Adam Savage’s Award for Cultural Humanism Acceptance Speech

Over the weekend, the Harvard Secular Society’s “Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism” was given to Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman (a.k.a. The Mythbusters).

A transcript of Adam’s speech is now available online and you can read it here:

I’m actually the fourth generation in my family to have no practical use for the church, or God, or religion. My children continue this trend.

Here are a few things I’ve learned.

Prayer doesn’t work because someone out there is listening, it works because someone in here is listening. I’ve paid attention. I’ve pictured what I want to happen in my life. I’ve meditated extensively on my family, my future, my past actions and what did and didn’t work for me about them. I’ve looked hard at problems and thought hard about their solutions.

I’ve concluded by this that someone is paying attention — I’ve concluded that it’s me. I’ve noticed that if I’m paying attention to those around me, to myself, to my surroundings, then that is the very definition of empathy. I’ve noticed that when I pay attention, I’m less selfish, I’m happier — and that the inverse holds true as well.

(via Boing Boing — Thanks to everyone for the link!)

  • JillSwift

    Has anyone perused the comments? Some nutty stuff in there.

    Great speech, though. (Even if I don’t really get that eagle thing at the end.)

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    May everybody here expand their consciousness and eventually provide a particularly delicious meal for the eagle! Well, I get it.

  • Valhar2000

    Is there any way to listen to the speech? Or to watch him giving it?

    This is interesting, though. I always had the idea that Adam Savage was a theist, or something along those lines (though, obviously, of the more skeptical variety), so this came as something of a surprise.

    It only contributes to making him even cooler that he seemed before, however.

  • http://sesoron.blogspot.com/ Sesoron

    Know what would be omnirighteous? If something from that speech (I’m thinking the “We’re discovering the hidden orders of the universe every day. The inverse square law of gravitation is amazing. Fractals, the theory of relativity, the genome: these are magnificently beautiful constructs” bit) made it into a future Symphony of Science.

  • Jimmy

    @Valhar2000,

    I’m actually a member of the Harvard Secular Society (BoingBoing got our name wrong), the group that gave Adam the award.

    We wanted to record the event as we have in the past, but Discovery did not allow it. I would assume this would just be a bit more visceral proof of Adam and Jamie’s atheism, which wouldn’t be good for business.

  • Sobex

    Hmm, Adam Savage has been at every TAM (The Amazing Meeting) since the very first one. I saw him in person at TAM6 and TAM7. Being at TAM is tantamount to admitting you’re an atheist. Sure, there are skeptics that aren’t atheists but I did not meet ONE at either TAM (well other than Hal Bidlack the MC).

  • euridice

    I’m extremely disappointed that Discovery wouldn’t allow the event to be recorded. if Discovery is going to televise shows that promote science (such as Mythbusters does) they should be willing to deal with atheism. Atheism isn’t some terrible disease after all.


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