CFI-NYC eBulletin - August 2009

July 31, 2009

CFI-NYC's Michael De Dora Jr. Pushes Secular Humanism on FOX News

On the July 31, 2009, edition of the FOX News show "The Strategy Room," which is streamed live daily, CFI-NYC's Executive Director Michael De Dora Jr. defended a secular humanist and skeptical position that it is probably safe to say is not often heard on the network.

In a segment hosted by Father Jonathan Morris called "God Talk," De Dora made a number of points: that he is an atheist but that the term "atheist" only describes something he doesn't believe in (God) and not what he does believe in; that he believes in a whole range of values best described as "secular humanism"; that most people are humanists and just dont know it; that even though he's left religion behind, he's still a good, moral human being; that many religious people and most nonreligious people agree on many values, and shoudn't only ever focus on their differences; and more.

To read D.J. Grothe's entire news entry on CFI's Free Thinking blog, click here .

August Public Lectures

August 4: "Adventures in the Defense of Evolution: From Kansas to Turkey to New York"

"That's not a problem here, right?," New Yorkers ask when they hear what Josh Rosenau does for a living. Rosenau is a policy analyst at the National Center for Science Education, where he defends the teaching of evolution against creationism. He and his colleagues have tracked attacks on evolution in every state and in dozens of countries. In the last few years, creationists in New York have filed bills in the state legislature and pushed creationism into classes from grade school to college. What drives this movement, and what can New Yorkers do to help?

Rosenau will draw on his work at NCSE, and also on his experience as a graduate student in biology at the University of Kansas during that state's struggle over statewide science standards. Since leaving Kansas for the California-based NCSE, he has defended honest science standards in Texas and Florida as well, worked to block anti-evolution bills in a dozen states, and squared off against Ben Stein. When not battling creationists, he writes about developments in progressive politics and the sciences on his blog "Thoughts from Kansas."

Admission is free and open to the public. The event will be held Tuesday, August 4, 7 p.m. at the SLC Conference Center, 352 7th avenue (between 29th and 30th streets), 16th floor.

Click here for more information.

August Community Events

Tuesday, August 11, 7:30 p.m. : CFI-Brooklyn Philosophy and Fries: Is the paranormal real? Click here for more.

Thursday , August 13, 8 p.m. : The Thirteen Club, a monthly conversation-based dinner on skepticism. Click here for more. 

Sunday, August 16, 12:30 p.m. : CFI/SHSNY Monthly Brunch. Click here for more. 

Thursday, August 20, 6:30 p.m. : CFI/SHSNY Monthly Book Club, on William James' "The Varieties of Religious Experience." Click here for more. 

Wednesday, August 26, 8 p.m. : Drinking Skeptically, a pub-based monthly drinking meetup promoting fellowship and networking. Click here for more.

Sunday, August 30, 1 p.m. : CFI-Harlem Monthly Discussion. Click here for more. 

Show Your Commitment to Reason, Science, Free Inquiry and Humanist Values

In the contemporary marketplace of ideas, one can find responsible, objective, and evidence-based information on everything from foreign policy to hormone replacement therapy. Yet when it comes to some of our most fundamental questions -- about human values, the transcendent, or the borderlands of science -- one often only hears from partisans of traditional religion, New Age practitioners, or anti-science movements.

With its network of scientists and other thinkers, its grassroots advocacy and public education organizations, and its popular and scholarly publications, the Center for Inquiry fills this gap, lending a credible voice to critical inquiry and the scientific outlook.

Help CFI promote and defend science, reason, freedom of inquiry and humanist values by becoming a Friend of the Center. Friends of the Center receive:

  • Free or discounted admission to CFI events
  • A handsome enamel lapel pin and colorful CFI vinyl decal
  • 10% discount for national events sponsored by CFI and its affiliates, the Council for Secular Humanism & the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry
  • Invitations to special “Friends” events and private receptions
  • 15% discount on selected Prometheus Books titles
  • One Center for Inquiry guest pass to give to a friend
  • Knowledge that you are helping an important cause

Join the Center for Inquiry by becoming a Friend of the Center.

Join CFI in the Western Caribbean

CFI Travel Club Adventure: The Western Caribbean, Nov. 12-20, 2009

We are happy to announce the 6th Annual Center for Inquiry Travel Club Event.   Please join your host, Paul Kurtz, and staff sailing on Carnival Miracle®.

Enjoy 8 days of conversation, camaraderie and fun with like-minded folks. Sailing from Ft. Lauderdale, visit the countries of Costa Rica, Panama and Belize. Savor 4 days at sea, stretching your mind and body, participate in challenging presentations and pleasant on-board activities.  November 12-20, 2009.

For more information and registration, visit 

Everything, including all times, itinerary and pricing, is subject to change at any time.

CFI-NYC Launches Capital Campaign

CFI-NYC's current rented space at 80 Broad Street has many limitations. We have barely enough room for staff to function efficiently. We have no room for skeptics and secular humanists to gather. The next step of CFI-NYC's development is to take its place as a leading cultural institution. To this end, we are seeking to purchase a 5,000+ square-foot property in Manhattan (hopefully with room for expansion) to serve as the headquarters for our growing staff and to become a permanent home for reason, science, and secular values in New York.

We are challenging our friends - humanists, skeptics, and freethinkers in the New York area - to help us exceed our goal of raising $6.25 million. Our goal is based on the amount considered necessary to purchase and renovate a building that will suit our needs.

Our capital campaign brochure is available for download on our website at .To request a hard copy of our brochure, or to inquire about making a contribution, call Sherry Rook, Vice President of Development, at (800) 818-7071.