Upcoming events

    • 10/21/2018
    • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Pellissippi State Community College, Hardin Valley Road

    Religion for Atheists

    Alain De Botton, speaks about religion and discusses his book, Religion for Atheists in a YouTube video presentation.

    We meet in the Cafeteria Annex of the Goins Administration Building. Use the back entrance to avoid having to pass through the church crowd.

    • 11/11/2018
    • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
    • Earthfare, Turkey Creek

    Members are welcome to observe

    • 11/11/2018
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919
    Political Tribes : Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations 
    by Amy Chua The bestselling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua offers a bold new prescription for reversing our foreign policy failures and overcoming our destructive political tribalism at home

    Humans are tribal. We need to belong to groups. In many parts of the world, the group identities that matter most - the ones that people will kill and die for - are ethnic, religious, sectarian, or clan-based. But because America tends to see the world in terms of nation-states engaged in great ideological battles - Capitalism vs. Communism, Democracy vs. Authoritarianism, the "Free World" vs. the "Axis of Evil" - we are often spectacularly blind to the power of tribal politics. Time and again this blindness has undermined American foreign policy.

    In the Vietnam War, viewing the conflict through Cold War blinders, we never saw that most of Vietnam's "capitalists" were members of the hated Chinese minority. Every pro-free-market move we made helped turn the Vietnamese people against us. In Iraq, we were stunningly dismissive of the hatred between that country's Sunnis and Shias. If we want to get our foreign policy right - so as to not be perpetually caught off guard and fighting unwinnable wars - the United States has to come to grips with political tribalism abroad.

    Just as Washington's foreign policy establishment has been blind to the power of tribal politics outside the country, so too have American political elites been oblivious to the group identities that matter most to ordinary Americans - and that are tearing the United States apart. As the stunning rise of Donald Trump laid bare, identity politics have seized both the American left and right in an especially dangerous, racially inflected way. In America today, every group feels threatened: whites and blacks, Latinos and Asians, men and women, liberals and conservatives, and so on. There is a pervasive sense of collective persecution and discrimination. On the left, this has given rise to increasingly radical and exclusionary rhetoric of privilege and cultural appropriation. On the right, it has fueled a disturbing rise in xenophobia and white nationalism.

    In characteristically persuasive style, Amy Chua argues that America must rediscover a national identity that transcends our political tribes. Enough false slogans of unity, which are just another form of divisiveness. It is time for a more difficult unity that acknowledges the reality of group differences and fights the deep inequities that divide us.



    • 12/09/2018
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919
    Genius Foods : Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life 
    by Max Lugavere and Paul Grewal 

    Discover the critical link between your brain and the food you eat and change the way your brain ages, in this cutting-edge, practical guide to eliminating brain fog, optimizing brain health, and achieving peak mental performance from media personality and leading voice in health Max Lugavere.

    After his mother was diagnosed with a mysterious form of dementia, Max Lugavere put his successful media career on hold to learn everything he could about brain health and performance. For the better half of a decade, he consumed the most up-to-date scientific research, talked to dozens of leading scientists and clinicians around the world, and visited the country's best neurology departments--all in the hopes of understanding his mother's condition.

    Now, in Genius Foods, Lugavere presents a comprehensive guide to brain optimization. He uncovers the stunning link between our dietary and lifestyle choices and our brain functions, revealing how the foods you eat directly affect your ability to focus, learn, remember, create, analyze new ideas, and maintain a balanced mood.

    Weaving together pioneering research on dementia prevention, cognitive optimization, and nutritional psychiatry, Lugavere distills groundbreaking science into actionable lifestyle changes. He shares invaluable insights into how to improve your brain power, including

    • the nutrients that can boost your memory and improve mental clarity (and where to find them);
    • the foods and tactics that can energize and rejuvenate your brain, no matter your age;
    • a brain-boosting fat-loss method so powerful it has been called "biochemical liposuction"; and
    • the foods that can improve your happiness, both now and for the long term.

    With Genius Foods, Lugavere offers a cutting-edge yet practical road map to eliminating brain fog and optimizing the brain's health and performance today--and decades into the future.



