Durango Skeptics and Atheists Newsletter March 2016

Editorial opinions and story selection do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the leadership or members of DS&A.
If you have an item that you would like to see included in the next newsletter, please send the link and your comments to larrybollinger@comcast.net

 

“Born again? No, I’m not. Excuse me for getting it right the first time!”  -Dennis Miller

Next general meeting, March 16

Meetings are at Irish Embassy

900 Main Street Durango

Dinner from 5:30PM.

Discussion starts at 6:30

 

The topic for this month:

God, Save Us From Your Followers!

Presented by Henry Aguirre. Henry asks, “What do the following, mostly violent, events have in common: 1914 Jehovah’s Witness Last Days, 1978 Jonestown Massacre, 1984 Rajneeshee Bioterror Attack, 1993 Waco Siege, 1995 Tokyo Subway Sarin Attack, 2001 World Trade Center Attack, 2016 Malheur/Bundy Standoff.

god_told_me_to_06

Answer: In each case, the antagonists claimed to receive orders directly from God. We’ll examine the question: Are personality cults ever not divinely-inspired? We’ll also examine the human propensity to join and devoutly follow charismatic leaders, as well as what drives some of us to be so controlling.

 

 

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Durango Skeptics and Atheists Newsletter February 2016

“Strange… A God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied seventy times seven and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!” — Mark Twain 

Next general meeting, February 17

Meetings are at Irish Embassy,

900 Main Street Durango

Dinner from 5:30PM.

Discussion starts at 6:30 

The topic for this month “Ethical Non-Monogamy”, presented by Kimberly Pennington, who will touch on the following topics:

  • What makes non-monogamy ‘ethical’ ?
  • What are some advantages/disadvantages of monogamy/non-monogamy?
  • What about Jealousy?
  • The science of sexual coupling in animals and in humans
  • Are humans naturally monogamous?

Non Monogamy composit

Kimberly has provided her on-line sources….

  1. http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/sex/monogamy-vs-polyamory/
  2. http://m.livescience.com/1135-wild-sex-monogamy-rare.html
  3. http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/30/health/why-monogamy-evolution-studies/
  4. http://www.livescience.com/27129-polyamory-good-relationships.html
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monogamy#Monogamy_in_ancient_societies
  6. http://www.usnews.com/news/national/articles/2008/03/27/how-common-are-cheatingspouses
  7. http://www.livescience.com/49690-humans-naturally-monogamous-promiscuous.html

….as well as some additional resources and suggested reading on the topic:

  • MoreThanTwo.com – Franklin Veaux’s polyamory site. Author of More Than Two and The Game Changer
  • PolyWeekly.com – Responsible non-monogamy from a kink-friendly, pansexual point of view. Website and blog by the sex-positive educator and host of the Poly Weekly podcast, known by her alias Cunning Minx.
  • The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities by Dossie Easton and Catherine Lizst – Considered by many people to be one of the definitive guides to “responsible non-monogamy.”
  • The Polyamorists Next Door by Dr. Elisabeth Sheff – This book is the result of a longitudinal research study by sociologist Dr. Elisabeth Sheff on polyamorous families. It starts with an introduction to polyamory, then covers the ways that poly families operate, how poly families raise children, and more.

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Durango Skeptics and Atheists NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2016

“Interconnectedness requires exploration. Nothing is impossible. Today, Science tells us that the essence of nature is awareness. Ego is born in the gap where nature has been excluded.”

– Computer-generated ‘wisdom’ from the New Age Bullshit Generator (see below)

 

Next general meeting:

Wednesday  January 20

Irish Embassy, 900 Main Street Durango

Dinner, for those interested, from 5:30PM.  Discussion starts at 6:30

  

Discussion topic for this month “Guns and America” 

guns in America

  1. Do you think there is a Gun Problem in the US? Why or why not?
  2. Is gun ownership a ‘sacred’ right, as the NRA claims? (See Discussion Notes, below)
  3. Is the Constitution, as wrtten 250 years ago, also sacred? If so, are we prohibited from regulating guns?
  4. If you hold the Constitution to be ‘sacred’, how is your sentiment different from a theist who holds the Bible to be sacred?
  5. If you agree that guns in America are a ‘problem’, do you have any solutions to suggestions?

