Lawrence Krauss is the best kind of atheist – outspoken! He is to receive Humanist of the Year honours later this year from the American Humanist Association. He is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist and Director of the Origins Project and Foundation Professor in the School of Space Exploration and the Department of Physics. He grew up in Toronto and received a first class honours in mathematics and physics at Carleton University, and a PhD. from MIT. He is the author of many popular science books including, A Universe From Nothing. He is a world class Skeptic, debater, orator, defender of science and reason, co-star of The Unbelievers with Richard Dawkins, and most of all, neutrino lover.
Mr. Deity is a series of satirical short films that parody aspects of religion, created by Brian Keith Dalton and distributed by Lazy Eye Pictures. It stars Brian Keith Dalton, Jimbo Marshall, Sean Douglas, and Amy Rohren. It premiered on December 27, 2006.
Brian calls himself a formon (a former Mormon) and knows the control and ridiculousness of belief. His companion videos, Way of the Mister, are more direct ‘rants’ and are biting, funny and on point.
Brian has become a most sought out speaker on the skeptic/atheist circuit.
Wife of Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger that has advocated for human rights and secular ideas. He was accused of apostasy by a leading Islamist and subsequently jailed, fined, and flogged. Ensaf, has not seen her husband in 4 years but believes she will be reunited with him here in Canada. Their three young children have only recently learned of their father’s fate, and Ensaf works tirelessly to bring attention to her husband and the ideas she is sure he will write about again soon. She is intensely proud of her husband. What is less well known is that she also fights the children’s grandparents who have attempted to have them repatriated back to Saudi Arabia. The grandparents are worried that the children will not grow up good Muslims in Canada.
Faisal is Iraqi born and raised. An atheist by definition but identifies as a humanist. Islamists murdered his brother while he was still living in Iraq. Faisal became a refugee and eventually sought a home in the U.S.. He has become an unapologist for secular ideals, freedom of thought, and humanism, and the free market of ideas. At the tender age of 23 he has founded the Global Secular Humanist Movement which has grown to over 316,000 followers! He can smile that this is slightly more than Sam Harris has, who is his personal hero.
It is with great disappointment that I announce that Faisal will not be able to attend this year. He is having passport issues that will not be resolved in the near future.
Armin Navabi is a former Muslim from Iran, author of the best-selling book Why There Is No God, and the founder of Atheist Republic, a non-profit organization with over one million fans and followers worldwide that is dedicated to offering a safe community for atheists around the world to share their ideas and meet like-minded individuals. Armin was born and raised in the Islamic Republic of Iran and was indoctrinated thoroughly in the Muslim tradition. After almost losing his life in the pursuit of God’s grace, the devastation of that event motivated him to seek a better understanding of the nature and concept of God and religious belief. Armin’s journey led him to leaving Islam and becoming an atheist. Wanting to reach out to others like himself, Armin continues to examine religion as well as the notion of God and interact with others to engage in thought-provoking and educational discussion.
Sandy Donaldson is a labour lawyer and atheist blogger living in Toronto. He also has experience in human rights and constitutional law and was counsel on a recent landmark case which held that provincial workers compensation legislation violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. With a background in theatre, Sandy is a founder of the emerging Atheist Community of Toronto.
Doug Thomas is a life long atheist who adheres to the agnostic philosophy of knowledge. He has been an active Secular Humanist since 2002 beginning with the Society of Ontario Freethinkers which he has helped make one of the most successful Humanist groups in Canada. It continued with Humanist Canada where he served briefly on the Board of Directors. In 2011, Doug joined others in founding Secular Connexion Séculaire, a national group that advocates for Humanist rights in Canada. In 2013, Doug’s fellow Humanists nominated him for the J.S. Woodsworth Award for his work in promoting Human Rights and Equity. He continues to advocate for Humanist rights with his blog, Canadian Secular Humanist (www.dougthomaselmira.com) and by lobbying governments at all levels.
Doug will be on the Panel of Blasphemy
A passionate reader and a self confessed information lush, Eric brings a business perspective to Humanist initiatives. His Senior Management career has focused on Logistics and motivational Leadership in several Fortune 500 Companies. He is an exceptionally busy Humanist. As of mid-2015 his current volunteer work includes:
· President of Humanist Canada
· President of the Quinte Secular Humanist Association
· Director of Secular Ontario
· An active, licensed Humanist Officiant
· Book Review Editor for Humanist Perspectives Magazine,
· A key member of the steering committee for the Imagine No Religion Conference.
Eric will be on the Panel of Blasphemy
“The evolution of Humanities participation with Humanism is accelerating; we all carry a mantle of responsibility to deliver practical initiatives as well as strategic direction that serves”.
The question of God was always important to Carolyn, but in 2005 she “fell in love with Jesus” and became a “zealous and conservative Christian.” As she immersed herself in studying the bible she found herself a skeptic. A series of epiphanies later culminated in the writing of her first book Still Small Voices in 2014. Carolyn writes in an intensely personal way that grabs the reader and erases any doubt on the sincerity of her journey from Christian to Atheist.
Stephanie joined the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science in March of 2013. She was the leader of an award winning student group at the Metropolitan State University of Denver that developed widely successful unique events such Food for Freethought and The Pseudoscience Fair. She also brought in notable names such as Michael Shermer and James Randi to speak on campus. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Linguistics and Theoretical Mathematics from the Metropolitan State University of Denver. She also gives talks around the country educating people about transgender issues and skepticism.
Stephanie’s talk: Trans 101: Being informed to be a better ally
Christine is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Communication, Media and Film, Faculty of Arts, at the University of Calgary, Canada. Her research involves studying the rhetorical strategies employed by the Intelligent Design Creationism movement, and her areas of focus include history, philosophy and sociology of science, and rhetoric. Among other involvement in the secular community, she is the President of Atheist Alliance International, the first Canadian to be elected to the Board of Directors for the American Humanist Association, and a regular co-host on the Calgary-based Legion of Reason podcast.
Christine will be on the Panel of Blasphemy
David Rand is president of the Montreal-based organization Libres penseurs athées -- Atheist Freethinkers (LPA-AFT) and is a spokesperson for the International Association of Free Thought (IAFT). He has addressed freethought gatherings in Canada, Lebanon, Argentina, Chile and Poland. His writings have appeared in Humanist Perspectives, Free Inquiry, La Raison and other publications, as well as on several web sites.
David will be on the Panel of Blasphemy