It was very difficult to get up and around this morning as the day started out grey, cloudy and rainy. But Seth Andrews and Aron Ra were going to be speaking first thing, so we got up and got our coffee.
As we walked up to the convention center, we could hear someone squawking out of a mega-phone/ loud speaker type thing. I knew immediately it was some dude, preaching hell fire and damnation rubbish. As we walked closer he was going on about the brainwashing of universities. How they were teaching the lies of evolution. He also wailed on about how the fool says in his heart there is no god. As I held the door open for my wife, a lady said welcome and handed me a piece of paper. I said thanks and politely accepted. I glanced at it and sure enough it read something about accepting christ. So I then politely threw it away.
We were a bit late for Seths talk. But what we did hear was nice and encouraging. Atheists, non-believers and skeptics surely have a reputation for being obnoxious, rude, immoral, etc. But as Seths talk was about and what I for the most part witnessed so far at the convention, the person yelling at us just outside the convention doors was a great deal more rude and obnoxious.
Yes, I acknowledge that there is a certain number of non-believers that can be obscene and insulting to believers. But I believe I am witnessing before my eyes a group of skeptics that I can relate to in a more mature and rational way. And this is what Seths talk was about. The love and respect for humanity. It was awesome.
Next up was another of my hero’s, Aron Ra. I am amazed at how much is known about the fossil records. Here again, I admit that a lot of what he talked about, I don’t completely understand. But I do get the gist of the evolutionary records and science. I understand that the data puts the nail on the coffin of creationism. Yes, I don’t grasp most of it now, but look forward to continuing to learn about it. It is fascinating. Its not that evolution is so difficult to understand, its that there is so much information, its going to take time for me to take it in.
The next highlight of the day for me was getting to see Richard Carrier. The room was nearly full for his presentation. He talked about good and bad philosophy. Again, a lot of information about a discipline that I have looked very little into. But it was really cool seeing how good philosophy comes about. Just more stuff I look forward to studying up on.
Richards talk was the last one before dinner. So after it was over, about 1000 people were making their way out of the auditorium. It was very slow going and my wife made the comment, “man, this is like leaving church.” I had to laugh because it was true. We used to go to a mega-church and it is always slow walking out of the building.
We didn’t make it back to any more presentations after dinner. My wife needed some rest as her pregnancy was getting the best of her. So we just relaxed in the room and talked about the day. Its been awesome getting the opportunity to experience Skepticon with her. Having conversations about religion, evolution, science and raising our kids in it all has been good for us.