CFI-NYC eBulletin

February 29, 2008

Upcoming Lectures

Richard Dawkins on "The God Delusion": March 15

CFI-NYC will host the acclaimed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on Saturday, March 15. Dr. Dawkins will be traveling throughout the U.S. in support of his The God Delusion (paperback) Book Tour. A book signing will follow.

Saturday, March 15th, 7:00 pm
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St. (at Central Park West)

Free and open to the public. There is no ticketing or registration for this event. Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Unfortunately we cannot take reservations. To ensure that you secure a seat, we recommend arriving one hour or earlier prior to the event.

Co-sponsored with the NY Society for Ethical Culture and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science.

Voices of Reason: Alan Wolfe, Michael Kazin, & Susan Jacoby on "1968 and 2008: Years of Rage, Reason, and Change": March 19

The Voices of Reason lecture series continues on Wednesday, March 19.  1968 was a pivotal year in American history and 2008 is shaping up, in a very different way, as a year with the potential for enormous political change. CFI-NYC program director Susan Jacoby, author of the NY Times bestseller The Age of American Unreason , will be joined by the distinguished scholars and cultural critics Alan Wolfe and Michael Kazin for a panel discussion on the impact of the dramatic and painful events of 1968 on American politics over the next four decades and on the current presidential campaign.

Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and Public Life at Boston College; author of Does American Democracy Still Work? ; and a frequent contributor on cultural and political topics to magazines such as The New Republic and The Atlantic , will discuss the influence of 1968 on the rise of conservatism during the past 40 years. Kazin, professor of history at Georgetown University and co-author, with Maurice Isserman, of America Divided: The Civil War of the Sixties , will talk about how the left both won and lost the culture wars of that era. Kazin is the author, most recently, of A Godly Hero: The Life of Willian Jennings Bryan .

Wolfe's and Isserman's talks will be followed by what should be a provocative panel discussion moderated by Jacoby and a freewheeling question-and-answer session with the audience. The speeches will be brief, and we'll have more time than usual for audience questions and comments. Because 1968 has a special meaning for everyone who remembers the traumatic events of that year-and young people often ask why those of us who lived through those historic times are still "hung up" on the past-we expect some verbal fireworks.

Co-sponsored by the Gotham Center for New York City History of the City University of New York.

Wednesday, March 19th, 6:30 pm
General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen,
20 W. 44th St.,between 5th & 6th Aves.

Advanced registration is recommended, but not required for this event. Admission is $10 (free for Friends of the Center). You may purchase in advance by PayPal Online, by credit card (call Tasha Williams, 212-504-2945 ext. 1), or by check (made payable to the Center for Inquiry-New York City; mail to 80 Broad St, 5th Fl., New York, NY 10004). Alternatively, you may pay in person by cash, check, or credit card.

Save the Date: Paul Kurtz at the NY Academy of Sciences Lyceum Society, April 17

The philosopher Paul Kurtz, CFI's founder and chairman, will speak at the Lyceum Society at the New York Academy of Sciences on April 17.  Brown bag lunch starts at 11:30am; Dr. Kurtz's presentation, Can Science Help Us Make Wise Moral Judgments , will run from 1:00 to 3:00pm.  The Lyceum Society is comprised of the AAAS's retired and semi-retired members, but all are welcome.

Thursday, April 17, 11:30am - 3:00pm
New York Academy of Sciences
7 World Trade Center
250 Greenwich Street, 40th Floor
Sponsored by the New York Academy of Sciences

RSVP Required.   Free for Academy members; $20 for non-members; $10 for student non-members.  Click here to register.

Save the Date: "Secular Ethics Under Siege": Paul Kurtz, R. Joseph Hoffman, & Austin Dacey: April 19

To re-launch its New Jersey community, the Center for Inquiry will hold a one-day conference in Totowa, New Jersey on Saturday, April 19, on Secular Ethics Under Siege.   Speakers and topics include:

  • Paul Kurtz: Ethics for the Future
  • R. Joseph Hoffman: Whatever Happened to God?
  • Austin Dacey: Who Holds the Monopoly on Morality?

Saturday, April 19, 11:00am - 4:00pm
Holiday Inn of Totowa
#1 Route 46 Westbound, Totowa, NJ
Directions: visit or click here .

REGISTRATION REQUIRED.  $39 admission includes lunch.  To register call Tasha Williams at (212) 504-2935, or e-mail twilliams [at] centerforinquiry [dot] net.  More information, including online registration, will appear later on our website,

Community Events

"Perplexed Parents Circle": Sunday, March 9

Join the Center for Inquiry and Brooklyn author and parent Nica Lalli for a new discussion group in Park Slope, Brooklyn: The Perplexed Parents Circle: Families in a Multifaith World .   Perplexed Parents is for parents who would like to explore how to raise children outside of religious institutions. Many parents are not sure what they believe, may have ties to different religions, and struggle with the questions about what to do with their children and religion. This group will address issues such as:

  • Dealing with grandparents and the expectations of extended families
  • Giving children confidence when "everyone" else belongs to something religious and they do not
  • How to celebrate religious holidays
  • How to answer that tough question: What ARE we?

Perplexed Parents will meet on the following dates from Noon to 2:00 p.m.:

  • Sunday, March 9
  • Sunday, April 13
  • Sunday, May 18
  • Sunday, June 22

All meetings will occur at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), 421 5th Avenue (at 8th Street). Meetings will be hosted by Nica Lalli, who has a ten year old and a thirteen year old. Nica is a local PTA parent, author of a memoir ( Nothing Something to Believe In ) and calls herself a Pink Atheist, a more tolerant and open non-believer. Nica is working on her second book, What do We Believe In? , which will be about parenting without religion in America today.

Free and open to the public. Child care, light refreshments will be provided.

For more information call (718) 768-2960, or email nica.lalli [at] verizon [dot] net

Movie Night, Monday, Mar. 10: Monty Python's Life of Brian

This month's jointly-sponsored Center for Inquiry / Secular Humanist Society of New York Movie Night features Monty Python's Life of Brian. Perhaps the most controversial (and offensive) Python film, Life of Brian tells the tall tale of a peasant boy born the same night as Jesus-in an adjoining stable-and ends with a singing-along musical crucifixion.

Monday, March 10, 7:00 p.m
Stone Creek Bar & Lounge
140 E 27th St. (Lex-3rd Aves)

Coming Attractions: Don't miss The Virgin Spring (April).

Book Launch Party for Austin Dacey's The Secular Conscience: Tues., March 18

The Center for Inquiry's representative to the United Nations Austin Dacey releases a new book in March 2008 entitled The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life. Here's what people are saying about it:

"a dazzling display of erudition"
- Publishers Weekly

"an extraordinarily useful and lucid book."
- Sam Harris

"sorely needed at a time when both the religious right and the religious left claim there can be no public morality without religion."
- Susan Jacoby

Please join Austin at a book launch celebration at People Lounge, 163 Allen St, between Stanton & Rivington (F,V to 2nd Ave) on March 18, 2008, 8pm. Free and open to the public.

Book Club, Thurs., Mar. 20: Susan Jacoby on The Age of American Unreason

Susan Jacoby will join the CFI/SHSNY Book Club in person to discuss her latest book, the NY Times bestseller The Age of American Unreason .  7:00pm, Thursday, March 20 at the SLC Center, 327 Seventh Avenue (at 30th St.) - 16th floor.

The CFI/SHSNY Book Club is open to all ... and free!

CFI / SHSNY Brunch: Sun., Mar. 30

This month's jointly-sponsored Center for Inquiry and Secular Humanist Society of New York brunch gathering will take place again at Fusia Asian Cuisine, 677C Lexington Ave (on 56th St. just east of Lex), at 12:30 p.m. Everyone interested in getting together with like-minded humanists and rationalists for good food, lively talk and humanist camaraderie is welcome.

