Metro State Atheists

Promoting Science, Reason, and Secular Values

Campus Inquirer: News, Announcements, & Events

I got to write an article in the campus inquirer about our hosting PZ Myers last moth, so I’m posting it here. If I for got to thank anyone, please let me know. A lot of people helped us out with this event, and I don’t want to forget anyone.

Campus Inquirer October 2008

Metro State Atheists Hosts PZ Myers
by Chalmer Wren
Vice President, Metro State Atheists

Professor PZ Myers was the first guest speaker Metro State Atheists arranged to bring to our campus and our first Center For Inquiry co-sponsored event. Although we started this group some 3 years ago, we had never before taken the steps to bring an event like this from speculation to reality. Despite short notice, technical difficulties, and our lack of experience, everything came together and Professor Myers’s presentation turned out to be entertaining, informative, and enlightening. Although the weeks leading up to the event were stressful, new friendships were developed and the things we learned were well worth the hardship.

Preparations for the presentation began about three weeks prior. We spent the first week creating a proposal for funding from Metropolitan State College of Denver, which was subsequently approved, and advertising the event. During the second week of preparations, though, our campus was closed completely for a week due to the Democratic National Convention being held in the Pepsi Center across the street from our campus. This completely hindered our ability to take care of any preparations that required the school’s involvement; however, because of help from CFI with organizing and funding the event, and from various local groups in promoting the event, the week was not a complete loss.

Once campus reopened we resumed work and managed to get just about every loose end tied up. All we had to do now was wait for Myers to arrive and hope that nothing unraveled. We greeted Professor Myers several hours before the presentation and finished off some last-minute paperwork, then socialized at a nearby café until it was time to head over the lecture hall for the event. Once at the venue we worked with Marvin Voelker of Freespeech TV, who filmed the event, to work the kinks out of the video and audio equipment. Finally, our guests arrived and we were ready to begin.

Joel Guttormson, President of Metro State Atheists, gave a brief introduction and then invited Professor Myers to the podium. Myers discussed the state of science education today and introduced us to a multitude of characters whose religious agenda has influenced the current state of science education. After the lecture concluded, we received a great deal of positive feedback and gratitude for hosting the event. It was uplifting to hear that the weeks of turmoil we incurred led to the production of something our audience could enjoy and appreciate.

We owe a great deal of thanks to the numerous secular groups and activists who helped us organize and plan this event including CFI field organizer Debbie Goddard, The Colorado Coalition for Reason, Denver Atheists, Denver Atheists and Free Thinkers, and especially PZ Myers himself. It was an honor to work with and host as our first guest speaker someone with such a prominent and respected voice in the field of science and the practice of reason.

Chalmer Wren is Vice President and co-founder of Metro State Atheists and an undergraduate in chemistry at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Reminder to Update Group Contact Information!

It’s time to update the CFI campus affiliate database for 2008-2009! If you are a campus group leader, go to the new CFI Campus Group Affiliation Form and fill it out as completely as you can. This information will be used to update the CFI Campus Groups Listing in the coming weeks. New groups also receive a New Affiliate Group box with complimentary issues of Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer magazines, stickers, brochures and pamphlets, videos, and other educational and promotional materials.

Even if you have registered a campus group before August 2008, please fill out the new form if your group will be active in 2008-2009.

With about 200 active CFI-affiliated campus groups around the world, it’s difficult to keep track of current group contact info. Filling out the form is quick, it’s easy, and you’ll help CFI to best provide resources and speakers where needed. Thank you for helping us to keep our records up to date!

SAVE THE DATE! Join us for “Sources of the Jesus Tradition: An Inquiry”
Friday, December 5 – Sunday, December 7
Center for Inquiry Transnational
Amherst, New York

This conference is the inaugural meeting of The Jesus Project, launched in 2007 by the Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion. The first conference will answer the challenge laid down by CSER Fellow and Jesus Seminar cofounder John Dominic Crossan to decide what counts as “evidence” of the Jesus tradition.

