The Brights' Bulletin
May 31, 2007
(Note that links in archived Bulletin issues may no longer be valid.)
JUNE 2007 BULLETIN
ENTHUSIASTIC BRIGHT IS DEAD (USA)
Clark Adams (1969-2007)
We begin with a brief tribute to a Las Vegas NV resident who has participated wholeheartedly in a broad spectrum of American secularist organizations, from local to national. At the time of his death, Clark was serving in varied leadership capacities. That this vibrant man chose to take his own life has jarred people across the nation and left a gaping energy vacuum in a great many endeavors, including The Brights' Network.
A self-described "conference junkie," Clark Adams was deeply active in some of the most prominent associations of freethinkers, atheists, humanists, secularists, skeptics (brights of varied stripes). He was known especially for his reporting how, and to what extent, the media were portraying those who did not conform to culturally dominant perspectives, particularly as regards religion.
Clark's extensive influence can be attributed not only to his own effervescent "freethought pride," but also to his elastic and supportive notions regarding how others might choose to label themselves. He will be missed by so many.
BRIGHTS' CALENDAR RECAST FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
Thanks to Shopkeeper Diane, the excellent material from our Brights' desk/wall calendar now comes in an ACADEMIC version (northern hemisphere). This calendar has an upbeat presentation of the naturalistic worldview. It will be a great gift item for any students you may know. Teachers, too!
The Brights' 2007-8 School Calendar begins August 2007 and runs through July 2008. To view or purchase, go to:
GERMAN BRIGHTS IN DER TAGESSPEIGEL
Whatever was said in the article by Von Bas Kast, his words have engendered a rash of registrations to the Brights' constituency across the past couple of days!
Whenever that happens with a non-English article, we at Brights Central use machine translation to try to read it. On occasion, we may get assistance from a friendly volunteer (hint hint). This article is quite recent, and so BC is relying on machine translation. For those who read German, here is the link to the full article:
For others, enjoy this tidbit from BC's machine translation:
"Strictly speaking Brights "humans with a scientific conception of the world are more exactly said: one naturalistischen conception of the world, freely of Ubersinnlichem, Esoterik and Hokuspokus".
All donors to the recent Equinox fund drive should have received a "thanks/acknowledgement" email last week. If you did not, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
MORALITY PROJECT REPORT
BACKGROUND – The general introduction for this project is at:
The Morality Project is right on track in gathering evidence that the basis of human morality is naturalistic. You can read its four assertions (A-D), along with the tally of studies nominated as backing for them, at: http://the-brights.net/action/activities/organized/arenas/1/area_a/declaration.html
MP leader, Ruban, has nominated the initial peer-reviewed studies to be considered in the "Brights' review" phase of the project.
Late this month, Brights Central invited MP team members who are Brights to participate in evaluating these draft nominations, recommending removals and proposing additional studies. Empirical research articles relevant to the MP are best evaluated through online journal access, especially through one's university library system or databases such as EBSCO, PSYCINFO, JSTOR, PUBMED and BIOSIS.
You need not be already on the MP team to participate in this aspect of the Morality Project. Involvement by interested Brights who have necessary experience and time available will be welcomed. (NOTE: The evaluation work must be completed by July 15.) To obtain an "invitation to review," email email@example.com and put MP REVIEW in your subject line.
Q: Is the neologism "bright" a scheme to create an atheist organization under a new more acceptable name?
A: No. That's an urban legend, oft repeated.
The Brights' venture has never been an undertaking to "re-brand" atheists. It is, and has been from the beginning, an endeavor to draw together via Internet a broad range of people who have "a naturalistic worldview" in order to further its open and constructive expression, while pressing for civic parity for the people who hold it.
Co-Directors recently wrote further on this topic in an essay, "The Brights' Net is a Constituency of Brights...Period." You can read it at:
NUGGETS FROM NEW BRIGHTS!
Belinda (Australia): "I'm very happy to hear of your organisation - it has restored a little of my faith in the US of A!"
Clair (Canada): "Very nice to have an option that is completely unrelated to religion. Thanks."
Jack (U.S.): "My feeling is that the goal of this organization is on the cusp of becoming mainstream and thus achieving some of the organization's stated goals. I am enthusiastic to help achieve those."
Tim (U.S.): "Thank you for putting something which I have believed my entire life into fruition. That there are others out there like me...well...gives me hope for the future of the human race."
SPECIAL INITIATIVE GROUP 1: MORE BRIGHTS NOW SCA BOOSTERS (USA)
The Brights' Net (Brights Action SIG-1) recently enlisted a rash of new boosters for the Secular Coalition for America, a lobby group, bringing the total to over 1,000.
If the concept is new to you, there is information at:
SPECIAL INITIATIVES GROUP -2: THE UNITED RELIGIONS INITIATIVE
BACKGROUND -- The general Brights' SIG 2 action project description is at: http://the-brights.net/action/activities/organized/sigs/sig_two.html
A SIG 2 forum has been established and structured. Group discussions are now in progress. If you have registered as a member of SIG-2, then you will be able to access this forum to either observe or take part in the discussions. If you are experiencing any difficulty in accessing this forum, then e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
The URI represents a new dimension in religious activism aimed at opposing religiously-motivated violence and engendering peace and harmony between all people. They are putting into action many aspects of principles that the Brights movement shares.
In the SIG-2 group we are looking at ways in which interested Brights can consider working with the URI on common goals and those aspects of our common humanity that unite us in common objectives. We seek to do this without compromising our acceptance of the naturalistic world view.
If you are interested in this, then you can register as a member of SIG-2 via the above link and come and join us in the SIG-2 forum.
JOHN FROM SOUTH AFRICA ON THE BRIGHTS' LOGO
"The logo looks like a floor polish advert."
BC's return reply to the signup comment: "Welcome to the Brights! Thanks for the chuckle. At least a floor polish makes things look bright."
MORE U.S. SCIENTISTS SOUGHT TO DEFEND SCIENCE ITSELF (USA)
Any American Brights who are scientists may wish to heed a summons to take a clear and decisive stand in defense of scientific inquiry. The urgent call begins: "In the U.S. today science, as science, is under attack as never before."
You need to be a scientist to take up the challenge. You can ead and sign the entire Defend Science Statement, see the complete list of signatories, and support efforts for further publication of the Statement to reach the broader public by going to http://www.defendscience.org/
SCIENCE ADVOCATES PROTEST NEW CREATIONISM MUSEUM
"They can teach that things fall up if they wish," said Edwin Kagin, who resides in Kentucky (USA) close by a brand new Creationism Museum. He organized a protest on opening day of the privately-funded $27 million facility.
Kagin's public statement was to make clear that the rally was not challenging the right of the Answers In Genesis mission to present its views. Rather, the purpose was to elucidate for the public what the 60,000-square-foot AIG facility was all about, and it was NOT SCIENCE, despite all those state-of-the-art exhibits and associated museum presentations.
What the museum does is make a statement "against Darwinian evolution, against scientific findings that the cosmos is billions of years old, and against the concept that human beings evolved, along with other present-day creatures, from earlier life forms."
Herb Silverman, the entertaining emcee of the protest taking place outside the museum's gates, had a different slant on the matter. Said he: "Ken Ham, who operates this museum, disagrees with people who call scientific creationism ‘bad' science. I disagree also, but for entirely different reasons. Creationism is not good enough to be considered bad science. Bad science uses the scientific method, but contains some subtle errors. Creationism is not science."
By the way, if you want a quick peek at the new "Young Earth" Creationism Museum, here's a link that leads to a rather extensive pictorial overview with commentary by a student who visited just a bit in advance of opening day:
BRIGHTS (INDIVIDUALS) AND THE BRIGHTS' NETWORK
The two Enthusiastic Brights mentioned above were both involved in carrying out the Memorial Day protest rally. There were several endorsing groups, but The Brights' Net was not one of them.
As a constituency of individuals, this Internet-based organization does not endorse other organizations or co-sponsor events because there is no possible way all members of the constituency would agree with any specific endorsement.
The Brights' Net organization can and often does inform Brights of events individual Brights might see as relevant. In this case, Brights Central did email over 400 Brights within a 100-mile radius of the new Museum, so they would not miss an opportunity to attend the rally, if interested.
RESPONSES TO 2008 ELECTORAL TOOLBOX (USA)
With a chance to ask one question (no more!) of a prospective presidential candidate, what would you ask?"
From Bobby: How many people with a naturalistic worldview do you know and respect?
MORE BOOKS BY BRIGHTS
You can find these and over 50 others in an alphabetical listing at: http://www.the-brights.net/people/books/
REALITY ESSAYS, DIFFERENTIAL REALITY AND BELIEF by Paul L. Jungnitsch. Philosophy does not do enough to exclude the huge volume of human fantasy.
THE NUMINOUS LEGACY by Adair Butchins. Modern cosmology has had an effect on religion; the book is not an apology for theism, deism or atheism.
WISDOM IN PERSPECTIVE by Bret Alan Hughes. A framework that embraces what science tells us and offers a path toward making a fulfilling, value-rich life.
REFERENCE GUIDE TO PERSONNEL AND OTHER BRIGHTS INFORMATION
Paul Geisert and Mynga Futrell
Co-Directors of www.The-Brights.Net
A bright is a person with a naturalistic worldview.