BA/Pharyngula/Skepchick meetup in Alaska

By Phil Plait | March 12, 2008 1:14 pm

The blogger meetups we’ve been having — where bloggers and readers get together at local pubs — are a lot of fun and a great way to meet like-minded people.

Some folks Up North have decided that us 48-Contiguous-Staters are having too much fun, so they are throwing a BA/Pharyngula/Skepchick/science/skepticism fan meetup in Anchorage! Blue Collar Scientist has the details. It’ll be on Thursday, March 20, at 7:00 PM, in the cafe at Barnes and Noble on Northern Lights Blvd.

And I’m publicly calling out Marian Call to show up. So there. I’m guessing they’ll need music…

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Science, Skepticism

Comments (27)

  1. KinzuaKid

    Ugh- so what’s next, Hawaii? Guess us in San Diego have to wait until Space Fest 2009!

  2. We here in Fargo wouldn’t mind something like that. Not at all.

  3. Michael Lonergan

    What about Vancouver?

  4. I adore Marian Call! But, you’ve spelled her name wrong in the post. The spelling in the link to her MySpace page is fine, though.

  5. I fixed her name. It’s a made-up name anyway. :-)

  6. Quiet_Desperation

    Alaska?! There is no such place. It’s a mythical. You know, like Narnia, Middle Earth, Barsoom and Canada.

    Some guy on said so, so I know it’s all true like.

  7. Davidlpf

    I’m mythical now (Canadian), does that make a god. If I am one thing I would like to make clear creationism wrong, evolution right.

  8. Don Wiseman

    “The blogger meetups we’ve been having — where bloggers and readers get together at local pubs — are a lot of fun and a great way to meet like-minded people.”

    “Like minded people.” The greatest scientists were not “like-minded,” and that includes people like Tommy Gold who was scorned by other scientists – until he was proven right – in several areas. And the absolute idiots who promulgated continental drift were sneered at by 90% of the scientific community.

    Give me non-like-minded people who can take a lead and, right or wrong get me to thinking along different lines. Like minded people of fine and comfortable for drinking with. But don’t ensure that any real breakthroughs will be made.

    Those who believe in creationism are “like-minded people.” Give me a Galileo instead.

  9. Quiet_Desperation

    people like Tommy Gold

    Wasn’t he the one who said oil originated deep in the mantle, and that any organics were contaminents it picked up in the crust? I always sort of liked that one.

  10. Don, you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or something? It’s OK for people to have similar interests. And I never said they were all brainwashed into toeing the line or anything like that. This is just a meetup for people who are into science and skepticism!

  11. Thank you, BA, for helping get the word out!

    Don’s apparently never been to Alaska. Nobody here is a joiner or can agree on anything. :-)

  12. gopher65

    Dang! I use to live in Anchorage (well, Eagle River, but that was part of the Anchorage school district, so it counts). No one *ever* comes to Saskatoon:(.

  13. jfatz

    I thought life was pretty much incompatible with Alaska…

  14. Arthur Maruyama

    Alas(ka)! Marian Call will still be at SxSW in Austin on March 20th. Her schedule on her MySpace page has her performing near Houston on the 22nd. I do not know when she will be returning to Anchorage.

    BTW: I attended Marian’s performance at Laguna Niguel and let me say that she is every bit as good live as she is recorded.

  15. the producers of the movie lied to several scientists — evolutionary biologists — to get interviews with them.

    No, please, say it ain’t so, Phil, no!

    Producers lied? To not one, but several scientists?

    To get . . . interviews?

    This is from the Angry Astronomer, your complete one-stop shopping for everything I want a movie review by those who have not seen the movie.
    Angry Astronomer Link

    Angry Astronomer, despite not seeing the movie, is, nevertheless, angry enough, in reality; absolute anger, angers, absolutely.

    In reality, it’s nothing less than a distorted propaganda piece.

    Is propaganda distorted information?

    Or is distorted information the essential aspect of propaganda?

    1 chiefly derogatory information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

    Propaganda is derogatory distortion of information.

    What do you call condescending self-righteous indignation denigrating a movie you have not seen and about which know so little?

    Methinks that is distorting distorted propaganda to intentionally discourage people from seeing this movie.

    Rush to judge a film not seen, nor heard, to disseminate biased, unverified 3rd party information, based on content of questionable quality?

    Bad, Bad Astronomer, displays a lack of integrity at least as sinful, if not unforgivable, as the Intelligent Design movement you arrogantly mock with ironic derision.

    Methinks that complaining the producers lied to get the interviews is tacit admission to the reason the producers did what they did – which was simply not to tell them the movie was not ANTI-religion, in which case the scientist would morph into Captain Anti-Creationist instead of the Random Scientific Intelligence Officer found randomly in the science lab.

    AngryAngerAngriestAstronmer had this to gag:

    In order to produce the film, the producers knowingly lied to the evolution supporters it interviewed regarding the nature and purpose of the film. This was done in the case of PZ Myers, as well as Richard Dawkins, and Eugenie Scott.

    Whatever the underlying reason for whining about the alleged nature of the interview, there is no claim of information resulting from the interview is misleading, misquoted or misappropriated out of context.

    What is so special about Angry that he is the “Expelled” authority?

    Here, in his own Angry words:

    Jon Voisey
    • Age: 24
    • Gender: Male
    • Astrological Sign: Libra
    • Zodiac Year: Boar
    • Industry: Student

    Jon Voisey is a 24 year old Astronomy major at the University of Kansas.

    When not working on the (sic) excessive amounts of homework, Jon is frequently found:

    • surfing the internet,
    • playing videogames,
    • salsa dancing,
    • sword fighting,
    • drinking, or
    • doing “other”

    activities typically associated with college students.

    Jon is clearly the go-to Astronomer if you want the Angry Astronomer; he is angry, no question about that. Sword fighting, salsa dancing, and drinking, combined with “other” and in college for who knows how long now, Angry has some serious Anger cred, egghead Anger, anyway.

    The Bad, Angry self-righteous indignation is more proof that, had the eggheads known their interview was to be used in a film which argues, not for creationism, not for intelligent design, but for discrimination in the academic community of scientists whose fear of intelligent design is ironic in itself, and the focus of the alleged discrimination.

    I think the discrimination is pretty self-evident and by design; intelligently, not so sure.

    What the hell is so frightening about a priori intelligent design of intelligence?

    As opposed to hypothetically random science?

    Random complexification, randomly complexified, growth exponentially homogenized, evolving chaos to randomly intelligent chaos, to random, intelligently chaotic, random intelligence, etc.; evolving by not intelligent, but random, intelligence; chaotic, random regeneration is intelligent chaos, at random; chaotic results over billions of years; eventually, chaotic, intelligent randomization of intelligence is random intelligent life on Earth.

    Random scientific dogma about evolution hypothetically telescoping as far back as they claim to see back in some distant time in actual space over how far away?

    9.3312e12 x 14.1e10 = 1.3156992e24 km!

    Time is far out, in, like, space, man.

    “As for the ‘deception’ of getting interviews, the guy who set up the interviews stated, ‘there was a fine line between telling them enough so that they would give honest answers, had we told them what the entire film was about they would have either not given truthful answers or not agreed to the interview’ Anyone who does documentaries that could seem controversial has to walk this line.”

    Oh, so they’re admitted liars.

    Who is lying to who?

    Science is lying, religiously.
    Religion is lying, scientifically.

    Both are exclusions to the other; neither trusts the other, both claim superiority to the other.

    Without one, the other does not exist.

    Science needs religion to waste time debunking religious propaganda.
    Creation needs science to waste time demeaning scientific propaganda.

    If science is so sure religion is crackpot, why does science spend so much time debunking crackpots?

    True crackpottery would be a complete waste of time to the true scientist.

    If true scientists know crackpottery is a waste of time, is science justified in time wasting time on crackpottery?

    It seems to be totally scientific crackpottery.

    Truly scientific design? Religiously Designed Scientific Intelligence.

    (Now, if only Bad left the original Liar post people would know what the hell I am talking about . . )

  16. Mr. Terry embodies the reason for every bit of hesitancy and concern I have over organizing an event like this.

  17. Michael Lonergan

    Gopher, not only do I know where Saskatoon is, but I’ve been there!

  18. Don Wiseman —

    Actually, the continental drift folks were never “sneered at.” In every old geology text I’ve looked through back to 1920 or so, continental drift is always listed as a possibility. Wegener’s model for it was unphysical, requiring continents to plow through the ocean floor — that was the main reason it wasn’t adopted for so long. When the idea of separate plates came up, it provided the missing mechanism for continental drift, and from Vine and Deloria’s demonstration of sea-floor spreading in 1963 it was less than ten years before continental drift was accepted as the default.

  19. drew terry — your post was very long, and paragraph by paragraph, seemed to make sense, although I disagreed with some of your statements. But after reading the whole thing, I still had no idea what you were talking about.

  20. KinzuaKid

    In my job I deliver “unconfusion” to my clients but if I had to bid a project for drew terry, I’d need to decline. There aren’t enough hours in a day to untangle that morass. Lack of a point notwithstanding, I’m still holding out for Space Fest. Maybe we’ll figure it out by then. 😉

  21. Don Wiseman

    1. When I worked with Tommy gold, he was Sagan’s boss at Cornell. If said anything about petroleumm I am unaware of it. He was initiallykown for Pulsars, which initially created a bit of to do. During Apollo he put forth the theory that lunar soil/dust could migrate via pietzo electric forces caused by cracking rocks on the terminator. I had quite a discussion with the lead Apollo scientist (Paul – I don’t recall last name) who dismissied it out of hand. Then, in the early 90’s that very migration was photographed.

    2. As for my time on the continental drift, another conversation with Aplollo scientists (of whom I am not one but with whom I worked in Apollo) back around the Apollo 12 mission agreed that even 10 years before, 90% of all scientists dismissed it.

    Glad my comments on like-mindedness got some people a bit upset.

  22. blf

    Tommy Gold did indeed propose a non-biological origin of oil (in the late 1970s?). I believe the idea was later altered somewhat and published as The Deep Hot Biosphere. An experimental borehole was drilled in Sweden to test one of these two ideas (I cannot recall which one). The results were inconclusive.

  23. Drew Terry,

    Above all I found the alliteration and the tone of your post to be fascinating. I could feel a strong emotional flow to your writing — as if that was the clear core to the coherence of the piece. Having that emotion and the gift of the sense of sound in language makes for a powerful presentation, but it can be just as easily applied to logical fallacy and misdirection as argument.

    You could do a lot of good if you would create a place in your mind (and you don’t have to admit to anyone else that you are doing this) where you break down your own arguments into simple and clear statements and evaluate for yourself if what you are saying is true.

    Any talented speaker can get a room full of monkeys to chant and cheer along with them, regardless of the actual content of their arguments. (and we are all very closely related to monkeys — weather we were created so or evolved that way.)

    And have the faith in your own strength to not need to be contemptuous with people that you disagree with. Even someone who is mostly wrong has something to offer you, and you may come to see that the concepts of “right” and “wrong” are more fluid and interpenetrating than you currently believe them to be.


  24. What a lively bunch you are. Of course, something intellectually stimulating WOULD happen in Anchorage while I’m in Texas. And Phil Plait WOULD demand my presence there while I’m too busy touring to keep up with the blog.

    I’ll be very sorry to miss this, gentlemen and skepchicks! But should you meetup again, I’ll be happy to make an appearance and serenade you with some of the better songs that have been written about protons, primatology, and/or the Pythagorean Theorem. Plus my usual tunes about coffee and beer.


    (Happy Equinox soon, all — you mythical Alaskans will understand why it’s worth celebrating.)


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