The Skepticon 5 conference was early in November. In the link below you will find ten of the talks that took place.
Videos never replace the experience of attending a conference. Comradeship, meeting together of minds, debates over issues raised, the stimulation of body and mind that goes on. Smiling as I remember my experiences. Still talking to people I met years ago at such events.
Skepticon – A Brief History
Skepticon is an annual skeptics convention set in Springfield, Missouri. Springfield is home to the Assemblies of God and several religious universities (such as Evangel and Drury). The area is affectionately referred to by many locals as the buckle of the bible belt. This is why in the Fall of 2008, JT Eberhard, Lauren Lane, and the MSU Chapter of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster invited PZ Myers and Richard Carrier to the Missouri State campus to criticize belief in god. The event was well-attended and was retroactively dubbed Skepticon.
The following year seemed like a good time to do it again. A piratey, Pastafarian crew was taken on and collectively we, as Richard Carrier put it, “cranked the dial up to eleven.” PZ Myers and Richard Carrier returned, joined by several new faces such as New York Times best-selling author Victor Stenger, Dan Barker, Rebecca Watson, D.J. Grothe, Robert Price, Joe Nickell, and JT Eberhard. The event also hosted two debates, both over the question “Does God Exist?” One debate was between students, while the other pitted Richard Carrier, Victor Stenger, and JT Eberhard against top scholars from the Assemblies of God.
Skepticon II featured a pub night as well, where attendees were able to meet the speakers (and actively make them intoxicated). To manage all this, the event was stretched into two very full days. Skepticon II was awarded Best On-Campus Event for 2009 by the Center for Inquiry (CFI).
The events nowadays also cover science, history and more with a diverse speaker list compared to those early years.
Plenty for the brain to soak up.
So if the opportunity arises, do go. With Skepticon it is free to attend. Do not miss the next one!
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog