Category Archives: Announcements

Solstice Party 2018 and January 2019 Preview

Celebrate the Solstice with CNY Skeptics

IMG_6246

It’s almost time for the annual CNY Skeptics Solstice Party. Our hosts are the always gracious Bryce and Judy Hand. The date of the party is Saturday, December 21, and the time is 6 pm.

Feel free to bring a friend and a musical instrument. While most of us are secular humanists, we still like to sing holiday songs.

The Hands will provide turkey and stuffing, a vegetarian dish, and hot spiced cider. The rest is up to you. Appetizers, veggies, salads, desserts, wine, and beer are welcome. Email the Hands with your dinner contribution and/or if you need directions to their house.

Nuclear Power

January 16, 7 PM at the Manlius Library

Join us for a presentation by Ethan Bodnaruk who holds masters degrees in both nuclear engineering and ecological engineering.

November 2018 Debbie Goddard on Effective Activism

Debbie Goddard

“The Science of Change: Evidence-Based Methods for Effective Activism”

Debbie Goddard

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 7:00 PM

Manlius Library, One Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY

About the talk
The goal of activism is to change things, but how do we know what works? In a challenging political climate ripe for protests and petitions, it’s important to consider the effectiveness of our actions. Drawing from the experience of seasoned activists and organizers, Center for Inquiry outreach director Debbie Goddard will outline evidence-based methods for building campaigns and developing functional goals, objectives, strategies, tactics, and messaging so that our activism actually works.

About the presenter
Debbie Goddard is the director of campus and community programs and the director of African Americans for Humanism at the Center for Inquiry (CFI), where she has worked for 12 years. She facilitates workshops and gives presentations on group organizing, campaign-building and activism, diversity and outreach, student activism, the secular movement, and other topics for local groups and national conferences across North America. She has also been the lead organizer for conferences including Women in Secularism 4 and the annual CFI Leadership Conference. In 2012, she led a notable billboard campaign featuring black atheists, and in 2009, she helped coordinate an international campaign highlighting blasphemy laws and free expression.Before working for CFI, Debbie participated in freethought groups in the greater Philadelphia region and helped organize and support campus groups internationally as a student volunteer. She has also been involved with LGBTQ issues and progressive activism.

September 2018 Meeting on Pseudo to Science

Portrait of George Stadalski

“The Evolution from Pseudo to Science: The Disenchantment of a Ghost Hunter”

George Stadalski

Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 7:00 PM

Manlius Library, One Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY

About the talk
This month’s discussion will be about the state (or better said, lack) of science awareness in society and how the para-entertainment culture misinforms people about the paranormal and what scientific research into the paranormal should look like. There is a movement within the paranormal hobby toward more of a scientific approach and away from the entertainment aspect. George will talk about some of the things that are being done to make the shift towards science.

About the presenter
George Stadalski dislikes the term ghost hunter and feels it cheapens the hobby. Growing up, he was drawn to reading books like “Carnacki: The Ghost-Finder,” “Chariots of The Gods,” and “Phone Calls from the Dead,” watching shows like “In Search Of . . .” with Leonard Nimoy and “Kolchak: The Night Stalker.” The one thing that left a lasting impression on him was a scene from the movie Poltergeist where a team from UC Irvine studies the alleged phenomena.

George does not claim to be a scientist, but he has always loved learning about science. His goal is to look at the theories that paranormal investigators work with and try to determine where they came from and if they are based on fact or based in belief. Many groups claim to perform scientific investigations, using hi-tech, expensive equipment, but it is not enough to own the equipment; you must also know how to use it. The science is in the process, not the technology.

May 2018 Meeting with Sharon Hill

“Scientifical Americans: Paranormal researchers and the public understanding of science”

Sharon A. Hill, creator of DoubtfulNews

Wednesday, May 16, 7:00 PM

Manlius Library, One Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY

About the talk
In the 21st century, reality television and the Internet have fed public interest in ghosts, UFOs, cryptozoology and other unusual phenomena. By 2010, roughly 2000 amateur research and investigation groups formed in the U.S.– ghost hunters, bigfoot chasers, and UFO researchers, using an array of (supposedly) scientific equipment and methods with an aim of proving the existence of the paranormal. American culture’s honorific regard for science, coupled with the public’s unfamiliarity with scientific methods, created a niche for self-styled paranormal experts to achieve a measure of respect and authority without scientific training or credentials. These groups of amateurs serve as a surrogate for scientists in examining strange claims. And, they provide a unique lens by which we can examine the wider public understanding of science and research.

About the presenter
Sharon A. Hill is an advocate for science appreciation, critical thinking, and evidence-based inquiry, specializing in pop culture discourse on ghosts, monsters, mysteries, anomalies, and oddities. She is the creator of DoubtfulNews.com, SpookyGeology.com, and the host of the podcast 15 Credibility Street. She has degrees in Geosciences and Education with a focus on science and the public. Her personal website is SharonAHill.com.

Sharon Hill will be giving her presentation via Skype.

March 2018

Illustration of ocean waves

“Tsunamis in Syracuse?”

Bryce Hand, Ph.D.

Wednesday, March 21, 7:00 PM

Manlius Library, One Arkie Albanese Ave, Manlius, NY

About the talk
Geologists tend to use “catastrophic” events like meteorite impacts only as a last resort (and Professor Emeritus Bryce Hand is one of them). However, in his presentation Professor Hand will argue that the signature of just such an event can be found right here in Onondaga County! The six-foot-thick layer we call the Clark Reservation Limestone seemed like an anomaly from the moment he met it in 1969. Over the next couple decades he became convinced that this limestone must have been emplaced by a tsunami, but one caused by an event so special that the usual triggers—earthquakes, submarine landslides, extreme weather events—wouldn’t suffice. Then, in 1993 when he attended the Geological Society of America meeting where Yngvar Isachsen (distinguished geologist with the NY State Geological Survey) argued that that the seven-mile-diameter circular structure at Panther Mountain, in the Catskills, was an astrobleme—the signature of a buried impact crater.

About the presenter
Bryce Hand received his Ph.D in geology from Pennsylvania State University in 1964, and taught geology first at Antioch College, and then at Syracuse University for 35 years. His research focus was sedimentology. Bryce is now a professor emeritus of geology at Syracuse University, and has been a member of CNY Skeptics for 15 years.