Ryan Lode is a biology major and active member of University of Northern Iowa Freethinkers & Inquirers, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, and Northern Iowa Democrats. After graduation, he plans on pursuing a graduate degree in virology.
Maybe it’s just me, but tabling for events in secularism has always been…a little tense. You stand there next to your poster-board, flyers in hand, and a (forced) smile as hordes of passersby try their darndest to avoid making eye contact as they race by. Sometimes I wonder if we ought to replace the usual props with lollipops and teddy-bears (“Despair Bears” have a nice ring to them) to ease the tension. Then I remind myself that promoting skepticism has always been an uneasy task, because skepticism is relentless and scrutinizing by nature. That’s what Darwin Week at UNI is all about. It’s a healthy concoction of science and inquiry with a pinch of discomfort that gives it a kick. In this regard, the 2014 lineup of speakers didn’t disappoint.