SWiFT Updates Archive

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SWiFT NEWS – November 6, 2010

***IMPORTANT CORRECTION***

The date for our special November event is Friday, November 19 (not November 18). Sorry for the error!
(There will be no third Thursday Social in November.)

More detail about A NIGHT OF UNBELIEF, November 19:

At 7 PM in the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, 8900 Kildeer Court, Brown Deer, WI, (map: http://snipurl.com/1f2a8n )

Executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism and editor of Free Inquiry magazine Tom Flynn will present

“Who Are These Doubters, Anyway?
The Demography of Unbelief”

You’ve seen the various religion polls and the reported percentages of unbeliever–and the polls vary widely. Which surveys are reliable? Which are skewed? In a lavishly illustrated presentation Tom will explore how sociologists and pollsters have measured religious belief and unbelief from the mid-twentieth century to today, complete with all the controversies and scandals. What do polls on religion really mean? How many of those “no religious preference” people are really atheists?

Come one, come all!

Please help publicize this ‘open to the public’ event. Invite your friends and family; post fliers (available from Kurt Bocksenbaum, kbocksenbaum@swiftnow.org
If you have other publicity suggestions, such as where to send press releases, please contact Kurt or Carol.

Another thing you could do to help support SWiFT and this special event is volunteer to arrive early to help with set up.

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More follow up from today’s SWiFT meeting:

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came…

“First they came …” is a famous statement attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group. The text of the quotation is usually presented roughly as follows:

They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up.

There is some disagreement over the exact wording of the quotation and the time when it was created; indeed, the content of the quotation may have been presented differently by Niemöller on different occasions.[1]

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If you missed God in America and would like to see it online, go here:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/view/

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To add to our discussion of definitions and such:

“theism and atheism exhaust all possible alternatives with regard to the belief in a god: one is either a theist or an atheist; there is no
other choice. One either accepts the proposition “god exists” as true, or one does not. One either believes in a supernatural being, or one
does not. There is no third option or middle ground.” –George H. Smith [no relation] in Atheism: The Case Against God

http://www.positiveatheism.org/writ/smith.htm

http://www.amazon.com/Atheism-Case-Against-Skeptics-Bookshelf/dp/087975124X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289090389&sr=1-1

And another interesting perspective, this one from our friend Richard Russell:

Yes, following the perfectly sensible reasoning of George H. Smith in his landmark book Atheism: The Case against God, I too agree that theism vs. atheism and gnosticism vs. agnosticism are decisions independent of each other (orthogonal axes if you’re graphing it). Therefore, it is possible to have:
• gnostic atheists
• agnostic atheists
• gnostic theists
• agnostic theists

I myself am, like Carol, an agnostic atheist with respect to most gods (Zeus, Thor, Ahura Mazda, Set, Kokopele, Gitchee Manitou, etc.), but I am a gnostic atheist with respect to the supposedly all-powerful deities beloved of monotheists. I hold this view because descriptions of such all-powerful beings contain mutually contradictory elements, so that such a creature cannot logically exist.

The simplest formulation of this is “Can God make a rock so heavy he can’t lift it?”. No matter WHAT you answer, there is some kind of limit on God’s power.

Same deal with being all-present and all-knowing. Where could God hide so that he couldn’t find himself? If he already knows what’s going to happen, how could he change it? And so on.

Since the definition of such an all-powerful being is innately incoherent, I content with perfect assurance that I not only CAN know but DO know that such a critter cannot exist.

As to Zeus, etc. (gods with limited powers and abilities), I cannot claim certain knowledge of their non-existence, but I don’t believe they do, so I am open-mindedly still waiting for the evidence to materialize.

Richard S. Russell, a Bright (http://the-brights.net)
Madison  WI
http://richardsrussell.livejournal.com/

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American United’s periodical may be read online: http://www.au.org/

Barry Lynn of Americans United is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ

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“[I am a] Unitarian who does not believe in a Supreme Being. I look forward to working with the Secular Coalition to stop the promotion of narrow religious beliefs in science, marriage contracts, the military and the provision of social service.”

Statement from

Pete Stark, January 2007] of California (first elected to the House of Representatives in 1972), in response to a questionnaire sent to public officials by the Secular Coalition for America in January 2007.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Stark#Atheism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secular_Coalition_for_America

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http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131099083

Ira Flatow talks with scientists and philosophers about the origins of human values, and the influence of modern scientific thought on human values. Even if science can shape human morals, should it? Or does science bring its own set of preconceptions and prejudices to moral questions?

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If you are currently a member of SWiFT __AND__ FFRF, please contact KurtBocksenbaum

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SWiFT Memberships may be renewed by sending a check for $15 to SWiFT, P.O.Box 3, Mequon, WI 53092
To check your membership status, renewal date, email Kurt or Carol

Don’t forget that among membership benefits: a free email account at swiftnow.org

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ABOUT SWiFT

http://swiftnow.org

The Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers (SWiFT) is a democratic organization
uniting Freethinkers from across Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois
to encourage rationalism and promote camaraderie and good times.

The SWiFT Bylaws and notes from previous meetings are available to members
and are posted in “Files”at the swift-members@yahoogroups.com home web
site:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/swift-members

If your membership is current and you are not signed on, please go to the
website and subscribe.

SWiFT is:

an Atheist Alliance International member society
http://www.atheistalliance.org

an Affiliate Chapter of the American Humanist Association
http://www.americanhumanist.org/What_We_Do/Local_Groups/AHA_Groups

and is affiliated with American Atheists
http://www.atheists.org

and the Council for Secular Humanism
http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=main&page=alg

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If you wish to take issue with anything you receive from SWiFT, have
ideas on how to improve these communications, have information you wish
to distribute to others on the SWiFT list, or want to unsubscribe,
please write to Carol at humanist@ameritech.net

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Compiled and distributed by Carol Smith, Secretary/Treasurer, SWiFT
http://swiftnow.org

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SWiFT NEWS – November 3, 2010

REMINDER: November meeting:Saturday November 6, 1 PM, Chase Bank, Cudahy (corner of Packard & Layton–enter and park on east side of building)
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Co-directors’ message

We will give a report on the FFRF Convention and present an update on our status as an FFRF local chapter.

We will discuss “A Night of Unbelief” featuring Tom Flynn to be held November 18 – MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!

We will discuss 1st amendment rights and what that really means.

And last, butnot least: Call to arms (not weapons but reason) to combat religious and other dangerous ideas.

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If you are currently a member of SWiFT __AND__ FFRF, please contact KurtBocksenbaum
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SWiFT Memberships may be renewed by sending a check for $15 to SWiFT, P.O.Box 3, Mequon, WI 53092To check your membership status, renewal date, email Kurt or Carol

Don’t forget that among membership benefits: a free email account at swiftnow.org

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ABOUT SWiFT
http://swiftnow.org
The Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers (SWiFT) is a democratic organizationuniting Freethinkers from across Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinoisto encourage rationalism and promote camaraderie and good times.
The SWiFT Bylaws and notes from previous meetings are available to membersand are posted in “Files”at the swift-members@yahoogroups.com home website:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/swift-members
If your membership is current and you are not signed on, please go to thewebsite and subscribe.
SWiFT is:
an Atheist Alliance International member societyhttp://www.atheistalliance.org
an Affiliate Chapter of the American Humanist Associationhttp://www.americanhumanist.org/What_We_Do/Local_Groups/AHA_Groups
and is affiliated with American Atheistshttp://www.atheists.org
and the Council for Secular Humanismhttp://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=main&page=alg
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If you wish to take issue with anything you receive from SWiFT, haveideas on how to improve these communications, have information you wishto distribute to others on the SWiFT list, or want to unsubscribe,please write to Carol at humanist@ameritech.net
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Compiled and distributed by Carol Smith, Secretary/Treasurer, SWiFThttp://swiftnow.org

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SWiFT NEWS – April 27, 2010

May Meeting

May 1, 2010; 1 PM; Chase Bank Cudahy, corner of Packard and Layton

Business will be annual elections and voting on proposed Bylaw changes, after which we will do something fun.

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Did you sell your soul to Game Station?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/17/gamestation-grabs-souls-o_n_541549.html

April Fool’s 2010 saw some pretty clever online pranks. Google, for instance, changed its name to Topeka for the entirety of April First. This came in response to a stunt by Topeka, KS, which temporarily changed its name to ‘Google’in a bid to win Google’s ultra-fast broadband.

But one prank, so unique in its maleficence, distinguishes itself. The devious prank, pulled byGameStation, an online gaming store, resulted in the voluntary surrender of 7,500 souls.

The soul-snatching was made possible through what Switched calls the “immortal soul clause” buried in the site’s terms and conditions. The clause, as published by GameStation, reads,

By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorized minions. (end of excerpt)

ABOUT SWiFT

http://www.swiftnow.org

The Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers (SWiFT) is a democratic organization uniting Freethinkers from across Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois to encourage rationalism and promote camaraderie and good times.

The SWiFT Bylaws are available to members and are posted in in the members section of the SWiFT web site and in  “Files”at the swift-members@yahoogroups.com web site:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/swift-members

If your membership is current and you are not signed on, please go to

the website and subscribe.

SWiFT is an affiliate member of the American Humanist Association

http://www.americanhumanist.org/What_We_Do/Local_Groups/AHA_Groups

and is affiliated with American Atheists

http://www.atheists.org/affiliation

SWiFT is an Atheist Alliance International member society

http://www.atheistalliance.org

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If you wish to take issue with anything you receive from SWiFT, have ideas on how to improve these communications, have information you wish to distribute to others on the SWiFT list, or if you want to unsubscribe, please write to Carol at humanist@ameritech.net

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Compiled and distributed by Carol Smith, Secretary/Treasurer, SWiFT

http://www.swiftnow.org

SWiFT NEWS – April 13, 2010

SWiFT April Social

Thursday, April 15, 6 PM

Spring Garden Restaurant, Layton Avenue, just west of I-94 (don’t forget that the bridge is out and entering the parking lot can be challenging!)

SWiFT members are advised that proposed bylaw changes will be posted in the members’ section of the SWiFT web site.

If you are a member and have not yet signed on to the SWiFT web site as a member, you need to do that before you are able to access the SWiFT bylaws and any proposed changes. An email with proposed changes will also be sent to members.

Don’t forget that a benefit of membership is a free email account. Please contact Kurt Bocksenbaum for instructions.

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Annual SWiFT elections will be held at the May meeting on May 1. SWiFT members who are interested in becoming more involved in the nuts and bolts of our organization are encouraged to come forward.

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Starbucks Fans: Get your free cup of coffee on April 15–just bring a mug with you!

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Happy Birthday to Thomas Jefferson and Christopher Hitchens

“Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life—except religion . . . Why are we praised by godly men for surrendering our ‘godly gift’ of reason when we cross their mental thresholds? . . . Atheism strikes me as morally superior, as well as intellectually superior, to religion. Since it is obviously inconceivable that all religions can be right, the most reasonable conclusion is that they are all wrong.”

