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Neo-Socratics Meetings/2006-12-05

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Date: 05 December 2006

Location:Port Elizabeth St. George’s Club, Bird Street

Present:C. Vanderlinden, N. Allen, R. Bosch, M. Heiligers, G. Saunders, F. Jordaan

Apologies:A. Steyn,

MINUTES OF MEETING

1. Minutes of the previous meeting

  1. The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted


2. New members

  1. One new members was introduced: Fiona Jordaan

3. Matters arising

  1. C. Vanderlinden proposed the following system for making decisions:
    1. Quorum shall consist of ½ the society’s members +1
    2. Only a quorum was entitled to take decisions a affecting the society with regards to its constitution and structure
    3. All other decisions could be taken by members present
    4. All these decisions will be voted upon by show of hands
    5. All decisions thus voted on by a majority vote would be final
    6. Any one motion could only be presented to the society once per meeting but could represented and re-voted upon at any following meeting
  2. It was generally agreed at any additional complexity to these rules would be moving away from the founding ideas of rationality and transparency
  3. It was agreed that the meeting that was to fall on 2 January 2007 be moved to 9 January 2007

4. Next meeting

  1. The next meeting will be held at the Maritime Club at 19:00 on Tuesday 9 January 2007
  2. A reminder to bring new interested members was given

5. Newsworthy items

  1. There was a smalls advert on the NMMU Intranet advising people with cancer and who are HIV+ to avoid doctors and contact the advertiser directly. They claimed that they would be able to heal, through prayer any ill or disease
    1. R. Bosch attempted to have the offending advert removed but could not contact the authorities
    2. A call was made for vigilance from all members of the NMMU, in order to actively staunch such potentially harmful advice
    3. R. Bosch will continue to monitor the situation
  2. M. Heiligers drew the society’s attention to the numerous adverts for healing seminars, meditation groups and various “hippy” gatherings in Port Elizabeth’s free newspapers
  3. C. Vanderlinden drew everyone’s attention to the fact that several pharmacies are dispensing homeopathic medicine as an effective cure, and also that:
    1. Such alternative medicine was often more expensive
    2. Pharmacists will continue to dispense such remedies unless actively challenged to provide evidence and viable alternatives
  4. Lastly a call was made to all the members to collect such information


6. Existing Projects

  1. C. Vanderlinden will handle the building up of an atheist and secular library and called for donations of books
    1. C. Vanderlinden of Richard Dawkins’ God Delusion will be donated to the society
    2. M. Heiligers will make several copy of Richard Dawkins’ The root of all evil available on DVDs for review by members
  2. James Randi was contacted by C. Vanderlinden in order to be made an honorary member of the Neo-Socratics but no answer has been received
  3. N. Allen and W. Thompson did not report back on the development of the pamphlet


7. New Projects

  1. C. Vanderlinden would like to sign up the Neo-Socratics as members of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), formerly Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the paranormal (CSICOP). This will cost $20.00
    1. This was accepted
    2. Donations are to be collected by C. Vanderlinden
  2. C. Vanderlinden would like to sign up the Neo-Socratics as members of the James Randi Educational Fund (JREF). This will cost $100.00
    1. This was not accepted for the time being
  3. 3. Members were invited to visit www.randi.org (http://www.randi.org/) and www.csicop.org (http://www.csicop.org/) for more information


8. Talk

  1. A talk on the scientific method by was delivered R. Bosch

A talk on the Top 13 Scientific unknowns was delivered by R. Bosch

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