Updated: Nov 18
Recently, the ownership of our website domain and related Internet channels was
disputed and we were unable to retain them. This required immediate action on the part
of the board, so we decided to change our name to Rocky Mountain Atheists (RMA).
With this change we plan to enhance our efforts to promote critical thinking, science
education, and contributing to our community. The Rocky Mountain Atheists will
continue to provide an open, welcoming secular community for non-believers.
RMA is the latest iteration of a group that has existed in Calgary for almost 15 years. It
is primarily a group of skeptics and free-thinkers. Although the name has changed, the
primary purpose of this group remains: to create a community of people who value
humanism, evidence-based practice, and the promotion of scientific knowledge.
As we continue to grow our community, it seems more important than ever to redouble
our efforts to promote critical thought. We live in an age of misinformation, false news,
and political polarization. How do we sort out what is valid? Evaluate evidence?
Separate fiction from fact? Decipher information from media outlets? Today, as we
honour the contributions of Carl Sagan, I find myself reflecting on his ominous prediction
“I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing
industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers
are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even
grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or
knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously
consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what is true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...
The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive
content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
It may feel as if we have arrived at Sagan’s dystopia. But I know that he would not have
us throw our hands up and surrender. It is exactly groups like the Rocky Mountain
Atheists who should take up the reigns and forge ahead in the promotion of scientific
literacy and evidence-based decision making.
In that vein, we will continue to offer opportunities for like-minded individuals to come
together, to learn and grow through events like our Book Club and our inaugural
Western Canadian Reason (WeCanReason) Conference in May 2023.
Thank you, and welcome to the Rocky Mountain Atheists!
― Janalee Morris, President, Rocky Mountain Atheists