— Christopher Hitchens, “The Lord and the Intellectuals,” Harper’s (July 1982), cited by James A. Haught in 2,000 Years of Disbelief (1996)

On April 13, 1949, writer and columnist Christopher Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, England. He attended Cambridge and graduated from Oxford in 1970, reading in philosophy, politics and economics. From 1971-1981 he worked as a book reviewer for The Times. In 1981 he emigrated to the United States. Hitchens wrote “Minority Report,” a column for The Nation, from 1982-2002. Now he writes for Slate, The Daily Mirror, is a contributing editor to The Atlantic Monthly and Vanity Fair, and also writes for Harpers and many other U.S. newspapers and journals. As a foreign correspondent, he has covered events in 60 countries on all five continents. Hitchens has written a host of books, but is best-known in freethought circles for authoring God Is Not Great (2007). His criticisms of Clinton and pro-Iraqi war views have made Hitchens increasingly controversial among progressive readership, but he remains a stalwart atheist and iconoclast. In “Papal Power: John Paul II’s other legacy” (Slate.com, April 1, 2005), Hitchens pointed out that the pope “was a part of the cover up and obstruction of justice that allowed the child-rape scandal to continue for so long.”

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ABOUT SWiFThttp://www.swiftnow.orgThe Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers (SWiFT) is a democratic organization uniting Freethinkers from across Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois to encourage rationalism and promote camaraderie and good times.The SWiFT Bylaws are available to members and are posted in in the members section of the SWiFT web site and in  “Files”at the swift-members@yahoogroups.com web site:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/swift-membersIf your membership is current and you are not signed on, please go to
the website and subscribe.SWiFT is an affiliate member of the American Humanist Association
http://www.americanhumanist.org/What_We_Do/Local_Groups/AHA_Groups

and is affiliated with American Atheists
http://www.atheists.org/affiliation

SWiFT is an Atheist Alliance International member society
http://www.atheistalliance.org

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If you wish to take issue with anything you receive from SWiFT, have ideas on how to improve these communications, have information you wish to distribute to others on the SWiFT list, or if you want to unsubscribe, please write to Carol at humanist@ameritech.net

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Compiled and distributed by Carol Smith, Secretary/Treasurer, SWiFT
http://swiftnow.org

SWiFT NEWS – February 17, 2010

February Social: 6 PM, Spring Garden Restaurant, Layton Avenue, just west of I-94. Please be advised that the Layton Avenue Bridge over I-94 is closed as of today, and projected to re-open in September. This closure may affect your access to Spring Garden, so consider alternate routes.

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Posted at swift-members@yahoogroups.com: A suggested Bylaw Amendment to be considered by the membership at the March 6 SWiFT meeting. Discussion at swift-members@yahoogroups.com is welcome.

This suggested Bylaw Amendment is also being sent via a separate message to SWiFT MEMBERS. If you don’t receive this separate message today and consider yourself to be a current member of SWiFT, please let me know @ humancarol@yahoo.com

This suggested Bylaw Amendment will also be posted at the SWiFT web site:
http://www.swiftnow.org

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Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago Event:
Sunday, February 28, 2010, 10:30 am – noon
7574 North Lincoln Ave., Skokie
(Howard St. and Skokie Blvd./Cicero Ave.)
847/677-3334       www.EthicalHuman.org

D.J. Grothe, President of the James Randi Educational Foundation and popular podcast host, will speak on “Secular Ethics: Darwin Made Me Do It.” D.J. will discuss how secular ethical systems can replace outmoded, even destructive, religious beliefs about right and wrong, and explore what evolutionary theory tells us about morality.

This program is a joint effort of EHS and CFI/Chicago and is free. Children, zero to 8 years old, are welcome in the EHS Golden Rule Sunday School which runs concurrently with the program.

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On February 17, 1600, Giordano Bruno (born Filippo Bruno) was executed for heresy. The Italian philosopher was burned alive at the stake at age 52 for refusing to recant heretical ideas. Born Filippo Bruno in 1548, he entered the Dominican Order at Naples at age 15, adopting the name of Giordano. After being accused of heresy, he fled his Italian convent and traveled throughout Europe (1576 to 1592). During two years in England, Bruno wrote and published six dialogs, including “On the Infinite, the Universe, and Worlds” and “The Ash Wednesday Supper.” A Copernican, he rejected Aristotelian dogma and challenged entrenched religious teachings, declaring pantheist views. Some academics today regard him as a path-blazing intellectual, others as a victim of his nonconformity. When Bruno returned to Italy in 1592, he was arrested by the Inquisition. Bruno was imprisoned for seven years in the dungeons of Rome, where he was tortured and isolated before being executed.

Bruno was just one of the more visible martyrs and victims of church persecution. Anonymous are the tens of thousands, if not millions, of women put to death as “witches.” Known to us are such martyrs as Vanini, a monk burned as an atheist in 1619; Servetus, a Spanish physician executed under Calvin’s orders in 1553 for rejecting the trinity; Scottish student Thomas Aikenhead, hanged in 1697 for saying Christ was merely human; and those persecuted in the New World. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson were banished for advocating religious tolerance. Quaker Mary Dyer was executed for heresy in Boston. A statue to Bruno was erected at the site of his execution, Campo dei Fiori near the Vatican, on June 9, 1889, by “Freethinkers of the World.” On that date, Algernon Swinburne dedicated a poem to Bruno. D. 1660.

