Richard Dawkins , DSc, FRS, FRSL is an ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and writer. He is an emeritus fellow of New College, Oxford, and was the University of Oxford‘s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 until 2008.
Dawkins is an atheist, a vice president of the British Humanist Association, and a supporter of the Brights movement. He is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design. In his 1986 book The Blind Watchmaker, he argues against the watchmaker analogy, an argument for the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms. Instead, he describes evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker.
He has since written several popular science books, and makes regular television and radio appearances, predominantly discussing these topics. In his 2006 book The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that religious faith is a delusion—”a fixed false belief”.:5 As of January 2010, the English-language version had sold more than two million copies and had been translated into 31 languages. Dawkins founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science to promote the teaching of evolution and to counteract those who advocate classroom programs against evolution.
Lawrence Krauss is an American theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is Foundation Professor of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University and director of its Origins Project. He is known as an advocate of the public understanding of science, of public policy based on sound empirical data, of scientific skepticism and of science education and works to reduce the impact of superstition and religious dogma in pop culture. He is also the author of several bestselling books, including The Physics of Star Trek and A Universe from Nothing.
CAROLYN PORCO – Keynote Speaker
Carolyn C. Porco is an American planetary scientist known for her work in the exploration of the outer solar system, beginning with her imaging work on the Voyager missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in the 1980s. She leads the imaging science team on the Cassini mission currently in orbit around Saturn. She is also an imaging scientist on the New Horizons mission launched to Pluto on January 19, 2006. She is an expert on planetary rings and the Saturnian moon, Enceladus.
She has co-authored more than 110 scientific papers on subjects ranging from the spectroscopy of Uranus and Neptune, the interstellar medium, the photometry of planetary rings, satellite/ring interactions, computer simulations of planetary rings, the thermal balance of Triton’s polar caps, heat flow in the interior of Jupiter, and a suite of results on the atmosphere, satellites, and rings of Saturn from the Cassini imaging experiment. In 2013, Cassini data confirmed a 1993 prediction by Porco and Mark Marley that acoustic oscillations within the body of Saturn are responsible for creating particular features in the rings of Saturn.
Porco was founder of The Day the Earth Smiled. She was also responsible for the epitaph and proposal to honor the late renowned planetary geologist Eugene Shoemaker by sending his cremains to the Moon aboard the Lunar Prospector spacecraft in 1998.
Peter Boghossian is an American philosophy instructor, activist, author, speaker, and atheism advocate. He is a full-time faculty member at Portland State University. His primary research areas are critical thinking, philosophy of education, and moral reasoning. Boghossian is a speaker for the Center for Inquiry, the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and the Secular Student Alliance. He has been nominated as a member of the Global Secular Council.
His book, A Manual for Creating Atheists, was published in 2013. In it, he describes what he dubs “street epistemology“, a set of techniques that atheists can use in personal conversations with religious believers to get them to think more critically with the eventual goal of religious disaffiliation. The book has inspired the creation of independent “street epistemology” groups.
Jerry Coyne is an American professor of biology, known for his commentary on intelligent design. A prolific scientist and author, he has published dozens of papers elucidating the theory of evolution. He is currently a professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Ecology and Evolution. His concentration is speciation and ecological and evolutionary genetics, particularly as they involve the fruit fly, Drosophila. He is the author of the text Speciation and the bestselling non-fiction book Why Evolution Is True. Coyne maintains a website also called Why Evolution Is True.
Greta Christina has been writing professionally since 1989, and has been a full-time freelance writer and speaker since 2012. Her writing about atheism has appeared in print in Skeptical Inquirer and the anthology Everything You Know About God Is Wrong, as well as in her own books Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why (2014) and Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things that Piss Off the Godless (2012).
Speaking to Chris Mooney for the Point of Inquiry podcast, she stated that “there isn’t one emotion” affecting atheists “but anger is one of the emotions that many of us have …[it] drives others to participate in the movement”. She feels that there are many goals for the atheist movement — more separation of church and state, ending “bigotry against atheism”, and for some, persuading people “out of religion”. She thinks it is a “valid goal” to work towards a world without religion.
As a speaker, she is part of the Speakers Bureau for the Secular Student Alliance and the Center for Inquiry. She was a speaker on the Diversity in Skepticism panel at The Amaz!ng Meeting in July, 2011, the Reason Rally in 2012, and the 50th annual convention of American Atheists in 2013.
She received the 2013 LGBT Humanist Pride Award from the American Humanist Association.
Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a fellow, advisor, and board member of the Society of Ontario Free Thinkers . He has been invited to speak at numerous national and international conferences and written many scholarly papers ranging from bioethics to cognitive evolution. His book entitled How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Asking the Right Questions was released world-wide by Prometheus Books in July 2011. This is his 5th appearance at INR
Vyckie Garrison started No Longer Quivering to tell the story of her “escape” from the Quiverfull movement.
Over time, NLQ has developed into a valuable resource of information regarding the deceptions and dangers of the Quiverfull philosophy and lifestyle. Several more former QF adherents are now contributing their stories to NLQ and our collective voice makes these Quiverfull warnings impossible to dismiss or ignore.
