EVENTS This Week—Christmas Drag Show, St. Augustine & Bertrand Russell Debate + MORE!

Hey, everybody! It’s time to switch things up and give you all a bit more notice about upcoming events, so from here on out, look for this post on Wednesdays about events for roughly the following Friday–Thursday. This is especially important this week for those of you who need to plan your outfit for the Jingle Balls: Christmas Drag Show with Southeastern Virginia Skeptics, or if you want to reserve one of the limited spaces available to have End-of-Year Drinks with AC Grayling in London.

Every week, I am amazed by the variety of events people have going on in our relatively small community. I expect the usual holiday parties, of course, of which there are tons, and lots of opportunities for volunteering, but activist role-play? A debate between St. Augustine and Bertrand Russell?

I love you guys. And I’m not even drunk. Much.

On that note, I would like to call your attention to an appeal by Kate Donovan over at Teen Skepchick asking us to keep in mind, when setting up events, to at a minimum note in the event descriptions (on Meetup, Facebook, etc.) when underage people can or cannot attend and, better, to host more events for all ages. Even Drinking Skeptically and Skeptics in the Pub events can be held on occasion in restaurants that serve drinks and don’t card at the door. As she notes, more and more young people are getting involved in skepticism, atheism, freethought, and secular humanism, and many of them have the time, energy, and ideas to devote to our events. Include them! It’s only logical.


Reminder to New Zealand!

Rebecca has two more events this week, tomorrow night in Wellington and Saturday night in Christchurch. She’ll be giving one of my favorite of her talks, “How Girls Evolved to Shop, and Other Ways to Insult Women with ‘Science.’”*


Events for Dec. 7–Dec. 13

Below are some highlights of events around the U.S. (listed by region), Canada, the UK, and even Hong Kong. You can find a ton more going on all over the world in our events calendar.

Don’t see your area listed here or in the calendar? Shoot us an email, or let me know in the comments what area you are interested in.



Sat., Dec. 4: SkepticTV is hosting a live 12-hour fundraising show to raise money for Sense about Science, with guests such as Phil Plait, Deborah Hyde, Tombstone and Greydon from Grand Unified, and more. See the full schedule here. The show is broadcast on Blog TV.

Tues., Dec. 11: The SETI Institute is hosting a live webcast of its panel on “Why the World Will Still Be Here After Dec. 21” on Tuesday night if you can’t make it to the live event in Mountain View, California. (See details about the event in the WEST section below.)



Washington, DC—Multiple

Fri., Dec. 7: The Philosophical Society of Washington is hosting a lecture, “Whole Brain Emulation: Envisioning Economies and Societies of Emulated Minds,” by Robin Hanson, associate professor of economics, George Mason University.

Sun., Dec. 9: CFI-DC’s Voices of Reason talk features Massimo Pigliucci, on “How Science and Philosophy Can Lead Us to a More Meaningful Life.” The event is free but registration is required.


Northampton, MA, Wed., Dec. 12

The Pioneer Valley Secularists are getting together with various other groups to serve dinner at the Cot Shelter Wednesday night. RSVP here.


New York City, Sun., Dec. 9

The NYC Atheists December brunch features speaker Kobinah Abdul-Salim, professor of evolutionary biology at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, on the Origins and Evolution of Plants. He’ll discuss such questions as “If plants evolve to adapt, why are there are so many different kinds? Is it evolution gone wild?” Brunch is $20. Find out more here.


Phoenixville, PA, Thurs., Dec. 13

A Saints and Skeptics debate is a fascinating concept. The guests debate a topic as historical figures rather than as themselves. At this event, St. Augustine and Bertrand Russell will debate the topic of “The Satisfied Life,” with Augustine represented by Carl Trueman of Westminster Seminary and Russell by Chad Trainer, of the Bertrand Russell Society. Tickets are $15 in advance, $19 at the door.


Arlington, VA, Sat., Dec. 8

Walter F. Rowe, of the GWU Department of Forensic Sciences, is giving a free talk at the National Science Foundation, “It Came From the Genetics Lab: DNA, the Monster That Ate Forensic Science!” Get more info from the National Capital Area Skeptics.


Fredericksburg, VA, Sun., Dec. 9

The Fredericksburg Secular Humanists are doing a little activist role-play, called the Atheist’s Christmas Creche, in which participants act out petitioning a municipal council about adding a secular display next to a Christian one.


Newport News, VA, Wed., Dec. 12

Join the Southeastern Virginia Skeptics for Jingle Balls: Christmas Drag Show on Wednesday night at Cozzy’s.


