Brandon Gerbig is an Atheist, secular humanist, skeptic from Saskatoon Saskatchewan. He is an active member of both the University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance, and CFI Saskatoon. In his free time he enjoys Dr. Who Marathons and podcasting.
So, I went to a snakeoil festival. A snakeoil festival is a gathering place for shillers of alternative medicine, a safe haven for people without proper medical expertise to give medical advice. It was an irresistible event, so I had to attend. I gathered up a few freethinkers and skeptics, and we were off to what was advertised as the Saskatoon Wellness Expo. 54 booths, some presentations, and all the alternative medicine buzz we could stand. I will present here some of the highlights of our adventure.
As skeptics, we tend to get ourselves into situations that yield a fair amount of mentally ill or dim-witted people. Creationists putting forth theories about layers of ice above the atmosphere, homeopaths talking about water having innate material energy, naturalists asking things such as "have you had your auras balanced this month?", it all goes towards a misconception that feeds into a bad habit among skeptics. That bad habit, in my humble opinion, is using ad hominem as the only argument against new arguments that sound like old arguments.
On January 15-17th, 2013, the University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance raised over $1200.00 for “Doctors Without Borders” by charging people for various kinds of hugs.
It was a cold day in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as the middle of January tends to be. People were looking for warmth and comfort, but nobody was stepping up to provide it. The University of Saskatchewan Freethought Alliance saw a niche to be filled, and we went forth to fill it. “Hug an atheist day” was born.