Weekly Announcement 9/29/13

Its finally starting to feel like fall. Enjoy it while it lasts, because the cold will creep up before you know it. Here are the Freethinker going-ons for this week.

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Tuesday, Oct. 1st from 7:00-8:30pm: At this week’s meeting, in Squires 341, Dan Linford will be giving a presentation on the history of atheism. Are you an atheist, but don’t know much about where and when people like you emerged? Or perhaps you are religious but are curious about when, where, and, most importantly, why people stopped believing in God? Atheism is surprisingly young — no older than 400 years old — and has some unexpected connections to the religions against which it reacted. Join us on October 1st to hear about atheism’s early history. Here’s a link to the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/530539083689132/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Wed, Oct 2nd at 8:00pm: The Secular Support Group will be meeting this week in the Shenandoah Conference Room (314) of Squires Student Center. This is a more private, mellow, and laid back group conversation than what you’ll be able to find at the regular Freethinkers Meeting. The general body meetings are great for guest speakers, educational workshops, good lively discussion, and even a heated debate or three. If you want a safe space to explore ideas you may not yet have fully formed, or you’re seeking some advice about how to interact with friends and loved ones who do not share your views, or simply want a place to speak your mind then please join the Secular Support Group!

Thursday, Oct. 3rd at 7:00pm: There’s a group of us that go climbing at Crimpers Climbing Gym in Christiansburg. It’s a lot of fun as well as a good workout. It costs $14 to rent shoes and climb for the night. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.crimpersclimbing.com/

Friday, Oct. 4th from 11:00am-12:30pm: Friday morning, the Breakfast Club will be meeting again in the large first floor dining hall in Turner Place. This week the discussion topic is religion. As always, find the group by looking for the person in the magenta(pink) hat. Here’s a link to the page for the Breakfast Club: https://www.facebook.com/groups/freebreakfast/

Friday, Oct. 4th from 7:00-9:00pm:  This Friday, we will be having our first Friday of the month social event in Squires room 219. We will be watching ‘Kinsey, a film centered around the life of Alfred Kinsey, a scientist known for his research on human sexuality. As a warning, the film is rated R. Here’s a link to more information from IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0362269/

Sunday, Oct. 6th at 2:00pm: If you can’t go climbing on Thursday (or can, and want to go again) come climb at Crimpers on Sunday!

Sunday, Oct. 6th at 5:00pm: Our exec. group will be having a business meeting in Squires Student Center near Au Bon Pan. In order to allow more time at meetings for discussion, we will be meeting Sunday to handle the business our club needs to organize. Everyone is invited to come and participate. It’s a great way to play a part in the workings of the club and gain leadership experience.

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*** For the first time ever, we are creating t-shirts to sell to our club! You can order them (and see a preview) at https://docs.google.com/a/vt.edu/forms/d/1n6mHSNokGYXq3d5N7TK1xhhaRAKEIeWGNXx4cG40OIs/viewform. Orders and payment are due on October 1st.***

Weekly Announcements 9/22

Freethinkers! Hope your first round of tests (if you’re an undergrad) isn’t hitting you too hard. Here are the Freethinker’s events for this week.

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Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 7:00-8:30pm: This week’s meeting will be a general discussion meeting, with focus on rape-culture and sexism, both in general society, and within the secular movement itself. We will be meeting in room 341 of Squires Student Center. Here’s a link to the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/632272110140044/

Wed, Sept. 25 at 8:00pm: The Secular Support Group will be meeting this week in Room 234 of Squires Student Center. This is a more private, mellow, and laid back group conversation than what you’ll be able to find at the regular Freethinkers Meeting. The general body meetings are great for guest speakers, educational workshops, good lively discussion, and even a heated debate or three. But if you want a safe space to explore ideas you may not yet have fully formed, or you’re seeking some advice about how to share your ideas with friends and loved ones who do not share those views, then please join us!

Thursday, Sept. 26 at 7:00pm: There’s a group of us that go climbing at Crimpers Climbing Gym in Christiansburg. It’s a lot of fun as well as a good workout. It costs $14 to rent shoes and climb for the night. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.crimpersclimbing.com/

Friday, Sept. 27 from 11:00am-12:30pm: Friday morning, the Breakfast Club will be meeting again in the large first floor dining hall in Turner Place. This week the discussion topic is politics. As always, find the group by looking for the person in the magenta(pink) hat. Here’s a link to the page for the Breakfast Club: https://www.facebook.com/groups/freebreakfast/

Sunday, Sept. 29 at 2:00pm: If you can’t go climbing on Thursday (or can, and want to go again) come climb at Crimpers on Sunday!

Sunday, Sept. 29 at 5:00pm: Our exec. group will be meeting in Squires Student Center near Au Bon Pan. In order to allow more time at meetings for discussion, we will be meeting Sunday to handle the business our club needs to organize. Everyone is invited to come and participate. It’s a great way to play a part in the workings of the club and gain leadership experience.

Friday, Oct. 4th from 7:00-9:00pm: This is just a head’s up, but next Friday, we will be having our First Friday of the Month Event. We will be watching a documentary, but a specific one hasn’t been decided on… That’s up to you! Keep an eye out on the Facebook page for a poll in which you can vote on what you want to see.