Fusia is midtown-located, inexpensive and good pan-Asian. Order off the menu; individual checks. For the menu and prices, go to

CFI-Harlem Community Meeting: Sun., Mar. 30

This month's meeting of the CFI-Harlem Community will take place on Sunday, March 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., at the Harlem State Office Building, 163 W. 125th Street, 8th Floor (Trains: 2, 3, A, B, C, D). For more information visit

Discount Theatre Tickets Available for " Grace," January 23-March 8; Panel Discussion with Derek Araujo, March 4

The MCC Theater has offer Friends of the Center for Inquiry special discount tickets to GRACE, the new intellectual drama by Mick Gordon and noted philosopher A.C. Grayling, about a brilliant atheist professor whose family is riven by conflict between deeply opposed views of religion. Order your tickets today!

An acclaimed hit at London's Soho Theater, Grace now makes its American premiere at MCC Theater. Featuring Tony Award and Oscar nominated Lynn Redgrave (The Constant Wife at Roundabout) in the title role, Oscar Isaac (Romeo and Juliet at the Public Theater/NYSF), Philip Goodwin (King Lear at the Public Theater) and K.K. Moggie (Richard III , at CSC).

After the performance on Tuesday, March 4, CFI-NYC Executive Director Derek C. Araujo will join the NY Society for Ethical Culture's Tony Hileman and the Secular Humanist Society of New York's president, John Rafferty, for a panel discussion.

At the Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street. Two ways to order tickets: visit or call (212) 279-4200 and use code *HUMN*. Limit 8 tickets per order. Valid through March 8. Subject to availability. Offer may be revoked at any time. All sales final. Not valid in combination with any other offers or discounts.


Save the Date: "TRUTH UNCORKED: Where Wine Flows Like Conversation": Wine & Dinner with Susan Jacoby, Thurs., April 10

Join CFI-NYC for the inauguration of a new, monthly event combining fine food and wine with intimate, intelligent conversation.  On the second Thursday of each month, a local author, intellectual, or artist will discuss his or her latest work with a small group of participants over wine, cocktails and dinner.

Our first event on April 10 will feature Susan Jacoby, author of the acclaimed NY Times bestseller The Age of American Unreason .  Susan is the author of eight books, including Wild Justice: The Evolution of Revenge , a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1984, and Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism , named a notable book of 2004 by the Washington Post and the NY Times .  Her latest book, The Age of American Unreason , picks up in the early 1960s where the historian Richard Hofstadter left off in his classic work, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life . Susan's book addresses the astonishing growth of public ignorance, anti-rationalism, and anti-intellectualism that threaten the future of American democracy.  Susan's new book has earned widespread praise, an extensive profile in the NY Times , and multiple television interviews, including appearances on the Today Show and Bill Moyers Journal .

Thursday, April 10, 8:00pm
Gascogne (
158 8th Avenue (at 18th Street)

SPACE IS LIMITED. RSVP REQUIRED.  $30 admission includes two glasses of wine.  Dinner not included.  For reservations or more information, contact nyc [at] centerforinquiry [dot] net, or call (212) 504-2935.

CFI Travel Club Sails the Amazon

Experience Brazil's Beauty! Join the Center for Inquiry Travel Club on our next unique travel adventure to Brazil. Be on board as the Club savors (for the third time) a UNESCO World Heritage site, May 20 - 30, 2008. Featured speakers include Steven Pinker, Rebecca Goldstein, Paul Kurtz, DJ Grothe, and Austin Dacey. For reservations, contact CFI travel director Toni Van Pelt at (800) 398-7571 or cruise [at] cfiflorida [dot] org. All times, itinerary, and pricing are subject to change at any time.

CFI-NYC Launches Capital Campaign

CFI-NYC's current rented space at Rockefeller Center 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.

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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, and freedom of inquiry by becoming a Friend of the Center.

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