Lawrenceville, GA, Mon., Dec. 10

It’s time for the annual holiday party with GUST (Gwinnett: Understanding Secular Truths), with a surprise celebrity guest! RSVP required.


Louisville, KY, Wed., Dec. 12

The Louisville Area Skeptics’ December Science Cafe features clinical psychologist Lucinda Woodward talking on “Best Friend or Frenemy: Dog Personalities.” $2 (plus covering your own food, drinks, and parking).


New Orleans, LA, Fri., Dec. 7

Jim Lippard is giving his talk on “The Decline (and Probable Fall) of the Scientology Empire” to the SE Louisiana Freethinkers & Nonbelievers Group. Seating is limited, so click here for more info and to RSVP.


Tulsa, OK—Multiple

Sat., Dec. 8: The Atheist Community of Tulsa is getting together for a Max Retropub’s eighties-themed anniversary celebration, complete with video games and, of course, alcohol.

Sun., Dec. 9: The next day, ACT is getting together to serve dinner at the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. If you can’t join in person, you can donate to the center. Get info on both here.


Fort Worth, TX, Sat., Dec. 8

The FreeThinkers of Fort Worth are getting together for Movies That Matter: A Human Rights Film Series, a free event honoring International Human Rights Day at Rose Marine Theater, presented by the Fort Worth Human Relations Commission. Films include Cartography of Loneliness, Two Sides of The Moon, Little Town of Bethlehem, and Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. Tickets are first come first served.


Houston, TX—Multiple

Sat., Dec. 8: The Humanists of Houston and the Houston Atheists are getting together at the Houston Art Car Museum to view the GOD Exhibition before it closes mid-Dec. Admission is free! They’re going out for food and drinks at the Porch Swing Pub afterward.

Sun., Dec. 9: Join the Greater Houston Skeptic Society for the 7th Science at the Solstice Lecture, “Risks and Promise of Nanoscale Technology,” by Vicki L. Colvin, vice provost of research at Rice University and professor in the Center for Biological & Environmental Nanotechnology and the Depts. of Chemistry and Chemical & Biological Engineering.


Skokie, IL, Sun., Dec. 9

The Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago is hosting “Debunking the Christian Nation Myth,” a talk by Andrew Seidel, an attorney for the Freedom from Religion Foundation.


Indianapolis, IN, Sat., Dec. 8

The Center for Inquiry–Indiana is having its Winter Open House this Saturday. RSVP for location.


Overland Park, KS, Sat., Dec. 8—Two events!

The Black FreeThinkers of KC Holiday Get Together is at Caspian Bistro Saturday night.

Northland Freethinkers Heathens for the Holidays is that same night, at Bedford Courts Clubhouse.


Minneapolis, MN, Sun., Dec. 9

The First Minneapolis Circle of Reason Transbelief Dialogue 27 is on the question “Are Totalitarianism’s Edifices Greater than Those of Democracy?” The group is meeting up at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to walk through the Qin Dynasty Great Tomb exhibit, followed by discussion. RSVP here.


Cleveland, OH, Wed., Dec. 12

The Center for Inquiry–Northeast Ohio Winter Solstice Celebration is next Wednesday. RSVP here.


Peninsula, OH, area, Mon., Dec. 10

Join the CFI–Northeast Ohio for dinner with Hug an Atheist filmmaker Sylvia Broeckx. Click here for details.


Prescott, AZ, Sat., Dec. 8

The Prescott Freethinkers 4th Annual Holiday Party, Book Exchange & Food Drive is this Saturday. Join the group for more information.



Eugene, OR, Sat., Dec. 8

The CFI Skeptics of Eugene are having their annual Game Night/Winter Holidays Social/Potluck extravaganza! Join the group for more info. RSVP required.

4:30 PM


Portland, OR, Sun., Dec. 9

The CFI Secular Family Network hosts a Secular Sunday School for grades K–3 twice a month. Click here for more information, or check out the group on Facebook. (One of the group leaders is the amazing Erin Mueller, the very first female scientist interviewed for Teen Skepchick!)


Everett, WA, Mon., Dec. 10

The Humanists of North Puget Sound are hosting part 2 of a “Does God Exist?” >debate between Gary Jensen and Jim Corbett at Everett Community College. Admission is $3; $1 for students.



Los Angeles, CA, Sun., Dec. 9

Join the Valley Skeptics in the Park and Atheists United for a trip to the California Science Center to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour exhibit. Tickets are $2 and limited (so reserve now). Parking is $10.


