By Edward Hewitt |Staff Writer|
What do you find convincing about the theory of evolution? What do you find not convincing about the theory of evolution?
These are the main questions that the members of the Secular Student Association pose to students as they approach their information table during their most recent tabling session in the Santos Manuel Student Union.
The Secular Student Alliance is a social campus club that promotes the ethics of scientific and critical analysis, democracy, secularism and human-based ethics.
“We embrace the views of atheist, agnostic, humanist and skeptical thinkers,” said Jason Neal, a member of the club.
Being an open atheistic group on campus, one might assume that their ultimate goal is to convert believers into nonbelievers. But, when speaking to members of the club they will explain to you that such an idea is the exact opposite of the goal they are trying achieve.
“We are not trying to convert believers into nonbelievers. We are trying to simply let people that think like us know that they are not alone,” says the club’s president Aaron Carter.
The club has five areas of focus: education, service, activism, community and cooperation. “Their intentions are to create a community in which nonbelievers are comfortable to express their thoughts without ridicule,” said Carter.
“The main message that we want others to take away is that even though we are a group of non-believers we can still be good people without god. There are not a lot of people that know thinkers like us exist, so we are intending to raise awareness,” said Carter.
“We don’t have as much exposure as believers. Unlike churches we do not have buildings on every corner so we have to find other methods to spread our word.” said Miller, who is a graduate student here at CSUSB and also the club’s public relations director.
The members feel that CSUSB has given them a warm embrace over the course of their two year existence on campus.
Although they do admit that every so often they run into students that want to engage in the debate of being a believer versus being a non-believer. Other than those rare occurrences, students have been pretty accepting of the club and its positions.
The Secular Student Alliance hosts a number of events throughout the course of the school year.
Events include organized debates in which both believers and non-believers are welcomed and encouraged to express their thoughts on the theory of evolution and other issues.
“Alongside the debates the clubs also host educational workshops, movie showings, open discussions, social gatherings and even invite guest speakers out to campus to give more informative lectures about atheistic views,” said Carter.
The club provides each student that visits their table with a pair of pamphlets, one that engages its reader into critical thinking about the theory of evolution, and another that helps provide evidence for evolution.