Speakers include:

  • Paul Kurtz
  • R. Joseph Hoffmann
  • Ronald A. Lindsay
  • Dennis R. MacDonald
  • Justin Meggitt
  • Robert M. Price
  • James Tabor
  • and many others!

Section topics include:

  • The “substratum” of the earliest gospel
  • The legitimate use of noncanonical sources in reconstructing the Jesus story
  • Argumentum ad analogium in Christ-myth theories
  • Historical, theological, and value-driven approaches to the gospels
  • Rules of exclusion and evidence: what counts as “data”?

To register for the conference, or for more information, call 1-800-458-1366.

Become a Friend of the Center for Inquiry

As a new school year gets underway for many of us, now is a great time to become a Friend of the Center! Your membership entitles you to many benefits including discounted or free admission to CFI events, and it helps to support the continued development of the programs and services offered by the Center for Inquiry.

For just $60 a year, or $20 if you’re currently a student, you get:

  • Free or discounted admission to CFI events
  • 10% discount on national events sponsored by CFI and its affiliates (CSH, CSI, and CSMMH), including the upcoming CFI World Congress 2009 in Washington, D.C.
  • 15% discount on selected Prometheus Books titles
  • A colorful CFI vinyl decal

…And you get to feel good knowing you’ve made a contribution towards science and reason!

With your membership you will receive a membership packet, but please allow up to 6 weeks for processing. If you have any questions, please contact our Community Development Assistant Whitney Kemp at 1-800-818-7071 ext. 428.

Upcoming Events

Now that the fall semester is here, there are lots of great events being planned on campuses and at Centers and Communities for Inquiry across North America. Check out the new CFI On Campus Events Calendar for more information about these, and other, upcoming events of interest to campus freethinkers and skeptics.

Thursday, October 9, 7:00 p.m.
Dinner with Toni Van Pelt
CFI Community of Fort Lauderdale
Mythos Taverna, 2864 N. University Drive, Coral Springs, FL

Friday, October 10, 6:30 p.m.
Toni Van Pelt: “The Dangers of Freethinking Women”
CFI Community of Fort Lauderdale, FL

Friday, October 10, 7:00 p.m.
D.J. Grothe: “A Nation of Suckers: Getting Duped in American Today”
CFI Austin
3418 N. Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX

Saturday, October 11
Toni Van Pelt: “The Dangers of Freethinking Women”
CFI Community of Miami, FL

Saturday, October 11, 7:00 p.m.
PZ Myers and Richard Carrier
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster at Missouri State University
Plaster Student Union Theater, 901 S. National, Springfield, MO

Sunday, October 12, 12:30 p.m.
Voices of Reason: MAAF Founder Kathleen Johnson
CFI DC, 621 Pennsylvania Ave. SE (Eastern Market metro), Washington, DC

Sunday, October 12, 1:00 p.m.
On Global Warming and Climate Change with Geophysicist David Archer
CFI Chicago
UIC Room 613, University Center East building, 750 S. Halsted, Chicago, IL

Tuesday, October 14
Toni Van Pelt: “The Dangers of Freethinking Women”
CFI Community of Naples, FL

Tuesday, October 14, 7:00 p.m.
CFI Community of Portland Kickoff
Featuring Lawrence Krauss: “Science, Non-Science, and Nonsense: From the Classroom to the Capitol”
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, OR

Thursday, October 16, 12:00 p.m.
Toni Van Pelt: “The Dangers of Freethinking Women”
CFI Community of Daytona Beach, FL

Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m.
Toni Van Pelt: “The Dangers of Freethinking Women”
Campus Freethought Alliance – Rollins College
Reeves Lodge, Rollins College Campus, Winter Park, FL

Friday, October 17, 4:00 p.m.
Toni Van Pelt: “The Dangers of Freethinking Women”
Campus Freethought Alliance at UCF
University of Central Florida, Math and Science Building, Room 405

