Drinking Skeptically ABQ #9!

Hey friends, Drinking Skeptically ABQ is tonight!  Now that Lost is over, you have no excuse to miss another meeting.  We’ll be meeting at the usual place, at the usual time, so come on out with yer thinkin’ caps on!

And speaking of caps… you see that DS cap logo to the left there?  Wouldn’t it be cool to have a fancy, pretty one, just for our Albuquerque group?  Yes it would, and since I don’t have even the most basic design sense, I thought I would throw it out to you kind folks.  So, anyone with a little spare time and a little Photoshop skill care to whip up a DSABQ logo?  Maybe something with a Zia on it?  I don’t know.  Yellow?  I don’t know.  It’s up to you.  You’re the fancy pants here.

Super awesome DSABQ logos can be submitted through our Facebook group, but if you’re not Facebook inclined, just send us a message through the Duke City Skeptics site, and we’ll get back to you with our email.

See you all tonight!

-Josh

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Weekend Events

Two events this weekend!  Tomorrow is the meeting with the Freedom from Religion group to discuss forming a chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation here in town, and Sunday is the NBA semifinal games social meetup with the Secular Humanists.  The weather is supposed to be nice, so enjoy it!

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Skipping Sunday School

Here’s something that’s sure to be of interest to many of our groups: a small production company just outside of Washington D.C. is currently in production on a documentary called, “Skipping Sunday School”, which explores raising ethical children without religion.

From http://www.henlivision.com:

The US is seeing a substantial downward trend in religious adherence, especially in young people. “If the trends continue, ‘the Millennial generation will see churches closing as quickly as GM dealerships,’ says Thom Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources. In the group’s survey of 1,200 18- to 29-year-olds, 72% say they’re ‘really more spiritual than religious …. Most young adults today don’t pray, don’t worship and don’t read the Bible ….” (USA Today, April 27, 2010)

A downward religious trend in young adults suggest a downward trend in religious children. In this documentary, in its mid stages of production, we investigate the relationship between children and religion. Is it possible to raise ethical, moral children who do not have a basic belief in a god or higher power? How do children without a religious foundation come to terms with the concept of death and the afterlife? Do children raised by non-theist parents resent their godless upbringing? Which group, the faithless or the ultra-faithful, faces the most ostracism? Do parents struggle with their decisions? How do the experiences of growing up without religion compare to those of growing up with religion?

Why is our focus on children? Well, because we’re interested in finding out if religion has anything to do with being a good person, as most religions would have you believe. A person’s sense of morality and ethics is developed in childhood and adolescence. Recent studies performed by Professor Frans de Waal at Emory University suggest that morality was developed as part of the evolutionary process, and has absolutely nothing to do with God. Through his research, he has discovered that “monkeys and apes can make judgements about fairness, offer sympathy and help and remember obligations.” (The Telegraph, Feb. 15, 2009)

Consider the quote by eminent evolutionary biologist and active atheist, Richard Dawkins: “There is no such thing as a Christian child: only a child of Christian parents.”

The movie is still in production, but they’ve released a trailer with some of the footage they already have, which apparently is quite a lot.  Their website says that they’ve traveled to 10 states interviewing people!

They’re currently looking for more people to interview, as well as any help that can be provided to get the film completed.  Check out their website for more details, and to stay connected with them for news and a release date, hopefully soon.

-Josh

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The Many Sightings of Ben Radford

If you missed Benjamin Radford’s presentation back in March of “Behind the Scenes of a TV Ghost Show” (hosted by our friends over at NMSR), you missed a genuinely fascinating skeptical look at “reality” tv.

But if you DID miss it, you had another opportunity to hear some excellent stories at the last Drinking Skeptically meeting, when Ben joined us for a night of rational discussion, ghost stories, and even the slip into terribly inappropriate jokes. But that’s okay, because it was Drinking Skeptically, and what happens at Drinking Skeptically, STAYS at Drinking Skeptically… or something. In any case, it was a fun night. We had a handful of first-timers show up, which caused our largest turn out yet, and I dare say some of the more interesting conversations we’ve had.

All in all, the night went long, we downed a good number of Fosters oil cans (which somehow seems to have become the semi-official drink of DSABQ), and we all left having broken no bar ware at all. What more can you ask for?

Okay, but maybe you missed that one too. Don’t fret, because the next Drinking Skeptically meeting is a mere two and a half weeks away, on the 25th.

In the meantime, you might be interested to find out a little bit more about this Radford fellow. For those who don’t know, Ben is the managing editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, as well as a paranormal investigator, board game inventor, and writer. It seems you can find his writings just about everywhere right now, from his “Bad Science” column, to articles appearing anywhere from The Christian Science Monitor to our very own Weekly Alibi. He’s also written several books, his newest book, coming out very soon, is called Scientific Paranormal Investigation. You also may know him as the guy who debunked the Santa Fe courthouse ghost, and the Kimo ghost.


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National Day of Reason Roll-out!

Well, we were going to wait a few more days to roll out the site, but today is the National Day or Reason, and it just feels like the time is right.

We’re hoping that this site will be of use to the vast network of skeptics, atheists, humanists, and freethinkers in and around Albuquerque.  Our goal is to provide a one stop website for information about the groups and events that our region has to offer, and to encourage increased communication among these groups.  We’ve done our best to find all the like-minded groups around town, but if we’ve missed yours, just send us a message on the contacts page.

This site is still in its infancy, and we’re hoping that it will just keep growing from here.  Along with the information about groups and their activities, we also will be bringing you news, and original blog posts, written by us and various members of our community.  Would you like to be a contributor?  Send us an email!  We are also featuring a page for local blogs, and would love to add your skeptical/atheist/agnostic/humanist blog to the list.

So let us know what you think.  Here’s to a bigger, brighter future for our skeptical community!

-Josh

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Coming soon… Duke City Skeptics!

We’ve just begun the long, arduous fun and exciting process of setting up our brand new website, which hopefully will help organize and inform the skeptical community of Albuquerque.  Please check back soon, as we’ll be adding groups, events, and maybe even an interesting blog or two.

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