“A sacrifice to hate and hell … “

— Algernon Swinburne, poem dedicated to Bruno, 1889

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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Spring, 2010 WUM Archaeology Lecture Series
http://www4.uwm.edu/archlab/AIA/lectures.cfm

ALL lectures are held on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. in Sabin Hall room G90 on the UWM Campus, corner of Newport and Downer Avenues. All lectures are free and open to the public and followed by refreshments. They are co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Foreign Languages and Linguistics-Classics and Art History at UWM.

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 3:00 PM
Clemens Reichel, University of Toronto
Kershaw Lecturer
Worlds in Collision–Urbanism, Competition and Conflict in Northern Syria during the Chalcolithic Period (4500-3000 BC)

Sunday, March 28, 2010, 2:00 PM
Carter Lupton, Milwaukee Public Museum
Talk About Your Mummy Roadshows

Sunday, April 25, 2010, 3:00 PM
Sarah Nelson, University of Denver
Jade and Identities in the Hongshan Culture of China

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ABOUT SWiFT

http://www.swiftnow.org

The Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers (SWiFT) is a democratic organization uniting Freethinkers from across Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois to encourage rationalism and promote camaraderie and good times.

The SWiFT Bylaws are available to members and are posted in “Files”at the swift-members@yahoogroups.com home web site:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ swift-members

If your membership is current and you are not signed on, please go to the website and subscribe.

SWiFT is an Atheist Alliance International member society
http://www.atheistalliance.org

and is affiliated with American Atheists

http://www.atheists.org/ affiliation

Council for Secular Humanism
http://www.secularhumanism. org/

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If you wish to take issue with anything you receive from SWiFT, have
ideas on how to improve these communications, have information you wish
to distribute to others on the SWiFT list, or want to unsubscribe,
please write to Carol at humanist@ameritech.net

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don’t forget that Atheist Alliance International benefits from any
books ordered from Amazon.com All you need do is access Amazon by way
of www.atheistalliance.org

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Compiled and distributed by Carol Smith, Secretary/Treasurer, SWiFT

SWiFT NEWS – February 3

SWiFT FEBRUARY MEETING: February 6, 2010, 1 PM
Chase Bank, Corner of Layton & Packard, Cudahy (park and enter building on east side)

After some business items are taken care of, we will be able to watch the DVD of Sweeney’s stage production Letting Go of God if someone has a DVD player they can bring to the meeting. If you are able to assist in this regard, please e-mail me.

If you have read an interesting book recently, be prepared to take 5 – 10 minutes to tell us about it.

Post-meeting Social: Spring Garden Restaurant, Layton Avenue, just W. of I-94, approximately 3:15 or 3:30 PM, in case you can’t make the meeting.

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Facebook option:

As of this writing, there are 139,054 fans

http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-can-find-1000000-people-who-DO-believe-in-Evolution-before-June/252759483743?ref=mf

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Message about UW Milwaukee Darwin Day activities from Eric Hildeman, SWiFT member:

We have some clarification of all our Darwin Day related events.  We’re still on for Friday, February 12, which is Darwin’s actual birthday.  We’ll be showing a movie that night at 5:00 P.M. in union room 183.  There will be popcorn!  AND, the following Saturday, we’re having a birthday party for Charlie in the Gasthaus.  Skip Evans will visit us from Madison to tell us funny stories about his days working with the National Center for Science Education, and the general topic of discussion will be on ways we can promote a better understanding of Darwin’s ideas among the public, and within education.  There MAY be cake, if I can persuade the Gasthaus to bend its rules about bringing in outside food (because they don’t serve cake).

Don’t forget to stop by and visit the table this coming Monday between 11:00 and 2:00 in the hallway between Bolton and the Union!

See you all soon!

Eric

P.S. Details regarding our road trip to hear Michael Shermer in Madison on March 3rd are forthcoming!

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Darwin Day at UW Madison:
Detail from the web site4:
http://www.geology.wisc.edu/~museum/DarwinDay/Darwin_Day/Home.html

UW-Madison’s 5th annual Darwin Day celebration will be held on Saturday, February 13, 2010, in the Microbial Sciences building on the UW campus.

Join us to celebrate Darwin’s 201st birthday and explore how evolutionary biology helps us understand the world around us. Hear from scientists about how evolutionary theory informs conservation efforts and sheds light on behavior – including our own! This day long celebration is free and open tothe public. Exploration Stations around the building take visitors on a tour of the Tree of Life with prizes for kids, and K-12 teachers are invited to a free workshop over lunch (call Brooke at 262-1412 for more information).

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http://www4.uwm.edu/letsci/sciencebag/

February 2010 Program:

Marija Gajdardziska, Physics
“Sliders, Gliders, Shapers: The Physics of Skiing”
Fridays: February 5, 12, 19, 26 at 8 pm
Sunday: February 14 at 2 pm
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RACINE UW-Parkside FORUMS WINTER/SPRING 2010

Forums are sponsored by Perspectives on Religious Issues, UW-Parkside and are free and open to the public. Visitors should park invthe  Union Parking Lot. For convenience, parking meters are available near the Union Building. Coordinators: Morris Firebaugh and Wayne Johnson (639-7149)

MARCH 1, 12:00 Noon, Molinaro D-137, UW-Parkside
“Jewish and Christian Fundamentalists in the Israeli-Palestinian
Peace Process,”
Speaker: Prof. Dan Maguire,  Marquette University.
This program will be repeated on March 1, at 7:00 p.m.
in the     Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church, 625 College Ave.,
Racine,     sponsored by the Racine Coalition for Peace and Justice.
Free and open     to the public.

APRIL 5, 12:00 Noon, Molinaro D-137, UW-Parkside
“Can We Be Good Without God?”
Panel:  Joseph Pearson, Sr. Lecturer Philosophy, UW-Parkside and
Wayne Johnson, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, UW-Parkside.

MAY 3  “Why Religion?   An Evolutionary Perspective”
Speaker:  To be determined

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Spring, 2010 WUM Archaeology Lecture Series
http://www4.uwm.edu/archlab/AIA/lectures.cfm

ALL lectures are held on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. in Sabin Hall room G90 on the UWM Campus, corner of Newport and Downer Avenues. All lectures are free and open to the public and followed by refreshments. They are co-sponsored by the Departments of Anthropology, Foreign Languages and Linguistics-Classics and Art History at UWM.

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 3:00 PM
Clemens Reichel, University of Toronto
Kershaw Lecturer
Worlds in Collision–Urbanism, Competition and Conflict in Northern Syria during the Chalcolithic Period (4500-3000 BC)
Location: Room G90, Sabin Hall, UW-Milwaukee

Sunday, March 28, 2010, 2:00 PM
Carter Lupton, Milwaukee Public Museum
Talk About Your Mummy Roadshows
Location: Room G90, Sabin Hall, UW-Milwaukee

Sunday, April 25, 2010, 3:00 PM
Sarah Nelson, University of Denver
Jade and Identities in the Hongshan Culture of China
Location: Room G90, Sabin Hall, UW-Milwaukee

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ABOUT SWiFT

http://swiftnow.org

The Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers (SWiFT) is a democratic organization uniting Freethinkers from across Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois to encourage rationalism and promote camaraderie and good times.

The SWiFT Bylaws are available to members and are posted in “Files”at the swift-members@yahoogroups.com home web site:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ swift-members

If your membership is current and you are not signed on, please go to the website and subscribe.

SWiFT is an Atheist Alliance International member society
http://www.atheistalliance.org

and is affiliated with American Atheists

http://www.atheists.org/ affiliation

Council for Secular Humanism
http://www.secularhumanism. org/

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If you wish to take issue with anything you receive from SWiFT, have
ideas on how to improve these communications, have information you wish
to distribute to others on the SWiFT list, or want to unsubscribe,
please write to Carol at humanist@ameritech.net

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don’t forget that Atheist Alliance International benefits from any
books ordered from Amazon.com All you need do is access Amazon by way
of www.atheistalliance.org

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Compiled and distributed by Carol Smith, Secretary/Treasurer, SWiFT

http://www.swiftnow.org

SWiFT NEWS – December 1, 2009

HumanLight Party in Madison on Dec. 23. For details, go here:
http://humanlight.madisonwi.us

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SWiFT member Gayle Kitchen’s opinion piece, A Bell-ringer’s Thanks, appears today in the Journal Sentinel:
http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/78172577.html

Check it out!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don’t forget to let me know if you are a current SWiFT member and did not get the special member’s message about a members’ roster, etc. <humanist@ameritech.net>

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

From Valerie Tarico

“He’s a great science teacher, but he doesn’t believe in evolution.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-tarico/when-science-teachers-don_b_370090.html

 

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. – Charles Darwin

 

Last week, as I was driving a carload of middle-schoolers to a movie, the kids started talking about their teachers. I couldn’t help overhearing, “ … He’s a great science teacher, but he doesn’t believe in evolution.” Two days later, a friend reported that his 15-year-old daughter had just returned from a junior government retreat. “They argued the pros and cons of teaching intelligent design in schools, and she said there were some very compelling arguments on the pro side.” When I repeated the story at  the dinner table later, my own daughter mentioned a school mate who feels conflicted about his biology curriculum because his family doesn’t believe in evolution.

—end of excerpt—

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Separation issues in the news:

Nativity scene, Festivus pole returning to state Capitol
http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/article_aa430d60-ddf5-11de-b98a-001cc4c03286.html?
The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Ill.)
by Kurt Erickson
November 30, 2009

More towns than Wheaton are holding pre-meeting prayers
http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=340413
Chicago Daily Herald
Kimberly Pohl
November 30, 2009

Capitol Visitor Center Is About the History of Government, Not Religion
http://blog.beliefnet.com/lynnvsekulow/2009/11/capitol-visitor-center-is-abou.html
Beliefnet (Blog)
Rev. Barry W. Lynn
November 30, 2009

Freedom From Religion Foundation surprised by ad controversy
http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/article_77d417e2-dad6-11de-8d42-001cc4c03286.html
Wisconsin State Journal
by Doug Erickson
November 26, 2009

Washington State Bans Holiday Displays Inside Capitol
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/27/washington-state-implement-rules-barring-holiday-displays-inside-capitol/
FoxNews.com
November 27, 2009
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

ABOUT SWiFT

http://swiftnow.org

The Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers (SWiFT) is a democratic organization uniting Freethinkers from across Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois to encourage rationalism and promote camaraderie and good times.

The SWiFT Bylaws are available to members and are posted in “Files”at the swift-members@yahoogroups.com home web site:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ swift-members

If your membership is current and you are not signed on, please go to the website and subscribe.