Mountain View, CA, Tues., Dec. 11

The SETI Institute is hosting a panel on “Why the World Will Still Be Here After Dec. 21,” featuring David Morrison, of the SETI Institute and NASA Ames Research Center, Ed Krupp, of Griffith Observatory, and Andrew Fraknoi, of Foothill College. Admission is free but first come first served. If you can’t make it in person, you can catch the live webcast.


Riverside, CA, Wed., Dec. 12

The Inland Empire Atheists, Agnostics & Skeptics are hosting former Baptist minister Steve Tuttle on “What a Trip! A Journey in and out of Faith” on Wednesday night. $5; free for students and low-income guests.


San Francisco, CA, Tues., Dec. 11

Join the Bay Area Atheists/Agnostics/Humanists/Freethinkers/Skeptics at the SF Punchline for the Holiday Heathens comedy show, featuring Keith Lowell Jensen, Conor Kellicut, Jason Wheeler, and, of course, Jesus H. Christ (Matt Gubser) as emcee.


Fort Collins, CO, Sat., Dec. 8

The Fort Collins Secular Families Festivus Party is this weekend! Join the group and RSVP here.


Ottawa, ON, Sat., Dec. 8

The Humanist Association of Ottawa is having its annual Winter Solstice Party this weekend. Registration is required.



Edinburgh, Mon., Dec. 10

Join the Edinburgh Humanist Society of Scotland for a screening of the documentary

Stem Cell Revolutions at the Filmhouse. Click here for more info, including how to purchase your ticket.



Sat., Dec. 8: The Central London Humanists are having their annual Yuletide Mythmas Party at the Roxy Bar & Screen, complete with music and dancing, Santa and a magician, and buffet. £10/person. RSVP required (ASAP because they are having it catered).

Tues., Dec. 11: Have End-of-Year Drinks with AC Grayling, sponsored by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. Grayling will be speaking on “Secularism as a Human Right.” £7; £5 for unwaged (including one drink and canapés). Reservations and payment deadline: Dec. 6 via post and Dec. 10 via email. Space is limited.


Hong Kong, Sun., Dec. 9

The Hong Kong Skeptics in the Pub are meeting up for a Sunday Afternoon at the Museum, at the Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences


Want to promote your skeptical, atheist, humanist, science, or just all-around geeky event or group on our events calendar? Click here to send us the details.


*Yeah, this is the talk that someone recently wrote a critique about, which was torn apart by Stephanie Zvan, so if you want something of a spoiler, check out her post. The original criticism kind of struck me as a poe, though, so bizarrely over-the-top and full of fallacies that it was almost indistinguishable from satire. Or maybe Rebecca and the rest of us Skepchicks really are both conspiracy theorists and plotting some kind of feminist conspiracy in our secret mobile Skepchick Headquarters. ;-)


Images via Happy Place and Feast of Fun.

Melanie Mallon

Melanie is a freelance editor and writer living in a small town outside Minneapolis with her husband, two kids, dog, and two cats. When not making fun of bad charts or running the Uncensorship Project, she spends her time wrangling commas, making colon jokes, and putting out random dumpster fires. You can find her on Twitter as @MelMall, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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  1. A couple of Boston Skeptics events are coming up this week too. (Melanie, going forward we’ll be sure to let you know what we’re doing in advance!)

    Saturday December 8th, 3:00PM at Harvard University – the Boston Skeptics Book Club will be discussing “Bonk” by Mary Roach:

    Monday December 10th, 7:00PM at Tommy Doyles in Harvard Square – Boston Skeptics in the Pub with guest speaker Seth Mnookin!

    1. Thanks, Kevin.

      Melanie, do you have any guidelines about how much notice to give you for an event? I think I sent in a “contact” form (from the link at the top of the page) on Saturday or Sunday about the SitP, but maybe you didn’t get it in time? OTOH, sending in an event too early and it might get lost.

      P.S. Thanks for maintaining this every week. It’s a fantastic resource!

      1. Ack! I’m sorry. I did just miss it when putting this together, but I got your email. I don’t really have any guidelines for when to send something in. We are in the process of streamlining our system, with new volunteers, etc., which should help build in some redundancy so that nothing slips through the cracks. This error is totally my own though.

        We’re also planning a redesign of the events page, which might include a form you can fill out yourself to automatically add to the calendar. I’ll announce that once it’s up.

        For now, earlier is better (this situation notwithstanding), but you can send something as late as the day before to get it on the calendar, but probably no later than Monday for the next events post.

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