Thursday, November 25, 2010

Skepticon and More

So... A few days ago I returned home from attending Skepticon. It... was.... AWESOME!!

On our very first day, the second speaker (David Fitzgerald) blew my mind, and apparently everyone else's too. His talk was on early Christianity (he is a proponent of Jesus mythicism) and the talk was vivid and enlightening. I think he implicitly addressed a few of my concerns about Jesus mythicism in his talk (I'll blog more on mythicism at a later date). Anyway, it's no surprise that shortly after the talk his book sold out (for those interested, it is Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All).

I got my very own copy of Flim-Flam! signed by James Randi. I got a chance to speak with both Richard Carrier and PZ Myers too, which was pretty awesome. And that's the thing about Skepticon that is so cool: All of the celebrity speakers are very approachable. If you're polite and have a question or just something normal to say, you can bet you'll have a chance to speak with whomever you want (even the elusive PZ Myers, lol).

Anyway, my summary of the talks won't do justice to them. You'll have to wait until they get uploaded to youtube (in a couple of months). Which reminds me, the past two Skepticon events are up on the channel. Watch 'em if you haven't.

Rather hilariously, our event was protested. I saw one protester holding up a sign saying "Don't think too hard!" and I felt the need to walk up and talk some sense to the guy. On talking to him I learned that he was actually just pretending to be a protester. Ha!

Seriously though, we did have some protesters. One was a guy who stood outside for several hours every day for three days straight offering people free prayers. There was also a group offering copies of Ray Comfort's "special" edition of Origin of Species. I politely referred them to my blog and told them about Comfort's shameless plagiarism, though I doubt I made any headway.

And finally, somewhat of topic: Eugenie Scott co-authored an article about how to answer the why-are-monkeys-still-around-question, which I think is quite good. And there's a very good article about irreducible complexity that I just recently stumbled across.

1 comment:

eheffa said...

David Fitzgerald's thesis can be read in this pithy summary posted on-line here:

I plan to get his book too; but, he writes very clearly & convincingly for those new to the idea that the Jesus of the New Testament is a pious fiction.