SWiFT is an Atheist Alliance International member society
http://www.atheistalliance.org

and is affiliated with American Atheists

http://www.atheists.org/ affiliation

Council for Secular Humanism
http://www.secularhumanism. org/

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you wish to take issue with anything you receive from SWiFT, have
ideas on how to improve these communications, have information you wish
to distribute to others on the SWiFT list, or want to unsubscribe,
please write to Carol at humanist@ameritech.net

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don’t forget that Atheist Alliance International benefits from any
books ordered from Amazon.com All you need do is access Amazon by way
of www.atheistalliance.org

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Compiled and distributed by Carol Smith, Secretary/Treasurer, SWiFT

http://www.swiftnow.org

SWiFT NEWS – November 16, 2009

As always the SWiFT social will be on the third Thursday of the month. Members and friends of SWiFT are invited to meet November 19 at the Spring Garden Restaurant at 6 PM (Layton Avenue, just west of I-94).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

From the highlights of the AAI convention:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvJZQwy9dvE

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
!!!ANNIVERSARY!!!
On the Origin of Species was published on November 24, 1859. Darwin’s works are available to read at The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online.
http://darwin-online.org.uk/

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
http://snipurl.com/t9qo6
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Special Event:
November 24, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
in UWM Union room 280
The 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin‘s On the Origin of Species will be celebrated. Andrew (Anj) Petto will give a talk about the creationist version of Darwin’s classic book.

From Eric Hildeman, Freethinkers of UWM; For Immediate Release:

Student group lampoons evangelical version of Charles Darwin’s Origin.

November 24th, 2009, is the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. To mark the occasion, Living Waters Ministries (led by evangelist Ray Comfort actor Kurt Cameron) has launched a program to distribute free copies of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species on college campuses all over the nation just a few days before, on November 19th. The catch? This version of Origin has a 50-page introduction, written by Ray Comfort, which argues against evolution in favor of creationism.

The student group, Freethinkers of UWM, officially ridicules this shameful attempt at stealing the appearance of scientific legitimacy for such ludicrous views as a publicity stunt which is nothing short of a complete joke. An introduction by Michael Moore to a book by Milton Friedman would not negate the laws of free-market economics, nor would an introduction by the Flat Earth Society to a book by Nicolaus Copernicus negate the fact that Earth is a sphere, and that the Sun is at the center of our solar system. By the same token, no introduction written by a creationist can undo evolution as a scientific fact.  Christians must either embrace evolution, or be destroyed by it. In other words, fittingly, they must evolve.

Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, and graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, (Genie’s BS and MS are from UWM http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenie_Scott#Academic_career ) has issued the following statement to the students and faculty of her Alma Mater on our behalf:

“Although Ray Comfort has the free speech right to mislead people about the contributions of Charles Darwin to science, it is unfortunate that he has chosen to do so. I encourage anyone receiving his version of On the Origin of Species to skip the erroneous introductory pages and go straight to the words written by Darwin himself, one of the most brilliant scientific minds of all time. You will learn a lot more science that way.”

Freethinkers of UWM concurs, and wishes to exaggerate the joke of this tactical error by Living Waters Ministries by urging all students and faculty in the UW system to please accept the free copy of this version of Origin wherever offered it. In fact, make sure to pick up as many copies of it as possible. Leave no copies of theirs undistributed. Let’s waste their money! And if you wish to dispose of your copy after receiving it, please donate it to Freethinkers of UWM instead of destroying it. Many of our members wish to keep these editions as souveniers to remind us of the ever-present scientific ignorance of the American public.

To contact Freethinkers of UWM, please write us at ftuwm@uwm.edu, or visit our temporary website, https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/hildeman/www/ to read Ray Comfort’s introduction for yourself, and our responses to it. We are not about censorship. We wish only to see creationism fully defeated in the free marketplace of ideas, and consigned to a dusty shelf in the museums of history—where it belongs.

[Comfort has not only corrupted On the Origin of Species with his pseudo-into, he has abridged it by removing vital parts. See http://snipurl.com/t9qqf
If you plan to buy a copy of Origin of Species, be sure to look for the eidtion with the Huxley introduction!]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“It is said that men may not be the dreams of the Gods, but rather that the Gods are the dreams of men.” – Carl Sagan
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Want to know more about the anthropic Principle?

Intelligent Design
Humans, Cockroaches, and the Laws of Physics
“anthropic coincidences as evidence for a universe that was created with humans in mind”
Copyright © 1997 by Victor J. Stenger
Preprint of a paper submitted to Creation/Evolution.
Do not reprint without permission from the author.
(so the material may be read here:
http://snipurl.com/t8w5g )

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A great way to stay in touch and network with other atheists, agnostics, humanists, skeptics, infidels, et.al. is to join a yahoogroup created for that purpose.

SWiFT-members@yahoogroups.com is for SWiFT members.

(Membership dues of $15 (checks preferred) may be given to Jane at any
SWiFT event or sent to SWiFT, P.O. Box 3, Mequon, WI 53092)

Anyone may join:

Atheists_agnostics_wi@ yahoogroups.com
wisconsinatheists@yahoogroups. com
newhumanists@yahoogroups.com

If you have any subscription problems, please let me know and I will send a special invitation by way of yahoogroups.com

Carol

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

ABOUT SWiFT

http://www.swiftnow.org

The Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers (SWiFT) is a democratic organization uniting Freethinkers from across Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois to encourage rationalism and promote camaraderie and good times.

The SWiFT Bylaws are available to members and are posted in “Files”at the swift-members@yahoogroups.com home web site:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ swift-members

If your membership is current and you are not signed on, please go to the website and subscribe.

