The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Film Night

“Life? Don’t talk to me about life!”.

For the final teaching week of the year, we’ll be watching The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, to reaffirm us of how absurd life can be, and how silly it is to try to draw intrinsic meaning out of existence. Or something like that. Douglas Adams was a staunch atheist at least.

Check out the trailer here, and join the event here.
19:00, Nuffield Lecture Room B. 

P.S. – We’ve moved over from our old Facebook Page to a Group, so we can hopefully get some good discussions going. Make sure you join the new group to keep up to date with the society’s events!

Bad Science Rant Night

Rant Night is always a society favourite, so we’ve decided to squeeze another in before the end of the year. This Monday (5th May), we’re trying a vague theme of “bad science” — this could be trying to convince us of your pet pseudoscientific theory, channelling your inner Goldacre and ranting about a particularly stupid newspaper article — or anything else surrounding “bad science” that you can think of.

There’s still time to prepare a rant, as they don’t need to be particularly polished and are only 5-10 minutes. As always, we welcome any newcomers, and we’ll be heading to the pub afterwards.

Facebook Event: Monday 5th May, 19:00, Nuffield Lecture Room B. 

AGM 2014 – Be on next year’s committee

Change is a universal fact of life, and the AtheistSoc committee is certainly no exception – which is why we need your help to ensure the society runs smoothly into the future. The evening will include an overview of the year, electing the new committee and getting feedback of this past year. Any member of the Atheist Society is welcome to show up and vote at the AGM, even if you haven’t been to our events.

Candidates for each position will be given two minutes to talk about why they think they’re suitable for the role, then may be asked a couple of questions by the members in attendance. Following this, there will be a blind vote (show of hands). The returning officer will be Sam Whitehall (incumbent President), who will only vote in a tie situation. Candidates may run for multiple positions. Isn’t democracy fun?

If you’re thinking of running for a position, check out the details below, and feel free to contact the incumbents/email the society with any questions. Please let us know if you intend to run for a position (atheist@soton.ac.uk), or you can also choose to run on the day!

The positions are as follows (along with their incumbent), along with their key responsibilities:

President (Sam Whitehall): maintains overall responsibility of the society and its members; chairs committee meetings, and usually events; typically represent the society during interfaith events.

Vice-President (Livia Stacey): assists President; organises social events.

Secretary (Alfie Whelan): produces and maintains minutes for committee meetings; sends weekly newsletter to members.

Treasurer (Richard Sangster): keeps accounts of spending and income; assists in securing funding from SUSU and external organisations.

Webmaster/Librarian (Dan Palmer): responsible for maintaining our online facilities (website, Facebook, Twitter, document/file sharing, email); responsible for operating the society library.

The AGM will be on Monday 28th April (the first Monday back) in the usual room at the usual time (Nuffield Lecture Room B, 19:00). There may even be a drink in it if you win a committee position!

See you there,
– Sam (President… but not for much longer)

Reason Week 2014

Ask an Atheist

On the Monday, we’re offering an informal, relaxed setting where you can chat with the society about our own beliefs. We particularly encourage members of faith groups to attend, as well as atheists/agnostics with no contact with the society. We hope to offer an education into our worldview, and celebrate the diversity of views within the atheist community, as well as busting myths! The evening will start with a small presentation by Sam Whitehall (University of Southampton Atheist Society President) and then we will split into smaller groups. There will also be cake

Monday 17th March – 7pm
Nuffield Theatre, Lecture Room A

Andy Lewis on Pseudoscience in Schools

Renowned blogger, Andy Lewis, talks about quackery being taught in state-funded Waldorf-Steiner free schools. The schools’ ethos is based on obscure occult ideology, and includes numerous strange teachings: from delaying teaching reading until age 11/12, to promotion of alternative medicines, such as homeopathy. Andy Lewis blogs on the Quackometer blog, and tweets as @lecardnoir. In 2011, Andy was harassed with a libel suit for raising concerns about an expensive, and medically dubious cancer treatment facility in Texas.
Tuesday 18th March – 7pm
Building 46 (Physics), Lecture Theatre C

For The Bible Tells Me So – Film Showing

Director Daniel G. Karslake goes examine the ways in which conservative Christian groups in the USA have used scripture to deny LGBT rights. It includes lengthy interview segments with several sets of religious parents (including former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt and his wife, Jane, and the parents of Bishop V. Gene Robinson) regarding their personal experiences raising homosexual children, and also interviews with those (adult) children. The film received positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that the film received 98% positive reviews, based on 43 reviews.
Thursday 20th March – 7pm
Building 35, Room 1001

Jonathan Pearce – The Case Against God

Blogger and philosopher, Jonathan Pearce, outlines the most powerful philosophical arguments against the existence of a God. Jonathan is an engaging speaker, who has talked for the society before. He maintains a blog called A Tippling Philosopher.
Friday 9th March – 7pm
Building 35, Room 1001

Film Night: Creation – Monday 10th March

This Monday, in our regular room and time – Nuffield LT/B at 7pm, we’ll be watching Creation, a dramatisation of Darwin’s life. It deals with his struggles in formulating the theory of evolution as it would have great impacts on his peers, on society, and more personally on Emma, his religious wife. It has described as a “gentle, heartfelt and well-acted film”, and should be of interest to all of us. We’ll be in the pub after the film, hope to see you there!