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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Students form club to promote questioning

Skeptical students at the UA finally have a place to unite — well, maybe.

“”Like discussing the big questions: God, gold and gals? Got questions about just about everything?”” These are some questions on the Skeptics Club flyer that members passed around last week when Brother Jed Smock visited the UA campus.

“”We want to open up to those who are questioning anything, and we’d like to discuss life’s most important questions,”” said Stephanie Sherman, a psychology senior and co-founder of the Skeptics club.

The club already has about 200 members on the listserv, according to Antonio Roca, another co-founder of the Skeptics club.

“”We don’t think anything is off-limits to talk about,”” Roca said.

At meetings, students come together to discuss all sorts of topics.

“”One student can research a topic that he wants to dispel, and everyone will participate,”” Roca said.

Last week, members talked about morality, Roca said.

“”We talk about evolution and creationism,”” Roca said. “”There are also some people who think that Sept. 11 was a government job, and we’re skeptical about that.””

The Skeptics club has a Facebook group that currently has 92 members.

When Sherman and Roca originally started the club last year, it was called Students for Inquiry.

“”Membership was rather low,”” Roca said. “”The club name was vague.””

Last week, the Skeptics club had a welcome meeting with 40 attendees.

Club members also had a table by Heritage Hill, where Brother Jed was preaching. The members started “”Brother Jed Bingo.””

“”We wanted to make hilarity of his comments,”” said Roca. “”The bingo helps diffuse Brother Jed’s message.””

Sherman said Brother Jed Bingo was also meant to show that they could predict what he’d say.

The bingo sheet of paper has boxes with words such as “”homo,”” “”penetration,”” “”hell passage”” and “”heaven,”” among many others, and students were instructed to check off these boxes any time Jed Smock mentioned one of the listed topics.

The Skeptics club also passed around a sheet of paper with Bible verses that promote questioning.

Zachary Finger, a creative writing senior and club member, designed the Brother Jed Bingo cards.

“”We actually weren’t rude to Brother Jed as some of the Wildcat “”Mailbag”” writers were claiming,”” Finger said. “”Jed wrote on a Facebook note that the Skeptics club members were courteous and funny.””

Finger joined the Skeptics club in fall 2009 as he searched for organizations for agnostics and atheists.

“”I have had a blast with this club,”” he said. “”Everyone is really funny and creative.””

The club is comprised of a variety of people and isn’t limited to specifically religious or moral skepticism.

“”We’re not just a club of atheists; we have Christian members,”” said Roca. “”We weren’t on campus to bash Brother Jed — just to be an alternative proof of knowledge.””

Roca said that he and the Skeptics club table volunteers never fought with Brother Jed during his visit, and that they were merely trying to promote their club.

“”We just want to show that we can think critically about something,”” Sherman said.

Roca and Sherman said that the club has social events as well as club meetings.

“”We go bowling, watch movies, hike,”” Roca said. “”We can be serious and fun at the same time.””

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