SWiFT is an Atheist Alliance International member society
http://www.atheistalliance.org

and is affiliated with American Atheists

http://www.atheists.org/ affiliation

Council for Secular Humanism
http://www.secularhumanism. org/

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you wish to take issue with anything you receive from SWiFT, have
ideas on how to improve these communications, have information you wish
to distribute to others on the SWiFT list, or want to unsubscribe,
please write to Carol at humanist@ameritech.net

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don’t forget that Atheist Alliance International benefits from any
books ordered from Amazon.com All you need do is access Amazon by way
of www.atheistalliance.org

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Compiled and distributed by Carol Smith, Secretary/Treasurer, SWiFT

http://www.swiftnow.org

SWiFT NEWS – September 28

A message from our co-facilitators:

Join us Saturday, 10/3, for the SWiFT monthly business meeting at 1 PM, Chase Bank Cudahy (corner of Layton & Packard)

We’ll see the new caps that were ordered with our new logo, see a catalog of other items that we may be able to order, and distribute our SWiFT business cards to those who haven’t received any yet. Jack will devote a few minutes to talking about his experience at the Fighting Bob festival. We’ll then view the video, The God Who Wasn’t There, featuring Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Robert Price, and many others.
http://www.thegodmovie.com/

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Reactions to Richard Dawkins Award recipient, Bill Maher:
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/09/the_maher_conundrum.php#comments

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Kenneth R. Miller will be speaking  at 7:00 p.m. on September 30 at the Bradley Fine
Arts Building on the campus of Lakeland College in Sheboygan, WI. The title of his talk is:
“Is Evolution ‘Only a Theory?’ Darwin, God, and Design in the 21st Century.”  The
event is free and open to the public.

For further information, visit:
http://lakeland.edu/AboutUs/news.asp?article=5888

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Free Archaeology Lecture
Sunday, October 4, 2009, 3:00pm
Lorenc Bejko, University of Tirana, Albania
Late Bronze Age Albania: Life and Death in the periphery of the Mycenaean World
Location: Room G90, Sabin Hall, UW-Milwaukee
More detail  here:
http://www4.uwm.edu/archlab/AIA/lectures.cfm#talk1

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A talk by G. Simon Harak, S.J.
Host: Progressive Students of Milwaukee
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Time:  7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: UWM Union, Fireside Lounge
2200 E Kenwood Blvd.
4149645158

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

From NCSE: CREATION FINDS DISTRIBUTOR

The new film about Darwin, Creation, will be distributed in the United
States after all, according to a story in the Hollywood Reporter
(September 24, 2009). The film is expected to be released by Newmarket
Films
in December 2009. Earlier the producer of the film, Jeremy
Thomas
, lamented to the Telegraph (September 11, 2009), “It has got a
deal everywhere else in the world but in the US, and it’s because of
what the film is about. … It is unbelievable to us that this is
still a really hot potato in America.” A few days later, however, NBC
Bay Area (September 15, 2009) reported that a distribution deal was
imminent.

In her review of Creation at The Panda’s Thumb blog, NCSE’s executive
director Eugenie C. Scott described it as “a thoughtful, well-made
film that will change many views of Darwin held by the public — for
the good.” It also received praise from Steve Jones in Time Out London
(September 22, 2009), who called it “a great film about a great man
and a greater theory” and by Adam Rutherford in his Guardian blog
(September 23, 2009), where he wrote, “we should … be grateful that
this film is moving and beautiful, just like the creation Darwin so
luminously untangled,” adding, “Creationists the world over deserve to
see it.”

For the story in the Hollywood Reporter, visit:
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3icbd5f8a8048766fc75dfd9b5e88dfce1

For the stories in the Telegraph and NBC Bay Area, visit:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6173399/Charles-Darwin-film-too-controversial-for-religious-America.html
http://www.nbcbayarea.com/entertainment/movies/Creation-May-Cause-Big-Bang-in-US-59246832.html

For Scott’s, Jones’s, and Rutherford’s comments on Creation, visit:
http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2009/09/eugenie-scott-r.html
http://www.timeout.com/film/features/show-feature/8775/close-up-steve-jones-assesses-creation.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/sep/23/darwin-creation-film

For Creation’s website, visit:
http://creationthemovie.com/

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Another Darwin Movie, Darwin’s Darkest Hour, is scheduled to air on public television  October 6, 2009. From a press release:

NOVA and National Geographic Television present the extraordinary
human drama that led to the birth of the most influential scientific
theory of all time. Acclaimed screenwriter John Goldsmith (David
Copperfield
, Victoria and Albert) brings to life Charles Darwin’s
greatest personal crisis: the anguishing decision over whether to “go
public” with his theory of evolution. Darwin, portrayed by Henry Ian
Cusick
(Lost), spent years refining his ideas and penning his book the
Origin of Species. Yet, daunted by looming conflict with the orthodox
religious values of his day, he resisted publishing — until a letter
from naturalist Alfred Wallace forced his hand. In 1858, Darwin
learned that Wallace was ready to publish ideas very similar to his
own. In a sickened panic, Darwin grasped his dilemma: To delay
publishing any longer would be to condemn all of his work to obscurity
— his voyage on the Beagle, his adventures in the Andes, the gauchos
and bizarre fossils of Patagonia, the finches and giant tortoises of
the Galapagos. But to come forward with his ideas risked the fury of
the Church and perhaps a rift with his own devoted wife, Emma,
portrayed by Frances O’Connor (Mansfield Park, The Importance of Being
Earnest
, Steven Spielberg‘s Artificial Intelligence), who was a strong
believer in the view of creation and honestly feared for her husband’s
soul. Darwin’s Darkest Hour is a moving drama about the birth of a
great idea seen through the inspiration and personal sufferings of its
brilliant originator.

Further information about the film, including a preview and interviews
with John Goldsmith and Henry Ian Cusick, is available at NOVA’s
website. Information on finding local public broadcasting stations is
available via PBS’s website.

