Welcome

Upcoming and Recent Events

Einstein, Schrödinger, Dice, Cats, & Quantum Physics: What is Our Weird Universe Made Of?

The Freethought Society joins with the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia and the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia to host acclaimed science writer and physicist Paul H. Halpern as a speaker onSundayMay 31, 2015 at 4:00 PM. Halpren’s presentation is entitled Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger’s Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics. The presentation will take place at the EHSP building, located at 1906 South Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.

Halpren’s presentation, based on his book of the same name, investigates how physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger battled together against the incompleteness and indeterminacy of quantum mechanics. Their conversations resulted in many interesting quips, including Einstein famously and amusingly saying that God does not play dice with the universe and Schrödinger creating his famous fable and thought-experiment of a cat in a box that is in a mixed state between life and death until it is observed, that was neither alive nor dead not to explain quantum mechanics but to highlight the apparent absurdity of a theory gone wrong. But these two giants did more than just criticize: they fought back, seeking a unified Theory of Everything that would make the universe seem sensible again, a theory that would unite the forces of nature and supersede quantum weirdness.

Einstein dedicated the final decades of his life in the search for unification. Even on his deathbed he asked for pencil and paper in a vain attempt to complete his calculations. Less familiar, but similarly intriguing, are the efforts of Austrian physicist Schrödinger to solve the same riddle and beat Einstein, with whom he had collaborated, to the answer. The relationship between the two extraordinary physicists offers a riveting tale about a deep friendship challenged by the temptations of scientific glory.

Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger’s Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics has received positive reviews from a diverse readership, both professional and everyday reader. A seemingly inscrutable subject to cover, Halpern’s writing and speaking is down to earth as he easily engages the reader and listener on what is a complicated problem involving two of the greatest minds who ever lived. Among the many reviews, the Library Journal said of Halpern’s work that it is “A highly approachable book that will appeal to readers…who are interested in physics, the history of science, and the human and political aspects of scientists and their work.” The Wall Street Journal stated that it is “A fascinating and thought-provoking story, one that sheds light on the origins of some aspects of the current challenging situation in physics…. Mr. Halpern’s engaging account is a great human story and should be of interest as well to anyone fascinated by the still-unsolved questions that they pursued together.” And in the reveiw by Nature, “Physicist Paul Halpern tells the entangled tale of Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrödinger, and their search for a Grand Unified Theory with humour and concision.”

Halpern is Professor of Physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and an acclaimed author of 14 popular science books, exploring the subjects of space, time, higher dimensions, dark energy, dark matter, exoplanets, particle physics, and cosmology. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholarship, and an Athenaeum Literary Award. A regular contributor to NOVA’s The Nature of Reality physics blog, he has appeared on numerous radio and television shows including Future Quest and The Simpsons 20thAnniversary Special.

Halpern’s presentation is free and open to the public, and begins at 4:00 PMSundayMay 31, at the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia building, 1906 Rittenhouse Square. Books will be available for purchase.

Paul Halpern portrait

Paul Halpern

 

Check for this and other upcoming events at the FS Meet Up page.

Like FS on Facebook!

Follow FS on Twitter.

The Freethought Society News Editorial Staff

 

May June 2015 Freethought Society Newsletter

Click here to read the May-June 2015 Newsletter

In the newsletter you will find the following articles:

  • Trying to Stop Public School BSA Recruitment Assemblies by Margaret Downey
  • The Camp Quest 2020 Envision Campaign by Amanda Metskas

  • The History of “In Gold We Trust”
  • In Legal Action We Trust by Michael Newdow
  • West Coast Anti-Superstition Bash and Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center by Margaret Downey
  • Two Movie Recommendations by Dennis Middlebrooks
  • The Freethought Society’s 2015 Multi-Month Calendar
  • Donation, Information, and Volunteer Page

Click here to read the May-June 2015 Freethought Society Newsletter. ‎

We hope that you will remain or become an active supporter of the great work FS is doing. Please donate to the general fund or select a project you want to help sponsor. All donations to FS are tax-deductible!  If the newsletter inspires you to become more actively involved with FS, please provide us with your contact information, including your phone number, email address, and mailing address.

Special events are being planned in your area so don’t miss an opportunity to participate further. All personal information is confidential and will not be shared with other organizations. We want supporters to stay informed at all times. To keep updated about events, meetings and issues, please sign up to participate in the FS Discussion List.

Check for upcoming events at the FS Meet Up page.

Like FS on Facebook!

Follow FS on Twitter.

The Freethought Society News Editorial Staff

West Coast Friggatriskaidekaphobia Party Feb. 13, 2015

The Backyard Skeptics, the Freethought Alliance and the Freethought Society have joined together to bring the Friggatriskaidekaphobia Party (Fear of Friday the 13th) on Friday the 13th of February, 2015.  It will be held at the Howard Johnson Inn Fullerton Hotel and Conference Center, 22 W. Houston Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832  (714) 922-1700. (Discounted Rooms available while they last- mention “Friday the 13th Party)

Cost is $13.13 for Early Registration, $15 at the door.  

