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New! Boston Skeptics Slack Chat Room We're taking Boston Skeptics to the next level by introducing a Slack chat room for Boston Skeptics to keep and touch, share ideas, and be skeptical in near-real time with each other! Don't have...

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New! Boston Skeptics Slack Chat Room We're taking Boston Skeptics to the next level by introducing a Slack chat room for Boston Skeptics to keep and touch, share ideas, and be skeptical in near-real time with each other! Don't have...

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Boston Skeptics in the Theater & Pub | Bill Nye: Science... Come join the Boston Skeptics at the Brattle Theatre on December 3, where we’ll be attending a screening of a new film about Bill Nye, aptly named “Bill Nye: Science Guy.” We’ll go somewhere nearby...

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October 2017 Organizational Meeting Updates Thanks again to everyone who attended our October 2017 organizational meeting. There were a few items we had drafted and captured more ideas around that we would love to open up for comment and feedback...

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Darwin Day Brunch

Posted on : 09-02-2015 | By : John | In : Event, local

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WEATHER UPDATE: Due to the impending 4th Blizzard, Darwin Day has been postponed one week, to Feb. 22.

Thursday, Feb 12 is Charles Darwin’s 206th birthday. The Birthday Boy

We’re celebrating with Oodles of Noodlesnoodles and Modern Dinosaurs dinosaurs.

Join us at 11 AM Sunday, Feb 15 Feb 22 at Santouka Ramen in Harvard Square for brunch, followed by a The Voyage of HMS Beaglevoyage† to the Hominids at the Museum of Natural History Harvard Museum of Natural History.

RSVP on our Facebook event page.

Date: Sunday, Feb 15 Feb 22, 2015
Brunch Time: 11 AM
Place: Santouka Ramen
1 Bow Street
Cambridge MA

Museum Time: 1 PM
Place: Harvard Museum of Natural History
26 Oxford Street
Cambridge MA

[†] Boat not provided‡.
[‡] Boat not needed, since it’s just a 10 minute walk, not a 5 year circumnavigation. Spaceship not needed either.

Book Club: “Life Ascending” by Nick Lane

Posted on : 13-08-2014 | By : John | In : Book Club

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This month we are reading Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution by Nick Lane.

Nick Lane is a Reader in Evolutionary Biochemistry at University College London. He has written books about oxygen, mitochondria and cryobiology. Our current book is organized into 10 chapters, each covering an important advance (“inventions”) in the history of life. It is one of the most “sciency” books we’ve read recently, with occasional vivid descriptions of, for example, the view of the Earth from the Moon first seen by the Apollo 8 astronauts in 1968, the early Earth before the first life emerged and both kinds of hydrothermal vents (I didn’t know there was more than one.) There is little in the way of personal anecdotes or historical discussions. For the most part, the book dives right into the science, and there is a lot of it!

I’m finding it dense going but thoroughly worthwhile. A lot of it, especially the first chapter on the origins of life, is new to me. It also clears up a lot of common misconceptions, such as where the oxygen (O2) released by photosynthesis comes from. (It comes from splitting water molecules, not from reducing CO2. But it does convert atmospheric CO2 into solid carbohydrates, which is why plants are the ultimate solution to global warming.)

Book Club: “The Violinist’s Thumb” by Sam Kean

Posted on : 04-08-2012 | By : John | In : Book Club, local

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Cover of our bookAs is the recent trend in our books, this one also has a very long subtitle. Its full name is The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code. Sam Kean also wrote one of our previous books, The Disappearing Spoon

Kean writes the kinds of books Isaac Asimov used to produce, well-researched but fairly light and easy to read with a wealth of information on a wide variety of scientific topics. The last one was on chemistry and the periodic table. This one is about DNA and genetics. (Asimov wrote about one of these books a month. Other people take several years to write them. It takes dozens of writers to replace him. I really miss Isaac Asimov.)

Kean starts by telling the stories of Gregor Mendel, the discoverer of genes, and Johannes Friedrich Miescher, the discoverer of DNA. (I knew nothing previously about Miescher.) He explains the difference between the two concepts and how they were eventually linked into a full understanding of inheritance and how they explained one of the most important underpinnings of evolutionary theory, descent with modification. Based on the excerpt linked above, I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of this book.

We will be meeting on Saturday, August 25 at 3 PM at our usual place, Harvard’s Northwest Science Building, 52 Oxford St in Cambridge. Bring a snack to share, or just your appetite.

You can RSVP on our Facebook event page.

Mary will be hosting a discussion of the book the next day (Sunday August 26) on-line at the Skepchick Book Club, in case you want to share your thoughts about the book with the world. And remember, as always, there will be a special, relevant recipe for a super duper yummy snack to munch on while discussing the book.

Another Chance to Witness “Creation”

Posted on : 20-01-2010 | By : Jared | In : Event

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Did you miss the previously-mentioned preview screening of the new film Creation here in Greater Boston? Well, Zachary from the Boston Atheists let us know about another interesting screening happening this Friday!

The Boston Atheists and the Atheists of Greater Lowell will be attending the 7:00 PM screening of the film, at the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge. Zachary suggested that there may be a Q & A with the film’s director following this showing, so be sure to go and check it out!

Please RSVP here on MeetUp.com to let them know you’re coming! If our three groups combined can get 25 or more people to attend, you can take advantage of discounted group-rate tickets!

Last Minute: Go see Creation!

Posted on : 14-01-2010 | By : Jared | In : Event, skepticism

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(NB: Dont forget to RSVP here or on Facebook for this Saturday’s BS Brunch!)

Hey gang,

Late update, but we’ve just heard about an event you might find interesting. Creation, a new movie about Charles Darwin and his personal struggle with faith in the light of reason, is playing in an advanced screening TONIGHT! The film is based on a book by Randal Keynes, Darwin’s great-great-grandson, and stars Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Charles and Emma Darwin. Over at the JREF Swift Blog, Jeff Wagg has some information:

For those in the Boston area, there’s an **advance** screening on January 14, 7pm, at the Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge. The Q&A panel includes author Randal Keynes, and professors Thomas Glick and Jon Roberts of Boston University. RSVP at CreationBoston@43kix.com

RSVP to that email address if you’re planning to go, and be sure to RSVP on Facebook or leave a comment here in case any other Boston Skeptics want to meet you there! And if you miss the film tonight, the official release will be happening on January 22nd, so you can always catch it then.

Hat tip to SkepticScott for giving us the heads-up!

Boston Skeptics in the Pub Audio/Video

Posted on : 30-03-2008 | By : Rebecca | In : Skeptics in the Pub

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Audio from the first Boston Skeptics in the Pub is now available! I’ve uploaded it to Google Video along with video of Mike the Mad Biologist’s slides. The quality (of the A/V, not of the presentation) is a bit poor, for which I apologize. But, it should be good enough for you to follow, for those of you who are fans of Mike’s but couldn’t be there (in the future please consider moving to Boston).

Here’s the link!