Teesside Skeptics
"Skeptical means “having reservations”. Someone who is skeptical will not easily be convinced, will be hard to persuade" Stack Exchange

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Guy Otten

When?
Thursday, September 4 2014 at 7:30PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Guy Otten

What's the talk about?

 

Guy Otten was brought up a Catholic and has been a humanist for about 20 years after finally coming to the conclusion that the arguments for God's existence no longer persuaded him.
 
He retired in 2011 after a career as a solicitor and a Tribunal Judge. He has long had a special interest in Islam which he recognised as a source of trouble for the West, and has studied it
 
He is a Humanist Celebrant and a Trustee of the British Humanist Association. He attends Manchester Skeptics in the Pub and has spoken to Skeptics Meetings in the North West. He is active with Greater Manchester Humanists, where he is vice Chair.
 
Islam the Grand Mythology
 
It is well known that the origins of Christianity (and indeed most other religions ) are largely mythological; even most Christians are nowadays aware of this following some 200 years of objective study and analysis of the history and archaeology of the Middle East, and of the biblical texts.
 
What is not well known is that the same applies also to Islam. The very idea that Islam is not fully documented and historically accurate is shocking to many Muslims. This talk introduces the main facts which show that Islam arose out of obscure and mythological origins and why the Koran could not possibly be the miracle devout Muslims claim it to be. And one way we can help Muslims free themselves of the mind control of Islam is to tell them the facts!
 
Food is available in O'Connell's Pub until 6.45pm so arrive early if you would like to eat.  5 minute walks from the bus and train stations there is ample free parking outside the pub too.   We are starting promptly as we are starting a little later than usual to allow people to get there on time.  Entrance is free but donations for Guy's expenses will be gratefully accepted on the night.
 


 

 

When?
Thursday, October 2 2014 at 7:00PM

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(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Dr Mike Sutton

What's the talk about?

Perhaps the most persistant and intransigent myths and legends are those produced by trusted experts in the field.  Mike Sutton experiences resistance to acceptance of new evidence regularly in his role as Super Mythbuster.  Sometimes from trusted Academics and Sceptics.  Details to follow

Glen Carrigan

When?
Thursday, November 6 2014 at 7:00PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Glen Carrigan

What's the talk about?

Glen is a Neuropsychology Researcher at the University of Central Lancashire specialising in moral psychology, youth engagement and with an interest in all things science! Coming from a military background – where still non-religious personnel struggle to be recognised - Glen’s interest in psychology and morality was piqued when living and working in Afghanistan, Pakistan and many other nations after experiencing myriad world views, different group behaviours and the strife that often results when they clash. It is therefore his passionate aim to usher in a more enlightened form of thinking where equality as a species, compassion and consequentialism help to uplift us in place of tribalism, religious moral absolutism, and the wanton disregard for the scientific facts that humans have so far revealed in this a beautiful and rich universe.

This is an introduction to a morality where God is not at its centre. Using the 4 S’s of science, skepticism, sarcasm and satire whilst employing neuropsychological research and a humanistic world view, we’ll look at what the alternatives are to a pious moral code and why people and groups might make the decisions they do.   We will seek to highlight that the debate about morality should not be conducted in a vacuum but should take place in the real world and focus on understanding how our actions affect our fellow creatures, rather than desperately trying to cling to ancient axiomatic standards and justify them with scriptural tenets that many today rightfully find inadequate and may in fact have lead us to develop a socially acceptable sense of moral blindness.

Most recently Glen has aided in the development of a new Brain Imaging Lab (Electroencephalograph) at UCLan, a facility that features heavily in his research. Other talks have included presenting Genetics and Neuropsychology at The Big Bang hosted by Liverpool’s World Museum combining sweets, DNA extraction and cortical slices; sounds tricky and gruesome but it’s all risk assessed, no really! Further public engagement activities centre on teaching children through interactive classes to appreciate team work, higher education and the importance of science and critical thinking in the modern world. In addition Glen has blogged and taken part in political and social activism: reform section 5, equal marriage, no to gender segregation and recently highlighting from a personal point of view, how under-represented non-believers are in the UK Armed Forces.

This talk is free and open to the Public (donations for expenses gratefully accepted).  It is a 5 minute walk from the train or bus stations and there is ample free parking outside the pub. Please register your attention to attend here:

 

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Noel Jackson

When?
Thursday, December 4 2014 at 7:00PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Noel Jackson

What's the talk about?

Noel Jackson is the Head of Education at The Centre for Life in Newcastle.  He will be taking a light-hearted view at the serious topic of alcohol and its effect on the body in his talk ‘What’s your poison?’

He will also be providing his own very special cocktails for our Christmas Party.  More details soon.

Vicky Forster (Date TBC)

When?
Thursday, January 8 2015 at 7:30PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Vicky Forster (Date TBC)

What's the talk about?

This talk will start later than usual to accommodate our speaker who has an important appointment in London.  There will be a lead-in session starting about 7pm but the main session will not start until 7.30pm

Millions of pounds is poured into cancer research and drug development every year and although cure rates for many forms of cancer have improved dramatically in the last fifty years, some remain exceptionally hard to treat. An increasing number of passionate cancer conspiracy theorists claiming that ‘the cure’ has already been found and is being suppressed and that unproven alternative therapies are better than conventional therapies, are threatening the health of cancer patients and the reputation of cancer charities, doctors and researchers.

This talk will aim to address misunderstandings about the basic biology of cancer, look for any evidence behind the most popular touted ‘alternative cancer therapies’ and hopes to stimulate discussion as to why there are a growing number of people who believe in these largely-unfounded conspiracies.

Dr. Vicky Forster is a cancer research scientist at Newcastle University, and a survivor of childhood cancer. She is also passionate blogger for a large cancer charity and tweets a lot about her own work and demanding evidence for alternative cancer treatments and therapies.

As always this a free event at O'Connell's Pub (any kind donations accepted) and any members of the public are welcome.  We hope the new starting time tonight of 7.30pm and this will allow a relaxed period for those coming from a distance.  Bring a friend!

Will Moy

When?
Thursday, March 5 2015 at 7:00PM

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Where?

29-41 Bedford Street,
Middlehaven,
Middlesbrough
TS1 2LL

http://www.oconnellspub.co.uk/

Who?
Will Moy

What's the talk about?

October 2011: A dodgy news report leads to questions in Parliament, a Government U-turn and ill-informed changes to the law on knife crime.

Is this just politics as usual, or can we change the way those in power use facts and information?

Will Moy runs Full Fact, the UK's only independent fact checking organisation and will be speaking about its work.