to impose a religious agenda and we support the separation church and state,” Charles Crawley said during a rally before the event. Crawley is an organizer with Faith in Iowa, a group that opposes removing judges based on ... 
http://www.easterniowagovernment.com/2011/03/15/vander-plaats-government-is-an-institution-of-god/ 

Local Senator Fights to Keep Religion Out of State Government 
Patch.com 
“I'm concerned the new Republican majority is not clear about the constitutional separation between Church and State.” A call to Senator Fischbach for comment was not immediately returned. Interested in a follow-up to this article? ... 
http://minnetonka.patch.com/articles/local-senator-fights-to-keep-religion-out-of-state-government#youtube_video-5312742 

Lights out on four-decade tradition 
Herald Sun 
He said there was now a greater separation between church and state. "I can understand to some people objecting to a religious symbol like the cross being placed on a government-owned structure and I respect that." Fr Fitzgerald said the move will also ... 
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/illuminated-crucifix-taken-down-in-warrnambool-after-sole-complaint/story-e6frf7kx-1226022331564 

Retired general to review religion at AF Academy 
Ventura County Star 
However, an academy faculty member and a religious watchdog group unsuccessfully sued the academy in February, seeking to block a prayer luncheon on the grounds it violated the separation of church and state. The review was first reported in the ... 
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/15/retired-general-to-review-religion-at-af-academy/ 

Santorum takes stabs at Romney and Kennedy 
Boston Globe 
... speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, in which Kennedy — then a candidate for president — sought to allay concerns about his Catholicism by declaring, “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. ... 
http://articles.boston.com/2011-03-15/news/29349835_1_health-care-santorum-massachusetts-law 

Atheists sue to stop Brewer from declaring day of prayer 
East Valley Tribune 
"There has to be a separation of church and state." But gubernatorial press aide Matthew Benson said his boss is on firm legal ground. "Public call to prayer is an honored American tradition dating back to George Washington," he said. ... 
http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/article_172ff206-5034-11e0-be4b-001cc4c002e0.html 

Minn. legislator wants Jesus out of Senate prayers 
Austin American-Statesman 
But in doing a nondenominational prayer we are honoring him without violating the separation of church and state." Koch said Wednesday she wouldn't support such a requirement. She said the Senate invites leaders from numerous Christian and ... 
http://www.statesman.com/news/nation/minn-legislator-wants-jesus-out-of-senate-prayers-1325491.html 

Allendale election locations questioned 
MLive.com 
Morren said in an e-mail there have been "some questions regarding separation of church and state." "It is my intent to follow the law," Morren said. "This being the case, the law says public buildings are to be used. This is the law! ... 
http://www.mlive.com/grandvalleyadvance/index.ssf/2011/03/allendale_election_locations_q.html 

Committee to consider 'In God We Trust' 
Politico 
Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, accused House Republicans of using the vote as a means to “mollify religious conservatives.” “This is divisive and a diversion from important national issues. ... 
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51427.html 

Army Inspected Over Christian Concerts 
Pollstar (blog) 
Meanwhile, at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, NC, Rock Beyond Belief, an atheist concert, was recently canceled when a colonel refused to allow the event to take place on the base's main field April 2. Rock Beyond Belief was organized in part as a response ... 
http://www.pollstar.com/blogs/news/archive/2011/03/11/759351.aspx 

MISCELLANEOUS 

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