Skepticon 5 Will Be Awesome

I will be speaking on “miracles and the historical method” at Skepticon this year, greatly updating my old but popular talk on the subject with what I’ve discovered and worked out in writing Proving History. This will build on last year’s talk about Bayes’ Theorem, but will be more about method than math, and cover a lot of real-world examples from the ancient world. The gist will be: how to think critically about history generally, using miracles as an entertaining example. I will be selling and signing copies of my new book and my previous ones.

This year Skepticon is happening a little earlier than usual, November 9 to 11 (2012). Things start Friday (workshops in the day, talks and events begin at night) and conclude Sunday night (the specific schedule might change but not the general plan). If you want to attend, and you haven’t already registered, you should do that now so they can plan ahead for how many will be there (as always, it’s free; but donations of any amount are welcome–the option is provided at registration). My talk is presently scheduled for Sunday afternoon but there is a scheduling conflict and I don’t know which way it will get resolved.

Skepticon is in Springfield, Missouri. And this year it’s being held in the ultra-modern Springfield Expo Center (I assume this time without the gun show next door). That’s at 635 East Saint Louis Street, roughly across the street from the University Plaza Hotel. There is a lot of useful info on the Skepticon website, including forum-based help on getting there and getting accommodations (and a bunch of other cool stuff). So check that out.

The speakers list this year is even more amazing than past years, a group of fascinatingly diverse skills and backgrounds. Returning wonderfuls are, besides myself, of course PZ Myers (evolution science), Greta Christina (gender and sexuality…and all around common sense), JT Eberhard (asskicking), David Fitzgerald (Jesus, Mormonism, and the Atheist Film Festival), Hemant Mehta (mathematics and critical thinking), Darrel Ray (psychology and sexuality), Julia Galef (education, rationality, and critical thinking), and Rebecca Watson (feminism and laser-sharp cheekiness…wait, are lasers sharp?).

Newcomers include Jessica Ahlquist (atheist activism and general bravery in the field…or translated into churchspeak, “an evil little thing”), Sean Carroll (cosmological physics), James Croft (philosophy, humanities, and humanism), Matt Dillahunty (television host and counter-apologetics kung fu master), Phil Ferguson (godless financial expert, and godless parent, who has been deep in the belly of the beast), George Hrab (all things musical…and skeptical), Deborah Hyde (cinematic make-up artist, editor of The Skeptic UK, and expert on the supernatural), Keith Jensen (a real actual atheist comic), Amanda Knief (atheism lobbyist for the Secular Coalition for America; probably knows ten times more about politics than you do), Teresa MacBain (ex-pastor, atheist PR guru, and major figure in The Clergy Project…in fact hers is one of the most sensational coming out stories of the 21st century), Jennifer Ouellette (English major, science writer), and Tony Pinn (professor of religious studies, significant figure in black humanism).

Katie Hartman makes a really beautiful case for donating to help fund the event, which is almost entirely dependent on donations (with only a little help from sponsors and exhibitors).

And last but not least, Secular Woman is raising money to fund grants to send more women from around the country to Skepticon. It’s a great idea and they need your help, so donate to that cause if you can. Men can also apply for grants through Skepticon, and you can donate to their funds, too (see here).


  1. says

    “I assume this time without the gun show next door.”
    I was informed by a Christian that a room full of skeptics is actually a greater threat to the health and safety to the residents of Springfield than a room full of firearms. I wonder what Bayes’ Theorem has to say about the legitimacy of such an assertion?

  2. chriskg says

    Dr. Carrier,

    Are there any events that you could co-appear with John Loftus? I’d love to get two signatures on my books. BTW, will you stop by his new blog,, now and then? Maybe for an interview? Or, better yet, will ever be hitting the east coast or Washington DC area?


    • says

      Regarding Loftus: Possibly. We’ve attended conferences together, but just haven’t both been speakers at them. But I don’t arrange these things (they just come to me). So who knows what the future has in store. Unfortunately I can’t keep up with other blogs, though (or podcasts, either). I only glance occasionally at a few now and then. It’s a shame, since there are so many great blogs and podcasts. But alas, I haven’t time. But if John asked to interview me for his blog in future I’d probably oblige (as I have before).

      As to East Coast/DC: nothing in the works for up there, but I will be in North Carolina early next year (details still in the works). Generally if you want me out there, you have to lobby some atheist group to fund bringing me out (details here). Ditto John, I’m sure (he may have info on his website; if you can’t figure out how to reach him, shoot me an email).

  3. mariomouton says

    Dr. Carrier

    I will be attending Skepticon V. I have read that you will be signing copies of your books as I hope to purchase and get some signed to use as give-aways and auctions within our community to help a freethinker group I belong to. My hope is that maybe I can help them fund a speaker like yourself (Hopefully You) to come to Louisiana. If you call the Springfield the Buckle of the Bible Belt then we are the area above the Ass… and it stinks.

    Is it right for me to assume that I will be able to Purchase all of the Speakers that have books and get them signed at the event?

    Thank You
    Mario Mouton

    • says

      I don’t know about “all” of the speakers, but many, yes. Greta Christina had to cancel, unfortunately, for health reasons. But I will be there, and many of my titles will be sold, and you can certainly have me sign them (just find me at an appropriate time). That will be true as well for at least some of the other speakers.

      As far as booking me in future, everything you need to know is here.