Thursday, July 21, 2011

In Cognito

Small update on U-COR, they are having a BBQ with raffle an prizes this Saturday, however i'll end up being gone unfortunately and won't be able to make it. It's in Sandy UT and will be in the late afternoon and evening.

DRIFT and SHAAFT are now pretty much official, being the atheist groups down in St. George and at UVU. Counting the smaller and more unique groups in SLC there's about a dozen now that have formed into official organizations in Utah. I feel like now's as good a time as ever to come out of the closet as an atheist or agnostic or unbeliever. For Utah especially. UCOR has some 'big' plans for the near future.

At work i keep skipping around with my subtle books. Not literally skipping, but when i eat i read, just finished that Agnostic Reader book, couple weeks ago i was reading a book on human evolution, and now i've started Jesus Interrupted. Not that i don't read other books that really don't relate to religion or theism in any way, but probably half the time i have a book that makes the Mormon co-workers a little edgy. "Hey, jdog, what book you readin there?" , "Oh, a book on human evolution." , " ... " that's usually about it. Unless of course it's a co-worker who is undercover and maybe has read some of the same things as me. Starts a lively but short-lived discussion.

I don't want to sound like i don't like my co-workers though, it's just that almost ALL of them are active LDS! Sometimes it's almost like church. But they know their boundaries with the work atmosphere, and that if they can talk about religion then other people can voice their differences. Well, mostly. There's one co-worker, bless her heart, who doesn't have much tact in the way of asking personal questions. We had an interesting conversation last week:

Me "So you like science?"
Her "Yeah, i like genetics and biology."
Me "Yeah, i didn't use to ... but now my science shelf [bookshelf] is split between general and my genetics and evolution shelf."
Her, leaning in, "Oh, so you ... you believe in evolution?"
M "Well, i like to say i accept the Theory of Evolution, or rather, the Theory of Natural Selection, with a big t."
H "..."

M "When it comes to evolution there's enough facts that it's moved beyond a simple hypothesis, but what Darwin really brought to the table was a theory about natural selection, and it took a few decades but by the early 1900s we had enough evidence gathered for the theory that now it's hardly adjusted anymore. Really, for evolution it started with the Greeks, Plato and Aristotle being two basic examples [though Aristotle outlined the theory that would end up being true even though he fought against it, lol] and then those theories of course were lost [most libraries being burned by Christian sects] and not rediscovered till the Muslims found them and then the Christians dovetailed off their research and science."
H "[loosing or boring her] So, you don't believe the universe was created?"
M "No, i think creationism is just stupid. Well, let me specify young earth creationism. That's stupid, the earth is not 4 or 6000 years old."
H "No, the earth isn't 6000 years old."
M " Exactly, though America has one of the largest young earth creationist populations in the world. And to believe it you have to deny so much: evolution, biology, genetics, archeology, geology, astronomy, paleontology, basically all of science and just about everything the human race has ever learned about the world and the universe. It's just dumb."
M "I mean, i'm open to the idea that God or some entity started the ball rolling and then stepped aside, old creationism, but not young earth creationism[and i'm not really so open as i am more respectful of that view]"

Then at some point in all this i was asked if i also believed in the Big Bang and i explained the evidence for it, etc.... It was actually a fun conversation, and i may be one of the first non-LDS/non-believing persons she has ever had a real conversation with. If not then she must have a rote script for asking me what i do believe in cause it was almost cliched. Needless to say i need to just come out and tell co-workers i don't believe in gods to get rid of any possible confusion.

I am a little wary in talking about work because i don't wish to say anything detrimental, and i hope that comes across. I just wish there were more non-believers there ... or at least fewer Mormons ... so long as they weren't born-agains, or scientologists ... actually, i wish there were more scientologists.


  1. What is this group? I was at BYU last year and knew some atheists but no one more than that. I'm coming back this year and it'd be nice if I could find more people...that, you know, I can relate to. Does anyone have a contact? Or is there someone I can meet up with?

    email me at

  2. Does SHAAFT have a website you could link? I've looked around facebook and googled a bit but can't find anything. I found a flyer in the hallway at UVU and would like more information (flyer provided no contact information or meeting times or anything).

  3. Give me an email or something to pass along to their officers.