Skepticism in Belfast – local group planned.

The ‘Skeptics in the Pub’ idea is a one that has been spreading globally in for a while with a growing number of regular local events including plenty in England and a well established Dublin group. A branch has now been established in Belfast and the inaugural meeting will be at the Duke of York next Tuesday (12th) at 7pm.

While it’s key aim is to provide an organising hub for Rationalists and Secularists, in the case of the Westminster one (which I attend often), it has become – at least in part – a local blogger’s meetup. There’s a significant crossover with the concerns of many bloggers as free speech (particularly in the face of libel threats) is a common theme. Recent concerns that have energised attendees have included the various ways different alternative therapists promote themselves and sometimes use  (ultimately futile) abuses of the libel laws to attempt to silence scientific critics.

The cause célèbre from the last year or so was the defence of Simon Singh’s right to criticise the British Chiropractic Association.

You can follow @belfastskeptics on twitter, and If you’re planning to go along to find out what it’s all about, register your interest on Facebook here. Alternatively, you can just turn up on the night.

  • Mark McGregor

    I have real doubts this will happen

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    If it ever happens the Duke of York is the right place being the haunt of the alleged artsy types. Personally I think it sounds like The Tea Party idea and could prove the launch pad of a political career or two.
    I dont think we have journalists here of the calibre of Glenn Beck, Anne Coulter, Bill O’Reilly and Shaun Hannity to lead it.
    Stephen Nolan perhaps.

  • Mickles

    You forgot the quotation marks around “journalists”.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    No I didnt. That would imply these people are not journalists.
    All journos like to think that there is a difference between being a journo on a “quality” title and a “tabloid hack”.
    As an egalitarian I regard them all in the same way.

  • joeCanuck

    Witty, Mark.
    And if you’re schitzophrenic (can’t spell that word) you might be in two minds whether to go or not.

  • Mickles

    So Glenn Beck is journalist? There is no way anyone with a brain could say Glenn Beck is a journalist. Even Glenn himself: http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/24124/

  • http://nevertrustahippy.blogspot.com Paul Evans

    FJH,

    I’ve absolutely no idea where you get the idea that it’s either anything like the ‘Tea Party’ movement or an opportunity for political opportunists.

    It tends to attract bearded aetheists (and some men as well) for the most part, and the best way to wear out your welcome is to do anything that looks like grandstanding.

  • joeCanuck

    hehehehe

  • Jj

    lol @ Paul

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    “Skeptics in a Pub” seems to me likea rather obvious parody of the Tea Party idea.
    Where people who have self declared their alienation from mainstream politics meeting and massaging each others egos and contributing to each others conspiracy theories.
    Sounds like a wonderful night out.
    Alas a movement may not get off the ground as it requires a certain amount of energy (Beck, Coulter, Hannity, O’Reilly….not to mention Gaunt, Littlejohn, Ferrari) that the average pub skeptic might find too much.

    “I would have done it yesterday if I hadnt had a cold
    But since Ive put this pint away….Im feeling rather bold
    As soon as this pub closes…..as soon as this pub closes………as soon as this pub closes……the revolution starts”
    (Alex Glasgow RIP…..much missed)

  • http://nevertrustahippy.blogspot.com Paul Evans

    FJH:

    You absolutely won’t give up, no matter how plainly wrong you are on a subject about which you know nothing, will you?

    “Where people who have self declared their alienation from mainstream politics meeting and massaging each others egos and contributing to each others conspiracy theories.”

    Utter nonsense. Many of the people at the Skepticism events that I’ve met are positive members of existing mainstream political parties. One of the regular subjects at Skeptic events is the absurdity of ‘conspiracy theory’ type thinking. They are generally people of a scientific bent.

    It is not a movement. It is a bunch of like-minded people meeting in the pub to hear interesting speakers tell them things they didn’t know.

    There is very little by way of ‘revolutionary’ aspirations that I’ve detected in these meetings, indeed they tend to attract the kind of people who wouldn’t buy – never mind sell – a student political newspaper.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Mr Evans
    “You absolutely won’t give up, no matter how plainly wrong you are on a subject about which you know nothing, will you?”

    that sounds like a conspiracy theory to me.

  • http://sluggerotoole.com Belfast Gonzo

    Well, I attended their second get together and it was very enjoyable. Nice to attend a meeting where bullshit is debunked convincingly.