RSVP and Pay $13.13 now by clicking here:  www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=FJKB5XERPY5YG  (Payment collected by the Freethought Alliance via PayPal.)

See the flyer below for full information, entertainment, guest lists and more. For more information, please visit or contact us via www.Friggatriskaidekaphobia.comFtSociety.org or the FreethoughtAlliance.org.

2015-Cal-Party11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January-February 2015 FS Newsletter

Click here to read the newsletter:   January-February-2015-FS-News-Web

In the newsletter you will find the following articles:

  • The First Secular Day of the Dead Celebration by Margaret Downey
  • The Lively Celebration of the First Secular Day of the Dead  by Victoria de la Torre
  • Photos of the First Secular Day of the Dead  
  • Voting Beneath the “Head of Christ”  by Wayne Trotta
  • Advocating for the 2014 West Chester, PA Tree of Knowledge by Margaret Downey
  • The Las Vegas, Nevada 2014 Tree of Knowledge by Margaret Downey
  • The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2014 Tree of Knowledge by Margaret Downey
  • Promotional Flier for the February 13, 2015 Anti-Superstition Bash and Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Center Event by Carol Everhart Roper
  • School District Under Fire for Hosting Scouts Assembly  by Tim Cwiek  (First Published in the Philadelphia Gay News on December 11, 2014)
  • The Movie Scene by Dennis Middlebrooks
  • The Freethought Society’s 2015 Four-Month Calendar
  • Donation and Information Page

Click here to read the newsletter:   January-February-2015-FS-News-Web

We hope that you will remain or become an active supporter of the great work FS is doing. Please donate to the general fund or select a project you want to help sponsor. All donations to FS are tax-deductible!  If the newsletter inspires you to become more actively involved with FS, please provide us with your contact information, including your phone number, email address, and mailing address.

Special events are being planned in your area so don’t miss an opportunity to participate further. All personal information is confidential and will not be shared with other organizations. We want supporters to stay informed at all times. To keep updated about events, meetings and issues, please sign up to participate in the FS Discussion List.

Check for upcoming events at the FS Meet Up page.

Like FS on Facebook!

Follow FS on Twitter.

The Freethought Society News Editorial Staff

The 2014 Philadelphia Tree of Knowledge event 12/7/2014

The 2014 Philadelphia Tree of Knowledge

Book This Event for a Secular Holiday Season

ToK2014Please plan to celebrate the 2014 winter season in a festive freethought fashion by attending a Tree of Knowledge decorating special event! The Tree of Knowledge will be placed in the lobby of the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia (EHSP) at 11:00 AM on Sunday, December 7, 2014. The Freethought Society (FS) is proud to join with EHSP for this celebration of openness, education, and freedom of conscience. EHSP is located at 1906 South Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. The event is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome!

The Tree of Knowledge will be decorated around noon following an EHSP program featuring an address by Hugh Taft-Morales entitled, “Great Awakenings.”

Taft-Morales will explore the First Great Awakening that brought an angry god to America at the beginning of the 18th century, the Second Great Awakening fueling public social reform early in the 19th century, and the 20th century wave of progressivism that woke government up to its responsibility for ordinary citizens. Taft-Morales will conclude by advocating for a contemporary “great awakening” of secular government and a culture of humanism and freethought.

The Tree of Knowledge became a winter symbol for the nontheist community in 2007, originally placed on the lawn of the Chester County Courthouse in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Despite appeals for openness and acceptance, Chester County Commissioners have prevented the nontheist community’s symbol from being included in any the traditional winter holiday display since 2010. EHSP welcomed The Tree of Knowledge display with excitement and full support for the diversity it represents.

Margaret Downey, President of FS said, “This is the fourth year that we’ve celebrated the winter season with a Tree of Knowledge at the Ethical Humanist Society. It started as a symbol of inclusion and sharing in this region but The Tree of Knowledge has since become a tradition, not just in Southeastern Pennsylvania, but throughout the world.”

Visitors are encouraged to bring two color copies of the front of a favorite book to the December 7th event. A laminator and other craft materials will be available for those color copies to be made into an ornament. The ornament can be placed on the Ethical Society’s Tree of Knowledge or used for a home display.

Downey and FS board members Jennifer Taylor and Patti Butcheck will be making the ornaments at 1:00 PM in the upstairs meeting room.

Enjoy the Taft-Morales EHSP presentation on Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 11:00 AM, and stay for The Tree of Knowledge decorating party and noon! Both events are free and open to the public.

 

To view photos of previous Tree of Knowledge displays, see:       https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xaadwcswcszxvij/AAA2JyLkjtUEpQJq6lV72DZta?dl=0

For more information, contact:

Margaret Downey, FS President

Phone: 610.793.2737

Email: Margaret@FtSociety.org                                              

Hugh Taft-Morales, EHSP Leader

Phone: 215.735.3456

Email: LeaderHugh@phillyethics.org