Sunday, February 26, 2006

Church/State Lectures

I attended this afternoon the second of three lecture programs on the subject of the history of church/state relations in the U.S. Marilyn Clarke was the only other HAT member I saw there.

Of the three speakers, Paul Finkelman was the most impressive. He was very informative and, during the question and answer period, proved to be most witty. Since he lives in the area, I am hoping we will be able to get him as a guest speaker for one of our meetings.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Food & Fellowship Report

There were twelve of us today at Marie Callender’s for this month’s Food & Fellowship. This monthly event is getting to be a regular lovefest of good vibrations. Don’t you feel good after meeting with your fellow humanists, exchanging hugs, and soaking up the smiles? I certainly do. You folks light up my life. I’m always wishing these events could go on longer.

Those present today were Marilyn G., Dave T., Howard K., Gail S., Randy B., Dawn B., Larry Hi., Polly M., Harold D., Marilyn C., Jan N., and myself. Two others contacted me saying they wished they could attend but had other obligations.

We were in a linear seating arrangement (six on one side with the other six across on the other side) with two or three conversations going at all times. I was seated on the east side and did not hear much of the conversation from the west side.

Next month we will be eating at the Royal Dragon on E. 51st St. They have a private dining room with a large round table. The following month Polly and Marilyn will host the F&F at their house. Some of us are wanting to organize a Humanist Hootenanny for some future gathering.

The Board has decided to donate $100 toward the construction of the new library to be built near Memorial High School. By making this donation our name, Humanist Association of Tulsa, will be included on a small metal plaque on a donor wall. I see it as a perpetual form of advertising.

Larry Hicks is hoping a group of us will be able to attend a showing of the film Why We Fight. There will be more about this later, but right now it looks like the best day to attend the film will be Saturday, March 4.

Tomorrow (2/26/06) is the second of three meetings in which lecturers will speak on the subject “Jefferson’s Wall: The American Separation of Church and State.” The lectures tomorrow are being held at Temple Israel, just south of the Utica Square shopping center on 22nd Pl. The lectures tomorrow focus on “Evolution of the Law: The Bill of Rights to the 1950s.” Starting time is 2pm.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Humor from Harold

HAT member Harold Dundee sent this bit of humor:

Subject: Win some loose some

Who Should Make the Coffee?

A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew
the coffee each morning. The wife said, "You should do it, because
you get up first,and then we don't have to wait as long to get our

The husband said, "You are in charge of the cooking around here so
you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for
my coffee."Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides it says
in the Bible that the man should do the coffee."

Husband replies, "I can't believe that! Show me."

So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed
him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says, "HEBREWS."

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday lunch at Spaghetti Warehouse is canceled

Randy called just now and said that due to the weather the planned luncheon today at Spaghetti Warehouse is canceled. He also said OSU-Tulsa is closed, so I would assume the film there will not be shown. I do not know whether the lectures at Boston Avenue Methodist Church are still being held or not.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Eight Attend ALGAE Luncheon

It was good to see a well-attended luncheon today at the White River Fish Market. Present were Mary C., Valerie O’B, Julia T., Russ B., Dave T., Dana T., Jan N. and myself. We were glad to see Valerie again after a long absence. She is working on a Ph. D. at Tulsa University. She enjoys the sense of community she finds among to faculty in the biology department at TU.

Dave has recently obtained a copy of Daniel Dennett’s new book Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon and is looking forward to reading it. The book sounds like it is a good candidate for perusal by the Humanist Study Group.

We are glad Julia made it back safely from her recent trip to Kansas City, where she saw her younger sister perform in an orchestra.

We have another opportunity to be together again this Sunday (2/19/06) as we gather at the Spaghetti Warehouse at noon.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dr. Hill's letter to Rep. Dank

Rep. Odilia Dank February 10, 2006
2300 North Lincoln Blvd
Room 408
Oklahoma City, OK 73105'

Dear Rep. Dank:

I understand that bills are likely to be considered by the state legislature during the current session which will pertain to the teaching of creationism and intelligent-design in the tax-supported (public) schools.

As one trained in science (undergraduate degree in Paleontology from Caltech and UCLA) and in religion studies (Yale U. PhD.) and an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) with nearly forty years of teaching in the latter field (Indiana U. and U. of Tulsa), I feel qualified to say

Creationism is a scientific theory (it offers an explanation for observable and testable phenomena just as all scientific theories do).
Other theories have been selected by modern science as more adequate. All scientific theories are only tentative, however convincing a particular one may be in giving a comprehensive explanation for the observable.

I can see no barrier to including creationism in a course taught by an scientifically trained teacher as a scientific theory--so long as the others developed by humans in a variety of cultures and modern scientific theories are included also.

Each theory should be described and put in its cultural and its historical context.

