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The Amaz!ng Meeting 4
January 26-29, 2006  Las Vegas

INDEX      email

Meeting 3
Meeting 4
Meeting 8






Ellen Jonson of American Atheists

The Myth Busters               Wikipedia

Murray Gell-Mann         Wikipedia

Dr. Michael Shermer  Columnist for Scientific American

"Why People Believe Weird Things"

Wo bu tse dao!   我不知道 !

Wo bu ming bai!    我不了解 !
  In Memoriam - Jerry Andrus

Todd Robbins


Daniel C. Dennett  spoke...     and sold :)


The Amaz!ng Meeting 4

Randi graciously consented to this picture...
A link to one of Randi's amazing DEBUNKMENTS 

...and Penn did, too.                      
The Salt Lake City Atheists (left to right)...  Ernie, Rich, QianQian, Harad and Marty.

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds,
and Hoaxes of the Occult
and Supernatural

by James Randi and Arthur C. Clarke

One of the most important reference books on the supernatural, paranormal, and occult is now available for the Kindle and Nook e-readers (iPad, Kindle, Nook and Apple iBooks version available). The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF )has made Jamesís Randiís An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural available in popular e-book formats for the first time at the special price of just $4.99. In this remarkable encyclopedia, James Randi casts his skeptical eye on the dubious claims of the occult and the supernatural.

666 entries and hundreds of illustrations throughout, examine the shady world of manipulators, occultists, and shamanists in microscopic detail.



James Randi Educational Foundation

 Local links:  Vibravision  
External:  Vibravision

American Atheists
Utah Atheist Brunch
Atheist Page
Religion Survey

Randi's $1,000,000 prize initiated

Nobel Laureate and Keynote Speaker Murray Gell-Mann will offer some personal recollections of his experiences as a member of various Science Advisory Committees to the U.S. President, along with some additional related observations.

NADINE STROSSEN, Pres. of the ACLU (featured speaker): "POLITICIZING SCIENCE: THE WAR ON CIVIL LIBERTIES" In her debut TAM appearance, Ms. Strossen will express her views on the current politicization of science, and how it has undermined numerous civil liberties, including academic freedom and other First Amendment rights.

TAM4 begins with a BIG BANG as controversial mega-journalist Christopher Hitchens celebrates Thomas Jefferson's Enlightenment views, whilst pillorying those who fabricate "design" and want to tear down the wall of separation.

Dr. MICHAEL SHERMER: "THE SOUL OF SCIENCE - "Bootstrapping Meaning, Purpose and Spirituality"
How can we find spiritual meaning and purpose in a scientific worldview? Spirituality is a way of being in the world, a sense of one's place in the cosmos, a relationship to that which extends beyond our selves. There are many sources of spirituality; religion may be the most common, but it is by no means the only. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades. Dr. Shermer shows how.

DANIEL DENNETT:           
What is the future of religion, and why should we all care? Like weather forecasting, religion forecasting depends on knowing the phenomenon, and seeing where it came from. Religions are biological phenomena that have evolved to coexist with human beings just the way pigeons and squirrels-and language and music-have evolved. Philosopher/evolutionist Daniel Dennett peeks under the hood and shows that when we reverse engineer religions, we find they have evolved some surprising adaptations in their competition for our allegiance. Should we try to tame religion, improve it, ban it or wait for it to go extinct on its own? The answer depends on learning more about why religions are so potent.

ELLEN JOHNSON: "IT ALL STARTED WITH THAT (DAMN) ATHEIST WOMAN IN BALTIMORE..." A retrospective of Madalyn Murray O'Hair, a feisty political and cultural rebel who fought for the separation of church and state as the nation was emerging from one of the most politically reactionary and darkest periods in its history. O'Hair was "the Atheist" who became part of the tumultuous decades of the 60s and 70s, giving voice to Atheists and trying to build a broad-based Atheist movement. O'Hair laid much of the groundwork for today's diverse secular / non believer movement. The violent death of O'Hair and her family in 1995 has prompted many scholars and activists to take another look at the life and contributions of this outspoken, brilliant and often misunderstood American pioneer.

