Secular Sunday #92 – Relatively Early Edition

As promised, this week’s newsletter comes to you considerably earlier than you’ve become used to. Those who prefer to get it later can simply wait a few hours before reading.

– Derek Walsh, Editor


  • Our announcement of a planned primary school course about atheism has been noticed by a number of news outlets. There have been stories on,,  The Guardian and The Telegraph.
    It may be necessary to repeat that these modules will not be instructing children to be atheists but will be educating children about atheism in an objective manner. We will shortly begin a fundraising campaign for this course.
  • Atheist Ireland’s chairperson Michael Nugent and Human Rights Officer Jane Donnelly were in Warsaw this week at the annual  OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) human rights conference. Both Michael and Jane addressed the conference which hosted representatives of 57 countries as well as many NGOs. We’ll have a full report shortly.


All events are free and open to everyone unless otherwise stated.

  • Tuesday 1 October, 7:00 pm, Room AC 203 on the Concourse, NUI Galway (map)
    Galway Humanists are hosting a Meet and Greet Night with free pizza. Facebook event page
  • Saturday 5 October, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm, GPO, O’Connell St., Dublin 1 (map)
    Brendan Maher and friends will be outside the GPO with a stall promoting atheism, secularism and humanism. Email Brendan if you want to help or for further information.
  • Sunday 6 October, 4:00 pm, Buswell’s Hotel, Molesworth St., Dublin 2 (map)
    Monthly meeting of the Humanist Association of IrelandFacebook event page
  • Saturday 12 October, 12:00 noon, various locations
    Atheist Ireland’s Second Sunday brunches.
  • Wednesday 16 October, 8:00 pm, Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick (map)
    The Mid West Humanists are meeting. By this time members will have started going to TDs in the region, as the Constitutional Convention is to discuss the Blasphemy provision on 2-3 November so they will be discussing feedback from visits to TDs. The Mid West Humanists are now on Facebook and Twitter.


Scepticism, on the face of it, is all about not taking claims at face value. Sceptics are expected to dig deeper, to ask questions and challenge assertions. What then should we say about one of the great questions of the current times, namely whether the burning of fossil fuels is causing an alarming increase in world temperatures and incidences of severe weather; trends that may lead to catastrophic changes around the world if we do nothing about it. – Colm from Cork Skeptics asks whether we should be skeptical about global warming.

Science is an oft-misunderstood beast; there are many who consider it like a forceful authority, something akin to a religion where scientists decree something to be and that’s the orthodoxy all must accept. But nothing could be further from the truth; science is a method for discerning the world around us – it is constantly changing in the light of new evidence. This is why the all too frequently bandied about comparison of scientists to priests is not just wrong, but showcases a blithering misunderstanding of the entire process. – David Robert Grimes has around-up of his summer battling pseudoscience and scaremongering.

Secular Sunday