The Next Saskatoon Freethinkers in the Pub is:
Thursday, May 2, 2013 7:00 PM
148 2nd Ave N, Saskatoon, SK (edit map)
The next skeptics in the pub is:
Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 7:30 to 10:00 PM
2100 8th Street East
Unit 101, 8th & Preston
Saskatoon, SK (edit map)
There were two horrific events in the US last week. One got by far the majority of the media coverage. Is this just a artifact of the media being on site for the Boston marathon? Or does it reflect something more fundamental? Does media drive this selective attention or merely reflect a basic human characteristic?
Why do people focus on the rare event and underestimate the risks of the mundane? A driver may be afraid of bears or sharks. A smoker may be afraid of spiders.
Planet S has this wonderful take down of claimed psychic and TV personality Chip Coffey:
Which is too bad, because I was curious to find out if his psychic powers would have revealed that I’m a completely duplicitous bastard. Maybe his spirit guides would’ve warned him that I already had an interview in the can with Mark Edward, a professional mentalist and magician.
For the full article go here
We will discuss the issues around gender and diversity in secularism. This has recently been a frequent topic with a lot of strong, differing opinions. Let’s plan for a respectful discussion of the issues and their impact on the secular movement. The idea is not to re-hash specific past cases, but to look at how these issues affect our group locally and in the online community where we spend much of our time.
Questions: Should we be doing more to make women, racial minorities, LGBTQ+ and others more welcome (safe) in the secular community? If so, what are some good approaches? What does being an ally look like? What are we already doing?
See the recent Open Letter to the Secular Community that was signed by leaders of several US secular organizations, including CFI (US). Here’s a related excerpt:
“The Debate over Sexism and Feminism
Before listing some specific recommendations regarding improvement of online communications, we have observations about one particular set of interrelated issues that has engaged much of the secular community in the past year, namely sexism within the secular movement, the appropriate way to interpret feminism, and the extent to which feminism, however interpreted, should influence the conduct, policies, and goals of movement organizations. This set of issues is worthy of careful consideration, but in a few areas our positions should be very clear.
The principle that women and men should have equal rights flows from our core values as a movement. Historically, there has been a close connection between traditional religion and suppression of women, with dogma and superstition providing the rationale for depriving women of fundamental rights. In promoting science and secularism, we are at the same time seeking to secure the dignity of all individuals. We seek not only civil equality for everyone, regardless of sex, but an end to discriminatory social structures and conventions – again often the legacy of our religious heritage—that limit opportunities for both women and men.
Unfortunately, the discussion of these issues has suffered from the same problems that plague online discussion in general—although arguably to a greater extent. Some blogs and comments actually exhibit hatred, including rape threats and insults denigrating women. Hatred has no place in our movement. We unequivocally and unreservedly condemn those who resort to communicating in such a vile and despicable manner.”
And here are some responses to the above letter:
Secular Woman: “it gives equal voice to the sexist ideas and beliefs that have been perpetuated as differing “interpretations” of feminism… As a secular feminist organization committed to understanding and exposing societal constructs that contribute to the inequality of women and other oppressed groups, we have no desire to listen to, respect, or continuously debunk overtly sexist viewpoints. Just as most scientists are not interested in debating the beliefs of creationists, we are not interested in debating gender-biased, racist, homophobic, or trans*phobic beliefs.”
Secular Census: In offering a one-size-fits-all formula of listening more, being more compassionate, and so on, the Open Letter fails to distinguish between spirited debate where such strategies may be helpful and more serious situations where they won’t be — and might even be dangerous.
And some advice to atheist men that was recommended by a member.
Should be interesting!
The first Darwin Day talk by Frank McDougall on the Evolving Landscapes of the Cypress Hills Uplands of South-West Saskatchewan and their effect on the flora and fauna of the area.
Sunday, March 24, 2013 11:30 AM
906 Central Avenue, Saskatoon, SK (edit map)
We will have a guest speaker to discuss the history of eugenics in Canada. Amy Samson is a PhD Candidate in the U of S Dept of History. Amy’s dissertation examines the relationship between eugenics and gendered organizations and occupations within the context of Alberta’s sexual sterilization legislation.
Here’s a brief bio:
Amy Samson is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research interests include medical history, the history of eugenics and sexual sterilization, moral regulation, and women’s paid labour in twentieth century Canada. Amy’s dissertation, which is generously funded by a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, examines the relationship between eugenics and gendered organizations and occupations within the context of Alberta’s sexual sterilization legislation.
Amy is an interesting and enthusiastic speaker. In summary:
Throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries various North American and European jurisdictions introduced eugenic programs designed to improve the human race by controlling reproduction. These programs ranged from better baby contests, baby bonuses, and the distribution of child welfare literature to segregation, coercive sexual sterilization, and restrictive immigration legislation.
This talk will examine the origins and various applications of eugenic thought, focusing particularly on Alberta’s sexual sterilization legislation. In place from 1928 to 1972, Alberta’sSexual Sterilization Act resulted in the sterilization of more individuals considered “mentally defective” than any other jurisdiction in Canada.This talk will also consider the more recent emergence of “neo-eugenics” or “new eugenics.”
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 starting at 7:00 PM
3130 8th Street East, Saskatoon, SK (edit map)
One of the best selling science fiction writers, Robert Sawyer is promoting his new book at McNally Robinson.
McNally’s Event is here
or on facebook
Lets go to the reading and maybe go to the bar after. Most likely Moxie’s next door.
Robert Sawyer, award-winning Science Fiction author, will be in Saskatoon to promote his new book Red Planet Blues. He will be at McNalley Robinson Wednesday Mar. 27 at 7:00pm in the travel alcove. For more information see the McNalley Robinson website or on Facebook.
Saskatoon Launch of Red Planet Blues (Penguin Group Canada)
Robert J. Sawyer, the author of such “revelatory and thought-provoking” novels as Triggers and The WWW Trilogy, presents a noir mystery expanded from his Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated novella “Identity Theft” and his Aurora Award-winning short story “Biding Time,” and set on a lawless Mars in a future where everything is cheap, and life is even cheaper…
Robert J. Sawyer was born in Ottawa and lives in Mississauga with his wife, poet Carolyn Clink. He has won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel, as well as the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for mystery fiction. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name.
CFI Saskatoon is hosting their annual Great Friday Pub Night.
Friday, March 29, 2013
7:00 PMWinston’s English Pub & Grill
243 21st Street East
Saskatoon, SK S7K 0B7
Well, most of the fun is still TBA, but here’s your advance notice to mark the date in your calendars. Likely to have door prizes, raffles, fifty/fifty draws and cake extraordinaire! Plus good company, good conversation and good beer.
The next skeptics in the pub is:
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 7:30 PM
2100 8th Street East
Unit 101, 8th & Preston
We just held Darwin Day. Does anyone have feedback or suggestions for next year.
What things do you wish you had learned more about. Every time I travel I wish I had learned more about geology.