News Archive

The Atheist Community of Austin believes that public school science education is critical to ensuring that future generations are able to build on the knowledge attained by previous generations. One guiding principle of science is that one idea isn't "just as good" as another. The scientific method specifically seeks to filter potential explanations through testing, falsification and the highest standards of evidence in order to determine which explanation is best. The TEA has a duty to develop the best educational standards possible and this cannot be achieved in the light of policies that expect neutrality on the issue of what should and should not qualify for inclusion in the science classroom. Do the TEA neutrality policies extend to geocentric astronomy models or flat-Earth geography? Would they remain neutral toward history courses that suggested that the Egyptians were simply incapable of building those pyramids and must have had alien guidance? 

The simple truth is that the TEA's neutrality policy is religious pandering. It demonstrates that they're more worried about offending people than defending science standards. The Atheist Community of Austin joins the chorus of voices demanding that the TEA rigorously defend the highest standards of science education. The public school students of Texas deserve nothing less. 

Matt Dillahunty, December 11, 2007

This year's ACA Winter Solstice Party will be on Saturday, December 15, 2007 from 6pm - midnight at Mike's house. Thanks to Mike for his hospitality! 

The party is for ACA members, their spouses, family, and atheist-friendly friends. Kids are welcome. RSVPs are encouraged so that Mike can gauge the size of the event. (Send him e-mail via this link.). Also, e-mail him if you'd like to volunteer to help set up. 

The early part of the evening will be a potluck dinner. Bring a dish to share, should you wish to participate. If you can, let Mike know what you plan to bring so that he can ensure a breadth of dishes. Mike will provide snacks and beer for the later crowd. 

Mike has a game room, arcade machine, and pool table. 

Mike's address, a map to his house, and his phone number are now available on the ACA member log-in page. Details will be posted later on the aca_membersonly list and a flier will be printed in December. 

Come and celebrate the new year without any of that Xmas stuff!

ACA will be making a trip up to Cedar Hill, Texas (near Dallas) to visit the Dark Rail Hell House. This is the same Hell House featured in the "Hell House" documentary. It's put on by a Christian church that uses the event as a means of dramatizing what they think the world would be like without their religion. This will be an all-day road trip. 

Members who wish to go will meet at the Alamo Drafthouse Lake Creek parking lot, 13729 Research Blvd (620 & 183) at 2pm, Saturday, October 27th. Those present will organize a carpool. Admission to the event is $10. 

See Dark Rail Hell House for more information.

The ACA will be chartering a cruise boat on Town Lake on Saturday, September 22nd, 2007, 6-8pm. We'll have the boat to ourselves to chat, picnic, and watch the bats emerge from the Congress Avenue bridge. The event is organized by Shelley Roberts and Mike Swift. 

The boat we'll be taking is the Capital Cruise's Silent Star. (This is not the same boat that we got last year.) It's 60 feet long and covered. It has a bathroom and tables for our use. We can bring food and drinks, but not in any glass containers. Plan on bringing some food and drink. The event should be a relaxing cruise on the lake. For those who are interested, check out the scrapbook entry from the 2006 event.

In order to get the boat, we're going to need to collect money in advance for the event. The price is $15 per person. Please pay with exact change (preferably in an envelope) or with a check made out to "ACA". Mark the check or envelope with the name(s) of the participant(s). Give your payment to an ACA board member at any meeting or ACA event. If the event is canceled, we'll return your money. 

On the day of the event, meet at 5:30pm at Capital Cruises' dock, on the river, behind the Hyatt Regency Hotel, on the South side of the river. That's between the Congress Ave. bridge and the 1st St. bridge, on the South shore. The number for Capital Cruises is (512)480-9264 if you need last minute help, or see their web site

We recommend parking at the Austin American-Statesman parking lot, just East of Congress Ave. on the South side of the river. Parking there is free for bat watchers. Alternatively, you can find a metered parking spot on Congress Ave. either South or North of the bridge. Coins shouldn't be necessary at that time of day, but it's a further walk. 

For more information about the bats, see Bat Conservation International and their web page about the Congress Avenue bat colony.

NOTE: Due to a bad weather prediction, this event has been canceled. 

The ACA activities committee has planned another treat for ACA members: a day at the Schlitterbahn Warterpark Resort in New Braunfels. The event would start at Mike's house (log in for address and map) at 9am sharp, July 28th to carpool to New Braunfels and arrive at the opening at 10am when it's cooler and the crowds haven't yet hit the park. 

Invite family and friends. The more, the merrier. Adult tickets are around $40; kid tickets are around $30. There is some possibility that there will be enough people to get a group rate, which may save a few dollars per ticket. 

If you're going, coordinate with Mike via this link or using the contact information on the ACA Member Home Page so that he can help facilitate the event. The participants will be doing most of the decision making, however. Plan to spend most of the day and bring appropriate gear. 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Atheist Community of Austin

The Atheist Community of Austin is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting positive atheism and the separation of church and state. The ACA serves the local Austin community through outreach programs, providing informational resources and various volunteer activities. In addition, the ACA serves the community-at-large through free online portals including informational wikis, regular audio/video podcasts and interactive blogs.

We define atheism as the lack of belief in gods. This definition also encompasses what most people call agnosticism.

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