Tag Archives: drinking skeptically

Drinking Skeptically…For Night People!

8 Jul

by Brianne Bilyeu aka biodork

First, I love summer. A lot. Also, I love Minnesota Skeptics for scheduling tonight’s Drinking Skeptically…For Night People! so close to my house so that I could enjoy a lovely evening bicycle ride to and from the get-together.

I arrived at Fusion in uptown Minneapolis this evening around 9pm. I like this space – it is set up well for moving around and meeting new groups of people, and at 10pm they have a pretty snazzy happy hour. Unfortunately they also crank up the music at 10pm, which isn’t so good for conversation. But ah well, such is a night in a bar. Solution: Grab another drink and shout a little louder!

Tonight I ended up meeting a lot of new (to me) people. Hello new skeptical friends! I met a nurse, three engineers, a past member of the Secular Student Alliance, some Tim Minchin fans, some people who are pretty excited about going to The Amazing Meeting next week, and a whole mess of atheists (deconverted Catholic over there, former Hindu over there, raised Fundamentalist Christian in that corner, past altar boy in that one – the list went on and on!).

This evening was interesting because I met people who had different takes on alternative medicine, the science of belief, and our understanding and perception of reality than I do. I had a chance to engage in some debates and idea-sharing, but I was a little frustrated with myself at a few points because I kept wanting to fall back on arguments that had been made in presentations, blogs and podcasts by various well-known skeptics and scientists (Michael Shermer said this, on Science-Based Medicine they totally debunked that, etc.). At times it was a challenge to say and defend what *I* thought without falling back on an argument to authority.

I think that any time I’m not “preaching to the choir”, I find out how well I really understand a position and I learn how to make stronger arguments for the position that I’ve taken. Also, when there’s no shared experience or language (I’m sorry…Science-Based what?), I have to find different ways to communicate ideas. Dang it, this critical thinking stuff is hard!

Thanks for the kick in the pants, MN Skeptics. Nights like this evening remind me why I first became interested in the organized skeptical community, and why I keep coming to meetups!

Photos: Minnesota Skeptics Meetup Group!

2 Jun

I thought I’d post some pics of our lovely skeptics at some of our lovely MN Skeptic’s Meetups. [almost] All photos were taken by our resident awesome photographer, Craig Mullenbach.

That’s Jessie, Todd[‘s reflection], and Travis being sugary-sweet, as always.

Todd, giving an impromptu lecture to his one audience member, Casey. Who’s obviously enthralled and apparently genuflecting.

Another group shot of Drinking Skeptically. Seen here: Jessie & Jack imitating the pearl-clutching & pouty behavior creationists are known to exhibit. Jack is also the head of Minnesota Atheists Meetup Group, but he knows where the cool kids r at. 😉  (j/k guys)

We like to talk with our hands a lot.

That chick in the purple: Lead Organizer. (thinks she’s the shiznit)

Halloween 2010 Drinking Skepchickally.
Carrie, Brianne, myself, Erica (eh..boys don’t count)
I LOVED Erica’s costume by the way. She was a ghost hunter. Can you see the little ghost she has rigged up to the back of her costume? That’s so every time she turned her head, she – like the actual ghost hunters – could never quite catch one in her sight.

Nate, Jim, & Jessie. Nate’s demonstrating to Jessie how he does the Vulcan neck-pinch. He also used to be Ray Kurzweil’s roommate at MIT. Show-off.

This one’s my favorite because I took it and it turned out perfect. 😛 You can even see the JREF logo on Travis’ shirt.
Hey, if your going to advertise your stupid woo on your car, don’t park near a skeptics’ meetup.


Many more photos on our meetup site: http://www.minnesotaskeptics.org. Become a member. It’s free!