When this is done, that particular theory of the creation of a cosmic order derived from that ancient culture which eventually was incorporated in the Jewish and Christian Bibles is recognized as having been selected among scientific theories by those who have an emotional and theological commitment to the infallibility/inherency of those Bibles. Their primary motive is not scientific but religious.
They fear that the rejection of the first chapter of Genesis means rejection of the authority of the Bible.

"Intelligent design" is known to all philosophers as a philosophical (not scientific) theory and has no place in any academic treatment of science but is more than legitimate in courses in philosophy.

It is not derived from "creationism", is not a variant of "creationism" and is not a synonym for "creationism".

It is commonly know by philosophers [and long before there was any Judaism or Christianity] as "the argument from design". This is an "argument" or proposition that observable design must be the consequence of a designer. This argument is used by certain theologians ["theology" is a subset of "philosophy"] to define the Ultimate as Ultimate Mind or Designer--and popularly called, "God".
in English.

I suggest that each bill proposed be tested by the above definitions.

Harold E. Hill
1625 South Lewis Place
Tulsa OK 74104-5122
918 744 6389

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Book recommendation

Today I began listening to another book on CD. It is Jimmy Carter's most recent book: Our Endangered Values. I checked it out from the Tulsa Library. It is read by Carter himself, which adds something to the listening experience. It is on four CDs, the first one being about 73 minutes long.

While I differ with Carter on his theology, I much admire this former President. If I can get my hands on a print copy, I would like to post some quotes from his book here. Carter is a storehouse of wisdom.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Geocaching Successes

There were five of us out searching for geocaches today. With five pairs of eyes, we were able to locate all five geocaches we searched for. (A sixth cache we were intending to look for had been withdrawn a few days earlier.) We found each cache after a search of only five minutes or so. After we finish caching for the day, we all went to Mazzio's where I provided pizza for everyone. We had a great time. Wish more could have been with us.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Hatters to go geocaching

The first of seven activities for freethinkers this month happens this Sunday starting around 1pm. We will gather at Randy’s house, 6705 E. 54 St. and talk about geocaching and what we are about to do. Then we will see if we can find six caches hidden within a two-mile radius of Randy’s house.

I will have a sheet on each hidden cache, but if you would like to have an advance look at what we will be searching for, go to In the box for the ZIP code type in Randy’s ZIP code of 74145. There are 54 caches within a three-mile radius of the 74145 post office. (There are now hundreds of caches in the Tulsa area, with new caches being placed each week.) By clicking on any of the listed caches, the page for that cache is displayed. (If you have an account with (it’s free) then a small map pinpointing to location of the cache is displayed on the cache page.)

The six caches I have selected for us to find are:

Lunchtime Cache #8
Micro Mania #9
Hidden Park
Twisted Sisters
Asphalt Jungle – SP4
Nest Egg

You will notice that the terrain difficulty for all these is low. We should be able to walk right up to them. Finding them is another matter. Some caches are very cleverly hidden. Once I was caching with Dan Cagle in Norman, and we searched for twenty minutes (at least), and then Dan spotted the cache. We were within 20 feet of it all the time we were searching. With a group of us searching, we should be able to locate each cache within 10 minutes. (I hope.)

I have a travel bug I need to drop off in one of the caches, but I won’t go into that now.

Two caches we will be looking for are at LaFortune Park, and another one or two are in parks, also. If you see a cache on the geocaching web site that interests you, print the cache sheet and bring it with you.

Perhaps we could go to the Mazzio’s near Randy’s afterwards for some pizza?

Friday, February 03, 2006

February Events

Sun., Feb. 5, 1pm
Geocaching Adventures with Randy and Dan. Meet at Randy’s house, 6705 E. 54 St. Then we will go searching for half a dozen hidden caches in Randy’s neighborhood using a GPS receiver.

Sat., Feb. 11, 10am
Secular Singers at Randy’s house, 6705 E. 54th in Tulsa. Join Bea, Randy, Gail, Julia, and Dan to sing freethought and other songs. Come to sing or just come to listen and enjoy the fellowship.

Sun., Feb. 12, 2pm
Humanist Study Group at Border’s, 81st & Yale. Topic: Jared Diamond’s recent book Collapse

Wed., Feb. 15, 11:30am
ALGAE (A Little Group of Atheists Eating), luncheon at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan. This seafood restaurant seems to be growing in popularity.

Sun., Feb. 19, 1pm
HAT Monthly Membership Meeting In lieu of the MMM this month, we will meet for lunch at the Spaghetti Warehouse at noon. Then we will watch the film Moloch in the nearby OSU-Tulsa auditorium. Film starts at 2pm.

Sat., Feb. 25, 11:30am
Food & Fellowship at Marie Callender’s on 51st St.

Sun., Feb. 26, 2pm
Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous at Barnes & Noble Bookstore on 41st St. See for the latest TAR news.