There is a WAITLIST for Skepticamp!

Holy foo, everyone! We’re full up!

Skepticamp is going to FILL the Irish American Heritage Center full to bursting next weekend! (or at least to the official capacity of the space.) And there are still more skeptics waiting to get in. So please, please, let us know if you realize you won’t be able to join us next Saturday, and give another interested skeptic the chance to participate.

PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE REGISTERED BUT CANNOT ATTEND, and another skeptic will be very grateful.

If you’re one of those interested skeptics that would still like a spot if it becomes available, we DO have a waitlist, first-come, first-served. Contact us to be added to the waitlist and we’ll release any spots that become available in the order in which you signed up.

If you’re not able to join us, don’t fret! We will be recording the talks, and our videographer has promised as swift a turnaround as he is able so we can share those videos with you.

We’ll see you next week!

Cosmos-Watching “Party”

Sundays through June 2nd
8:00 PM

Location: Bartoli’s Pizza, Addison and Damen

Monica says:
I found a place – a small, neighborhood pizza place, called Bartoli’s – that has agreed to show Cosmos on their tv on Sunday nights at 8:00pm on Fox TV and see how it goes.

So people are invited to come watch the show and hang out a bit after if you want to discuss. It’s pretty quiet on Sunday nights, mostly doing take-out and delivery so this might be a good option. They have a menu of pizza and some sandwiches and salads. You don’t have to eat. (They have no liquor license, so no beer.) If no one shows up, no big deal. If 30 people show up, well, then we’d have to find a larger place, but I’m not worried at this point.

Bartoli’s is just east of Damen on Addison. It’s 2 blocks west of the Brown Line El stop at Addison and served by both the #50 Damen and #152 Addison CTA bus routes. Plus, street parking in the neighborhood is FREE.

So, there you have it. Others should feel free to pursue venues in your own cities for those in your area, or for a Monday night (when it airs at 9pm on National Geographic TV) and post as a separate meetup. It runs for 13 weeks, after all, so there’s time.

See this on Meetup

Skepticamp 2014 Speakers: Louise Kellar

Louise Kellar is a resident Hoosier who spends a lot of time trying to prove there’s more than corn and creationism is the heartland. The uphill battle has lead her to be an aspiring aficionado of Bourbon. In between her creationism coverage, she has helped The Women Thinking Inc with their vaccine advocacy and played a role in getting the vaccine perceptions survey research published. Feel free to ask her about saddled dinosaurs, what her favorite bourbon distillery is or just say hi.
Her favorite carrier pigeon is named Ursula Penelope Stewart.

Skepticamp topic:
The Places I Go So You Don’t Have To
Darwin, Hitler, abortion and saddled dinosaurs ..why I voluntarily go to creationist events!

Skeptical Salon – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

Thursday, March 27, 2014
7:30 PM

Location: Jennifer’s Place

I know what you’re thinking and don’t worry. You have our assurance that no one will be forced to listen to Vogon poetry during this Salon.

After a rather serious and long haul through The Moral Animal last month, isn’t about time to just kick back and relax with some general silliness? The beautiful thing is that, while Hitchhiker’s may be silly, it isn’t that simple. It raises questions of faith, reality, critical analysis and The Ultimate Question (whatever it may be) and its accompanying Answer. Is it possible to ever have the Ultimate Question answered? Is it even possible to figure out the Ultimate Question? Through a roundabout of absurdity, these are questions that Adams was well known for bringing about in his works.

So please, come join us while we journey around the universe in the Heart of Gold to find the parallels of Skepticism and Hitchhiker’s philosophy and see if we can really come close to figuring out the secret to Life, The Universe And Everything.

And yes, there will be Pan-galatic Gargle Blasters for imbibing.

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
- Douglas Adams

Skepticamp 2014 Speakers: Dan Price

Dan Price is an IT ninja by day and amateur philosopher, artist, game designer, and general explorer of whatever is interesting and shiny all the time. Dan loves to discuss, argue, debate, pontificate, and learn.
(Dan is also on the Skepticamp planning committee, so he’s pulling double-duty! We think he’s shiny.)

Contact Dan

Skepticamp topic:
Unpacking Skepticism: Philosophy and Argumentation for the Doubting
“How do you know?” It’s my favorite question.
In skepticism, we ask a lot of questions. How do we know what to believe or what we know, at all? This is often where you have to start when discussing why you should be skeptical. I aim to discuss some of the philosophy of this area and offer some practical tools for these sorts of discussions.

Skepticamp 2014 Speakers: Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar

Unfortunately, we found out at the last minute that Faisal can’t guarantee he’ll be able to make it to Skepticamp this year. :(

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is an Iraqi born writer, public speaker, web designer and a social activist living currently in the United States. He is an advocate for freedom of thought, science, reason and the free market of ideas and economy.

Al-Mutar is the founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement and Secular Post. He is currently the Public Relations Director for Global Secular Organizing and Strategy, and a 2014 Fellow at the Harvard Humanist Community.

Skepticamp topic:
My Vision for 21st Century Humanism
As a huge proponent of religious freedom, I assert that humans have the right to believe and do whatever they want as long as their actions or beliefs do not harm somebody else or limit the freedom of another individual to do and believe whatever he or she prefers. The only way to ensure and maintain religious freedom is to have a separation of Mosque and State or Church and State.

Skepticamp 2014 Speakers: Ivan Phillips

“I believe that, with the right framing, we can build a much more rational society in the space of a generation. This is why I am passionate about education in rational thinking, and why I co-founded the Rational Future Institute.”

Skepticamp topic:
Intelligence versus Rationality
Why do so many brilliant people subscribe to preposterous theories?
There is a difference between intelligence and rationality. It often requires creative genius to invent a theory and to show that the theory is self-consistent, but it takes rationality to show that the theory is probably true.

Skepticamp 2014 Speakers: Mike Jarsulic

Mike is a computer scientist at The University of Chicago specializing in High Performance Computing and scientific programming. Although he has been a skeptic for most of his life, the anti-vaccination movement has motivated him to become more active in the community. Mike recently moved to Chicago from Pittsburgh.

Skepticamp topic:
So You Think You’re a Realist?
An overview the debate in philosophy of science between scientific realists and anti-realists which attempts to answer whether the predictive success of a theory warrants belief in the unobservable entities (such as molecules and electrons) that it postulates.

Skepticamp 2014 Speakers: Chris Long

Chris is an optimist who cheerfully overestimates the abilities and positive intentions of others. She works as an IT Director and believes that good management is a noble goal. She lives in the western ‘burbs with her husband and two awesome cats.
Contact Chris

Skepticamp topic:
“Personality” is Not Destiny – See Yourself Differently
Personality tests are everywhere, from job applications to Buzzfeed. Do they provide any accurate information, or just random feedback that sounds believable? Chris will present a simple, tested tool that can dramatically improve the way you communicate with yourself and others.