For the press release (PDF), visit:
http://streams.wgbh.org/online/pressroom/2009_09/NOVAFall09.pdf

For further information about the film, visit:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/darwin/index.html

For information on finding local stations, visit:
http://www.pbs.org/stationfinder/index.html

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A great way to stay in touch and network with other atheists, agnostics, humanists, skeptics, infidels, et.al. is to join a yahoogroup created for that purpose.

SWiFT-members@yahoogroups.com is for SWiFT members.

(Membership dues of $15 (checks preferred) may be given to Jane at any
SWiFT event or sent to SWiFT, P.O. Box 3, Mequon, WI 53092)

Anyone may join:

Atheists_agnostics_wi@ yahoogroups.com
wisconsinatheists@yahoogroups. com
newhumanists@yahoogroups.com

If you have any subscription problems, please let me know and I will send a special invitation by way of yahoogroups.com

Carol

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

ABOUT SWiFT

http://www.swiftnow.org

The Southeast Wisconsin Freethinkers (SWiFT) is a democratic organization uniting Freethinkers from across Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois to encourage rationalism and promote camaraderie and good times.

The SWiFT Bylaws are available to members and are posted in “Files”at the swift-members@yahoogroups.com home web site:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ swift-members

If your membership is current and you are not signed on, please go to the website and subscribe.

SWiFT is an Atheist Alliance International member society
http://www.atheistalliance.org

and is affiliated with American Atheists

http://www.atheists.org/ affiliation

Council for Secular Humanism
http://www.secularhumanism. org/

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you wish to take issue with anything you receive from SWiFT, have
ideas on how to improve these communications, have information you wish
to distribute to others on the SWiFT list, or want to unsubscribe,
please write to Carol at humanist@ameritech.net

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Don’t forget that Atheist Alliance International benefits from any
books ordered from Amazon.com All you need do is access Amazon by way
of www.atheistalliance.org

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Compiled and distributed by Carol Smith, Secretary/Treasurer, SWiFT

http://www.swiftnow.org

SWiFT-members Digest Number 1265

September Science Pub this Sunday!

Posted by: “Carol Smith” humanist@ameritech.net HumanCarol

Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:26 pm (PDT)

Hello Science Supporters!

The September Science Pub is approaching fast, so mark your calendars for Sunday, September 27, 2PM at Brocach Irish Pub, 7 W Main Street, on the square in downtown Madison.

This
month we have Dr. Shanan Peters from the UW Geology Department
discussing “Alligators in the Arctic: A deep-time perspective on global climate change.”
Dr. Peters also recently returned from doing some field work so I would
guess that will also come up as well. And as always, Science Pub is all
about asking our experts questions so be ready to pose those weird
geology questions that have been keeping you up at night.

So
come on down for some food, beverage and science to Science Pub,
sponsored by Wisconsin Citizens for Science and Madison Skeptics.

**** Please feel free to distribute this message and spread the word about Science Pub!!! *****

Skip Evans
WCfS Vice President

******************************

SWiFT-members Digest Number 1262

Parkside: Coming Fall Forums

Posted by: “Carol Smith” humanist@ameritech.net HumanCarol

Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:56 pm (PDT)

FORUMS FOR FALL OF ’09

PERSPECTIVES ON RELIGIOUS ISSUES, UWP

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE
———— ——— ———

Monday, October 5, 12:00 noon, Molinaro D-137
“Are you Religious, or Are You Spiritual?”
Speaker: Dr. Tony Larsen, Pastor Olympia Brown
Unitarian Universalist Church, Racine, WI.

Monday, November 2, 12:00 noon, Molinaro D-137
“The Nature and Trajectory of Political Islam”
Speaker:  Prof. Seif Dana, Soc/Anthro, UW-Parkside
Co-sponsored by Center for International Studies

Monday, December 7:  12:00 noon, Molinaro D-137
Woody Allen and Soren Kierkegaard:
Sex, Death, Morality, and the Meaning of Life”
Speaker: Wayne G. Johnson, Prof. Emeritus of Philosophy, UW-Parkside

Parking can be a problem. Give yourself time to find a parking place
in the Union lot where there are no citations given during Forum
hours. You may want to park in the lot next to Tallent Hall and then
take the shuttle to Molinaro. Parking meters near the Union are handy
if a bit pricey.

HOPE TO SEE YOU.    GET THE WORD OUT.
Wayne G. Johnson and Morris Firebaugh, Coordinators: Perspectives on
Religious Issues–UW-Parkside

******************************************

SWiFT NEWS – August 21, 2009

SPECIAL NOTICE: For the first time ever, the September SWiFT meeting will be held on Labor Day weekend!

A message from your SWiFT co-facilitators:

 

Join us for our first meeting of the year on Saturday, September 5th, at 1:00 in the basement meeting room of Chase Bank on the corner of Packard and Layton Ave. We will be meeting this year over Labor Day weekend since that is the first Saturday. Kurt will be talking about our new logo and business cards and our ability to order promotional items. We’ll also discuss our new website and how to best use the technology available to us. (And if time allows, we may view a short video.)

An important business item will also be discussed. A suggestion was made to amend our by-laws.


Current Bylaw:
Membership is opened to anyone who supports our Operating Principles and Objectives and pays $15.00 per year to the treasurer.

Proposed new Bylaw:
Membership is opened to anyone who supports our Operating Principles and Objectives and who pays annual dues.
The treasurer will be responsible for collecting and maintaining a record of annual dues.
The amount of annual dues shall be determined by majority vote of a motion made at a scheduled business meeting.

We hope to see as many members at the meeting as possible. If you have any feedback about the proposal and can’t attend the meeting, please e-mail either Jane (at jfrancis@…) or Jack (at jholmes@…).

Your co-facilitators

Jack and Jane