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Hi Everyone, Happy Spring! I feel it's time for us to return to ACI Halal Turkish Restaurant. https://www.groupon.com/biz/allentown/aci-halal-1st-ward For any newcomers, this is a regular haunt for our DS events. The food is excellent and affordable, and the service is great. There is off street parking, and it's handicap accessible. It is BYOB. Please make a note of the time change. This Drinking (and Dining) Skeptically Meetup and all future "DS" Meetups will be at 6PM, on the 3rd Friday of the month. As always, Drinking is optional and newcomers are welcome. See you there. Barb
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress Hardcover by Steven Pinker Note: We are reading Part I: Enlightenment and Part II: Progress for April. At the meeting, we’ll discuss whether to read Part III: Reason, Science and Humanism for another month. INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "My new favorite book of all time." --Bill Gates If you think the world is coming to an end, think again: people are living longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives, and while our problems are formidable, the solutions lie in the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science. Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naive hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature--tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking--which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress. Carol and Steve will be moderating this month. Hope you can join us for some thoughtful discussion. Upcoming books are: This month is book selection month for June, July, and August. Please bring one book to recommend. One possibility is to read Part III of this month’s book. May: The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths by Michael Shermer (?)
Our first cleanup of the season has been timed to coincide with the Secular Week of Action (More info here... https://weekofaction.org/?mc_cid=0e19b073c3&mc_eid=f311cfc0a6 ). After the long winter our roadway will likely need some sprucing up, and we can add to the many secular projects going on around the country. Adopt-a-Highway is one of the ways our group gives back to the community. The road we maintain is one which is heavily used by local people and visitors alike because of the park, hiking and biking trails, fishing locations, the Indian Culture Museum, and proximity to the hospital. Keeping it looking nice allows travelers a better experience, and our signs let them know it is our group that cares enough to do the work. Please come lend a hand! We'll meet at the trout hatchery parking lot on Fish Hatchery Road opposite Keystone Road. Be sure to wear weather appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear. Penn-DOT supplies bags, gloves and vests. Expect a short safety meeting before we head out.
As part of our Secular Week of Action activities ( https://weekofaction.org/?mc_cid=0e19b073c3&mc_eid=f311cfc0a6 ), we will be collection needed items for Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown. Following our Adopt-a-Highway on Fish Hatchery Road, anyone can bring these goods to the parking lot across from Keystone Road where we finish. We will then take them directly to the shelter. We're usually done the cleanup around noon. The items most needed at this time are new twin bed sheets, dust pans and brooms, and laundry detergent. Other things that are needed on a general basis are listed on the shelter's website here... https://sixthstreetshelter.caclv.org/donate-now-2/volunteer-opportunities-at-sss/ Cash donations are also always accepted. Sixth Street Shelter helps working families by offering housing and supplying day to day necessities while they save and get back on their feet. We have helped this shelter out in the past and it's a pleasure to help these families in their time of need. By helping out with this drive, you will be showing our community what humanism and the secular community are all about. Thank You!