Wednesday, December 20, 2006

HAT Minutes for 12.16.06 meeting

The December HAT meeting was held this year at the Bradleys’ house. It was our annual observance of HumanLight. There were about 20 people present.

We began the afternoon by reading the first act of the play Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge. After the first act we paused for our meal. We had a great meal of chicken and rice with sweet potatoes and several desserts, including some delicious chocolate cake balls covered in semi-sweet chocolate made by Julia.

In the business part of the gathering while we were still seated at the dining table, we elected our officers for 2007. They are Randy Bradley, president; Marilyn Clarke, vice-president; Dan Nerren, secretary/treasurer, and Brian Hill, program director. Randy presented Dan Nerren a gift from the chapter as a token of appreciation for his years of service to the Humanist chapter in Tulsa. On the outside of the box is a quotation from Albert Einstein: “Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart.” Inside the box is this inscription: “Presented with gratitude and affection by the members of the Humanist Association of Tulsa. Winter Solstice – 2006”

Following the meal we read the second act of the play. Then the Secular Singers sang some seasonal songs, including “Human Light,” which is what the whole event was about. Some of those present joined in with the singing.

Julia said that she had communicated with someone at the Eastern Oklahoma Food Bank about HAT volunteering there. We will work at the food bank on the third Saturday of the month. In January that will be the 20th. Expect to be contacted to see if you can volunteers for this community service project.

Monday, December 11, 2006

9/11 Conspiracy Theory Questions Answered

One of my favorite quotations is by philosopher George Santayana, and it goes something like this: “Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer.” When it comes to 9/11 conspiracies, I find that many people have jettisoned their skepticism and swallowed a conspiracy theory, hook, line, and sinker.

If you have bought into the idea that the events of 9/11 were perpetrated by our own government as a pretext for other actions, I beg you to read pages 30 through 44 of the current issue of Skeptic magazine (Vol. 12, No. 4). The various claims of the 9/11 Truth Movement are examined, some of which are shown to be untruthful. Many of the unanswered questions about the events of that day are addressed (e.g., Why did WTC building number 7 collapse if it was not struck by a plane?, If the temperature from the fires did not get high enough to melt steel, why did the buildings collapse?, Are the squibs shown in film of the damaged towers evidence of demolition charges?, Did the collapse of the towers look exactly like a controlled demolition?, Did WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein actually confess to destroying WTC 7?

Toward the end of the first article, author Phil Molé poses this question: Why do so many intelligent and promising people find these theories so compelling. Molé then offers possible answers.

The magazine may be purchased at Border’s and Barnes & Noble, among other shops, for $5.95.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

News from this weekend

Secular Singers

The Secular Singers met at Randy’s for a practice session Saturday evening in preparation for a musical presentation at our annual HumanLight celebration on December 16 this year. We practiced our songs and refined the program as we went through the material. We are hoping we have a good showing at this year’s observance.

Randy and Dawn Bradley will be preparing a meal of chicken and rice. Everyone is welcome to bring a side dish or dessert, if they are so inclined. Following the meal we have two entertainment events planned. We have about 15 songs of the season we have been rehearsing, but there may not be time enough for all songs. For a couple of the songs (“Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”), you will be invited to sing along with us.

Humanist Study Group

The Humanist Study Group met briefly before those present jumped ship to see a “9/11 conspiracy” film being shown elsewhere in the library. I knew that the meeting was a lost cause when two of our friends came into the room only to announce they were leaving to go to another room to watch the conspiracy film. So Glenn (our discussion leader) postponed the discussion until next month and most of us went to the room showing the conspiracy film. The postponement will give us time to read the book Flow, if we wish, which is the subject of the article for discussion.

Someone from the group showing the film said it was 50-minutes long, but when the film ran past an hour I asked how long the film was and was told two hours. Since I had seen previously two other films arguing for a 9/11 conspiracy and had spent an hour and 15 minutes watching this film, I decided to leave. The films I have seen on this subject, including the one today, do not strike me as an objective examination of events. Rather they seem to me to be aimed at emotionally exciting the viewer. They appeal to emotion rather than intellect. If the films should happen to contain some accurate explanation of events, I am too skeptical of their claims since their credibility has been lost with me. I am no fan of Bush and company, but when these films devolve into a vehicle to verbally attack the Bush administration, I have to question their motive and objectivity. What are they really after? According to the film I viewed today, our government, or its allies, is behind a whole host of calamities including the London bombings, the Madrid bombings, and the bombing of the Murrah building in OKC.

AHA Survey

I received by e-mail today a survey from two members of the AHA Chapter Assembly regarding our chapter and our activities. I responded and forwarded the survey with my responses to the Board. If anyone else would like to read the survey and my responses, please let me know and I will forward the same to you.

If anyone would like to comment on anything I have written, just click on the comment option feature of this blog.

Friday, December 01, 2006

December Activities Calendar

December 2006
Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Sat., Dec. 2, 7:00pm
Movie Night at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St. Feature presentation to be chosen that night.

Sat., Dec. 9, 5pm to 7pm
Secular Singers at the Bradleys. All are welcome. Rehearsal for our annual HumanLight celebration. See The revised program has been posted on the HAT blog.

Sun., Dec. 10, 1:00pm
Humanist Study Group at Hardesty Library, on 93rd near Memorial. Topic: Humanism and the science of happiness. Read the article at

Wed., Dec. 13, 11:20am
ALGAE (A Little Group of Atheists Eating), luncheon at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan.

Sat., Dec. 16, 1:00pm
HAT Monthly Membership Meeting at the Bradleys. Business: Election of officers for 2007 and participation in Food Bank volunteer program. Program: Musical entertainment by The Secular Singers and the reading of a humorous play selected by Marilyn Clarke. This event will double as our December F&F.

Sun., Dec. 17, 2pm
Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous/Tulsa Atheist Meetup We will meet at Border’s Bookstore on 21st St. near BA Expy on the second floor near the computer books. Additional details will be posted later at and

Questions? Call Dan at 798-3629