Saturday October 17th
10:00am – Opening Remarks
10:15am – BRADLEY PETER Dying with Dignity Movement
11:15am – ROB BREAKENRIDGE
12:15pm – 1:30pm LUNCH
1:30pm - ALI A. RIZVI
2:30pm – LYNNE HONEY
3:30pm – COFFEE BREAK
3:45pm – NATHAN PHELPS
5:00 - 7:30pm DINNER BREAK
Sunday October 18th
10:00am – GREG HART
11:00am – SHELLEY SEGAL
12:00pm – 1:15pm – LUNCH
1:15 – 1:45 OUR SPONSORS
1:45PM - EDUCATION IN ALBERTA PANEL DISCUSSION (Creationism, Prayer in Public Schools,
Religious Abstinence only Sex-Ed)
3:30 pm – COFFEE BREAK
3:45pm – KEYNOTE SPEAKER – MATT DILLAHUNTY
Nate Phelps is the son of Pastor Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church, which gained infamy from their protests at soldiers’ funerals around the United States. He is the sixth of thirteen children, and was taught his father’s extreme version of Calvinism from an early age. This was accompanied by extreme physical punishments and abuse, extreme dietary and health requirements, and other extreme expectations. Nate left home at midnight on his eighteenth birthday.
Today Nate isa vocal LGBT advocate, and speaks out against the dangers of religion and child abuse.
He is currently working on a book which covers his exceptional story, and is the subject of an upcoming documentary film.
Lynne is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at MacEwan University. She earned her PhD in Experimental Psychology from McMaster University where she specialized in social learning, animal behaviour, and evolutionary psychology. She is the co-author of a textbook on animal learning, and currently conducts research that examines the role of social dominance for interpersonal interactions and evaluation. Lynne is very focused on teaching about psychology but also teaching critical thinking and analysis and received the 2013 Innovation in Teaching Award from the Alberta Colleges and Institutes Faculty Association.
Lynne will be giving a presentation on how to read and understand statistics...sure to appeal to the skeptics amongst us.
Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen circumstances, Sarah is no longer able to join us for the conference. She sends her regrets and hopes we enjoy our weekend.
Check out her various projects including Recovering from Religion and Apostacon.
Rob Breakenridge is one half of "Kingkade & Breakenridge", weekdays from 9-noon on Newstalk 770 Calgary. Prior to that, he hosted "The Rob Breakenridge Show" for 11 years. He is also a weekly columnist for the Calgary Herald and a regular political panelist on CTV2's "Alberta Primetime"
Bradley Peter is a biologist from Edmonton, Alberta. After watching his grandmother suffer a prolonged death in 2009 due to a terminal illness, Bradley became involved with the Right to Die movement. In 2012, Bradley helped create the Edmonton Chapter of Dying with Dignity, which conducts education on patient rights and advocates for the introduction of legislation on medically assisted dying. Bradley brings a passion for evidence-based medicine and critical thinking to this issue and believes nobody should have to experience unwanted suffering at the end of life.
Dying With Dignity has a four-part mandate.
1. Education about end-of-life options and the importance of advance care planning;
2. Education about patient rights and advocacy for patients whose rights are abused;
3. Support for individuals at the end of their lives, including support at the bedside of those who wish to determine the nature and timing of their death, and 4. Information about the choice-in-dying movement, and the reasons why appropriately regulated medically assisted dying should be legalized in Canada.
Brad will be speaking to us about the organization as well as the exciting news over the Supreme Court decision in February of this year.
Kathy and her daughter Emily made international news when they filed a Human Rights claim over religious, abstinence based sexual health education. Since 2013 she has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the need for comprehensive sexual health education in all Alberta schools. She is a board member of Alberta AIM (Accessing Information not Myths), a stakeholder group that is demanding evidence based education in the curriculum. Alberta AIM was recently successful in getting the need for consent education highlighted across Alberta and is now advocating for medically accurate, inclusive comprehensive sexual health education. Kathy is also a member of SEA, openly secular and proudly atheist.
ALI A. RIZVI
Ali A. Rizvi is a Pakistani-Canadian writer, physician, and musician who resides in Toronto. He grew up in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan as part of a progressive Muslim family before he moved permanently to Canada in his twenties. Ali is an avid and vocal advocate for secularism, science, and reform, particularly in the Muslim community. He is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, has been featured on CNN, BBC, CTV, and other media outlets, and is an original contributor to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science website.
His first book, The Atheist Muslim, will be published next year by St. Martin's Press (Macmillan) worldwide.