    • 01/12/2019
    • 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Burger King on Lovell Road at Pellissippi Parkway

    Wear sturdy shoes and gloves and bring a "picker-upper" if you have one. Bug spray is a good idea. Meet at the Burger King at the Lovell Road exit off Pellissippi Parkway.  All volunteers must watch this video before working the roadway.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAnxSIUP7eY&feature=youtu.be

    • 01/13/2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919
    Killers of the Flower Moon : The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI 

    In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
    Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. 
    As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.



    • 02/10/2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919
    How Physics Makes Us Free 
    by Jenann Ismael 

    In 1687 Isaac Newton ushered in a new scientific era in which laws of nature could be used to predict the movements of matter with almost perfect precision. Newton's physics also posed a profound challenge to our self-understanding, however, for the very same laws that keep airplanes in the air and rivers flowing downhill tell us that it is in principle possible to predict what each of us will do every second of our entire lives, given the early conditions of the universe. 
    Can it really be that even while you toss and turn late at night in the throes of an important decision and it seems like the scales of fate hang in the balance, that your decision is a foregone conclusion? Can it really be that everything you have done and everything you ever will do is determined by facts that were in place long before you were born? This problem is one of the staples of philosophical discussion. It is discussed by everyone from freshman in their first philosophy class, to theoretical physicists in bars after conferences. And yet there is no topic that remains more unsettling, and less well understood. 
    If you want to get behind the facade, past the bare statement of determinism, and really try to understand what physics is telling us in its own terms, read this book. The problem of free will raises all kinds of questions. What does it mean to make a decision, and what does it mean to say that our actions are determined? What are laws of nature? What are causes? What sorts of things are we, when viewed through the lenses of physics, and how do we fit into the natural order? Ismael provides a deeply informed account of what physics tells us about ourselves. The result is a vision that is abstract, alien, illuminating, and-Ismael argues-affirmative of most of what we all believe about our own freedom. Written in a jargon-free style, How Physics Makes Us Free provides an accessible and innovative take on a central question of human existence.
    "



    • 03/10/2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919
    The Distracted Mind : Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World 
    by Adam Gazzaley and Larry D. Rosen 

    Why our brains aren't built for media multitasking, and how we can learn to live with technology in a more balanced way.

    "Brilliant and practical, just what we need in these techno-human times."--Jack Kornfield, author of The Wise Heart

    Most of us will freely admit that we are obsessed with our devices. We pride ourselves on our ability to multitask--read work email, reply to a text, check Facebook, watch a video clip. Talk on the phone, send a text, drive a car. Enjoy family dinner with a glowing smartphone next to our plates. We can do it all, 24/7 Never mind the errors in the email, the near-miss on the road, and the unheard conversation at the table. In The Distracted Mind, Adam Gazzaley and Larry Rosen--a neuroscientist and a psychologist--explain why our brains aren't built for multitasking, and suggest better ways to live in a high-tech world without giving up our modern technology.

    The authors explain that our brains are limited in their ability to pay attention. We don't really multitask but rather switch rapidly between tasks. Distractions and interruptions, often technology-related--referred to by the authors as "interference"--collide with our goal-setting abilities. We want to finish this paper/spreadsheet/sentence, but our phone signals an incoming message and we drop everything. Even without an alert, we decide that we "must" check in on social media immediately.

    Gazzaley and Rosen offer practical strategies, backed by science, to fight distraction. We can change our brains with meditation, video games, and physical exercise; we can change our behavior by planning our accessibility and recognizing our anxiety about being out of touch even briefly. They don't suggest that we give up our devices, but that we use them in a more balanced way.



    • 04/14/2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919
    Letters from the Earth 

    Letters from the Earth is a posthumously published work of celebrated American author Mark Twain (1835–1910) collated by Bernard DeVoto.[1] It comprises essays written during a difficult time in Twain's life (1904–09), when he was deeply in debt and had recently lost his wife and one of his daughters.[2]The content concerns morality and religion and strikes a sarcastic — Twain's own term throughout the book — tone. Initially, another of his daughters, Clara Clemens, objected to its publication in March 1939,[2]probably because of its controversial and iconoclastic views on religion, claiming it presented a "distorted"[3]view of her father. Henry Nash Smithhelped change her position in 1960.[3]Clara explained her change of heart in 1962 saying that "Mark Twain belonged to the world" and that public opinion had become more tolerant.[2][4] She was also influenced to release the papers by her annoyance with Soviet reports that her father's ideas were being suppressed in the United States.[2] The papers were selected, edited and sequenced for the book in 1939 by Bernard DeVoto.[2]


Past events

10/14/2018 Skeptic Book Club
10/13/2018 Adopt-a-Highway
10/07/2018 First Sunday Meeting
09/16/2018 Third Sunday Meeting
09/02/2018 RET First Sunday Meeting
08/19/2018 Trip to Gray Fossil Site and Museum, 1212 Suncrest Drive, Gray, Tennessee 37615
08/12/2018 Skeptic Book Club
08/05/2018 First Sunday Meeting
07/15/2018 Online Security and Privacy
07/08/2018 Skeptic Book Club
07/07/2018 Adopt-a-Highway
07/01/2018 NO RET First Sunday July 1
06/17/2018 Third Sunday Meeting
06/16/2018 Annual Summer Solstice Celebration
06/10/2018 Skeptic Book Club
06/03/2018 RET First Sunday
05/20/2018 Third Sunday Meeting
05/13/2018 Skeptic Book Club
05/06/2018 First Sunday Roundatable
05/03/2018 Annual Day of Reason Cook Out
04/29/2018 Annual Public Speaker
04/22/2018 Reflections—Discussion and Pot Luck
04/15/2018 Third Sunday Meeting
04/08/2018 Skeptic Book Club
04/07/2018 Adopt A Highway on Pellissippi
04/01/2018 First Sunday Roundtable
03/25/2018 Reflections - Are our smart phones psychologically ruining us?
03/18/2018 Third Sunday Meeting
03/11/2018 Skeptic Book Club
03/04/2018 First Sunday Meeting
02/25/2018 RET Reflections
02/18/2018 Third Sunday Meetinfg
02/11/2018 Skeptic Book Club
02/04/2018 Annual Membership Meeting
01/28/2018 RET Reflections
01/21/2018 Third Sunday Meeting
01/14/2018 Skeptic Book Club
01/13/2018 Trash Pickup on Pellissippi
01/07/2018 First Sunday Meeting
12/17/2017 Third Sunday Meeting
12/10/2017 Skeptic Book Club
12/03/2017 First Sunday Meeting
11/19/2017 RET Third Sunday Meeting
11/12/2017 Skeptic Book Club
11/05/2017 First Sunday Meeting
10/15/2017 Third Sunday Meeting
10/08/2017 Skeptic Book Club
10/07/2017 Trash pick-up on Pellissippi
10/01/2017 First Sunday Meeting
09/17/2017 Third Sunday Meeting
09/10/2017 Skeptic Book Club
09/03/2017 First Sunday Meeting
08/20/2017 Third Sunday Meeting
08/13/2017 Skeptic Book Club
08/06/2017 First Sunday Meeting
07/16/2017 Third Sunday Meeting
07/09/2017 Skeptic Book Club
07/08/2017 Trash pick-up on Pellissippi
06/18/2017 Third Sunday Meeting
06/11/2017 Skeptic Book Club
06/04/2017 First Sunday Meeting
05/21/2017 Third Sunday Meeting in May
05/14/2017 Skeptic Book Club
05/07/2017 First Sunday Presentation
05/04/2017 Day of Reason Cookout
04/30/2017 Annual Public Lecture - Hemant Mehta
04/23/2017 Reflections
04/16/2017 Third Sunday Meeting
04/09/2017 Skeptic Book Club
04/02/2017 First Sunday Presentation
04/01/2017 Trash pick-up on Pellissippi
03/26/2017 Reflections
03/19/2017 Third Sunday Meeting
03/12/2017 The Skeptic Book Club
03/05/2017 First Sunday "Genes, Environment and Fate: The Origins of Human DIfferences"
02/26/2017 Reflections
02/19/2017 Third Sunday Meeting
02/12/2017 Skeptic Book Club
02/05/2017 Annual Business Meeting
01/22/2017 Reflections
01/15/2017 Third Sunday Meeting
01/14/2017 Trash Pick Up on Pellissippi
01/08/2017 Skeptic Book Club
12/18/2016 RET Third Sunday Meeting in December
12/11/2016 Skeptic Book Club
12/04/2016 First Sunday Meeting
11/27/2016 Reflections
11/20/2016 Third Sunday Meeting
11/13/2016 Skeptic Book Club for November
11/06/2016 First Sunday
10/16/2016 RET Third Sunday Meeting
10/09/2016 Skeptic Book Club
10/08/2016 Trash Pickup on Pellissippi
10/02/2016 First Sunday: "Shifting Context: How Innocuous Legislation Becomes Controversial, Without Changing a Word"
09/18/2016 Third Sunday Meeting
09/11/2016 Skeptic Book Club
09/03/2016 Smoky Mountain Freethought Advance
08/28/2016 Reflections
08/21/2016 Third Sunday Meeting
08/14/2016 Skeptic Book Club
08/07/2016 First Sunday
07/24/2016 RET Reflections
07/23/2016 RET Highway Clean-Up
07/17/2016 Third Sunday Roundtable
07/10/2016 Skeptic Book Club
07/03/2016 First Sunday Meeting
06/26/2016 RET Reflections
06/19/2016 Third Sunday Meeting
06/12/2016 Skeptic Book Club
06/05/2016 First Sunday Meeting
05/15/2016 RET Annual Public Meeting
05/08/2016 Skeptic Book Club
05/05/2016 Bible Belt National Day of Reason Picnic
05/01/2016 First Sunday Meeting
04/24/2016 RET Reflections
04/23/2016 Adopt-A-Highway trash pickup
04/17/2016 Third Sunday Meeting
04/10/2016 Skeptic Book Club
04/03/2016 First Sunday Meeting
03/20/2016 Third Sunday Meting
03/13/2016 Skeptic Book Club
03/06/2016 First Sunday Meeting
02/21/2016 Third Sunday Meeting
02/16/2016 Free Thought Forum Community TV
02/14/2016 Free Thought Radio Hour
02/14/2016 Skeptic Book Club
01/24/2016 Reflections
01/23/2016 Free Thought Radio
01/21/2016 Free Thought Radio
01/17/2016 Third Sunday Meeting
01/16/2016 Adopt A Highway clean up
01/10/2016 Skeptic Book Club
01/03/2016 First Sunday Meeting
12/20/2015 Third Sunday Meeting
12/13/2015 Free Thought Radio Hour
12/13/2015 Skeptic Book Club
12/06/2015 First Sunday Meeting
11/22/2015 Reflections
11/15/2015 RET Third Sunday Meeting
11/08/2015 Skeptic Book Club for November
11/01/2015 First Sunday - Movie
10/24/2015 Adopt A Highway Trash Pickup
10/18/2015 Third Sunday Meeting
10/13/2015 Shelley Segal Concert
10/11/2015 Skeptic Book Club for October
10/04/2015 First Sunday Meeting
09/24/2015 Autumnal Equinox Picnic
09/20/2015 Third Sunday Meeting
09/13/2015 Skeptic Book Club for September
09/06/2015 First Sunday Meeting
08/16/2015 Third Sunday Meeting
08/09/2015 Skeptic Book Club for August
07/03/2015 Smoky Mountain Advance
05/17/2015 Third Sunday Meeting
11/15/2014 The Demography of Unbelief
10/31/2014 Halloween Luncheon
10/19/2014 3rd Sunday Meeting
09/30/2014 Freethought Forum on Community TV of Knoxville
09/23/2014 Freethought Forum on Community TV of Knoxville
09/21/2014 3rd Sunday Meeting
09/16/2014 Freethought Forum on Community TV of Knoxville
09/14/2014 Skeptic Book Club
09/14/2014 Skeptic Book Club
09/09/2014 Freethought Forum on Community TV of Knoxville
09/07/2014 First Sunday Meeting
09/02/2014 Freethought Forum on Community TV of Knoxville
08/26/2014 Freethought Forum on Community TV of Knoxville

Upcoming events

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