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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.
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
Inside Atheism This is a heads-up notice for Rationalists of East Tennessee members and friends. On Tuesday, March 24 at 9:00 pm EST, CNN will present a program titled "Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers". It will be interesting to see how the presentation is framed and whether the broadcast itself might be a worthwhile topic for a future roundtable discussion.
Posted by risler Mar. 22, 2015
RET Third Sunday Meeting Please join us for the Rationalists of East Tennessee Third Sunday Meeting on March 15 in the Cafeteria annex, Goins Administration Building, Pellissippi State Community College, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm. Dr. Tessa Burch-Smith of the University of Tennessee's Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology will present a talk titled "Genetic Engineering in Agriculture".
Posted by risler Mar. 13, 2015
The RET Skeptic Book Club Pleas join us for the March 8 meeting of the Rationalists of East Tennessee's Skeptic Book Club, 2:00 pm at Books-A-Million,8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville.
Remember, daylight savings time begins this Sunday so your clocks should be moved ahead one hour.
The book under discussion will be "Hope after Faith: An Ex-Pastor's Journey from Belief to Atheism" by Jerry DeWitt. DeWitt was a pastor in the town of DeRidder, Louisiana, and was a fixture of the community. In private, however, he’d begun to question his faith. Late one night in May 2011, a member of his flock called seeking prayer for her brother who had been in a serious accident. As DeWitt searched for the right words to console her, speech failed him, and he found that the faith which once had formed the cornerstone of his life had finally crumbled to dust. When it became public knowledge that DeWitt was now an atheist, he found himself shunned by much of DeRidder’s highly religious community, losing nearly everything he’d known. “Hope After Faith” is the story of one man’s evolution toward a committed and considered atheism, one driven by humanism, a profound moral dimension, and a happiness and self-confidence obtained through living free of fear.
Posted by risler Mar. 06, 2015
RET First Sunday Meeting Please join us for the Rationalists of East Tennessee First Sunday meeting on March 1. Professor Erin Darby of the University of Tennessee will speak on the rise of monotheism in early Israelite society. Goins Building cafeteria annex, Pellissippi State Community College, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.
Posted by risler Feb. 27, 2015
RET Third Sunday Meeting Please join us for the Rationalists of East Tennessee Third Sunday Meeting on February 15 in the Cafeteria annex, Goins Administration Building, Pellissippi State Community College, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm. The presentation originally planned for this date, “The Rise of monotheism in early Israelite society” by Prof. Erin Darby has been rescheduled to March 1. Instead, this coming Sunday we will feature a DVD presentation by Dr. Dr. John Long from the Skeptics Society Distinguished Lecture Series titled “Death, Sex, and Evolution”. In this riveting story about his remarkable discoveries from the Gogo fossil site in the Kimberly district of Western Australia, the Australian paleontologist John Long, now Vice President of Research and Collections at the Natural History Museum of L.A. County, takes us beyond just reconstructing animal morphology and into the realm of restoring ancient behavior. Long drills down deep on how we know what we know about the past, what the boundaries of knowledge are with respect to studying fossils, and how exceptional fossils contribute to reshaping our perspectives on evolution. Dr. Long, the author of the classic books The Rise of the Fishes and Swimming in Stone, compares the Hollywood view of evolution versus the scientific visage of natural history. As well, Dr. Long will explore how complex ideas in science — such as global climate change — are easily dismissed by those who are skeptical of the scientific consensus that global warming is real because the basic level of scientific literacy to begin to understand the problem involves a high level of either multidisciplinary knowledge or a high level of trust in science and how it works.
Posted by risler Feb. 13, 2015
The RET Skeptic Book Club Pleas join us for the February meeting of the Rationalists of East Tennessee's Skeptic Book Club. NOTE: the Book Club will start meeting at a new venue, Books-A-Million, beginning this Sunday, February 8. The time of the meeting will remain the same, 2:00 p.m. The Books-A-Million store is located at 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville. It is in a shopping center located at the Northeast corner of Kingston Pike and Walker Springs Road, next to the Sunrise oriental market. The book for this month is “An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth” by Chris Hadfield. This is an inspirational memoir of space exploration and hard-won wisdom, from an astronaut who has spent a lifetime making the impossible a reality. Colonel Chris Hadfield has spent decades training as an astronaut and has logged nearly 4,000 hours in space. During this time he has broken into a Space Station with a Swiss army knife, disposed of a live snake while piloting a plane, and been temporarily blinded while clinging to the exterior of an orbiting spacecraft. The secret to Col. Hadfield’s success - and survival - is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst - and enjoy every moment of it. In “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth”, Col. Hadfield takes readers deep into his years of training and space exploration to show how to make the impossible possible. Through eye-opening, entertaining stories filled with the adrenaline of launch, the mesmerizing wonder of spacewalks and the measured, calm responses mandated by crises, he explains how conventional wisdom can get in the way of achievement - and happiness. His own extraordinary education in space has taught him some counter intuitive lessons: don’t visualize success, do care what others think, and always sweat the small stuff. You might never be able to build a robot, pilot a spacecraft, make a music video or perform basic surgery in zero gravity like Col. Hadfield. But his vivid and refreshing insights will teach you how to think like an astronaut, and will change, completely, the way you view life on Earth - especially your own. (Amazon Review)