Sam is a student at Florida State University studying psychology. She was a founding officer of the Secular Student Alliance at FSU in 2014. Her hobbies include defending the weak, attacking the strong, attacking the weak, and just generally being incisive.
I had been all but promised an atypical internship at the Center for Inquiry this year, given the Reason Rally and the merger with the Richard Dawkins Foundation. These forewarnings were largely correct. Although my time at CFI was shorter than it has been for past interns, I was able to be a part of things very few, if any, of them had been able to be part of. The Reason Rally had only happened once before, four years ago, and such a big shift within the organization as the merger with RDF has never happened before at CFI at all. Throughout the internship, the sense that I was experiencing CFI at a very pivotal time never escaped me.
Every now and then (read: at least once every week), I come across some self-professed pro-science denizen of the internet who wants to argue about something or other. Often, they like to cite studies in support of their arguments. On several occasions (to the point that I have lost count of exactly how many occasions), I’ve looked into the methodology of those studies and found that they did not conclusively prove whatever point they were cited to prove. In multiple cases, the studies actually suggested the opposite of whatever claim they had been cited in service of.
Yes, those people “love” science. I have some theories for why this happens so often. They involve presumption of authority and objectivity, lack of scrutiny, fetishism, and as always, media reporting and the systems that hinder accuracy therein.
The following is a reflection about the Southeast Secular Student Regional Conference, a student-run event proudly sponsored by CFI On Campus!
On February 20th and 21st, the first ever Southeast Secular Student Regional Conference (S3RC) was held on Florida State University’s Tallahassee campus. The event was hosted by the Secular Student Alliance at Florida State University, and cosponsored by the Secular Student Alliance at the University of Central Florida and the Secular Student Alliance at the University of West Florida. The primary focus of the conference was regional community-building among secular students and secularism-oriented groups, but the conference pleasantly marked a secondary accomplishment: the strengthening of diversity among the Southeast secular community. The conference was attended by people from all over the American South, including North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, and host state, Florida.
That atheists in general are painstakingly educated - by their own selves or otherwise - in theology and religion is not a brand new revelation to anyone even vaguely acquainted with them. As a South Asian ex-Muslim atheist of the diaspora, the experience of this was different for me than I saw it being for a lot of other atheists. Ultimately, what it helped me see was that the constant conflation of intellectualism and secularism is, in one word, incorrect, and in another, unnecessary.