Upcoming events

    • 08/25/2019
    • 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Bob Morris' House

    Topic: Thinking About Getting Sick? 

    Where are we going with health care?  The Affordable Health Care Act is under siege in the courts and may be found unconstitutional due to the new tax law that reduced the penalty for noncompliance to zero dollars.  There is nothing waiting in the wings.  The Democrats have a vary of plans from a public buy in of Medicare to a scraping of all private health care plans and a single payer Medicare like system.   At least one candidate has pointed out that Medicare pays below costs and a Medicare for a all system would bankrupt the health care system quickly.  No one seems to know how much anything costs and there than been numerous news stories of outlandish bills.  The insurance plans are almost incomprehensible.   The best advice is save up a boatload of money and don’t get sick.  What do you think?

    .

    Please bring the usual pot luck, and Bob will provide some drinks and paper dinnerware. If you have strong legs, please park at the bottom of the driveway so others have less of a climb.


    • 09/01/2019
    • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Pellissippi State Community College, Hardin Valley Road

    Lee Erickson and James Cantu will give a presentation based on "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain."

    Details TBA

    We meet in the cafeteria annex at the back of the Goins Administrative Building. Come early for coffee. 

    • 09/08/2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919

    Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

    by Robert Plomin

    A top behavioral geneticist makes the case that DNA inherited from our parents at the moment of conception can predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses.

    In Blueprint, behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin describes how the DNA revolution has made DNA personal by giving us the power to predict our psychological strengths and weaknesses from birth. A century of genetic research shows that DNA differences inherited from our parents are the consistent life-long sources of our psychological individuality―the blueprint that makes us who we are. This, says Plomin, is a game changer.

    Plomin has been working on these issues for almost fifty years, conducting longitudinal studies of twins and adoptees. He reports that genetics explains more of the psychological differences among people than all other factors combined. Genetics accounts for fifty percent of psychological differences―not just mental health and school achievement but all psychological traits, from personality to intellectual abilities. Nature, not nurture is what makes us who we are.

    Plomin explores the implications of this, drawing some provocative conclusions―among them that parenting styles don't really affect children's outcomes once genetics is taken into effect. Neither tiger mothers nor attachment parenting affects children's ability to get into Harvard. After describing why DNA matters, Plomin explains what DNA does, offering readers a unique insider's view of the exciting synergies that came from combining genetics and psychology.


    • 09/15/2019
    • 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
    • Pellissippi State Community College, Hardin Valley Road

    The Causes of War

    Member Joel Shor will give this presentation. 

    We meet in the cafeteria annex at the back of the Goins Administrative Building. Come early for coffee. 

    • 10/13/2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919

    The Fifth Risk

    by Michael Lewis

    What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?

    "The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them.

    Michael Lewis’s brilliant narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders. In Agriculture the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it’s not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do.

    Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for a person who wishes to shrink the world to a worldview.

    If there are dangerous fools in this book, there are also heroes, unsung, of course. They are the linchpins of the system―those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running. Michael Lewis finds them, and he asks them what keeps them up at night.


    • 11/10/2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919

    21 Lessons for the 21st Century

    by Yuval Noah Harari

    How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children? 

    Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.

    In twenty-one accessible chapters that are both provocative and profound, Harari builds on the ideas explored in his previous books, untangling political, technological, social, and existential issues and offering advice on how to prepare for a very different future from the world we now live in: How can we retain freedom of choice when Big Data is watching us? What will the future workforce look like, and how should we ready ourselves for it? How should we deal with the threat of terrorism? Why is liberal democracy in crisis?

    Harari’s unique ability to make sense of where we have come from and where we are going has captured the imaginations of millions of readers. Here he invites us to consider values, meaning, and personal engagement in a world full of noise and uncertainty. When we are deluged with irrelevant information, clarity is power. Presenting complex contemporary challenges clearly and accessibly, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is essential reading.
    • 12/08/2019
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919
    Four Fish

    by Paul Greenberg

    Acclaimed author of American Catch and The Omega Princple and life-long fisherman, Paul Greenberg takes us on a journey, examining the four fish that dominate our menus: salmon, sea bass, cod, and tuna.

    Investigating the forces that get fish to our dinner tables, Greenberg reveals our damaged relationship with the ocean and its inhabitants. Just three decades ago, nearly everything we ate from the sea was wild. Today, rampant overfishing and an unprecedented biotech revolution have brought us to a point where wild and farmed fish occupy equal parts of a complex marketplace.

    Four Fish offers a way for us to move toward a future in which healthy and sustainable seafood is the rule rather than the exception.
    • 01/12/2020
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919
    Our Final Invention

    by James Barrat

    In as little as a decade, artificial intelligence could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies around the world are pouring billions into achieving AI's Holy Grail―human-level intelligence. Once AI has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. We may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful, and more alien than we can imagine.

    Through profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs, and groundbreaking AI systems, James Barrat's Our Final Invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of advanced AI. Until now, human intelligence has had no rival. Can we coexist with beings whose intelligence dwarfs our own? And will they allow us to?


    • 02/09/2020
    • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    • Books-a-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919
     Educated: a Memoir

    by Tara Westover

    An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

    Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. 


Past events

08/18/2019 Third Sunday Meeting
08/11/2019 Skeptic Book Club
08/04/2019 First Sunday Meeting
07/28/2019 Reflections: Discussion and Pot Luck
07/21/2019 Third Sunday Meeting
07/21/2019 Third Sunday Meeting
07/14/2019 Skeptic Book Club
07/13/2019 Adopt a Highway
07/07/2019 First Sunday Meeting
06/23/2019 Reflections: Discussion and Pot Luck
06/16/2019 NO THIRD SUNDAY MEETING
06/09/2019 Skeptic Book Club
06/02/2019 First Sunday Meeting
05/19/2019 Annual Free Public Lecture
05/12/2019 Skeptic Book Club
05/05/2019 First Sunday Roundtable
04/28/2019 Reflections: Discussion and Pot Luck
04/21/2019 Third Sunday Roundtable
04/14/2019 Skeptic Book Club
04/13/2019 Adopt-a-Highway
04/07/2019 First Sunday Meeting
03/24/2019 Reflections
03/17/2019 Third Sunday Meeting
03/10/2019 Skeptic Book Club
03/03/2019 First Sunday Meeting
02/17/2019 Third Sunday Meeting
02/10/2019 Skeptic Book Club
02/03/2019 First Sunday Meeting
01/20/2019 Third Sunday Meeting
01/13/2019 Skeptic Book Club
01/12/2019 Adopt-a-Highway
01/06/2019 First Sunday Meeting
01/06/2019 Board of Directors meeting
12/16/2018 Third Sunday Meeting
12/09/2018 Skeptic Book Club
12/02/2018 First Sunday Roundtable
11/25/2018 Reflections
11/18/2018 Third Sunday Meeting
11/11/2018 Skeptic Book Club
11/11/2018 Board of Directors meeting
11/04/2018 First Sunday Meeting
10/28/2018 Reflections
10/21/2018 Third Sunday Meeting
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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