Murdoch University – The Launch Of The Atheist And Agnostic Society

I’m about to run out the door to attend a lecture by Germaine Greer (it happens to be the opening night of the Perth Writers Festival), but here’s a few snaps from another first: The Murdoch University Atheist and Agnostic Society.

I met Robert of the MASS near the social sciences building, just on the edges of the Bush Court. Which is why all my photos are kind of washed-out, as it was a bright morning and the light was behind us. Sorry about that. Anyway, you can see Robert wrestling with the Sellotape here as he puts up the “Murdoch Atheist & Agnostic Student Society” sign, which is next to my very pretty Token Skeptic banner (which was a very kind gift by Barbara Drescher, a fellow blogger).


You can’t have a stall without THINGS. So, here are all the things. There’s a large octopus mascot (called Pharyngula), a bunch of magazines I had around that I thought might get people chatting (Skeptic magazine, an issue of New Scientist on Free Will, the Skeptical Inquirer and there’s a CFI Free Inquiry magazine that I picked up on my travels too). You may also notice the bowl of Fantales lollies – as every stall appeared to have a candy lure of some sort – and there’s some flyers about rationalism, posters for the Global Atheist Convention and some stickers with the Token Skeptic logo.

Okay, this photo? Is clearly too small. But THAT is a box of goodies that the Freethought University Alliance sent to the MASS! And it is fantastic. I can say that with authority, because a bunch of sign-ups happened after guys noticed that there were hot-pink Placebo bands and they wanted in on the action that would get them one. Freethinking guys are so predictable that way.

There’s also some nice flyers for the Global Atheist Convention too.

There’s Robert, running the show! There’s a sign for the octopus, offering him to babysit and eat your children. Funnily enough, he did stop a passing howling baby from being too upset, by distracting it. I highly recommend Ikea toys for all your entertainment needs.

Finally, many, many thanks to both Robert and Reece (in the middle) – I’m not a student at this University and I only came in for the early hours of the day to lend a hand and they allowed me to promote my podcast while I was helping out at the table. They have plenty of ideas for meetings and socialising with fellow atheists and agnostics, and I was really impressed by their inclusive attitude and friends (of all faiths) who came over to voice their support.

And I got to wear my new Four Horsemen 2012 t-shirt, designed by Neil Davies.

Big hellos also to the passers-by – there’s now over 50 people who signed on to the email list by the end of the day. Most enjoyable question we were asked: “Is this even legal??”

Murdoch’s Atheist and Agnostic Society can be found on Facebook.

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    And I got to wear my new Four Horsemen 2012 t-shirt,

    Personally, I prefer Robert’s “Reality doesn’t give a damn about your beliefs” t-shirt.

    On the Four Horsemen 2012 t-shirt, I recognize Dennett and Dawkins, who are the other two?

  • jplum

    That isn’t an octopus, it’s a pentapus.

    • jplum

      If you would like a stuffed octopus, I’d recommend this one: I keep mine at my parents’ house, so I don’t have to bring a stuffed animal to sleep with when I visit. The pentapus keeps her company when I’m not there.

      • Kylie Sturgess

        I remember a news-article, years ago – a picture of PZ Myers’ house, with lots of stuffed octopus gifts!

    • Kylie Sturgess

      Ikea isn’t known for their biologically-accurate toys. You should see the toy rats I’ve collected from them over the years! I’d say they should stick to funky furniture, but then where would I get cheap toys en mass?

  • Marie-Thérèse O’Loughlin

    You do mean en masse, I take it?

    • Kylie Sturgess
      • Cate

        Did I miss something — or did you just get hauled over the coals for making one little spelling mistake in a rushed blogpost while they overlooked all the work these students did to promote a new club on a predominantly religious campus? How nasty.

        • Kylie Sturgess

          Well, some people have different views over what’s important to them and there may be extenuating circumstances as to how they’re dealing with things recently. Take it up with them, I wasn’t particularly bothered.

  • Kylie Sturgess

    Quick update for everyone – here’s the Germaine Greer lecture that I attended that night, after rapidly writing this blogpost and running out the door: