“Why can’t we just believe what we want to believe?”
Religious believers ask why the secular community won’t just let them believe whatever they want to believe, yet they feel compelled to proselytize their “beliefs” to others as if it were truth. AronRa delves into the psychological and emotional side of “faith”.
* Producer of the ‘Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism’ video series
* Regular co-host of the Magic Sandwich Show on BlogTV
* Occasional co-host on the Atheist Experience TV show
* Member of American Atheists and the Fellowship of Freethought
AronRa is one of the “YouTube atheists” and an advocate for rationalism in science classrooms. He grew up in an exclusively creationist environment where he felt like a lonely outcast just for understanding evolution, let alone accepting it. Being raised in a mostly-Mormon family encouraged him to explore other denominations and eventually non-Abrahamic spiritualism before rejecting faith-based beliefs altogether. He was drawn into activism when the Religious Right dominated his state’s Board of Education, and began undermining education in history, health, science, and social studies. His videos often focus on evolution and the evidence indicating an interrelated tree of life. His series summarizing the ‘Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism’ and his subsequent series, ‘Falsifying Phylogeny’ (including the Phylogeny Challenge’) have been mirrored, featured, referenced, and recommended by many professional scientists, secularists, and educators, and has attracted more than 60,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel.
AronRa is brought to you by:
Northwest Arkansas Humanist Association
“Worldview Naturalism: What’s in it for Us?”
Naturalism promotes science-based naturalism as a comprehensive worldview – a rational and fulfilling alternative to faith-based religions and other varieties of supernaturalism. Tom Clark takes us through Naturalism and its importance for humanity
About Tom Clark
- Located in Boston, MA
- Founder, Center for Naturalism.
- Developer of Naturalism.Org, a leading Web resource on worldvie w naturalism, its implications and applications.
- Author, Encountering Naturalism: A Worldview and Its Uses and many publications and presentations on naturalism, free will, science, addiction, and criminal and social justice.
- Host and moderator, Philosophy CafÃ© at Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA.
Before founding the Center for Naturalism (CFN), Tom Clark was a researcher in addictions and mental health, where he worked on developing a fully naturalistic model of behavioral disorders. As director of the CFN, Tom Clark is now on the cultural cutting edge in articulating science-based naturalism as a comprehensive worldview. In his book, articles and presentations, he argues that in understanding ourselves as completely natural creatures, fully connected to and caused by our biological and social circumstances, we gain in control and compassion. Those wanting a fresh and positive perspective on secularism will enjoy Clark’s naturalistic challenges to conventional wisdom on such topics as free will, moral responsibility, criminal and social justice, addiction, and the culture wars. His engaging, fast-paced lectures will encourage students to re-think their fundamental assumptions about the self and human nature, and in so doing give them access to the abundant resources of worldview naturalism. His talks are suitable for general audiences but can be tailored for students in law, science, psychology, philosophy, religion, and social and political theory.
Tom Clark is brought to you by:
Scott Austin, PhD
“How Old is That?: The age of the universe and the things in it.”
How long ago did the universe start expanding? When did the Sun and solar system form? How long ago did that dinosaur die? Dr. Austin will examine how scientists determine how far in the past events occurred and how scientists determine them.
About Dr. Austin
Research: Variable stars, spectroscopy, photometry, asteroid astrometry.
Scott took his current position at the University of Central Arkansas in the Department of Physics and Astronomy starting in the fall of 2000 and was granted tenure in the spring of 2006. He has renovated the UCA Observatory so that a variety of research projects are being done with the new 0.35-m telescope. These projects include near-earth asteroid astrometry, emission star spectroscopy, and variable-star time-series-photometry. Scott does public outreach with the UCA Observatory and the 60-seat UCA Planetarium. He runs monthly public viewing nights with the observatory. With the planetarium he produces and gives shows monthly for the general public and by request for school groups.
Dr. Scott Austin is brought to you by:
SSA of UCA
Doug Krueger, PhD
“Secular Ethics? Really?”
One the most frequent questions directed at nonbelievers is, “How is ethics possible without a deity?” Dr. Krueger not only explains how secular ethics is possible, but also shows how secular ethics has advantages over religious ethics.
About Dr. Krueger
Douglas Krueger is an American philosopher, academic and author. He is best known as a proponent of atheism and an advocate of skepticism regarding supernatural and paranormal claims. Krueger has been a featured speaker at numerous atheist and humanist conventions and gatherings and is a co-founder of the Fayetteville Freethinkers, a secular humanist organization in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His book, What is Atheism: A Short Introduction, is a concise and hard-hitting—though some have claimed unfairly biased—critique of religious belief, especially Christianity. In addition, he has discussed his atheistic views on numerous radio shows and participated in more than a dozen debates across the United States on the existence of God and secular ethics.
Dr. Krueger is brought to you by:
SSA of NWACC (Legion of Logic)
“From camp to the classroom to the lab, the importance of applicable science education”
Cindy Cooper talks about the importance of secular education for kids. In addition, she will give us a brief overview of what the first year of Camp Quest Oklahoma has to offer.
About Camp Quest Oklahoma
The purpose of Camp Quest is to provide children of freethinking parents a residential summer camp dedicated to improving the human condition through rational inquiry, critical and creative thinking, scientific method, self-respect, ethics, competency, democracy, free speech, and the separation of religion and government.
Through our programs we seek to:
- Build a community for freethinking families
- Foster curiosity, questioning, and critical thinking
- Encourage reason and compassion as foundations of an ethical, productive and fulfilling life
- Raise awareness of positive contributions made by atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheistic people to our society
- Promote an open dialogue about metaphysical questions that is marked by challenging each other’s ideas while at the same time treating each other with respect
- Demonstrate atheism and humanism as positive, family-friendly worldview