Genre defying singer-songwriter Shelley Segal creates a space for her listeners. A space for people to engage with ideas, to question and to reflect on the everyday – to see its layers, its depth, its meaning. Desirous of all expressions, Shelley flirts with elements of jazz, folk, pop, blues, reggae and electronica, imparting a pure joy about music and its power.
The spirited singer has been “creating a ripple effect with her melodic vocals, heartfelt passion, thought-provoking lyrics” (Leona Devaz, Weekend Notes). Shelley’s first single from ‘An Atheist Album’, folk protest song ‘Saved’ has become an anthem for grass-roots secular activists the world over.
Check out her youtube channel here:
Scott's involvement in the secular community began when he checked his younger daughter's grade 7 science textbook to see how well evolution was covered. It wasn't even in the index. His older daughter told him the word “evolution” had never been mentioned right through grade 12. This motivated him to join a secular humanist group in Calgary and ultimately become one of the founding members of CFI Calgary. He spent considerable time studying the religious right, including the parental-rights movement, to understand their history, goals, strategies and deceptions, especially with regards to the education system. Much of his focus is to stop using public funds for religious schools, and to have evolution and critical thinking taught properly, starting in elementary school. Scott frequently takes his kids and their friends into remote parts the Alberta badlands to find dinosaurs, crocodiles, sharks and turtles from the late Cretaceous. One of their finds, now partially excavated, is proving to be one of the most important Tyrannosaurs in Alberta palaeontology.
Back in 2010 an Albertan Public school knowingly denied Luke and his children their Canadian Charter Rights ("Fundamental Freedoms") of Freedom FROM Religion - and he has been seriously pissed about it ever since. After discovering how widespread this issue was, Luke went on to co-found APUPIL (Albertan Parents for Unbiased Public Inclusive Learning), sits on the Board of the Society of Edmonton Atheists & is also the Social Media darling known as 'According2Luke'. Luke is a regular contributor on Albertan TV & Radio on secular matters and will be announcing the launch of the legal vehicle through which we will be addressing a number of these issues at the NONE OF THE ABOVE Secular Conference!
Greg has a formal background in ergonomics and kinesiology. He can tell you exactly why sitting is one of the most dangerous things you could ever do. His work and research in ergonomics led to a fascination around the gulf between conscious and sub-conscious behaviour selection and how the effects are felt in the world. Thinking is one of those mostly sub-conscious behaviours and he undertook a deep study of critical thinking and skepticism including attending the the Academy of Critical Thinking through the Foundation for Critical Thinking at Sonoma State University in California. Greg has been a regular presenter at the International Conference on Critical Thinking.
He is a board member of Sustainable Calgary, Safer Calgary and the project leader for the Safe and Smooth project. He is the past chair of Make It Good - a Calgary-based organization concerned with creating a space for critical dialogue aimed at building resilient organizations and communities. He works with organizations through his company Mindblendr to help them discover and control the unconscious design elements that drive most of human behaviour. He helps them employ critical thinking in their activities and generally figure stuff out. He is SLOWLY working on a book about the dangerous paradox that surrounds the feeling of being safe.
Jon Morrison is the Teaching Pastor at Maple Ridge Baptist Church in Maple Ridge, BC. Jon holds a M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. He has also studied at Oxford University before working for a non-profit organization called Apologetics Canada. In 2013, Jon published Clear Minds & Dirty Feet, a book aimed at translating the evidence for Christianity for both skeptics and Christians alike. Jon also teaches Spiritual Formation at Pacific Life Bible College in Surrey, B.C. He is married to Hayley and they have a daughter named Abigail.
Jon appears through a sponsorship from Living Stones Church in Red Deer.
KEYNOTE SPEAKER - MATT DILLAHUNTY
Matt Dillahunty is an American public speaker, avid gamer, magician and internet personality, and was the president of the Atheist Community of Austin from 2006 to 2013. He has hosted the Austin-based webcast and cable-access television show The Atheist Experience since 2005,and formerly hosted the live internet radio show Non-Prophets Radio.
A Southern Baptist for more than 25 years, he sought to become a minister until his investigation of his religious views led him to reject supernatural claims. He now identifies as a skeptic, humanist and atheist. He is a founder and contributor of the counter-apologetics encyclopedia "Iron Chariots" as well as the "Atheist Debates Patreon project", which are dedicated to providing the understanding and tools for more effective discussions between theists and atheists. He is regularly engaged in formal debates and travels the world speaking to secular organizations, churches and university groups on religion, philosophy, skepticism, atheism, humanism and magic.
He's married to Beth Presswood, a microbiologist and winner of the Austin Chronicle's listener-selected 'Best Podcast': "Godless Bitches". They live in Austin, Texas with their 4 cats, 2 snakes and the occasional scorpion.