I’ve been a full-time activist for a couple years now, and I have definitely dedicated a lot more hours to my projects and to my channel every week than I ever did in the corporate world–even that period where one company offered unlimited overtime. Now that I’m involved in something where I can actually do some good for other people, I have a goal to be the hardest working advocate of skeptical atheism, secular humanism, and science education. So let me explain what Lilandra and I do for our patrons.
(1) I host the Ra-Men Podcast, We’re up to episode 64 now. I started the project with Mark Nebo of BeSecular, but have had to go it alone since he had to break away with a new baby. I know, I still have to update the website and audio feeds–once I figure out how. Most recently, I interviewed Dr David Eberth of the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleontology, regarding the recent revolution in the reclassification of dinosaurs. In February, I interviewed Reginald Finlay, formerly known as The Infidel Guy, the first atheist activist on Radio. In January, (just for a bit of fun) I interviewed Ivan Stang, founder of the Church of the Subgenius, also known as the Church of Bob. Prior to that was much more serious. I interviewed water protectors with the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe out at Standing Rock. I don’t use my podcast to argue with people. Because my thought is that anyone can complain and everyone does. It’s easy to be negative and just criticize any solution ever suggested. But I’d rather be positive and progressive. So I want to talk to the people who are actually doing something to make things better. That’s the goal of my show really, and I’ve interviewed activists, inventors, scholars, scientists, entertainers, and politicians who seem to be doing that.
(2) My wife Lilandra was a public school science teacher before she became a curriculum specialist with the Next Generation Science Standards. She combines her experience in the scripts of most of our classroom supplement videos on our Living Science channel, teaching national standards biology at the middle school and high school level. Of course, wherever relevant, we unapologetically include unambiguous explanations of evolution, endosymbiosis, abiogenesis, deep-time, and other relevant scientific concepts. My thought is that teachers can put on our videos to give their class a standardized introduction to the subjects they’re to be tested on. Likewise, secular homeschoolers use these when they fear their kids won’t get a proper science education in public schools: because a lot of teachers are creationists who flatly refuse to teach science correctly. We’re not traveling quite so much this year as last year. So we should have these produced much more frequently.
(3) Now that I’m done with my 19-part rebuttal of cult-leader, David C Pack’s alleged “proof of God“, I started a new series showing how Meteorology, Geology, Paleontology, Dendrochronolgy, and other fields of study disprove Noah’s flood. It may seem like beating a dead horse. But remember that I toured the Ark Encounter with Bill Nye the Science Guy and the ark’s creator, Ken Ham. Ham built this facade with over a hundred million dollars donated by folks desperate to dupe others into their delusion. I took part at the on-site protest and ranted onstage about it at an associated science rally too. But this absurd belief is so common in this country, that I knew I had to do more.
(4) I’m also directing the Phylogeny Explorer Project, an attempt to render the entire taxonomic tree of life as a navigable online encyclopedia. The systematic classification of life is the single most compelling evidence of evolution, and the ultimate dismissal of creationism, as I explained in my video on the Phylogeny Challenge. But it is a subject not many people know much at all about. So Lilandra reminded me that I explained this to her when we met, when she was a creationist, and that’s what convinced her that evolution was indeed a real thing genuinely supported by overwhelming evidence. So she suggested that I share that experience with a new series of videos explaining monophyletic phylogenetics by focusing on a few particular clades, kind of like what I’ve already done with pterosaurs and a few others, like dogs and cats.
So most of what we do is in defense of science, particularly explaining evolution and debunking creationism. But I still do videos promoting secular politics and skeptical atheism. I’ll even do an occasional video where I argue live with unreasonable believers, like when I called the number on one of those Jesus-is-Truth billboards. Some of my viewers just want to see a train-wreck. One day I might even get a flat-earther to have a real-time conversation with me. Though so far, all of them have refused.
I still give live presentations at conferences, conventions, and rallies around the country and around the world (when I can) on skepticism, secularism, and atheism–whether it’s teaching science or exposing religion and scripture. For example, later this month I will again testify before the Texas State Board of Education, as I have before for accuracy of both science and social studies. Right after that, I’ll be speaking at ReasonCon in North Carolina, and I’ll go straight from there to the March for Science in Washington DC. Then next month I’ll be speaking at the International Rationalist Conference in Helsinki. After that, I’ll start ramping up my campaign for Texas State Senate in November 2018. But that’s a separate thing altogether.
None of this would be possible without the support of our patrons, and I’m regularly assured that it is making a difference. Especially now that our political environment requires that science education, secular values, and even rational thinking be protected all the more rigorously against even greater odds. So please consider supporting our work. We make six of these videos per month. So if you sign on at $3 each for all six videos, that’s less than $20. This is all I do for a living now. Somebody’s got to do it, and I can. So I am. But I really do need all the help I can get!