Tom Flynn, Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism

Tom Flynn is the Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism, Editor of Free Inquiry magazine, and Director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum. His will present 


You've seen the various religion polls and the reported percentages of unbelievers – and the polls vary widely. Which surveys are reliable? Which are skewed? In a lavishly illustrated presentation, Tom Flynn explores how sociologists and pollsters have measured – and mismeasured – religious belief and unbelief from the mid-twentieth century to today, complete with all the controversies and scandals. What do polls on religion really mean (for example, how many of those "no religious preference" people are really atheists), and how many atheists are there, really, in America’s prisons?

6:30 - 7:30 Pizza and conversation. Order pizza at end of RSVP process.

7:30 - 8:30 Tom Flynn

A journalist, novelist, entertainer, and freethought historian, Flynn is the author of numerous articles and editorials for Free Inquiry magazine. He edited a massive reference work, The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, in 2007. His other books include two anti-religious black comedy science fiction novels, Nothing Sacred (2004), its prequel Galactic Rapture (2000), and The Trouble With Christmas (1993), a secularist critique of the holiday. He has made hundreds of radio and TV appearances in his role as the curmudgeonly "anti-Claus." His novel Galactic Rapture was reissued as a trilogy by See Sharp Press under the series title The Messiah Game. He designed the museum at the birthplace of 19th century agnostic orator Robert Green Ingersoll and co-conceived a related regional history project, the Freethought Trail, that now includes almost 70 marked and unmarked sites significant to the history of freethought, abolitionism, and women's rights within 100 miles of the Ingersoll museum. He has written extensively on the "rise of the nones" and the growing, welcome focus of the social scientists on studying nonreligious Americans as a category in their own right, not just as those who check "other" on surveys about religion.

Flynn's credits as a media producer include American Freethought, a four-part video miniseries about the history of the freethought movement, and HDTV documentaries about Robert Ingersoll and freethought publisher D. M. Bennett.

Some more specific topics Tom has expertise in are:

History of Atheism, Freethought, and Humanism
Demographic measurement of Unbelief 
Robert Green Ingersoll