New campus affiliate at Yale
Posted: 17 December 2007 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello all,

I’ve been active on the JREF forums for a while, and I’m joining this board to hear perspectives from CFI campus groups.  I’m an astronomer at Yale, and I’m starting a CFI campus affiliate group here.  I’ll be setting up a website for the group over the solstice break and then recruiting members at the beginning of next semester.  I was at the Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy conference in Cambridge last spring, and I’m interested in pushing for a humanist chaplaincy at Yale, as well. 

My first decision is to come up with a group name so that I can register the domain—right now I’m considering “Yale Freethinkers,”  but I’m trying to think of anything that might be negative or inaccurate about that name. 

Oh, next year I’m also going to be teaching a college seminar on pseudoscience and skepticism, and so I’m interested in getting feedback from people in higher ed who have done similar projects. 

thanks,
Michael Faison

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Posted: 17 December 2007 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hey, that all sounds great, FaisonMars. Glad to have you here. Haven’t taught any similar course; it’s a few years since my grad school days anyhow. But maybe others can chime in with ideas.

Astronomy has always been one of my favorite subjects, BTW. Love Neil Tyson’s work, as well as Sagan of course ... and BadAstronomer himself. Why is it that some of the best skeptics are astronomers?

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Doug

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Posted: 17 December 2007 09:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Welcome.  Glad to have you here. smile  I don’t think Freethinker is is negative and I don’t know what would be inaccurate if members are Humanists, atheists, Rationalists, etc.  That’s what I was going to use if I could get one started here where I am.  No success yet, but you may very well have success at Yale.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 18 December 2007 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I wanted a name that was as open and welcoming as possible, but I wonder sometimes if “freethinker” is a trendy word or if people might not know what it means.  I’m also concerned that it might imply that we’re saying that all religious people are “closed thinkers.” 

In the late nineties there was an active group called “Yale College Humanists and Secularists,” but that name is just too awkward, and I’m hoping that the group will be a skeptics group as well as a secularist group. 

There’s a group of atheists at the Yale Divinity school who call themselves “The Left Behind.” 

In any case, I will put a prominent explanation of the term “freethinker” on the website.

[ Edited: 18 December 2007 08:20 AM by FaisonMars ]
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Posted: 18 December 2007 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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FaisonMars - 18 December 2007 08:13 AM

I’m also concerned that it might imply that we’re saying that all religious people are “closed thinkers.”

Or “free non-thinkers.” :grin:

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Posted: 18 December 2007 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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How about “Pale Blue Dot Society?” Or just “The Pale Blue Society?”

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Posted: 19 December 2007 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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How about the Yale Inquisition, no one would expect that.  grin

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“It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.” ~ Carl Sagan

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