Feb 222014

Monday, April 7, 2014 will be this year’s SEA Annual General Meeting (AGM), formally starting at 7:00 pm, Stanley A. Milner Library, 7 Sir Winston Churchill Square, 6th Floor, Room 7. We will have greeters, but you may need to ask a security guard to let you up to the 6th floor.

Please take a look at the AGM information page for details and the agenda.

Feb 212014

Sorry for the late notice on this but we wanted to let you know about the live-streamed debate going on this evening between Sean Carroll and William Lane Craig.   The debate will focus on cosmology and whether this gives any evidence for a God. I know one of WLC’s favourite arguments is this (Kalam Cosmological Argument) ”Everything that begins to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist, therefore the universe had a cause, [therefore God]”   WLC seems to think God creating the universe via the big bang is the MOST logical explaination.   Should be interesting to see someone tackle just this one argument from WLC, in all his other debates I feel there is too much other stuff thrown about and nothing is focussed in on.

If you want to watch it is streaming live tonight  at 6pm Central Time.

Let us know your thoughts after the debate in our comment section.


 Posted by at 2:04 PM
Feb 142014

So, we all know that Christmas has it’s roots in other festivals, from solstice to saturnalia;  Easter traced to Ostara and spring equinox, but what about the other Christian holidays, such as Saint Valentine’s Day?

Today, couples everywhere are  heading out for romantic dinners, date nights, and exchanging expensive gifts with each other for Valentine’s Day.   Most people have been taught that this is a day to remember the Christian Saint by the name of Valentinus, who performed secret marriages during Roman Emporer Claudius II’s ban on marriages.   Valentinus was caught, and executed on February 14th 269 CE.   In 469CE Emperor Gelasius declared February 14th a holy day in honour of Valentinus,  replacing the already existing holiday to the Roman god Lupercus.   There are also stories of two other Christian priests being martyred (that were also called Valentinus), one story tells of the priest being jailed and falling in love with the jail keeper’s daughter, signing his love letters to her ”from your Valentinus”.

Wait, back up….what?  An already existing holiday?

Yup, that’s right.   There were actually two already existing holidays at this time, one on February 14th which celebrated Juno Fructifier (aka Juno Februata), Queen of the Roman gods and goddesses, and another during February 13-15th when a feast was held to celebrate Lupercus (aka Faunus or Pan) called the Feast of Lupercalia .   Both festivals were to do with fertility rituals, ensuring fertility for the women for the upcoming year.  In one of the rituals a man would choose a name out of a box and then was paired with that woman for the rest of the festival (or the year).  In another,  women were encouraged to bare their backs to be spanked by men using a goat hide made into strips in order to promote fertility.

So are you up for the traditional ways to celebrate these festivals, being paired up with a stranger and then using whips?  Those pagans sure had some interesting party ideas!


 Posted by at 10:27 PM
Feb 112014

We are reading Christopher Hitchens –  The Missionary Position (Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice) for our next book club meeting on February 23rd.   There is one copy available through the book library and it’s a short book so definitely readable in a hour or two.  Please email vicepresident@edmontonatheist.ca if you’d like to borrow the extra copy.

The book library is open to current members only, if you are interested in a membership check out our membership/merchandise tab.

the missionary position christopher hitchens

 Posted by at 9:49 PM
Feb 112014

Header board members

Highlights of the board meeting this month:

We’ve been working on some new pamphlets and material to use when we have booths at events.  These will also be linked on the website for you to print and use.  Watch for these soon!

Our DARWIN DAY event is this upcoming Saturday and a reminder that anyone with a current membership (including their family members) will be receiving $2 towards their ticket costs.  Hope to see you out!

Darwin Day
Please note that the next two ROUNDTABLE events (March and April) are on Mondays instead of Tuesdays due to a room conflict at the library.
At our March meeting we will have guest speaker Dr. Felice Lifshitz, who teaches Histories of Women and Gender and Gender and Religion at the U of A,  and April will be our Annual General Meeting.  Information for the AGM will be emailed soon, including format changes and lists of board member duties if anyone is interested in running or nominating someone.

WEBSITE – Do you have an idea for a blog post?  We are always looking for people to write for us so if you are interested just speak to a board member or contact us.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY is now confirmed for May 10th.  You can either volunteer your day and come build with us, or donate some money towards the cause.  Check out the event listing for more details. Habitat SEA June 15 2013

LOGICON is hosted by the University Faculty of Science  and the Greater Edmonton Skeptics Society each year in May (first weekend usually).  If you are interested in volunteering please get in touch with a board member and we’ll pass along your details to the appropriate people.


 Posted by at 8:48 AM
Feb 102014

In January we held a prize draw for anyone renewing or purchasing a membership that month then at our February roundtable we pulled a name out of a hat to find our winner.

Congratulations to Maryna, who is now the proud owner of the signed AC Grayling book, The God Argument!!  Maryna has also promised that once she’s had a chance to read it we can add it to our book library list.

Memberships cost $20 for a year, if you are interested drop by a meeting where a board member can sign you up or use the memberships and merchandise tab on our website to join online.

Enjoy the book Maryna!

book winner

 Posted by at 8:52 AM
Feb 052014

Ken Ham Bill Nye Debate

In the debate aired February 4th, 2014 between Bill Nye and Ken Ham regarding creationism, I feel it goes without saying that Bill Nye came out on top. There are many who felt Nye should not do this as it will lend too much attention to what is considered pseudo-science and also fatten the coffers of an organization may soon run out of money. Personally, I think that distracts from crucial issue. There are people in major positions of government authority who believe in creationism and, due to their positions, have the ability to influence laws and policies governing it that then affect other.

Among the many mistakes that Ken Ham made, setting aside the numerous logical fallacies, was constantly pushing the Christian bible. The Intelligent Design movement in the US has been trying to separate itself from any particular religion because of the first amendment issues with promoting one religion by the state. Ham continuously repeated that mistake throughout his presentation which was incredibly weak on evidence.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 10:10 PM