DR. HARRIET HALL
Harriet Hall received her B.A. and M.D. from the University of Washington. She was only the second woman to do her internship in the Air Force and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base.
Hall says she was a “passive skeptic” for quite some time, only reading the literature and attending the various meetings. She met Wallace Sampson at the Skeptic’s Toolbox workshop in Oregon. He convinced her to write an article for the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine testing so-called “Vitamin O” products she had seen advertised in the mail. She then began writing articles for Skeptical Inquirer. When she spoke to Michael Shermer at The Amazing Meeting about the book The God Code, he encouraged her to write a review of it for Skeptic Magazine. She wrote other articles for that publication, and since late 2006 she has had a regular column in it titled The SkepDoc. This is also the name of her web site. Before the Toolbox, “I had not done any writing… one thing led to another and now I’m on the faculty of the Skeptic’s Toolbox.”
She has been an outspoken critic of alternative medicine, often questioning its effectiveness. “If it were shown to be truly effective, it would be part of regular medicine.” In her work she emphasizes the importance of following the scientific evidence for or against any remedy. When asked about the anti-cold remedy Airborne she said, “There’s more evidence for chicken soup than for Airborne. In the absence of any credible double-blind studies to support the claims for Airborne, I’ll stick to hand washing.” She has also criticized the U.S. Army for its use of acupuncture, saying “the idea that putting needles in somebody’s ear is going to substitute for things like morphine is just ridiculous.”
Sikivu Hutchinson is an American feminist, atheist and author. She is the author of Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels (2013), Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars (2011), and Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles (Travel Writing Across the Disciplines) (2003). Moral Combat is the first book on atheism to be published by an African-American woman. In 2013 she was named Secular Woman of the year.
Ian Mitchell, B.Sc., MD, CM, FRCP(C) completed a B.Sc. in Pharmacology at UBC followed by the MD, CM program at McGill University. He did his residency training in the FRCP Emergency Medicine program at McMaster University. Dr. Mitchell spent 8 years working at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, serving a population highly affected by poverty and substance abuse. For the last seven years, he has been working in Kamloops as a staff Emergency Physician at the Royal Inland Hospital. He also works part time at the King Street Clinic, providing care for those with psychiatric and substance abuse issues. He was part of an initiative that led to the Royal Inland Hospital having the first Emergency Department in Canada to distribute naloxone kits to intravenous drug users who have sustained an opiate overdose. He holds the position of Clinical Assistant Professor within the UBC Department of Emergency Medicine and the role of ERI (Evidence Based Medicine/Research/Informatics) Scholar for the Kamloops Family Medicine Residency Program. He is an organizer and initial moderator for the UBC Rural Emergency Medicine Online Journal Club. He maintains the blogs: www.clinicalcannabisincontext.tumblr.com and www.beyondbreakingbad.tumblr.com
FAISAL SAEED AL MUTAR
Faisal Saeed al Mutar is an Iraqi born writer, public speaker, community manager, computer geek and a Human rights activist living currently in the United States. He is an advocate for freedom of thought, science, reason and the free market of ideas and economy.
Writer at the The Huffington Post
Columnist for Free Inquiry Magazine
Community Manager at Movements.org by Advancing Human Rights
He is on the editorial board of Applied Sentience, which is a multi-university project, and platform for the next generation of Humanist & Secular thinkers and activists, their mission is to find beauty in the world and explore how to live in it.
Maryam Namazie was born in Tehran, but left with her family in 1980 after the 1979 Iranian Revolution was suppressed by the Islamic movement. She has subsequently lived in India, the United Kingdom and the United States, where she began her studies at the age of 17.Specialised in international solidarity, Namazie first worked with Ethiopian refugees in Sudan. During the Islamic coup d’état in that country, her clandestine organisation in defence of human rights, Human Rights Without Frontiers, was discovered and prohibited. Back in the United States in 1991 she became the co-founder of the Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian Refugees (CHAIR). In 1994 she worked in Iranian refugee camps in Turkey and produced a film about their situation. Namazie was then elected Executive Director of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees with branches in more than twenty countries. She has led several campaigns, especially against human rights violations of refugees in Turkey, and is involved with the International Committee against Stoning. Namazie is also a spokesperson for Equal Rights Now – Organisation Against Women’s Discrimination in Iran, that serves to defend women’s rights and the struggle against “sexual apartheid” in Iran. Namazie has also broadcast programmes via satellite television in English: TV International.
Robert Price is an American theologian and writer. He teaches philosophy and religion at the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary, is professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on theology and the historicity of Jesus, including Deconstructing Jesus (2000), The Reason Driven Life (2006), Jesus is Dead (2007), Inerrant the Wind: The Evangelical Crisis in Biblical Authority (2009), The Case Against the Case for Christ (2010), and The Amazing Colossal Apostle: The Search for the Historical Paul (2012).
A former Baptist minister, he was the editor of the Journal of Higher Criticism from 1994 until it ceased publication in 2003, and has written extensively about the Cthulhu Mythos, a “shared universe” created by the writer H. P. Lovecraft. He also co-wrote a book with his wife, Carol Selby Price, Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush (1999), on the rock band Rush.