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Rationalists of East Tennessee is an organization created to benefit people by expanding understanding of the universe through the use of empirical and rational methods. Our purposes are as follows:
To foster an environment suitable to free speech and exchange of ideas.
To promote free inquiry into the nature of the universe and of human societies.
To encourage critical thinking on all aspects of human life.
To emphasize the importance of the scientific method.
To explore ethical and intellectual alternatives to supernatural beliefs.
To model humanistic ethics through service to the greater community.
To provide a fellowship for people who share these purposes.
Smoky Mountain Freethought Advance! (not "Retreat")
Good news! The Rationalists of East Tennessee is holding a Freethought event in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, in Townsend, TN, July 3 and 4th. The cost is $120/person (children under 18 are free). Meals are a la carte at an additional fee. Lodging and Advance are at Tremont Lodge and Resort, 7726 E Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882-4039 (865) 448-3200 or (844) 448-3200 with a 10% discount if RET is mentioned as the Group. A block of rooms will only be held until May 29, so reserve soon! There is a stunning list of speakers already confirmed with more to come, plus there will be the traditional "Freethought Jeopardy" and even fireworks.
For details and mail-in registration form, click here.
For more information contact Aleta Ledendecker at email@example.com.
How Do I Join RET?
We welcome you to attend our meetings to find out more about us. Find out what we're doing next by browsing the calendar at left or by sending email to info at rationalists.org.
Once you've decided we're a group you'd like to associate with, either download our brochure and fill out the blank or print the HTML application found here.
Recent News and Events
RET Third Sunday Meeting Please join us for the Rationalists of East Tennessee Third Sunday Meeting on May 17 in the Cafeteria annex, Goins Administration Building, Pellissippi State Community College, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm. RET member,Dr. Charles Omarzu, will present a talk on "The Design of Experiments on Living Things" The design of experiments on living things has a wide range of applications - from education to psychology and sociology, and to bio-medical research. The core principles of these designs can be explained in a non-technical way so that they are understandable to a broad audience. This should allow interested parties to critically evaluate research findings and claims made for the value of various
treatments and equipment. For this presentation, an interactive approach will be used to help the audience reason its way through testing for various threats to the validity of the experiment. An attempt will be made to provide easy
and interesting examples as well as some useful background information. The goal will be to reach the "gold standard" of such designs, which is used, for example, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) as its protocol for testing. Some information may also be presented on claims, which have yet to meet this standard.
Posted by risler May 14, 2015
Smoky Mountain Freethought Advance (Not Retreat!) Because the Freedom From Religion Foundation Lake Hypatia July 4 “Advance!” is not being held this year, we have good news!
The Rationalists of East Tennessee is holding a substitute event in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, in Townsend, TN, July 3 and 4th.
Cost $120/person (children under 18 are free). Meals are a la carte at an additional fee. Lodging and Advance are at Tremont Lodge and Resort, 7726 E Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882-4039 (865) 448-3200 or (844) 448-3200 with a 10% discount if RET is mentioned as the Group. A block of rooms will only be held until May 29, so reserve soon!
There is a stunning list of speakers already confirmed with more to come, plus there will be the traditional “Freethought Jeopardy” and even fireworks.
For more information contact Aleta Ledendecker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by carl May 11, 2015
Reminder-RET Public Lecture A reminder: The Rationalists of East Tennessee annual public lecture will feature humanist writer Dale McGowan speaking on “Twenty Things Most Atheists Don’t Know about Atheism”. – Saturday, May 2 at 1:00 pm in the Goins Building auditorium on the campus of Pellissippi State Community Colllege, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville. You won’t want to miss this informative and entertaining lecture by the author of “Atheism for Dummies”.
Posted by risler Apr. 30, 2015
RET Annual Public Lecture Please mark your calendar for the annual public lecture sponsored by the Rationalists of East Tennessee. Humanist author Dale McGowan will speak to us on Saturday, May 2, at 1:00 pm in the Goins Auditorium of Pellissippi State Community College, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville. His talk is titled "Twenty Things I Learned About Atheism that Most Atheists Don’t Even Know". The presentation is free and is open to the public.
This will be an entertaining talk based on Dale’s book "Atheism for Dummies".
He notes that "If the sentence 'Atheists Don’t Believe in God' captures everything there is to know about the subject, then the Grand Canyon is just a big hole in Arizona." Join us as he reveals twenty surprising things he learned about atheism while researching the book.
Dale is an author and editor of several books including "Parenting Beyond Belief", "Raising Freethinkers", and "Atheism For Dummies". His most recent title, "In Faith and In Doubt", is the first on marriages between religious believers and nonbelievers. Dale is also the founding Executive Director of Foundation Beyond Belief, a humanist charitable and service organization, and is also content development manager for Patheos, the world’s largest website exploring questions from religious and nonreligious perspectives. He was named Harvard Humanist of the Year in 2008. Dale lives with his family near Atlanta. For further information, visit his web site http://dalemcgowan.com/.
Posted by risler Apr. 22, 2015
RET Third Sunday Meeting Please join us for the Rationalists of East Tennessee Third Sunday Meeting on April 19 in the Cafeteria annex, Goins Administration Building, Pellissippi State Community College, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm. Professor Bruce MacLennan of the University of Tennessee will present a talk based on his recent book titled "The Wisdom of Hypatia". Hypatia was one of the most famous philosophers of the ancient world. The mix of classical philosophies she taught to Pagans, Jews, and Christians in the fourth century forms the very foundation of Western spirituality as we know it today. The Wisdom of Hypatia is a hands-on guide to using the principles of philosophy to bring purpose and depth to your life.
To the ancients, philosophy was a spiritual practice meant to help the seeker achieve a good life and maintain mental tranquility. Bruce J. MacLennan, PhD, provides a concise history of philosophy up to Hypatia’s time and explores the three most important philosophical schools of the Hellenistic Age.
Posted by risler Apr. 17, 2015
RET Skeptic Book Club for April Please join us for the April 12 meeting of the Rationalists of East Tennessee's Skeptic Book Club, 2:00 pm at Books-A-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville.
The book for our April meeting is “A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History” by Nicholas Wade. Fewer ideas have been more toxic or harmful than the idea of the biological reality of race, and with it the idea that humans of different races are biologically different from one another. For this understandable reason, the idea has been banished from polite academic conversation. Arguing that race is more than just a social construct can get a scholar run out of town, or at least off campus, on a rail. Human evolution, the consensus view insists, ended in prehistory.
Inconveniently, as Nicholas Wade argues in A Troublesome Inheritance, the consensus view cannot be right. And in fact, we know that populations have changed in the past few thousand years—to be lactose tolerant, for example, and to survive at high altitudes. Race is not a bright-line distinction; by definition it means that the more human populations are kept apart, the more they evolve their own distinct traits under the selective pressure known as Darwinian evolution. For many thousands of years, most human populations stayed where they were and grew distinct, not just in outward appearance but in deeper senses as well.
Wade, the longtime journalist covering genetic advances for The New York Times, draws widely on the work of scientists who have made crucial breakthroughs in establishing the reality of recent human evolution. )