Secular Sunday #197 - Help Us Help You || 4 October, 2015
Secular Sunday - Atheist Ireland's weekly newsletter
Derek Walsh
If you are or have ever been a member of Atheist Ireland, you've probably received a mail from us asking you to complete a survey. It's to help us increase membership and improve things for members so it would be great if you can take the time to fill it in. Follow the link for members or ex-members. And in the not very unlikely event that you run into difficulties, please email our regional officer Ashling O'Brien for assistance.
- Derek Walsh, Editor



OSCE Conference

This week, Michael Nugent and Jane Donnelly once again represented Atheist Ireland at the OSCE human rights conference in Warsaw. Jane Donnelly sopke on discrimination in the Irish education system (video), and Michael spoke on other forms of discrimination (video)



Upcoming Events

All events are free and open to everyone unless otherwise stated. Listing is not necessarily an endorsement. Listings sorted alphabetically by county, then chronologically.


Saturday 17 October, 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm, outside Brown Thomas, Patrick St., Cork (map)
The Atheist Ireland Information Table returns to Cork. Event page

Saturday 17 October, 2:30 pm, Kudos Bar & Restaurant, Clarion Hotel, Lapp's Quay, Cork (map)
Atheist Ireland Lunch. A family-friendly social event following the information table. Event page

Saturday 14 November, 11:00, Ambassador Hotel, Cork (map)
Atheist Ireland AGM 2015. The morning session, from 11:00 am to 12.30 pm, is for members only. It will include a review of our last year’s activities, arrangements for our programme of work for the coming year, election of officers and any amendments to our constitution. The afternoon session, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm, is open to the public. Event page


Sunday 18 October, 5:00 pm, Mount Errigal Hotel, Ballyraine, Letterkenny (map)
Atheist Ireland Supper. A family-friendly social event. Event page


Sunday 11 October, 1:00 pm, Trinity City Hotel, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Event page

Friday 30 October 7:30 pm, The Pavillion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire (map)
An Evening With Richard Dawkins. €12/10. More info
(This talk is not being organised by Atheist Ireland, but we will organise a meetup afterwards in Dun Laoghaire, venue to be confirmed.)


Sunday 25 October, 1:00 pm, Anno Santo Hotel, Threadneedle Road, Salthill, Galway (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Event page


Sunday 18 October, 12:00 noon, Gallys Bar, Castlemaine Road, Tralee (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Event page


Wednesday 21 October, 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry's Mall, Limerick (map)
The Mid West Humanists will meet. (Ask at the hotel reception for a card key to get up the lift to the meeting, which is usually on the third floor.) The Mid West Humanists are now on Facebook and Twitter.


Sunday 11 October, 12:30 pm, a Casa Mia, Tobergal Lane, Sligo (map)
Secular Sunday Brunch. A family-friendly social event. Event page





5 October

World Teachers Day

10 October

World Day Against Death Penalty

World Mental Health Day

This Week in History

Anniversaries of momentous events in atheism, science, skepticism, secularism and human rights, plundered shamelessly from Wikipedia and other sources.

6 October

1995: 51 Pegasi is discovered to be the first star other than the Sun to have a planet orbiting around it.

9 October

2012: Members of the Pakistani Taliban made a failed attempt to assassinate Malala Yousafzai on her way home from school.



5 October

1951: Bob Geldof. Irish singer/songwriter, organized the Live Aid and Live 8 charity concerts.

6 October

1903: Ernest Walton (d. 1995). Irish physicist, and Ireland's only Nobel Prize laureate in science, winning the prize in 1951 along with John Cockcroft for their "work on the transmutation of the atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles" (popularly known as splitting the atom).

7 October

1885: Niels Bohr (d. 1962). Danish physicist, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922 for foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory.

1939: Clive James. Australian author, television presenter and cultural commentator

1964: Dan Savage. American author and sex advice columnist.

1975: Tim Minchin. Australian comedian, actor, composer, songwriter, pianist, musical director, winner of the 2005 Best Newcomer Perrier Comedy Award.

10 October

1959: Julia Sweeney. American actor and comedian. Alumna of Saturday Night Live, author/performer of a one-woman autobiographical stage show about finding atheism: Letting Go of God.


Material collected from the Irish atheist blogosphere and beyond; used without permission, compensation, liability, guarantee or implied endorsement.

When the headline confuses the issue

by Jennifer Keane

Jennifer KeaneWriting a headline or title is sometimes hard – I’ve often written an entire blogpost and then spent almost as long wondering what on earth I’ll put at the top of the page. Headlines are important; they draw people in to your content, they summarise and provide some idea as to what you’re writing about, and sadly, they sometimes serve as unrepresentative clickbait which serves to confuse.

Yesterday, IFLS published an article about some research into new cancer therapies, an article which they reblogged from The Conversation. The research is interesting – cancer cells stimulate the over-production of a protein which allows them to use glucose to grow faster, and inhibiting or reducing levels of this protein starves the cancer cells, causing cell death. Like many discoveries about the growth, development, and death of cancer cells, this could potentially influence treatment for cancer patients, and that’s good news. The reporting of this news, however, is anything but good. Read more

Pope Francis meets Kim Davis

by Bock the Robber

Bock the Robber
What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer.
Elegantly, and always to the point, Francis Bacon went right to the kernel of the matter in his essay Of Truth, showing up the shallowness and hypocrisy of a Roman prefect who should have known better.
More recently, good Pope Francis spoke in a similar tone to the reviled Pilate when he asked prettily, Who am I to judge?
That seems like a straightforward rhetorical question not requiring an answer until you remind yourself that this Pope is a Jesuit.
On the face of it, the pontiff has told us in his own words that he doesn’t consider himself fit to judge, but perhaps he didn’t. Perhaps he was employing that technique of clerical thinking we became so familiar with during the height of the Irish child-abuse scandal: mental reservation. Read more

Media Watch

News and views from Ireland and around the world



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