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Durango Skeptics and Atheists Newsletter December 2015

Opinions, when expressed, are solely those of Larry Bollinger and do not necessarily reflect those of Durango Skeptics and Atheists…so chill.

“In retrospect, this magazine’s coverage of so-called evolution has been hideously one-sided…Why were we so unwilling to suggest that dinosaurs lived 6,000 years ago or that a cataclysmic flood carved the Grand Canyon?…As editors, we had no business being persuaded by mountains of evidence…Nor should we succumb to the easy mistake of thinking that scientists understand their field better than, say U.S. senators or best-selling novelists do. Indeed, if political or special interest groups say things that seem untrue or misleading, our duty as journalists is to quote them without comment or contradiction. To do otherwise would be elitist and therefore wrong.”

          -Sarcasm from the Editors of Scientific American

read the entire piece here:   http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/okay-we-give-up/

Next general meeting,  Wednesday

December 16, 2015 

 Irish Embassy, 900 Main St. Durango

Dinner from 5:30PM.

Discussion starts at 6:30

 

The topic for this month’s discussion:

“Recent Mobilization of Anti-Science Factions: The Strategies and Tools at Their Disposal, presented by Marc Masor.   The first half of this month’s Newsletter is taken up with articles that are intended to help provide background for this month’s discussion. The  information is divided into four sections to make it easier for you to find some aspects of the subject that are of particular interest to you. The four segments are: Introduction; Science, Politics and Funding of Research; Science and Education; and Science and Society.

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Durango Skeptics and Atheists NEWSLETTER – NOVEMBER ADDENDUM

Opinions, when expressed, are solely those of Larry Bollinger and do not necessarily reflect those of Durango Skeptics and Atheists…so chill. 

Our general meeting on November 15 featured a spirited discussion about the current refugee crisis and the role that the U.S. does/should play in ameliorating it.

Since the meeting several members have found interesting sidebars to the discussion and that is the reason for this ‘addendum’ to the November Newsletter – to bring these items to your attention.

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Durango Skeptics and Atheists NEWSLETTER NOVEMBER 2015

Opinions, when expressed, are solely those of Larry Bollinger and do not necessarily reflect those of Durango Skeptics and Atheists…so chill. 

“I figured out early on that I wasn’t cut out to be a neurosurgeon or fighter pilot. So I kinda aimed low my whole life. It worked for me. Sure, the world needs some ambitious people. But it’s worth noting that ambition has given us products like New Coke, men like Donald Trump and war after war. Ambition certainly doesn’t seem to make the ambitious particularly happy. By definition, they cannot be content with who they are and what they have. And the world seems to encourage them to inflict their desire for advancement on the rest of us. So to all of you ambitious folks out there: Enough. I’ll gladly concede that you all ‘win’. Just leave the rest of us alone.”

  • Jim Perskie in the Washington Post, as quoted in The Week Magazine

Next general meeting,

Wednesday  November 18, 2015

 

Meetings are at Irish Embassy, 900 Main Street Durango

Dinner, for those interested, from 5:30PM. 

Discussion starts at 6:30

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Durango Skeptics and Atheist NEWSLETTER October 2015

Opinions, when expressed, are solely those of Larry Bollinger and do not necessarily reflect those of Durango Skeptics and Atheists. 

“I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I don’t feel frightened by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell”. ― Richard Feynman, Nobel winning physicist (1918-1988)

Next general meeting is

Wednesday  October 21

Irish Embassy, 900 Main St.

Dinner, for those interested, from 5:30PM.

Discussion starts at 6:30

Topic for discussion FF

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