Saturday, November 6, 2010



NOVEMBER 6, 2010
Volume 6, Issue 44
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:


An ungodly row: Dawkins sues his disciple 
By Tom Rowley and Alistair Walker Josh Timonen was one of a small coterie of young protégés around Richard Dawkins, sharing his boss's zealous atheism. ... 


From religion to 'Rocky Horror': The Minnesota Atheists Book Club 
On a recent Wednesday night, the Minnesota Atheists Book Club met to discuss satanic rituals. "Have no fear," club leader Eric Jayne assured MinnPost intern ... 

Uganda: Debating God in a God-Fearing Country 
TIME (blog) 
A study by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 97% of Ugandans are believers, and the fact that professions of atheism are invariably met ...,8599,2027416,00.html 

'My life is my writing ... my children come later' 
Globe and Mail 
Now, at the age of 61, the prominent atheist, author and journalist is suddenly staring death in the face. His illness, he maintains, has not altered his ... 

Humanists launch 'no religion' census campaign 
The Guardian (blog) 
And there have been high-profile campaigns by atheists such as Richard Dawkins and the group behind the Atheist bus. The BHA says it is time for people who ... 

Atheist students say good morals can be practiced without a Bible 
ASU Herald 
As its membership rapidly increases, the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) of ASU, an atheist student organization, works to build a community of people to ... 


Further kudos for Evolution vs. Creationism 
National Center for Science Education 
Eugenie C. Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism (second edition: Greenwood Press, 2008 and University of California Press, 2009) was recommended by the ... 

The Atheist's Guide to Christmas by various authors – review 
The Guardian 
Other entries, about the atheist bus ads, the massive meet-up Skeptics in the Pub and Robin Ince's sell-out concerts Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless ... 

Movie Review: The Tillman Story 
Orlando Sentinel (blog) 
Hearing a military spokesman blame the Tillmans' atheism for their being unable to accept their official version of his death "and just move on" will make a ... 

DVD Review: Agora 
Agora is available now on DVD from Lionsgate. MaryAnn Johanson is an atheist freethinker at the agora of FlickFilosopher... 

Atheists Just Sing the Blues (blog) 
Just asking :) I have to say, Steve Martin is my kind of atheist. And he sings ok too, with the Canyon Rangers at good ole Merle Fest 2010. ... 

Movie review: 'Nora's Will' 
Los Angeles Times 
For one thing, he dislikes being manipulated from beyond the grave, and for another, though born Jewish, Jose has become a fierce atheist who has no ...,0,5303951.story 




Nanotube Thermopower: Efforts to Store Energy in Carbon Nanotubes 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2010) — When weighing options for energy storage, different factors can be important, such as energy density or power density, depending on the circumstances. Generally batteries -- which store energy by separating chemicals -- are better for delivering lots of energy, while capacitors -- which store energy by separating electrical charges -- are better for delivering lots of power (energy per time). It would be nice, of course, to have both... 

Risk Markers for Alzheimer's Disease 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2010) — Risk markers could play an important role in this. These are substances linked to Alzheimer's that are found in unusually high or unusually low quantities in patients who go on to develop the disease... 

Sound of the Underground: New Acoustic Early Warning System for Landslide Prediction 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2010) — A new type of sound sensor system has been developed to predict the likelihood of a landslide... 

Partners Who Had Powerful Faces in College Lead Profitable Law Firms, Study Finds 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 23, 2010) — Law firms are more profitable when they are led by managing partners who have faces that look powerful, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science (published by SAGE).... 

New Cometary Phenomenon Greets Approaching Spacecraft 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2010) — Recent observations of comet Hartley 2 have scientists scratching their heads, while they anticipate a flyby of the small, icy world on Nov. 4... 

Space Telescopes Reveal Previously Unknown Brilliant X-Ray Explosion in Milky Way Galaxy 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2010) — Astronomers in Japan, using an X-ray detector on the International Space Station, and at Penn State University, using NASA's Swift space observatory, are announcing the discovery of an object newly emitting X-rays, which previously had been hidden inside our Milky Way galaxy in the constellation Centaurus... 

Scorpion Has Welcome Sting for Heart Bypass Patients 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2010) — A toxin found in the venom of the Central American bark scorpion (Centruroides margaritatus) could hold the key to reducing heart bypass failures, according to research from the University of Leeds... 

Researchers Break Speed Barrier in Solving Important Class of Linear Systems 
ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2010) — Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have devised an innovative and elegantly concise algorithm that can efficiently solve systems of linear equations that are critical to such important computer applications as image processing, logistics and scheduling problems, and recommendation systems... 


Atheist Activist Says Fight is Far from Over 
... Marie Gerhardt | Email the author | 6:00am Buffalo Grove atheist activist Rob Sherman says "the war continues" to keep prayer out of public schools. ... 

City Council Political Invocation Draws Interest, Opposition 
"I don't understand the point and I don't think they should have them at all," said Jeff Archer, President of the San Diego Atheist Coalition. ... 

Court rejects suit over SF's blast at Vatican 
San Francisco Chronicle 
... to decide whether the city had expressed official hostility toward Catholicism, in violation of the constitutional separation of church and state. ... 

Culver, Branstad differ on pulpit politicking 
Iowa Independent 
Despite its brevity, the discussion of the separation of church and state marked a big difference between the candidates, as Culver responded to the same ... 

Name That Freedom 
New York Times 
She was, she later said, attempting to point out that the actual words "separation of church and state" do not appear in the text of the Constitution. ... 

Point Beach council ends Lord's Prayer at public meetings 
Asbury Park Press 
... the agreement does not put to rest the overall dispute between the parties over the constitutional interpretation of the separation of church and state. ... 

Charlotte churches urge souls to the polls 
Charlotte Observer 
"We certainly try to respect separation of church and state. But that doesn't mean we don't take positions on issues. Our emphasis would be on social issues ... 

Church-state billboards stir up emotions 
"We want to get out that separation of church and state is in the Constitution," Freedom From Religion member Charles Hood said. "I've proved to myself that ... 

St. Paul project raises church-state concerns 
Minneapolis Star Tribune 
By CHRIS HAVENS, Star Tribune Concerns about being sued over church-state separation issues has prompted St. Paul officials to hold off approval of a draft ... 

Dad fights for chaplaincy program 
Toowoomba Chronicle 
"It concerns all Australians, of all faiths and none, who support the secular wall of separation concept concerning church and state. ... 

Administrators say prayer space is non-denominational 
Faribault Daily News 
"The separation of church and state means that the district will not lead anyone in prayer, but this does not preclude students from leading their own ... 

Church-state divide hits another GOP candidate 
Jackson Sun 
AP DENVER (AP) — Colorado's Republican Senate candidate is being challenged about his views on the separation of church and state after opponents spread a ... 

State judge rejectes prayer proclamation challenge 
Colorado Springs Gazette 
based organization that supports the separation of church and state, sued Gov. Bill Ritter and the state of Colorado, arguing that the governor's National ... 

Recreation center for St. Paul's East Side draws scrutiny 
Pioneer Press 
When asked whether the project might violate the legal principle of church-state separation, City Attorney Sara Grewing responded: "We don't have a complete ... 



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