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*** For the first time ever, we are creating t-shirts to sell to our club! You can order them (and see a preview) at https://docs.google.com/a/vt.edu/forms/d/1n6mHSNokGYXq3d5N7TK1xhhaRAKEIeWGNXx4cG40OIs/viewform. Orders and payment are due on October 1st.***

Visit our website (http://www.freeatvt.org) or our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/24398461218/) for more information.

 

 

Weekly Announcement — 9/16

Freethinkers! The semester is getting into full swing, and so are we! Here’s what’s going on this week.

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Tuesday, Sept. 17 from 7:30-9:00pm: During this week’s meeting, in Squires room 300, Professor Brian Britt from the Department of Religion and Culture will be speaking about biblical scholarship. You may be surprised to hear what academic research has been done on the Bible for the last two hundred years and how it’s continuing today. So come prepared for a fascinating discussion on research on the Bible! You can find a link to the event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/161831260679102/

Note: ***This week, we will be meeting at 7:30 and in Squires Student Center, room 300. This is different than our normal meeting time/place.***

Britt is the author of a number of books on the Bible and its afterlives: “Walter Benjamin and the Bible”, “Re-writing Moses: The Narrative Eclipse of the Text”, and “Biblical Curses and the Displacement of Tradition”. He has also written many peer reviewed papers which have appeared in academic journals and book chapters for various texts.

 

Wed, Sept. 18 at 8:00pm: The secular support group will be having its third meeting in the Blue Ridge Conference Room (145) in Squires Student Center. It was decided after a couple meetings that the group would be expanding its purview. Here’s a description in the words of its moderator, John Grey Williams:

Hello freethinkers, secularists, questioning, curious, and spiritual types! Want to talk about issues relating to spirituality, religion, questioning, humanism, or macaroni and cheese? Pissed that they don’t sell your favorite beer at the Vintage Cellar anymore? Are you stuck between a rock and a hard place feeling the pressure to “come out” to friends and loved ones while maintaining those important relationships? Or, maybe you’re just looking for a chill place to have some casual laidback conversation about ideas.

If any of these apply to you, please consider joining us at the newly created “Secular Support Group.” Now, I know what some of you may be thinking… Support? I don’t need a “support” group! I’m doing just fine! Well, please don’t let that title turn you off. We had to call it something, but it’s so much more than that. This is just a more private, mellow, and laid back group conversation than what you’ll be able to find at the regular Freethinkers Meeting. The general body meetings are great for guest speakers, educational workshops, good lively discussion, and even a heated debate or three. But if you want a safe space to explore ideas you may not yet have fully formed, or you’re seeking some advice about how to share your ideas with friends and loved ones who do not share those views, then please join us!

We meet every Wednesday in Squires at 8pm. Check your email, the Freethinkers Facebook page, or ask the info Desk at Squires for the exact room location each week. All meetings are confidential. Hope you can join us for some good conversation! Queers, atheists, heathens, religious types, anarchists, and good old fashioned hippies are all welcome! Please join us!

 

Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7:00pm: There’s a group of us that go climbing at Crimpers Climbing Gym in Christiansburg. It’s a lot of fun as well as a good workout. It costs $14 to rent shoes and climb for the night. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.crimpersclimbing.com/

 

Friday, Sept. 20 at 11:00am: Friday morning, the Breakfast Club will be meeting in the large first floor dining hall in Turner Place. This week the discussion topic is religion. When you go, find the group by looking for the person in the magenta(pink)  hat. Here’s the link to the event for this week: https://www.facebook.com/events/173281389530383/

 

Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10:00pm-2:00am: Saturday night, we will have a bake sale fundraiser outside of Moe’s. We really need people to help out in order to make this successful, so if you have the time to either prepare baked goods or staff the table, please do. Here’s a link to the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/709032169122895/

 

Sunday, Sept. 22 at 2:00pm: If you can’t go climbing on Thursday (or can, and want to go again) come climb at Crimpers on Sunday!

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Visit our website (http://www.freeatvt.org) or our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/24398461218/) for more information.

 

a taste of denial

Denial of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) comes in a variety of flavors. While i’ve come across several taxonomies, the most elegant (and, so far as i know, the only one necessary) classifies AGW denialists into three camps:

  1. Global temperatures are not rising.
  2. Global temperatures are rising, but not because of human activity.
  3. Human activity is causing global temperatures to rise, but this is not a big problem / we can’t do anything about it.

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What is energy healing?

Acupuncture and moxing (Wikimedia Commons)

At last week’s meeting Zack Lewis discussed several varieties of energy healing, alternative therapies derived largely from Eastern traditions including reiki and acupuncture. Promoters of energy healing may invoke concepts from physics, from quantum mechanics to electromagnetism to energy itself, to suggest a scientific underpinning. Most claim, more directly, that their treatments have been validated, not just by testimonials but through clinical trials.

The clinical evidence for acupuncture and emotional freedom techniques, for example, show a pretty consistent trend in my view. But paralleling the question of evidence always seems to be a hidden question of definition. What, precisely, is being tested?

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