Saturday, October 18, 11:00 a.m.
Toni Van Pelt: “The Dangers of Freethinking Women”
CFI Tampa, FL

Saturday, October 18, 2:00 p.m.
Ronald Aronson: “Living without God”
CFI DC, 621 Pennsylvania Ave. SE (Eastern Market metro), Washington, DC

Sunday, October 19
Eddie Tabash: “America at the Crossroads: The Threat of the Religious Right to Our Most Basic Freedoms”
11:00 a.m. at CFI LA, Hollywood, CA
4:30 p.m. in Costa Mesa, CA

Sunday, October 19, 1:30 p.m.
D.J. Grothe: “A Nation of Suckers: Getting Duped in America Today”
CFI Community of Southern Arizona

Sunday, October 19, 7:00 p.m.
Roy Zimmerman
CFI Indiana, Indianapolis, IN

Tuesday, October 21
Toni Van Pelt: “The Dangers of Freethinking Women”
CFI Community of Tallahassee, FL

Wednesday, October 22, 7:00 p.m.
Ron Lindsay: “Future Bioethics”
CFI Michigan
Women’s City Club, 254 E. Fulton, Grand Rapids, MI

Wednesday, October 22, 7:00 p.m.
Toni Van Pelt: “Religion and Politics”
Gator Freethought Alliance
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Thursday, October 23, 3:00 p.m.
Astrobiologist David Grinspoon: “Why Denver Doesn’t Need an ET Commission”
Metro State Atheists at the Metropolitan State College of Denver
Auraria Campus, North Classroom Building, 9000 Auraria Parkway, Denver, CO

Friday, October 24, 5:00 p.m.
Toni Van Pelt: “The Dangers of Freethinking Women”
Freethinkers at USF
University of South Florida, Marshal Student Center, Tampa, FL

Friday, October 24, 6:30 p.m.
Dale McGowan: “Parenting Beyond Belief”
CFI San Francisco
World Affairs Council Auditorium, 312 Sutter Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA

Sunday, October 26, 11:00 a.m.
Texas Freethought Conference
CFI Austin
Saengerrunde Hall (Scholz Garten), Austin, TX

Sunday, October 26, 2:00 p.m.
Richard Carrier
CFI Indiana, Indianapolis, IN

Monday, October 27
Toni Van Pelt: “Promoting Science and Secularism”
CFI Community of Pittsburgh
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Tuesday, October 28
Toni Van Pelt: “The Dangers of Freethinking Women”
Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH

Wednesday, October 29, 7:00 p.m.
Toni Van Pelt: “How Do We Do It? Promoting Science and Reason in Public Policy Today”
CFI Community of NE Ohio
Case Western Reserve University, Strosacker Auditorium, Case Quad, 2125 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH

Friday, October 31, 7:30 p.m.
PZ Myers: “Caught in the Middle of the War Between Science and Religion”
CFI Ontario
University of Toronto, MacLeod Auditorium, 2158-1 King’s College Circle, Room 2158, Toronto, ON

Saturday, November 1
Jamy Ian Swiss: “Heavy Mental”
CFI Community of Pittsburgh
Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA

Monday, November 10, 1:00 p.m.
Victor Stenger: “God: The Failed Hypothesis”
Metro State Atheists at the Metropolitan State College of Denver
Auraria Campus, North Classroom Building, 9000 Auraria Parkway, Denver, CO

Wednesday, November 12, 7:00 p.m.
Barbara Oakley: “Evil Genes”
Case Center for Inquiry
Case Western Reserve University, Strosacker Auditorium, Case Quad, 2125 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH

Friday, November 21, 7:00 p.m.
Monthly Forum with CFI founder Paul Kurtz
CFI Community of Long Island
Plainview – Old Bethpage Public Library, 999 Old Country Rd., Plainview, NY

News of Note

News items featuring the Center for Inquiry and affiliated campus groups:

Articles of Note:


October 9, 2008 Posted by | Center For Inquiry, Newsletter | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment