20th anniversary survey

Hi blog readers,

On The Atheist Experience today, we will be announcing a survey we’ve created in order to learn about your interests and needs. We would love to get feedback from anyone who can respond, whether you’re an Atheist Community of Austin member, a viewer/listener of the Atheist Experience and the Non-Prophets, or just an atheist with a casual interest in providing feedback. By responding, you will also be able to enter in a random drawing for free gear from our EvolveFish store. Thanks!

Take the survey

Be very skeptical of claims that Donald Trump is an atheist

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, holds up his bible who was giving to him by his mother as he speaks during the Values Voter Summit, held by the Family Research Council Action, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, in Washington ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

As I mentioned on the show several times in the last few weeks, the Atheist Community of Austin is a non-profit group and we don’t endorse political candidates as a matter of policy. We do encourage political engagement though, and there is a big difference.

Donald Trump won the election a week ago today, and will take office in two months. Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts about Hillary Clinton, but at this point they are pretty much irrelevant. The question is no longer “Should we vote for Trump?” but “What will a Trump presidency look like?” That is a hard question to answer decisively, because one of the main features of Trump’s campaign was that he was incredibly erratic and unpredictable. When you come right down to it, who the hell knows what he will do?

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Random topic: Time travel

Let’s talk about timey-wimey stuff

Although my degrees are in computer science and computer engineering, as an undergraduate I switched my major over from physics after my first year. Before switching, I went through five quarters of undergrad physics, with my last class being relativity. I also had the pleasure of watching — and mocking — the Star Trek TNG series finale in a room full of other physics majors.

I love science fiction, not only for escapism, but also because it is fun to explore the hypothetical possibilities that science could make possible but hasn’t. Various topics like time travel and artificial intelligence have come up this year on The Non-Prophets, and I will usually drop into that kind of speculation at the drop of a hat.

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Upcoming Austin event announcements

Hi everyone,

A few notes about upcoming things to be aware of if you’re local to Austin.

  • This weekend (August 7) we’re trying a new venue for dinner. Instead of going to Threadgill’s, we’ll be going to Star of India (click here for address and map). If you want to attend dinner, please come there instead. If it’s successful, we might go on August 14 as well before making any official change.
  • I’ll be giving the monthly lecture on August 14. It’s the first time I’ve done a non-show talk for the Austin group since starting my tenure as ACA president. The talk title is “Outreach and communication for atheists and other unpopular groups.” It is similar to the talk I was going to give in Riverside, CA, but unfortunately my business trip got rescheduled so I had to cancel that event. I hope to make it up to Riverside later this year.
  • ACA will be hosting a booth as usual at the Austin Pride Festival on August 27. Look for us.
  • Atheists at Hippie Hollow event August 20, see Facebook page for details.
  • Don’t forget that the annual bat cruise is coming up soon! For tickets, go here.

Russell