While we didn't receive a write-up for our August 19th meeting, below are some updates on our latest events.
Humanist Hike - Lynn Canyon
On the evening of Wednesday, August 15, just over a dozen humanists found their way (after some confusion about the exact address) to the Lynn Canyon trailhead in North Vancouver. As the park closed an hour earlier than expected, our hike was abbreviated but we still managed to cross the suspension bridge and complete the trail loop.
Edwin Hodge: Digital Hatred
On Friday, August 17, political scientist Edwin Hodge spoke to a packed meeting room at the Oakridge Library about white supremacists and hate groups on the internet. His talk covered how these groups form and sustain themselves by the analogy of a funnel where sympathizers bring new recruits deeper into the organization toward becoming card-carrying members. It was noted that this structure is not unique to white supremacists, or even to hate groups, as nearly every organization (even ours!) has a core group of supporters, followed by a larger group of attendees and volunteers, and finally a largest group of sympathizers.
Edwin ended his talk with a call to arms to stand up against racist (and intolerant) ideas, while also maintaining a critical self-reflection to ensure we aren't blinded by our own biases.
The talk will be available on our YouTube channel soon.
A Universe from Nothing Part II
This week, we finished watching physicist Lawrence Krauss' 2009 talk to the Atheist Alliance International convention, A Universe From Nothing. In this half, he showed how measurements of the cosmic microwave background allowed us to tell that our universe was flat, and thus possible created from nothing by a mere quantum fluctuation. He also discussed "our miserable future" where eventually space would expand so fast that all other galaxies would be moving away from us at faster than the speed of light, erasing all observable evidence of the Big Bang for future astronomers.
Our second barbecue featured less sunshine than our last one in June but we did draw a larger crowd as we enjoyed a plethora of food and snacks. Michael and Ashleigh began roping a few of us to do interviews for an upcoming BCHA promotional video.