Welcome to Cheltenham Skeptics in the Pub.

Skeptics in the Pub was founded in London by Dr Scott Campbell in 1999. The aim is to provide opportunities for people who are interested in science, skepticism, rationalism and critical thinking to socialise and discuss matters of interest, usually with a guest speaker. There are now over fifty groups across the country. Their websites will give you a great idea of what Skeptics are, what happens at a SitP event and so on.

Cheltenham SitP was conceived in November 2010.

Please register for updates and send us your suggestions for speakers and how best to spread the word. You can also follow Chelt_SitP on Twitter,  visit us on Facebook or  Google+. Also see our Newbie Friendly Policy!

 

News from the energy frontier

Professor Jon Butterworth

When?
Tuesday, October 28 2014 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

313-315 High Street,
Cheltenham,
GL50 3HW

We use "The Barn" function room

Who?
Professor Jon Butterworth

What's the talk about?

The discovery of the Higgs boson made headlines around the world. Two scientists, Peter Higgs and François Englert, whose theories predicted its existence, shared a Nobel Prize. The discovery was the culmination of the largest experiment ever run, the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. But what really is a Higgs boson and what does it do? How was it found? And what will the LHC do next? Jon Butterworth, a leading member of the ATLAS experiment, will talk about all this and more.

Jon Butterworth is also Head of the Department of Physics & Astronomy at UCL, and writes for the Guardian.

An Atheist's Guide to Holy Scripture

Steve Miller

When?
Tuesday, November 25 2014 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

313-315 High Street,
Cheltenham,
GL50 3HW

We use "The Barn" function room

Who?
Steve Miller

What's the talk about?

It is de rigueur among some atheists to mock The Bible for its Bronze Age science and plentiful examples of barbarous morality. However, Steve Miller will argue that not only is it anachronistic to judge a collection of ancient texts by modern standards, but to do so puts these sceptics firmly in the same indefensible paradigm as biblical literalists.  Like it or not, The Bible remains the central repository of beliefs for two billion of our fellow creatures.  Moreover, it is by far and away the most significant text in all of Western history.  It has shaped our literature, our law, our art and culture, our education system, the fundamentals of science and inquiry, our values, our politics and much else besides.  As such it demands to be taken very seriously indeed.  It is simply not possible to understand our past or present without properly reflecting on this book, its ideas and on the status it has achieved.  Neither is it possible to engage in serious dialogue and debate with Christians without at least a rudimentary understanding of what The Bible is, where it came from, who wrote it and in what languages, when and why it was written, and what it is trying to tell us.

This is not to suggest that The Bible is the inspired and revelatory word of a God.  It is a very much a product of the times and places in which it was created; and aimed directly at the writers’ contemporaneous audience. Thus it is not ‘true’ in the way most Christians understand it to be. But this is not to say it doesn’t contain great ‘truths’.  To disregard it totally, merely because it is almost entirely mythological, is to ‘throw a very large baby out with the bath water’.  It is certainly much too valuable and interesting to abandon it solely to the faithful, where it is regularly abused, mistreated and used as a ventriloquist’s dummy to justify repressive and regressive moral and political views.  The Bible doesn’t belong only to Christianity.  It certainly doesn’t belong exclusively to the fundamentalists.  It is part of our shared heritage, and as such Steve would like to claim it back in the name of all non-believers and free thinkers.

Steve is a regular churchgoer, avid Bible reader and convinced atheist. He’s a psychologist by day, and a keen but amateur theologian, Biblical critic and historian of early Christianity in just about every free moment the rest of his busy life allows.

Moving from ideology to evidence

Mark Lynas

When?
Wednesday, January 28 2015 at 7:30PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)

Where?

313-315 High Street,
Cheltenham,
GL50 3HW

We use "The Barn" function room

Who?
Mark Lynas

What's the talk about?

Mark Lynas has challenged the political right over its denial of the reality of climate change, and the political left over its denial of the science on the safety and efficacy of GM crops and nuclear power. Why is it that political ideology continually trumps scientific evidence on some of the key issues facing us today, and how might this affect the future of the planet and its people?

Mark Lynas is a journalist, environmental activist and the author of High TideSix DegreesThe God Species, and Nuclear 2.0: Why A Green Future Needs Nuclear Power. He is a frequent speaker around the world on climate change, biotechnology and nuclear power, and was climate change advisor to the President of the Maldives between 2009 and 2011. In October 2013 he was appointed a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s Office of International Programs at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He is also a member of the advisory board of the science advocacy group Sense About Science, and is vice-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies.

Please fill in the form below to send us a message