Amber Barnhill recently addressed her local school board regarding the presence of religous-themed material and events in the public education system in her community. Amber has shared her experience with Course of Reason and recounts it below, along with her original letter to the school community and reactions to her stance through social media.
This article was originally posted on http://wiscatheists.blogspot.com/.
Every year, the student leaders here at AHA organize our annual conference, the Freethought Festival. Freethought Festival 4 was held March 13-15, 2015 at the beautiful DeLuca Forum in the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.
Too often I see people arguing that words have intrinsic definitions. They like to argue things ‘by definition,’ claiming that something is true because it says so in the dictionary, or because they can define a word however they want, as long as they use it consistently. I see this argument a lot when discussing things such as if atheism is a religion, if marriage is only between a man and a woman, or “if a tree falls in a forest does it make a sound?” The thing is, words don’t mean anything objective. This might sound odd, because words have definitions and when people disagree on what a word means, they often go to the dictionary to prove what the word “really” means. However, though the dictionary might be exhaustive, it is not authoritative. Dictionary editors are historians of usage, not legislators of language.
Despite his recent controversies, Bill Cosby was on to something: kids really do say the darnedest things. Though through their innocence come not only incidental puns and comical misconceptions, but often unadulterated truth.
This article was originally posted on illinissa.com.
Once in a while, the famous Facebook page I Fucking Love Science (IFLS) will post a meme or link condemning the pseudoscientific, such as this venn diagram: