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Posted by on Jun 8, 2008 in CFI London | 12 comments

CFI London

I have been asked to head up the new Centre for Inquiry in London (in effect, in charge of all academic programmes), and I have agreed. Will be planning various talks and events once we get it going. Should be a lot of fun, I hope. I’ll be soliciting suggestions….

You will have the option of joining the mailing list and/or becoming a “friend” for a modest sum (about £30 I think).

Website here.

I do not yet have an appropriate title. I was thinking “Grand Poo-Bah Extraordinaire” or “Supreme Authority”. You may have suggestions…..

Incidentally, one of the reasons I am very pleased to be associated with CFI is that a founder was the late, great, Carl Sagan, whom I idolized as a kid (remember “Cosmos”?). I hope we can put on some really interesting events that avoid just preaching to the choir.


  1. Wow! I have nothing more intelligent to say than well done, and that’s absolute great! Oh, and I wish it wasn’t just for London :-(. Why not just run the country/ world’s education system? Think BIG Stephen!What does “academic” cover? I hope you don’t stop doing the introductory, basic stuff as well, cos you do it very well! Hope that’s not patronising… Well, you got me formerly “in to” philosophy and are now, though you don’t know it, teaching me philosophy A level (with the help of Elizabeth Burns)! Good luck with the new post. I have no witty titles… To be honest, “Dr Law” has quite an authority to it already!

  2. As for a title I know of at several software communities that have a “Benevolent Dictator for Life”. On the other hand something catchy to get the God squad engaged might help “Lucifer” perhaps?

  3. Devil’s Advocate-in-Chief.

  4. Dear Scientistic Law, what is a Paranormal World-view? Is it a world-view in which the paranormal is possible and variously indicated, so that some people believe (perhaps because of chance events) that some particular kind of the paranormal occurs, and perhaps even in some pre-theoretic description of that?Or is it any such pre-theoretic description? Do you oppose people who think that the paranormal may exist, or those who devise such theories, to explain their own or others’ experiences? Are you against Idealism and Cartesian Dualism, for example? That’s fine, to be against those philosophies you don’t believe in; but are you against other people believing in them, or trying to persuade others of the truth of their views?It seems to me that the bigger you get, and the more of an impact you have, the less you will be able to complain about the impact of your largest opponents. And if CFI London is just a mixture of Skeptics and Secular Humanists, then why add to ASKE and CSH; what’s the point of it? Thanks etc.

  5. “Carl Sagan”, I don’t like that name, mainly because it reminds me of one of the most stupid things of my youth. I saw the previews for “Cosmos” and decided not to watch the program. I had decided that this Carl Sagan chap was obviously some no-nothing yank “TV personality” – it was screamingly obvious because he pronounce “Cosmos” differently from me!Its up there in the list of “stupid things I’ve decided” with the time I picked up a friends copy of “The Logic of Scientific Discovery” at University. I flung it down after four pages say “this guy’s a complete idiot”.I’ll have a look at the website and see if I can come up with a suggestion.BTW Sally is right about the introductory stuff. I have a 14 year old here talking to me about Heraclitus.

  6. Tony Lloyd: You dislike the name Carl Sagan because of something silly that you did in the past? I mean, he didn’t flip you off or anything? I find that to be a little odd. It’s like saying I hate Carl Sagan because I punched him in the gut. To be fair, I have neither punched him nor hate him. In fact, I too idolize him!Congrats, Doc Law. I have a good title for yourself: Da Claw. You could chop off one of your hands and replace it with a hook, or several hooks. Or, if you want to be less dramatic, you could just wear a Michael Jackson glove with needles sticking out of the fingers.There are several other possibilities, which my wife or I may have mentioned before. “The Judge”, “Stephenski”, and my all-time personal favorite, “Pope on a Rope”.

  7. Kyle,I neither hate nor dislike Carl Sagan. It’s that reminiscence of my own stupid prejudice that I dislike: the unthinking idiocy of a young Englishman failing to recognise an intellectual giant.

  8. Are there any plans to interview for CFI’s ‘Point of Inquiry’?

  9. Stephen, this is FANTASTIC! Presumably you’ll still have your “day job”, right? My, my, my… you’re going to be busier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs…! And let me echo sally_bm’s sentiments – should you ever decide that you’ve just plain gotten tired of London and want to jump the pond to the land of fried Snickers bars and an almost limitless supply of fundamentalist attitudes, we’ll be happy to get you all set up! :)Mucho congrats…!

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