PAUL PROVENZA: comedian, actor, director & co-creator (w/ Penn Jillette) of "The Aristocrats" - Prepare yourselves for 30 minutes of razor sharp stand-up comedy that resulted in this performer being boycotted and picketed in Tahoe, Houston and Atlanta [in Paul's own words] "...by Christian fundamentalist nuts whose higher power apparently needs help defending against the power of mere words."

     "RAPE, WAR, and AIDS: Rational and Irrational Beliefs about the AIDS Pandemic
"This presentation will document the way that the three dozen ongoing wars around the world are responsible for spreading AIDS, and how the combatants are given little or no preventive education. It will also document the irrational and erroneous data about AIDS provided by folk healers in Africa, the Roman Catholic Church, and the U.S. government, especially in its subsidy of "abstinence" programs in public schools. This will be a hard-hitting presentation that names Names and provides solid data. There will be something in it to offend virtually everyone!

Currently creationists and their not-so-distant Intelligent Design cousins have their sights set on evolution. Sadly, other sciences are now (or soon will be) under attack. Astronomer Phil Plait will dismantle a series of creationist claims, giving specific examples of the sort of nonsense used to sway the faithful.

The former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Senate Environment Committee explains how environmentalism has politicized science. Mr. O'Donnell, senior political analyst for MSNBC, is currently Executive Producer of "The West Wing."

RICHARD WISEMAN: "MIND MAGIC" Professor Wiseman presents his latest research into magic, psychology, and belief. A unique opportunity to discover the hidden science used by magicians to perform the impossible, witness jaw dropping optical illusions, participate in the world's largest scientific experiment, and find out how to sell science to an increasingly disillusioned public.

As a veteran Imaging Scientist on the Voyager mission to the outer planets in the 1980s, and as the current leader of the Imaging Science team on the Cassini mission to Saturn, Dr. Porco has traveled the length and breadth of the solar system. As a former member of many NASA advisory committees, she has also observed first hand the changing political winds blowing through the hallways of NASA. Her presentation will take us to the spectacular realm of Saturn and alert us to what the President's 'Vision' for the future of space exploration could mean for the scientific enterprise at NASA, while telling us why the exploration of our cosmic environment matters for the intellectual and spiritual health of our species.

Dr. Bidlack will provide an overview of his own path to skepticism and deism, and will address the question, "Can a real skeptic still believe in God?" This talk will also serve as a thought-provoking introduction to the panel discussion to follow.

PENN JILLETTE (0f Penn and Teller): "Q&A"
Returning once again is Penn Jillette, outspoken co-host of TV's most skeptical program, "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!". Penn will conduct an open and uninhibited Q&A session in which conference attendees are invited and encouraged to lob hardballs at him for 45 minutes. Take your best shot.

As hosts of one of TV's most popular science-related shows, ADAM SAVAGE and JAMIE HYNEMAN, along with Kari Byron, routinely debunk the great cultural and practical myths of our time. Making their first appearance at TAM, they have agreed to be the subjects of a lively onstage interview conducted by a very special celebrity guest.

JAMES RANDI: "So Little Time, So Much To Do"
James Randi will relate various anecdotes (some even true!) dealing with his adventures as an escape artist, as a mentalist, and as an investigator of paranormal claims, worldwide. The secret methods used to pull off some sensational jailbreaks, a couple of exposťs of brain-busters with which he fooled such academics as physicist Richard Feynman and philosopher Sidney Hook, and a few of the more colorful applicants for the JREF Paranormal Challenge will be revealed for your edification. Following this talk, Mr. Randi will take questions and possibly give answers...

Marshall E. Deutsch, Clinical Chemist:
A Skeptical View of Cholesterol Phobia Examination of the recommendations of the National Cholesterol Education Program shows that they are not supported by any reasonable interpretation of the available data. For example, older people with high levels of blood cholesterol outlive those with lower levels.

   A Skeptical View of Cholesterol


The above is  from the Tam-4 Agenda



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